Day 1 Pick: Not Kevin Durant

It's a newbie mistake, folks. Yep, I'm pointing to a sixth of you who are picking Kevin Durant on the very first day. Don't do it! Just imagine yourself in the future to the Conference Finals picking some lowly player while the rest of us picking Durant. Save him for later.

Remember: You can only use each player once throughout the entire playoffs.

You see, you have to take advantage of players while they are playing right before they lose. It's about choosing wisely: right players at the right round. First round picks for first round exit teams. Finals picks for Finals teams.

Here are your options for Day 1.

Stephen Curry. He is the hottest pick. And it stands to these reasons: (1) Andre Bogut is lost and with him their chances, (2) Warriors are turning to Small Ball so more stats for Curry, and (3) Curry is prone to injury so picking him ASAP makes sense. Pick him.

Zach Randolph. His 2011 Day 1 nets 42 PRA. His 2012 Day 1, just 14. Last year's, 17. I'm sure 2014 will be at least better than 17. You can pick him now, but I suggest delaying him for Monday with only two Game 2s then.

Paul Millsap. Sorry Hawks fans, but the Pacers are back on a mission. Millsap is not the best player on a potentially losing team this day (Curry is), but Monday's tight two-game schedule sked gives us limited options then (especially if Warriors or Grizzlies steal Game 1). Millsap gets my pick.


Of all the matches in the playoffs, the Nets-Raptors series is the most uncertain (just look at the polls). We'll do a wait-and-see for this one before we make a pick here.

For fans of certain teams, we all here can understand why you can't pick from your beloved team. That's alright! Don't.

Just don't pick Kevin Durant on Day 1.


27 comments:

  1. Saving curry for an elimination game. He plays best when everything is on the line. I want to go with Teague or millsap for day not sure. But last time hawks played in IND Teague dropped 25. I'm saving millsap for a home game.

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    1. A Teague works too. Just hope that the Pacers did not take note of that.

      I have Teague on elim game.

      Curry G2 if Clippers win G1.

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    2. Thing with clippers is they have Doc Rivers a real coach. So I don't really see the warriors winning the series. Wouldn't curry be better for a home game?

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    3. I always try to save big time shooters for the home games. I too am picking Curry when they're in GS. Also, the reason Milsap over Teague is because Teague is not necessarily a must pick at all in the grand scheme of things. Depending on how fast some series end, we'll be in some tough spots having to pick certain big time players on certain days where they may be eliminated. If you don't ever get a chance to pick Teague it's not the end of the world; whereas if you never get to pick Milsap you'll feel a bit more of the burn.

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    4. Jerry has a point here. Go Millsap.

      As for home and away games, I decided not to bank on it as a factor. Maybe subconsciously, I will. But not intentionally. Based on experience, home games only work on very very few players. Maybe Curry, but I guess fans in GS would now better.

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    5. Taong, I visited this site daily last year. Happy to be back and now will be commenting actively this year. I played ESPN fantasy all regular season and am fully prepared! Good luck everyone!

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    6. Welcome back Jerry. We need all the minds we can get.

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    7. Great to be here and regarding home & away influence, I also don't believe it to be a huge factor. However using curry/lee or lillard/aldridge as examples I always feel the "shooter" of the two bodes better at home while the big man can play the post and rebound rather similar both home and away. Simply based on the notion of being on fire and catching a rhythm. So I tend to favor shooter at home when I have a dilemma of which player on the team to pick on a basic not elimination day.

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    8. As quark always say, follow your instinct. Helps most than not.

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  2. Was a reader of this blog all of last year and this year I'll add some thoughts to the comment section. To begin with, the 8 teams I expect to lose are (the most likely teams first) Charlotte, Dallas, Atlanta, Golden State, Memphis, Washington, Portland and Toronto. And Toronto I'm really 50-50 on, but let's say Toronto for now. Based on those 8 teams, I've identified 17 players to target:

    POR: Aldridge, Lillard, Batum
    GS: Curry, Lee
    DAL: Nowitzki, Ellis
    MEM: Randolph, Gasol, Conley
    TOR: DeRozan, Lowry
    WSH: Wall
    CHA: Jefferson, Walker
    ATL: Millsap, Teague

    Problem is, there are only 14 days to cover the first round up to the end of the game 6's (16 days if we include game 7's, but those should not be planned for). So from the above list, we would need to cut 3. I would argue Teague might have to be one of those 3. I thought I was going to lead off with Millsap, but now I'm thinking he might be worth waiting on as he in theory is the only Hawk (as Teague gets bumped from top 14 status) with there being 2 Warriors and 2-3 Grizzlies better than Teague and arguably better than Millsap (I'm concerned about Indiana's D stuffing him. Check the boxscores between the teams this season, it gets ugly for Millsap and Teague). That's why I am going a bit more bold and selecting Steph Curry. I'm confident enough in the Clippers to do so, and you know with Curry that the PRA should be raining in. I might hold off on the Mill man until their home games, where his chances of a big game increase with the friendly home crowd. Just my thoughts. I also really like one of the 3 Grizzlies but I'll wait for game 2.

    I look forward to sharing my thoughts this year. Go Curry!

    Also, Go Mavs!

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    1. Not bad logic at all. All the players you listed made my MUST play list except for Batum, Teague & either Conley or Gasol (depending on how they're individually doing in the series). So those are the 3 I essentially had cut before even reading your comment. I'm also worried about Milsap a bit, but he's had a good amount of rest & the Pacers are arguably as vulnerable as they've ever been at the moment. Atlanta has to feel decently confident & hopefully Milsap turns that confidence into a solid PRA (for my sake). Curry no doubt will light up the box score of almost every game in the series as I expect good numbers from him throughout. Best of luck and also Go Mavs because I DESPISE the Spurs...

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    2. Agreed, those are the four guys on the bottom of mine too. So in theory one of them will be picked for a game 6, which of course won't happen because there's always one team that ruins our perfectly laid out plans in the first round. Now if the Raptors start winning their series then it gets interesting because no players on the Nets have earned must pick status for the first round based on their numbers this year.

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    3. Good line of thought, Tangent. You have a plan, and I like that. regardless of the outcome.

      And Jerry, I hate 'em Spurs too.

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    4. While there is good reasoning here, I would argue with Jerry regarding Nic Batum. Batum makes my must play list and Wes Matthews isn't far off my list either. In my mind, this is the series to go for it as far as perimeter players are concerned. I might even buck the trend and pick Parsons in round 1, because I'm expecting a series with lots of guard play and a ton of 3s.

      Batum is a must play because the Rockets will likely put Beverley on Lillard, which leaves Lin/Harden/Parsons on Batum and Matthews, any of which would be favorable matchup. On the other end, Batum is likely to matchup with Harden, so Matthews/Lillard would end up watching Parsons, another favorable matchup.

      This could be the highest scoring series and both team play suspect perimeter D. I don't see what's not to like.

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    5. Will surely look at Blazer guard play for the first two games. It's too bad we can't fully rely on regular season matchup stats, coz of the small sample size.

      good luck mfari031!

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    6. Batum is a solid choice for me if some series happen to end quicker than we think and some picks free up, but only after picking Aldridge & Lillard in my opinion if the series is looking to go the Rockets' way. Also if the Blazers somehow advance I'm happy to still have Batum & Matthews & Lopez unplayed to use then.

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  3. Go point Teague isn't a must play since it's only the first round. Millsap it is

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    1. Ok, no regrets later, okay? Hehe! Just messing with you ;)

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  4. Hi everybody!!
    I'm going with Curry just because I think GS has most players with a potential good PRA.
    I think Clips and Pacers will pass, and as I'll aleays take the best player on a team, the pick is between Curry and Millsap/Teague. The thing is, if the unexpected occurs GS has 2-3 to redrive the situation...

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    1. David Lee maybe, especially with Bogut gone. But Iggy and Klay can't do 30 PRA consistently, have to be lucky with them.

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  5. What happened to the ESPN Pick 1 N Done Playoff game? Anyone know or where to find it, if it is available somewhere? Thanks!

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  6. I can't believe no one had Klay Thompson on any list... He was my first pick... He has always put up great stats for the year and playoffs...
    ...Thunder up! :)

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    1. Nice pick, imawake! That's a jewel you struck :)

      Now, the problem is, Warriors won.

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  7. Great game by Teague. I fully expected the Pacers to make a statement, shut him down & win Game 1, but alas that did not happen. Pacers will still likely take the series and I'm willing to bet this may end up being one of Teague's Top 2 or 3 games. I have no regrets with my Milsap pick though. Rock n roll.

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  8. Wow. PLAYOFF BASKETBALL IS BACK. You can see difference between regular reason.

    Brooklyn vs Toronto. Just what I thought. BKN gets win. I'm hoping Brooklyn wins again before I pick raptors which are Lowry and Derozen. Valancuias a maybe. I expect Brooklyn in 5

    Clippers vs warriors. This shocked me. Clippers were easily favorites especially how bogut is out. Blake couldn't take advantage and curry had a quiet game. I have to wait until the result of game 3 now before I start picking players. To early to dictate which say series will go. I do expect Blake to have a monster game. Down 0-1 going away. It's go big or go home.

    Hawks vs pacers. This is the strangest thing I've ever seen. At all star break I was sure pacers would easily win it all. Not so sure. There down but I still think they can come back. Won't start picking pacers until there down 0-2. Teague is only safe player for at least 20 PRA.

    OKC vs MEM
    Games not even at halftime but KD and Westbrook will be too much. OKC in 5. KD is a man on mission.

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    1. Yeah I see no reason why someone who hasn't picked Milsap shouldn't still have him on their radar though. Teague had a monster game and still only outperformed Milsap by 2 PRA.

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