Workaholic Monk

I look around the Heat roster and there is only one person there I like with regards to personality. And that is Shane Battier, and he gets my pick.

He is the guy (especially with the Houston Rockets) who will make appropriate hard fouls on your favorite NBA player (for example, Dirk Nowitzki) and you will never be angry towards Shane. He'd draw charges and you'll never fault him. You can cheer for the Thunder but if this guy hits the dagger you'll stay put in shock and shut your mouth because you have high respect for him. One can hate LeBron for The Decision, hate Wade for getting all the foul calls in 2006 Finals, and hate the Heat for the summer of 2010. But I dare you to say you hate Shane.

Consumate glue guy. Best defensive presence on the court. Two straight 17 points. Heat's starting forward. If the Heat wins it this year, it's because of him.

Will Bosh Start Or Not?

My pick for Game 2 is Thabo Sefolosha.

As Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook had their way into the lanes in Game 1, the Heat will adjust their defense to one of those guys. That will give Thabo a few more touches and freedom from long range. Thabo had a slightly above average performance in Game 1 that is not worthy of a focus of defense yet. He should be able to continue his contributions; and hopefully towards a win.

James Harden had a subpar Game 1 for DTTF, despite the big shots he made. Expect him to have a bigger Game 2. Meanwhile, it seems that the first game was Derek Fisher's game to be picked -- don't expect the same from him until a close-out game. I'll be thrilled to see Fisher win more rings than Kobe.

As for the Heat, stay tuned about 2 hours before tip-off if the roster says Chris Bosh will start or not. If he does, pick him outright. If not, Serge Ibaka is the pick you want to make.

Good luck!

Filler # 1

Looking at the top picks in DTTF from Game 1 to 7 of the Finals, it seems that not that many drivers were able to save their stars (Thunder or Heat) for the Finals. The most that a star is picked is 8% in Game 2 (Chris Bosh). The top 3 picked players in Games 1 and 2 are already Kendrick Perkins, Thabo Sefolosha and Serge Ibaka. So I am assuming that you, the reader of this blog, have mostly fillers for the Finals. For those who still have stars available, pick them ahead or risk losing them to injury or adjustment by the opposing team on defense.

For my filler marathon, I pick Kendrick Perkins.

The thought pattern I had was Perkins versus Sefolosha. Both are playing at home, but Perkins has the upper hand, I think, because Chris Bosh may not start Game 1. Coach Spoelstra's view of Chris Bosh is still the same with his Game 7 decision -- that Chris may be unable to handle starter minutes and rumble with the Thunder's bigs. Not with that just-healed abdominal strain. They have to be on the safe side in able for Bosh to play the whole series healthy (or able). Now, Bosh may start soon (even Game 1) but the uncertainty of it all points to picking Perkins the earliest with the best chance for him to grab the most rebounds he can get.

Good luck to us all!

Welcome To The NBA Finals 2012!

It is the NBA Finals 2012! After using all the Heat and Thunder stars, let me lay out my pick plan.

Game 1: Kendrick Perkins
Game 2: Thabo Sefolosha
Game 3: Shane Battier
Game 4: Mike Miller
Game 5: Joel Anthony
Game 6: Derek Fisher
Game 7: Nick Collison

Well, that sucks, right? As some of you have done, the extension and unsureness of the previous series have forced us to either miss on key picks or intentionally pick Finals stars early to lock-in their PRAs in the face of uncertainty. Those moves have elevated me to 94 percentile as of this writing. As I pick fillers, I expect a drop each time from the ranks. To minimize the drop to just minus 1 percentile per game, I will be carefully picking the players on games when I think they will surpass their usual PRAs. Yes, that will be hard as hell, but that was the predefined understanding when we took those moves early in DTTF. It's damage control time!

And here's hoping for a 4-game sweep either way and blowout games, for me to be able to stay above 90 percentile. Highly unlikely though. Prediction: Thunder in 7.