Finals Strategy: Player Versus Self

In the previous rounds of the playoffs, it is easy to get lost on trying to predict who will get the most PRA on a given date. The first round gave us that, with 16 teams playing, picking names like Monta Ellis, Dwight Howard or James Harden are easy to come by. Sometimes, gamers carry that mentality into later rounds. The Finals, however, is not like that.

Any given day, you can guess the top three PRAs: Lebron James, Tim Duncan and Tony Parker. But, you can never pick LeBron every day. And some gamers do not have these players available anymore. Guessing that Dwyane Wade will be better than Chris Bosh is easy; you can make that bet in all seven games and you'll come out several bucks richer.

How about pitting a player... against himself. Game 2 Bosh (G2B) versus Game 3 Bosh (G3B) versus Game 4 Bosh (G4B). If for example you predict G2B gets 21 PRA, G3B 29, and G4B 25 (thought process: he will stop hoisting threes and will try to get more rebounds; will play great in first game in Texas; then mellow a bit again). That means you will have to pick Bosh in Game 3. Unless of course when your Game 3 Wade beats your Game 2 Wade and Game 4 Wade ;)

This is where you scour the Web for news and videos (especially postgame interviews) and try to guess if a player has better drive and motivation for the next game. For some, this is where they look at home and away stats, game logs of previous matches, or records in the past depicting same scenario (e.g. Heat being beaten on a Game 1).

My Game 2 pick is Tony Parker, which I already set way before Game 1 finished. Thinking of it again against this Versus Self strategy, I would say yes that Game 2 Parker will be the best Parker going forward. It is just a matter of time before LeBron start asking Coach Spo if he can guard Parker from the get-go. If that happens, I don't think Parker can move as much as he wants. If not, then Game 3 Parker at home may be much better. But I am not waiting that long. He gets my pick now.

Coincidentally, Tony Parker is my coldest pick for Sunday. It's nice when stars align.

12 comments:

  1. Are you using Parker in DTTF or 1-&-Done? I previously had Duncan game 2, but finding out Crawford will be officiating has me second guessing myself!! Will now use either Bosh, Parker, or for an ice cold pick, Danny Green...

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    1. In both.

      Green is your coldest pick as long as he performs better than Bosh.

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  2. I don't think Parker gets his best in Game 2...

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    1. It's one game versus six games. Who knows for sure anyway?

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  3. I also had Duncan for game 2 and switched it because of the referee.

    If that switch results in Duncan having another great game and the Spurs winning again, then so be it. Maybe my pick will do anything worth my while. Maybe not. I will see...

    tomorrow after work (about 16 hours after the end of the game). Don´t spoil it for me beforehand :)

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    1. It's hard not to spoil by then hehe!

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  4. Crawford is playing nice so far. Go Spurs!

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  5. SPOILERS (aka Alex do NOT read).

    Crawford was definitely NOT a factor in this one.

    Really uncharacteristic game for SA. Thought they struggled to make easy shots then did exactly what you never want to do when Miami turns it up for a run...which is take quick 3s...which if you miss (as they did) just leads to long rebounds and easy baskets.

    Overall they have to stop collapsing in the lane and do a better job of closing out on the perimeter shooters. A game like this when everyone is hitting and LeBron attacking the lane is definitely the poison to pick.

    Was also really surprised that Pop let the run go and didn't attempt to regain control of the game early in the 4th or reinsert Parker and Duncan to try and fight back.

    Spurs really only played 2 and a half quarters then seemed to take a nap and be happy to leave with a split.

    Leonard and Chalmers are the breakout surprise tonight and the blowout really ruined the stats for SA's big 3. This game will really shake of the standings.

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    1. How ironic isn't it? People afraid Crawford will impact the game. Thing is, the Spurs did it to themselves.

      Wish of the game being blowout came through. Bad thing everyone that mattered sat down early.

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  6. PS. 22.83% took a (- 56) on LeBron tonight over his series best PRA. He was actually (- 22) over his best PRA of the last round.

    Goes to show you that saving for the highest muliplyer isn't necessarily always the best choice.

    People with LeBron in game 7 of the last round are all (+4) over everyone who picked him tonight despite the (3x/4x) difference.

    Crazy game.

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    1. Blowout games really screw up these fantasy games.

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