Pacers vs Heat, Part II

Last season when these two teams met in the playoffs, the Pacers led 2-1 before eventually falling to the Heat. Just imagine if the Pacers did not let up, then maybe (just maybe) the Heat had a much harder time last year winning it all, if not lose.

Coach Spoelstra said that they had to be different from last year because last year's Heat will not be able to beat this Pacers. And I agree. This year's Pacers are the best on defense. With Paul George guarding LeBron James and the Pacers excelling in team defense, I like the challenge that that will bring.

My prediction, Heat in 7.
My wish, Heat in 4.

The reason for that wish is that I only have three remaining good Pacers in DTTF (West, Hill, Stephenson), and the four in 1-N-Done (plus Paul George). If the series go past four games, I will be picking scraps south of D.J. Augustin.

Here are possible picks for Wednesday:
  • Paul George. Best PRA of them all. Best option for DTTF and the strategy of best-player-in-losing team... of course if you believe Pacers will lose this series. In 1-N-Done, I will pick him at home, possibly Game 3 or 4.
  • David West. Second-best PRA, and the one who seem anxious to getting revenge on last year's loss to the Heat. For me, I am saving him for an elimination game because of his impending free agency. He injured his right leg, by the way.
  • Lance Stephenson. He broke out in his last game with the Knicks with 38 PRA. While it seems unlikely he can duplicate that, he will get you decent PRA in average. I will pick him in Game 2 or a later game because the injured Wade is well rested coming into Game 1.
  • George Hill. He suffered a concussion in the last series but it seems he is okay now with his decent performance in the last game with the Knicks. He gets my pick.

22 comments:

  1. Hello,
    I fully respect your blog and ideas but :
    -, game 5 is not @ IND
    - is there really a link between elimination games and impending free agency ? I think that if you want to prove your worth, you don't wait for the last game of the season ?!
    Furthermore, considering home and away games, I don't think it affects players' stats (overall and PRA-wise). Most players have similar averages away and at home.
    Regards from France ;)

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    1. Thank Julien! It should be Games 3 & 4. Correcting now.

      Regarding elims and free agency, there's no proven link but I have seen it happen a lot of times as I've played this DTTF over the years. Not always, mind you. Our world is unfortunately a what-you-did-recently, whether it be nba or the end of your evaluation period at work, more than one what did before. One needs to leave a good impression.

      You are right though that one does not wait until the end to perform coz GMs do keep track of the whole shebang. I agree. And honest and proper workers must do so whole year long. David West, I believe, is one of those ever hardworkers. I just believe, too, that a free agent will squeze in more PRA out. That doesn't necessarily mean they suck before. Most wants to go out with a bang.

      I in fact wanted to choose West in Game1, I believe too that he is itching for revenge. So it okay to pick him now. Just for me there other factors like the 1-N-Done strategy of holding good players until down 2 or elims.

      As for home stats, I have said already in this blog (it's somewhere in the archives this playoffs) that home and away stats don't matter. I just said I'll pick Paul at home, doesn't necessarily imply his home stats are better; may even mean because I am saving him for last (that 1-N-Done strategy again) and I wished for a sweep.

      Hope that clarifies it :)

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  2. Hey Taong. I still surprisingly have roy hibbert problem is its unclear on when i should use him? Your thoughts? Thanks

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    1. Right! Roy Hibbert, how selfish of me. If you are in DTTF, you may use hime next to Paul George. No particular reason. Hibbert just owns the paint :)

      If 1-N-Done, wait for Miami winning Game 1, then pick Hibbert away anytime.

      If he is your last remaining good Pacer (I can't determine from your comment), wait til elim game.

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  3. For this series I have just about everyone left, except for West. So I will start with a player from the home team, and as I hope the Pacers will concentrate on James, Bosh and the guy with the knee, I might get lucky (ha) with Ray Allen. Or, you know, not. We´ll see.

    Last night I had Tony Allen who shot a fantastic 2 of 11 from the field but somehow still managed to get up to 19 PRA. Not as bad as I initially feared, even though it was an overtime game. The pick to make this time? Bayless with his 21 PRA. Even Pondexter had a good 17 PRA.

    So, two games in the West down, the next two are in the East.

    I just noticed that this is the second time I pick players with the same name on following days. Didn´t work out great with the Gasols, I hope the Allens will be better. Maybe it helps that they are not related.

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    1. Why not a Pacer? Just in case of a sweep. You got 4 good picks left. Hibbert, Stephenson and (hey) two Georges.

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  4. I picked Bayless last night and took the lead back in my group. He is the most consistent lately to me against the SA defense and is getting more minutes.

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    1. Lucky you, you picked him at the right date. It's hard to guess when to pick him --PRA fluctuates.

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    2. I know! I almost went Prince too, but he was benched like half the game. I almost went Stephenson yesterday, but he can be on and off too. Hill didn't do anything for me. I was winning in my group but now I am in second and behind by like 30 points.

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  5. I'm def going with Hill tonight as well Taong! To me his is the obvious choice. I know the Heat team like the back of my hand so it's soooooo hard for me to a pick a player from them because I know who can easily have an off night.

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    1. Ah we need your insights then come Finals. Timing of picks is critical as we approach the finish line.

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    2. See below @Taong! Alex Don't pick Allen tonight!

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  6. @Alex I would save Allen for a later game in this series. There are 4 Heat players with over 100 3's in the season and Battier leads them with the most. Followed by Allen, Rio and then Bron. But, if I was going to pick a Heat player tonight, (which I suggest you don't) I would go with Battier. I do agree with picking an outside shooter. I have a feeling it's gonna get dirty in the paint tonight and most of the points you see will be coming from downtown.

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  7. Always remember this too, LeBron plays better on the road as well , just a little FYI for his stats!

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    1. He got 30 10 10 @ home
      Better on the road, wow it will be tremendous :)

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  8. @Nicole, Alex may be asleep (Germany) and will check stats in their morning. It may be too late. I hope he changed it in time. Or else he'll come storming in the comments next time (winks at Alex).

    I noticed LBJ's away stats too in the past. Used it pre-2012. But ignored it last year (that home/away factor change of belief). One thing's for sure, that guy loves to show off his supremacy to other people, and prove them wrong in their faces.

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    1. FYI, I always check the games going to the play-by-play without knowing anything, so I can "re-live" the match as it happened, more or less. I go to work and check it out at about 6 or 7 p.m. local time, which is about when I am posting here.

      So you can imagine my happiness when I pick a player and all I read about him is "XXX layup shot missed" or "XXX 3pt shot missed".

      This time, I picked two Allens in a row, the first going 2/11 (starting 0/7 in the first half), the second going 1/8 and even missing a critical FT in the end (as the 6th best freethrow-shooter in NBA history). Ray was a total bust for me. He also was a bust for me last season when I picked a game where he went 3 for 6 from the line! I don´t think he ever was so bad at FTs as in that one match.

      Even worse, I was considering picking Andersen at first and then decided to pick an outside shooter and hoping for Ray´s sweet touch and that he would have a good game. Didn´t quite work out.

      That leaves me with Pacers for the time being. I will doom Stephenson for the next game. The way things are going again, I would advise everyone else to stay away from Lance.

      The worst thing of all? I would like to see the Pacers win this series. Had mostly two scenarios for game 1: Ray Allen would have a good game and the Heat win (okay, I get a lot of points at DTTF). Or Ray Allen would suck and the Heat would lose because they would need his points (okay, too, since the Pacers would gain homecourt). The only thing that shouldn´t have happened: The Heat would win despite Ray Allen not showing up.

      Then I go through the play-by-play, see the Pacers scoring in overtime, the Heat scoring, and then George connects on the last three FTs with 2,2 sec left to play. I mean, what could happen, really?

      The rest, as they say, is history.

      I hate this game.

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    2. I guess Pacers decided to shutdown cutters like Allen.

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  9. I went with Stephenson tonight and he had a pretty solid game. I slipped back a little but mostly because everyone is blowing their top guns early like Hibbert, West, George, and some even LBJ.

    LeBron always seems to play exceptionally well in the 1st games of series. Tonight proved no exception.

    I think going forward you can throw out anything you've come to expect from Miami. They don't match up well with Indiana who is a rare team that can both beat them up on the boards (neutralizing their fast breaks) and close out on 3 point shooters.

    Expect most of their outside marksmen to have a terrible series win or lose, as open looks will be rare. Allen will struggle most of all because he's a defensive liability (I'm a Celtics fan so I'm painfully aware of his shortcomings) so he will lose a lot of minutes to the likes of Anderson (expect him to have a few more games like tonight going forward).

    I think you can expect at least one big game each from Bosh and Wade, but their production will be down considerably from their averages and both likely will have ugly games.

    Despite the loss, I still think Indiana will make this a long series and can even pull off the upset. They nearly won and this was actually a really poor effort for them offensively with all the turnovers and Hill looking scared and lost...and they missed a lot of defensive assignments (that last play and at the last minute of regulation).

    I think the biggest surprise was seeing how well George could defend LeBron one on one. LBJ scored 30 but it was an ugly effort and he was outplayed for several stretches on both ends.

    The real telling factor will be confidence. If Indy can come away from this win knowing they can beat Miami then things could get really interesting.

    For picks for me going forward it makes it tricky. Hill is likely not going to do anything so he's too risky in my book. I wouldn't want to use George until an elimination game. And I wouldn't want to lose Hibbert and West in the case Indy does pull off the upset.

    So I'm thinking of going with Anderson or Chalmers in the next game. That was likely Anderson's best game. They'll definitely figure out the rotation to close him out and he's not going to go 7/7 again. But he should get boards and at least 8-10 points. With these games likely in the 80s - low 90s there aren't many guys outside the top 3 for each team who will put up much.

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    1. From experience, saving the best for the Finals has tremendous advantage. 2 or 3 times I went to the Finals before bearing roleplayers, and that always lower the percentile. Let others overtake you now, coz you'll overtake them later.

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    2. Seda & Taong... Maybe you want to save player from one team for the final round because you're feeling that team will advance. That's ok... BUT if you want to pick a player from this team before the finals you should bet on the best one. Players like Lebron, West, ... will sum up the same (+ or -) in any game... You always have time to bet on players secondary players who will give you a 10-15 PRA...

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    3. One of the reasons why best players should be picked early is injury. If a player gets injured (Stephen Curry is the best example of that).

      Now when one does not pick the best (while planning to use the best later), then he is taking a risk. I understand that risk. I know Seda does too. It means we are after something else, especially that gut feeling everybody has about a certain player at a certain game.

      Also because in ESPN's 1-N-Done, PRAs are multiplied by 4 in the Finals. That is why gamers in that fantasy do not pick the best, until there is more certainty that that player's team will lose the series.

      I should have two different lineups: one for DTTF (using best player in losing team; and for 1-N-Done. I'll do that next year.

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