It's A Mess [Updated]

Why oh why? Last year was so much better! Teams won when they were expected to. Pick plans were so stable! No, not this year, no. I think I've changed picks more times this round already than I did the last two playoffs combined. Seriously!

The loss of the Pacers and the Thunder had me deleting my picks for the next few days. And you know why I can't start picking a Pacer or a Thunder yet? Because a Game 4 win can suddenly tip the scale back on their favor. And certainly I can't pick a Hawk (used 2) or a Grizzly (used 1) because they are leading 2-1 with a home game coming.

Then on this Saturday we have the Spurs playing on Mavs ground for Game 3. Tied 1-1. I can't pick a Spur, because they are the best road team this year. They just need 1 win out of 2 tries in Dallas, and they are back on track. And I can't pick a Mav, because I am a fan and I want to believe they can hold the fort. Good luck convincing myself that.

I am sorry guys, I don't have much to suggest for this date. I'm afraid I'll be shoving you under the bus (a double-decker bus) if I do so. The only thing I am sure of is if you still have Al Jefferson or Kemba Walker, then thank the Heavens, consider yourself lucky and go pick them. At least the Heat can be relied on.

My pick options sorted by probability to lose series are: a Pacer, a Thunder, a Spur, a Mav, a Grizzly. No Hawks left available. I got a pick, but I'm sure I'll change it a few times until Saturday afternoon. I'll tell you in the comments when it's final.

Perhaps you can convince me to pick a certain player...

UPDATE: Here's my final answer. Paul George. If Pacers win, I only lose Paul for the Conf Semis. If Hawks win, I have time to pick Lance Stephenson in Game 5. Win or lose, I'm taking Paul's potentially high PRA in a must-win game. Good luck with your picks!




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28 comments:

  1. I warned you! Haha As you said logjams rarely happen in round 1. Pick safely. That wisdom works in Drive almost every year, but with 7 series with the road team having an advantage after Games 1 and 2, this year is no ordinary year. Even though Harden gave me only 25, I'm so happy and lucky that I still have Kemba on a day I planned to go Maverick. When making your pick, you will have to take a huge risk, but I think you can really make this work to your advantage. Any of these would be smart plays:

    1. The Thunder vs. Grizzlies series still looks decent for OKC. They lost a heartbreaker but look poised to hopefully take game 4. Since OKC has a great chance to be a conference finalist, I might steer clear other than one reason: Game 5 is on Tuesday, which happens to be on a day you might also see Noah and Curry facing elimination. So a Thunder would make sense to avoid a serious problem, but if you like the Thunder to win then take the chance and live with the consequences.

    2. The Indiana Pacers are a mess. Lance Stephenson and Evan Turner literally got into a fistfight at practice. Roy Hibbert is not the same guy he was last year. Paul George is all they've got right now. They could pull it out, but they really need to pull it together. In this sense, Paul George, David West or Lance Stephenson could all help you get a jump on people like me who will be waiting out game 4's results. And with the Pacers a mess, it might not cost you in the long run. Indiana's game 5 is on the same day as Mavericks-Spurs and Bobcats-Heat, so if the Pacers win and Mavericks win then you'll have a problem of no really solid picks on that day. So once again, decide how much you like the Pacers and live with the consequences.

    3. Finally, the Mavericks make a lot of sense. Grab Dirk while you can before all the top guys facing elimination hit. If the Mavericks win, you won't care about what happened in Drive to the Finals because the Mavericks won anyways. Or be super bold and go with a Spur. I've done that before in the first round and it went awesome!

    Yeah, it's a mess but I'd make a decision quickly and stick with it. There is no safe strategy, but lots available if you are willing to own it. My brother has picked 3 Grizzlies so far, so he could be in trouble. I'm happy I've only grabbed one Hawk and one Grizzly, because I now have the luxury of waiting. I went bold and it paid out, because the teams I banked on like the Clippers and Blazers came through. The safe strategy didn't work only because the Pacers proved to be unsafe. Weird year!

    Also, go Mavericks! I'm so happy with how my team has done against the rival Spurs. I am also happy I can wait them out!

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    1. Also, wait out tonight's games before deciding - it might help knowing how the Rockets, Bulls and Raptors/Nets are doing in their series.

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    2. You are right, one should wait and see if Hawks beat the Pacers again, and if Memphis beats OKC.
      Even though Dallas split in SA, I expect another split in Dallas, with a series goes back 2-2 in San Antonio. I expect San Antonio to finish Dallas in 6 or 7 games. Sorry Mavs fans, dallas is a good team but the SA team with the big three and Pop have lots of winning playoff experience. For Saturday, if you have Kemba Walker or Big Al go with one of them. If not, and if you have Dirk pick him. If you don't have Dirk, I suggest pick Ellis.
      If you think Memphis will beat OKC, pick Westbrook, and pick Durant back in OKC in elimination game. I have Dirk left, so my pick goes with him for Saturday.

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    3. Thanks Tangent for the advice. I'd still play safe whenever possible to delay having to take a risk later than sooner. For those who risked earlier to make the safe play now (a Bobcat), not all of them made something good out of the gamble (at least none will admit).

      You are right, I do not like the Pacers now. The dysfunction alone doesn't make them worthy of a rematch with the Heat. They've ruined my 2 Hawk picks too.

      Mark Stein writes,
      ". Stat Check
      By Elias Sports Bureau | ESPN.com
      Since the first round expanded to seven games in 2003, the Pacers are the fifth No. 1 seed to trail 2-1. Three of the previous four top seeds to do it lost in six games. Only the Pistons in 2003, who trailed 3-1, came back to win the series."

      Temporary pick: Paul George.

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    4. I'd say Paul George is the best choice. I get such a Mavericks - Warriors vibe. It was so tough to watch that series. The only way to make good out of a risk is good predicting. It makes the difference between winning or losing. For example, one year my brother won our DTTF league when, against all conventional wisdom, bet everything he had that the Orlando Magic would lose to the Boston Celtics, and kept going that way even with the Celtics facing elimination in Game 6. It worked, and he won our league with ease. Last year I went all in from Game 1 with the Indiana Pacers beating the New York Knicks, and that paid off big time. I've also gone one way and paid the price. I would advise most people to play it safe. I make some risks, but only because I feel strongly and, well, enjoy a little bit of going against the grain. I also make safe picks more often - like Bobcat on this day. I think it has worked out picking from a variety of teams so far this year. Not sure if that will be a year-to-year good idea though.

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  2. Great write up guys !!!!!
    ....and good luck

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  3. So, everybody tells me what I already know. Pick Jefferson or Walker. But which one? Just how banged up is Jefferson anyway? After three days rest he had 18/13 in game 2. What can he do after another three days rest? Is Kemba the better pick? I am leaning a bit towards Jefferson right now. That might change.

    At least the pick for sunday is an easy one with Curry, as I expect another bounceback game from someone. Why not him?

    Strange Playoffs this year, indeed.

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    1. Pick Al, you'll get your 30 PRA. He's not going to be better later with the injury. Kemba -- you can pick later or never.

      Why Curry Sunday? There's Noah, Dwight, Harden.

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    2. actually i would advice him to not pick al he tore it more in that game i would say don't risk it, i picked him last game and he had 5 pra before he went to the lockers and i had to change my pants after that. go walker home comfort and he had a more quiet game last time, if not pick someone from the other games. you don't really have to pick al anymore because of the injury

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  4. Don't see the Mavs winning sorry Taong! Going with a Maverick. Don't know I should save Dirk for an elimination but what I do know is that Spurs will come our strong. Dirk has been struggling two games. I think at home he will turn in a monster game.

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    1. That's alright Luminosity. If you are to pick Dirk, now is the time. His mentor Holger just flew in from Germany. Never fails to have a good game with him around.

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    2. Taong you should pick Dirk. Poppovich is just too good of a coach and the team is too good this year to lose in the first round. He simply won't allow it to happen.

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  5. If you are confident OKC will pass, Kemba is your pick. If you already picked him go with Paul George (IND).
    But I think it's time to bet on Thunder... So I'm going with Durant. Don't belive I'm running too fast. Durant will produce the same now and in the last round and I don't want to see Memphis passing without having picked him.

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    1. The only thing keeping me from picking a Thunder is that the 2 losses came from OT. It's been a constant jumpball in that series. As of this writing, still Paul George in line.

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    2. Are the Pacers done? Maybe but I mean they win tomrorow it's tied 2-2 going to Indiana. The games have been close and Pacers have been playing bad. I seriously think they will win the series. If and only if they lose tomorrow will I pick Paul George because at that point it's over. And Paul George is really the only must take player along with Stephenson because West Hibbert and Hill aren't reliable whatsoever.

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    3. The prob is this: "If ______ wins, then series tips back in their favor."

      Fill in the blanks except Bobcats.

      Hehe!

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    4. I chose OCK because there are Durant-Westbrook-Ibaka and IND just George-Stephenson...

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  6. I personally think it's too early to pick George. I think there's no way the Mavs beat the Spurs. I would go against your love for the Mavs and pick Dirk. You were right that I picked him a day early. He's destined to have a good game if they are to even stand a chance. So yeah, my advice would be Dirk. I'm flying high off a nice outing from Harden and already have Kemba lined up for tomorrow.

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    1. I have plenty of time to pick from Mavs-Spurs, as they are still into Game 3. What is more urgent is that Pacer pick, because they are already in Game 4 and I still have Paul and Lance.

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    2. Only thing is...Pacers are gonna win the series!!

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    3. Also I don't understand your blog comment about only losing Paul George for the Conf Semis. They don't play the Heat until the Conf Finals. They'll def beat Washington or Chicago if they make it past the Hawks.

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  7. CP sucked BUTTTT at 1%(cold) he did BETTER than the HIGHEST percentage picked player JOAKIM NOAH(21%hot) I'm so VERY cool with that outcome..... Advantage ME :)

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    1. Correct, but Harden 52 (24%) and Howard 40 (21%) - that's advantage everybody else!

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  8. BTW. I didn't get to watch any games last night.. went out of town to the casino..... I'm back in action SAT night

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  9. It's a BIG BIG mess guys! Crazy playoffs till now, only the Heat did their job (waiting for the two road trips) but was the easiest matchup for a top team..As for the rest everything could happen.
    -SPURS-MAVS: before the start i was quite sure the spurs would have swept the mavs; in game 1 dallas threw away the win, and would be 0-2 now going to Dallas. Crazy. Spurs in 6 is my prediction for the series, i'm not gonna pick a spurs; already picked dirk in game 2 and i will pick ellis when necessary.
    -CLIPPERS-WARRIORS: golden state stole game 1 in LA and then the clips retook it in game 3; game 1 was strange cause off the foul trouble of Blake, then he dominated game 2 and 3. LA with rivers is a good team, the warrios without bogut(but would probably be the same with him) cannot beat them 3 other times. Clips in 6 my prediction, but 40% chance the will close the series in 5. I won't pick a clippers, only curry(probably on sunday) and lee if necessary.
    PACERS-HAWKS: i'm still trying to understand what happened to the pacers, without an answer..they are completely a different team from february; i have an idea why but it doesn't matter; game 4 is a must win for them..i still hope the come back to their level, but with THIS hibbert is quite impossible. Atlanta is really poor, this is the reason why i still bet on pacers, in 7..i don't pick a pacers, even if there will be a game 7 and probably even if they will go down 3-1; i bet on them to go to the east semifinals, with high risk but that's all. I already picked both millsap and teague so i will not pick from this series anymore (except if i have to due to schedules).
    THUNDER-GRIZZLIES: it's quite to the pacers hawks series, but i give more chances to the thunder; 2 OT losses could have been 2 wins; they will win game 4 retaking the advantage; i don't suggest to use RW or KD now; if they go down 3-1 i could use RW at home saving KD, but i'm ready to use my grizzlies left(zibo and conley) after tonight thunder's win; i bet on thunder here too, in 6.
    HEAT-BOBCATS: as i said. the easiest series to predict. It's time to pick kemba tonight, no doubt. 4-0 heat.
    ROCKETS-BLAZERS and BULLS-WIZARDS: CRAZY. 2 road wins for the blazers and wizards seemed to be too much for the rockets and bulls; big mistake..they already stole 1, and now who knows what's gonna happen..clearly i still think blazers and wizards will win but not 100% sure as i was til yesterday. I picked harden last night and he gave me a great 52, saving DH for an elimination game. Noah is the only reliable choice for the bulls; i'll play him facing elimination or maybe in game 4, expecting a bounce back after a poor game 3.
    RAPTORS-NETS: another easy matchup. I want to congrats with the raptors fans, they are amazing, but brooklyn will win the series. I already picked derozan in game 2 and i wait to pick lowry soon.

    I'm happy with my picks till now, i will bet on pacers and thunder, without using them; they'll go on. Or maybe i hope :)

    Matteo from Italy

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    1. I forgot a word on thunder grizzlies: it's quite SIMILAR to the pacers hawks series.

      Matteo

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  10. tempted to go dirk but decided to go ellis instead. mavs can upset spurs so thats why i don't want to pick dirk yet. i would have picked a pacer but i missed the deadline.

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