As the Nets go into Friday night's game, they have the fifth worst record in the NBA, which would give them 88 out of 1,000 ping-pong balls in the Lottery if the season ended now. That works out to a 29.2% shot at a top three pick.
As Tim Bontemps reports, from a historical if not statistical perspective, that's a good thing. The #5 lottery spot over the last ten years has produced five top three picks, including the overall #1 three times: in 2002, when Rockets selected Yao Ming; in 2006, when Raptors selected Andrea Bargnani; and 2010, when Wizards drafted John Wall.
As for the Rockets pick, Houston has moved into the #7 seed in the West, and thus the #16 pick, but is still only one game out of the lottery. John Hollinger's Daily Playoff Odds gives the Rockets a 69.2% shot at the playoffs.
Nets no lock to lose lottery pick - Tim Bontemps - New York Post