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The Rules of the NBA Draft Lottery Tiebreaker

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Apr 23, 2012; Memphis, TN, USA;  Cleveland Cavaliers small forward Alonzo Gee (33) drives to the basket against Memphis Grizzlies center Marreese Speights (5) during the first half at the FedEx Forum.  Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-US PRESSWIRE
Apr 23, 2012; Memphis, TN, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers small forward Alonzo Gee (33) drives to the basket against Memphis Grizzlies center Marreese Speights (5) during the first half at the FedEx Forum. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-US PRESSWIRE

With so many teams bunched together in the fight for draft lottery position, a myth has started to emerge on Fear the Sword. And that myth is that the Cavaliers can "win" a tiebreaker against a team such as the Toronto Raptors by virtue of losing 3 of the 4 games against them this season.

That is 100% false. Here's how the NBA does tiebreakers for the NBA Draft Lottery:

In the event that teams finish with the same record, each tied team receives the average of the total number of combinations for the positions that they occupy. In 2007, the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Portland Trail Blazers tied for the sixth worst record. The average of the 6th and 7th positions in the lottery was taken, resulting in each team getting 53 combinations (the average of 63 and 43). Should the average number not be an integer, a coin flip is then used to determine which team or teams receive the extra combination(s). The result of the coin flip is also used to determine who receives the earlier pick in the event that neither of the tied teams wins one of the first three picks via the lottery.