Home Sweet Home

No, I'm not even mentioning any of the Mavs in this blog entry. This is all about Chris Bosh.

Yes, Bosh breathes Dallas basketball. Hard to believe? He was born a Texan and was a high school basketball hero there. You can read more of it here. But more importantly he will receive some home cooking that will definitely refresh him. He likes playing in Dallas and will surely have a good game with several of his relatives in the crowd. His game logs show it. He will perform.

Season Date Pts Reb Ast PRA
2010-2011 Nov-27 22 8 2 32
2009-2010 Nov-07 26 12 1 39
2008-2009 Mar-01 28 10 2 40
2007-2008 Nov-20 31 12 1 44
2006-2007 Nov-29 18 11 2 31
2005-2006 Feb-25 29 13 2 44
2004-2005 Mar-07 13 8 1 22
2003-2004 Dec-15 14 8 3 25

For the 14% of the drivers who haven't picked him yet, this is your chance. There are 3 Dallas games available. Isn't that what the strategy in the Finals say? Best PRA available playing at "home". Pick away.

Chris Bosh

The Master Picks

The potential 40+ PRA picks are almost spent. That's Dirk, LeBron, D-Wade and Bosh. Despite the hate, several drivers were able to hold on to at least two of the Big Three, long enough for them to be available in the Finals. The way the 3 previous series went helped with the pick decisions. With the best player at home strategy in the Finals, the Big Three has been popular picks in Game 1 and 2 in Miami. In the next 3 games (and 2 possible ones), based on the DTTF site, the top 5 popular picks doesn't involve any of them. LeBron has 19% drivers left to pick him, D-Wade has 10%, and Bosh 14%. These drivers like me (I have LeBron left) are holding on to the last pie for that elims game. Or until we can no longer hold it in ;)

Dirk has 30% drivers left to pick him, and he is the hot pick for Game 3 with 21%. Dirk has been great in the 4th quarter of Game 2, and that was an indication that his mallet finger was not as big as issue like what we thought it would be. 2 of his last 3 shots were made with his left injured finger. Not to mention the final dribble with his left hand. (BTW, I did not see him celebrating that finger roll.)

Hot Pick
Dirk Nowitzki

Pick Dirk quick.

The Injury Effect

There are two players with minor injury each that people are saying may affect their play. This is the time to look at how these will affect the PRAs of other players.

First up is Mike Miller's arm. He says it's fine but also we have read news articles where his teammates said he was playing some minutes in Game 1 with one arm. It's far from being serious as Rondo's injury, but I am sure that will affect his minutes. Coach Spoelstra will be watching him closely. This would mean more minutes for Wade and Mario Chalmers -- both of whom had a great Game 1. Feel free to pick the best among them if they are still available to you.

Next is Dirk's middle finger on his left guide hand. Unlike Miller's injury, this can have larger effect on the rest of the Mavs. I still think he will get his minutes. It is just a question on how many touches. Other Mavs would have to carry the scoring load. If you still have Kidd, pick him as he will assert himself into scoring as he did in the Portland series.

Somebody should also carry the inside scoring in lieu of Dirk's mini injury. That is why I am picking..
Week 7, June 2:
Shawn Marion

Shawn had 30 PRA in Game 1 and before that a great outing on the Thunder close-out game. Even without Dirk's injury, I have already lined him up for the picking. Moreso now that he should get more touches as the guards will spread the feed among him and Dirk. I also know that Shawn plays well in South Beach; he showed that in their lone game there in the regular season, and again in Game 1. Here's hoping he gets the same result in Game 2.

Sidenote: Why am I not excited about Ricky Rubio agreeing to play next season? I should be. That's Kevin Love and Rubio. But I'm not. I think Rubio is too hyped.

Mario Brothers

Mario Chalmers
Udonis Haslem

Coach Spoelstra is never afraid to milk his Big Three and play them tirelessly. In fact, LeBron played a whooping 45 minutes in Game 1. This, you may think, leaves less minutes for the bench.. not. Coming into this series, they were saying that it is their bench who can make a difference in this series. So far the Heat's bench have not disappointed yet.

Mario Chalmers to me was the X-factor in Game 1. He scored 12 points, and without these and the 3-pters he made, we could be looking at 1-0 series on the other end. It seems that the Mavs are leaving Mario free on pick-and-rolls, and in some plays letting him unguarded in the corner three. If this continues, Mario will see some more of these threes.

Udonis Haslem was the hard-worker on defense, that is why he was let to play more minutes guarding Dirk. His production, 7 points and 6 rebounds, is modest and still better than other fillers in this series. It seems the Heat likes him very much so look for him to see more minutes for the rest of this series.

Both bench-players Mario and Luigi Udonis played around 29 minutes each. In comparison with starters, Bibby played 14 minutes and Anthony played 18 minutes. If you already used the Big 3, Dirk and Terry before, feel free to choose either Mario and Udonis in Game 2, especially if your strategy is to pick players playing at home. Treat them as if they are getting starter minutes.

Good luck to us all.

Too Late To Pick Bosh?

NBA.com Expert Pick
Chris Bosh

Here is Bosh's split statistics..
2011 Playoffs         PRA 28.7 (18.6/8.9/1.1)
Series vs the Bulls   PRA 30.8 (22.0/7.6/1.2)
Season Home           PRA 29.5 (19.2/8.6/1.7)
Season Away           PRA 28.3 (18.2/8.1/2.0)
Season vs the Mavs    PRA 29.5 (20.5/8.0/1.0)
Season Away @ Dallas  PRA 32.0 (22.0/8.0/2.0)
Season Home vs Dallas PRA 27.0 (19.0/8.0/0.0)

The reason I showed these is that Bosh's production doesn't seem to follow a trend nor pattern. In the regular season, he is only slightly better at home than away, but against the Mavs he was better away. Note though that they played the Mavs only twice so we can't really depend on that statistic.

One statistic I would like to highlight is his series with the Bulls. Of the 15 games he played so far in these playoffs, he only had two breakthrough games with 30+ points and both were against the Bulls. Aside from those, he was average in most games, and was below average in about 3 games (2 against the Celtics). That is why it may be too late to pick him as his best series may already be behind him.

For those who are following what the NBA.com Expert picked, he has elected to go with Chris Bosh this game. I am not sure why, but maybe because Bosh is his best available player. He already exhausted picks to James, Wade and Nowitzki in previous rounds.

The Mavs used a lot of zone defense during the regular season for which James and Wade shot poorly against. Bosh though was the one who kept on defeating that zone which explains his high PRA against the Mavs. While this does not tell you when to pick him, this does tell you that you are safe to pick Bosh without the need to second guess if he will produce or not. Surely, he will produce here in this series.

Here is a wonderful article from CNNSI discussing what happens when the Heat has the ball. It gives a lot of kudos to Bosh and how he will thrive in this series.

For those who are deliberating when to pick James and Dirk, you can add the factor of history in their only Finals appearance.
  • James got swept by the Spurs in 2007, so he'll want to get 1 game win ASAP. So Game 1.
  • Dirk in 2006 never won in Miami, so he will be wanting to get 1 road game. So Game 1.
Oh okay that didn't help hehe! Just messing with your head. I also know that James is a show-off and plays better on the road, so I will be picking him later in Dallas.

My pick for this game...
Week 7, May 31:
Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade is nursing a shoulder injury that he and his coach say is not bothering him. A friend who follows the Heat religiously told me that Wade had his shoulder corrected during the rest between the series. I am guessing he went to a physio and had some nerves pinched. Shrugs, I am not sure. What I know is that his shoulder will not get a better rest during this series than what was given to it these past few days. So that shoulder, in theory, will perform better early and will degrade as the series drags along.

If you are still not sure who to pick, go with the player with the best PRA. Good luck with your pick!

Mr. Universe

These Finals, I will be discussing two to three picks leading to a game, with the latest to reveal my own pick. I hope this helps my readers more with their picks as I put more detail on each player.

Today I will be discussing Jose Juan Barea.
Jose Juan Barea

The Mavericks are an efficient jump-shooting team and so opposing teams play like they are against one. But when JJ comes in, everything is disrupted as he uses his penetration to fish a foul, score or kick out to shooters. JJ is a penetrator first. He has shown this all his career: in college, in the NBA and in international competition.

In the Portland series, JJ averaged four points, was shooting a poor 32%, but did get to the foul line 2 to 4 times in the first three games of that series. For the rest of the series, he didn't get even a single free throw attempt. Aldridge adjusted well to both defending Dirk and Barea's drive.

In the Lakers series, JJ was phenomenal! He was scoring 48% and the Lakers were only able to stop him in Game 3, but he was smoking in every game especially in the last game with 22 points (14 attempts, 64%) and 8 assists. The Lakers adjusted to him in Game 3 but forgotten all about him again in Game 4.

In the Thunder series, JJ came out of the gates roaring in Game 1 with 21 points, showing no rust from the long rest. He did okay in Game 2, but after that the Thunder adjusted. JJ have never seen the light of the basket since, until their win in Game 5.

The Mavs play three types of pick-and-rolls, one with Kidd (ending in a 3), one with Terry (ending in a mid-range jumper) and one with Barea (ending in a drive). Opposing teams do not know how to defend against the Barea pick-and-roll because JJ is so good at it. And when they do adjust to it (mostly letting Dirk free), they pay the price and then resort to the original plan against the pick. Here is a nice CNNSI article about it -- http://nba-point-forward.si.com/2011/05/27/finals-preview-when-dallas-has-the-ball/

Trends in the game logs show the best time to pick him is in Game 2 of a series. But I reckon he'll do better in Game 1 because the Heat is better in adjusting faster to the situation. Your call.

Next blog will be about a Heat player.

Top 10 Disappointments

We have pumped our fists high with 50+ PRAs. And we have anguished over 10+ PRAs. Here is, to present tonight's Top Ten List,...

David Letterman

Top 10 disappointing picks in this year's Drive To The Finals. Here we go...

#10. Carmelo Anthony (Round 1, Game 1, Knicks@Celtics) -- You expect Melo to step-in and show the world what the future of New York basketball will be. He averaged 36 PRA in the regular season. His PRA in this game: a measly 23 PRA (15 points). Four thousand drivers picked him this game, that's 1/5th of the driver base. Argh!

#9. The Hawks (Round 2, Game 6, Bulls@Hawks) -- Down 1-3, a staggering 8600+ of the drivers (43%) picked from the losing team with either Jeff Teague (19%), Al Horford (14%) or Jamal Crawford (10%). Their respective PRAs? 9, 12 and 11. Ouch!

#8. Zach Randolph (Round 1, Game 2, Grizzlies@Spurs) -- After scoring an outstanding 42 PRA in Game 1, 3800+ drivers jumped in and picked him the next game. Then he stunk it up and scored a low 19 PRA. Doh!

#7. Taj Gibson (Round 3, Game 4, Bulls@Heat) -- Now only 12% picked him this game, but who would have thought he'll get 1 rebound? In 9 minutes! You might as well not picked any player that day! Coach Thibs, what happened? Hmm?

#6. Carlos Boozer (Round 3, Game 5, Heat@Bulls) -- Boozer had PRAs of 44 and 34 before this game. Playing an elimination game at home and seemingly figured out the Heat defense, you'd expect him to be better. Then.. 5 points and 6 rebounds. The victim? Me, the NBA.com expert, and 3200+ drivers. Sheesh!

#5. Serge Ibaka (Round 3, Game 5, Thunder@Mavs) -- Facing elimination and having scored a 28 PRA the game prior, 3600+ drivers including me picked him. Well, Nick Collison stole his minutes as the better defender on Dirk. Serge? Only 2 points and 3 rebounds. It hurt!

#4. Elton Brand (Round 1, Game 2, Sixers@Heat) -- 3800+ drivers expected the Sixers to lose this series, so Brand was supposed to be a safe pick. Well, yes the Sixers lost this game and later the series, but the 3 points Elton produced this game is horrendous! Nyaaaa!

#3. Dwight Howard (Round 1, Game 5, Hawks@Magic) -- 11200+ drivers picked him this game because they were facing elimination. If you pick Dwight in an elimination game, you expect to see a monster with double-double figures! Well, the Dwight was light and became Elmo with 8 points and 8 rebounds. Nyek!

#2. The Lakers (Round 2, Game 4, Lakers@Mavs) -- Facing a sweep, you'll expect Kobe and company to give it their all so 13000+ drivers picked either Kobe or Bynum. Well, it's one of the most lopsided games in the playoffs. In a 122-86 loss, Kobe scored only 17 points and Bynum got 6 points and 6 rebounds. Definitely not the show-time Lakers.

#1. The Spurs (The Playoffs) -- There are no particular game to point at, in fact their Big 3 produced to expectations in each of the games. But the series loss caused a lot of ripples in this Drive To the Finals game. Several drivers expected the Spurs to win this series, so in the whole round 13400+ picked opposing Zach and 7400+ picked Marc Gasol. The loss of these two, forced many drivers to pick Durant and Westbrook in Round 2 even if the Thunder were the favorites to win. And then the loss of these two young guns forced many drivers to pick Nowitzki in Round 3 even if the Mavs were the favorite in that series. And finally in these Finals, where the only players left in the Western Conference Finals for most drivers are fillers. Aiyaiyaiyaiyay Spurs!

So.. what's your Top 3?