From our friends at Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN Stats and Info):
Boston’s 8-12 record is tied with the 2006-07 New Jersey Nets for the worst in NBA history by a division leader through 20 games. The Nets finished second in the Atlantic Division that season, but still made the playoffs (losing in the conference semifinals).
The Nets emerged with the 17th pick in the 2007 draft (when Greg Oden and Kevin Durant were the prizes). The Nets selected Boston College's Sean Williams at that spot.
Will the Celtics follow the Nets' path and make the playoffs? It's a coin flip at the moment, according to ESPN.com's Hollinger Playoff Odds:
At the moment, Boston has only a 2.9 percent chance of winning the draft lottery. Yes, it's way too early to accurately predict how the team's season will play out and that's hammered home by the projections for potential best (52-30) and worst (18-64) records.