Slap In The Face

Well how's that Melo? That was a stinker! Hehe! New York was buried by Miami. Big.. Time! If they continue to underperform, get ready to pick Stoudemire in Game 3 or 4 when they play at the Madison Garden. Yes, yes, we all miss Linsanity.

Btw, Rose had a PRA of 41 but suffered a torn ACL and will be out the rest of the way. Sad :(

Anyways, moving on..

Next up are the Jazz, who many believe (myself included) will fall early to the Spurs. Here are the options there:
  • Paul Millsap -- He went 18 pts / 10 rebs last time they played the Spurs, but Coach Pop rested his starters that game. Millsap was enraged, and said it was "a slap in the face". Look for him to get some payback. Note though that he went 2 pts / 3 rebs in his last game at the AT&T Center.
  • Al Jefferson -- He's the hottest pick, having been selected by almost a quarter of the drivers in the tournament. And it's hard to disagree. With a PRA of around 29, that's not bad at all. Against the Spurs in the regular season, he's been burning them with a little under 20 pts / 10 rebs effort per contest. Al, you're up!

With the Lakers-Denver matchup, I don't like the odds there if we pick the Nuggets to lose that series. Against the Lakers, Danilo Gallinari and Aaron Afflalo have been inconsistent, although they can tear 'em up with 20 pts if the wind goes in their favor. Or not. Pick at your own risk.

As for the other matches, they're a little grey area. Celtics (Pierce). Hawks (Smith). Clippers (Paul). Grizzlies (Randolph). We can debate all day and we will not come into any conclusion :P Let's wait for at least 2 games before we pick from them. But if you're itchy about picking a Hawk, you might as well pick Josh Smith.

Good luck!

This Is My House!

There seems to be a contention among our voters that the Sixers, Knicks, Magic and Jazz are most probably going for an early vacation. I would agree. The Mavs-Thunder matchup may go 6 to 7 games so we'll revisit them late in Round 1. The remaining three matchups may go 5 to 6 games so there's no hurry to pick from them as well.

Here are the prospects from the non-favorites, who are playing the first day of the playoffs:
  • Andre Iguodala -- We're only looking at about 26 PRA from him, so he's not enticing to pick this early. With his last game against the Bulls, he only pulled 14 PRA in 38 minutes; that's not a statistic we want to see, especially if the Bulls still remember how to shut him down.
  • Ryan Anderson -- Well with Howard injured, there's no one.. no one in Magic that are consistent enough to merit our look. Even with Anderson, we can only expect a PRA of 23. This early in the game, any PRA below 30 should be snubbed. Nothing to see here, next..
  • Amar'e Stoudemire -- A season average of 27 PRA is still below our target, but get this... Knicks' center Chandler is battling a flu and may miss Game 1. Now the keyword there is "may" because I know that the former Mav Chandler will not let a flu stop him from playing that game. Keep monitoring his status and if he is not listed to play, you should pick Stoudemire because he will absorb some of Chandler's numbers. It's a limited-time offer as your least favorite marketeer would often say.
  • Carmelo Anthony -- Now that's a cut above all else. Season PRA average: 34. He is the safe pick. The last time he faced the Heat, he torched them for 42 points. People are asking if LeBron can stop him.. well, no! Knicks will lose, but Melo will get his numbers, that's for sure. This is why (pending Chandler's status) I am picking him.

You may be tempted to go all out and pick from the Heat's Big Two and a Half, Rose, KD, Westbrook, or Dirk. They will give you PRAs of high 30s. Reigning MVP Rose, for the last 3 years have been lighting up his Game 1s -- that's a whooping 51, 45, 51, respectively. But I would not recommend to pick any of them early this round -- not even early this playoffs. There's plenty of time to pick them much much later. Hold your horses, and you will find that you will be rewarded later for your patience :)

Welcome Back!

Welcome to the 2012 edition of the daily Drive to the Finals blog.

Activate interlock!

For those who are new to this fantasy game, go the site, "Play Now" and register. Each day in the playoffs, you are to "pick" one player whose PRA (points + rebounds + assists) on that date will count towards your score. For example, if you pick Carmelo Anthony for April 28 and he nets 30 points, grabs 10 rebounds and dishes 5 assists, that is a very sweet 45 PRA for you. There is a catch though that you can only pick a player only once throughout the whole postseason -- that is where strategy and pick management comes in ;) You score will accumulate from Round 1 of the playoffs up to the very end of the Finals. The one with the highest score at the end of all this wins the game. There are also leagues wherein you compete against a select few instead of the whole world; ours is aptly named , look for it there.

Dynotherms connected!

Again this year, I shall provide you with my pick for the day, as well as other alternatives. I aim to raise my standing this year (95% in 2010, 87% in 2011), and in the process help you with your picks and raise your own standing. I love manipulating numbers to come up with a basis of a pick; and I know most people hate Math, so leave that to me. And always, we will keep track of news and trends just so we keep our picks sane and worldly. There is no sense in picking Jeremy Lin while he is still not cleared to play, right? While this game is sometimes luck-based, I believe we can minimize the impact of luck towards our game by making informed decisions. To view past examples of picks, feel free to browse this blog's archive.

Infracells up!

I will also compare my standing with that of the expert pickers (Ernie Johnson, Chuck, The Jet and Shaq). Here's last year's results. I am curious as to how Shaq will play this game. I'm sure Ernie will let him eat dirt.

Mega thrusters are go!

And we're set! The teams have played their last season game and the Round 1 pairings are now clear..

Which team exits early? Will there be an upset in the first round? Which match will go the distance of 7 games? All these, while speculative, will help us with our first few picks. Stay tuned for that. In the meantime, feel free to vote for who hits the bin first (upper-right pane of this page).

Let's go..