When the NBA broke ties earlier today, did anyone really expect the Clippers to win the tiebreaker with the Knicks? The Knicks, who literally have home court advantage for the draft?
So the Clippers lost that tiebreaker, meaning that the Knicks get 76 ping pong balls and the Clippers get 75. Big deal right. It also means that the Knicks pick before the Clippers if neither of them end up in the top 3. This might be a decidedly bigger deal. If the draft lottery goes to form (which basically never happens) the Clippers will pick 6th - probably leaving them a choice of Eric Gordon or DJ Augustin or Russell Westbrook if they decide to pick a guard. OJ Mayo and Jerryd Bayless (and of course Derrick Rose) should all be gone by the 6th pick.
Of course the real luck is needed during the lottery itself, May 20. The Clippers last caught a break in the lottery in 2004, when they moved into the second position (they finished tied for the fourth worst record in the league that year). And of course it was 10 years ago that they won the lottery - the prize that year being Michael Olowokandi. So there's luck, and there's timing, and you need both.