Finals Strategy: Bottom-line PRA

Can't get too high with a win. Can't get too low with a loss.

That is how the Heat and the Spurs should approach this series. At least that's how the Spurs seem to be wired. A team will win Game 1 and that team should not celebrate, because the series is not yet over and anything can happen. They have to think straight and treat the next game as if they haven't won. The same thing with the losing team, they should take the loss and focus on the next game. Let the media and the fans take care of all that emotional stuff.


The ultimate goal is to win 4 games. It doesn't matter how a win is made. It doesn't matter if it is a blowout game, or a thriller. Because in the end it still just W and L. And you need that 4 Ws in the end.

Can't get too high with a steal. Can't get too low with a dud.

That is how we in DTTF should approach this Finals series. At least that's how some of you are already wired. We may strike gold with a 30 PRA on a 5%-owned player, but the emotion of fulfilment that comes with that is misleading because all that does is make us believe that cold picks are the way to go. Or we may get stuck in mud with a 5 PRA on a 30%-owned player, but the emotion of disappointment that comes with that is misleading too because all that does is make us believe that hot picks should be avoided at all cost.

The ultimate goal for us is to get the most PRA we can get in the Finals. Nothing should get in the way of getting that high PRA, not even your competition. Tim Duncan in Game 1 is the best example of that. He stands in as the hottest pick at 27% owned and the second hottest is far behind at 15%, and yet there are still some of us who are thinking about not picking him in spite of the belief that he will perform well in Game 1. Sometimes the masses may be wrong about a hot pick, but this time they're not -- Tim Duncan does play well in Game 1s, especially against size-deprived teams like the Heat, and most especially that Chris Andersen is still cautious about that bruised thigh. Don't mind that 27% ownership, just pick him and be done with it.

As for me, my pick plan had Tiago Splitter picked at Game 1. At the time I always knew he has better Game 2s in this postseason (say 23 PRA), but his 5% usage in Game 1 was too tempting to ignore. And so I made excuses just to pick him in Game 1, like him being a Spur big against the smaller Heat, and again, a limited Birdman (and possibly get 20 PRA on 5% owned -- a potential steal). See what's wrong there? Is 20 PRA on 5% owned better that 23 PRA? No, it's not.

And then there's Manu Ginobili who I tried to veer away from Game 1 because he is still hot at 15% owned. But I know he plays big after a long rest (he IS old). Even if Tony Parker plays full minutes, Ginobili will still play well in Game 1 (that's my belief). Actually any minutes surrendered to Ginobili due to Parker's ailing ankle are just bonus.

And so I have decided to change my pick and switch it around. Ginobili in Game 1. Splitter in Game 2.


No venue for playing fancy for me. Need the most PRA regardless of who is ahead or behind me.



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47 comments:

  1. I like your point Taong. Never too high, never too low. I've noticed there is a lot of PRA entitlement amongst DTTF players - seems like people expect above average PRA from every player they pick. They see Lance Stephenson get a 38 a couple of games, and feel entitled to get the same when they pick him (and complain about their 25, which is his average). This include people (like me) getting a 10 from Mario Chalmers. Everybody complained about getting his median PRA for the round. They felt entitled to a 21. Just because they picked him. People complained about getting a 17 from George Hill. I still have no idea why, that's what he got pretty much every game. Not every pick will be a player's high for the playoffs. I know we can dream about always getting that but we need to not feel entitled to always getting that.

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  2. Tangent I'll tell you why, it's needed especially in the late rounds to catch up even though it doesn't mean that someone will get the PRA they need to win.

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    1. Fair enough. It's tough to get it too often. I should specify I'm not talking about duds when they happen, but getting average performances. Everybody has a right to pout about their duds (see my pick of Kawhi and Jackson last round. Ouch....). To me, expecting a lot out of guys like Splitter, Chalmers, etc. is just too much wishful thinking. But with all players the goal is always average or better. Expecting too much leads too often to disappointment, and not enjoying the playoffs and the DTTF experience as much as we should. It's a long game.

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  3. Taong, what are you doing? Don´t tell me I didn´t warn you. You know I have Manu for game 1. I thought about subbing in Duncan because it´s game 1, but I still like Ginobili after the longest rest of the playoffs.

    Ah well, why not strike gold every once in a while? Good game for Manu, but more important for me is the win for the Spurs.

    I would love it if Dirk only went out against the eventual champs. And if he is the only one to win a game in the Alamo Dome (or AT&T Center or whatever it is called).

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    1. Hehe you did warn. However, can't let the chance go. Watched Manu's Facebook Live interview and he doesn't seem tense (Wade was, hiding it beneath smiles).

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  4. I'm picking Parker, reason is he's not 100% and this will be the best time to pick him after having a good rest. Being 5% selected also helps compared to lets say Duncan.

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  5. As per ABC, Spoelstra may start Rashard Lewis like what they did late in the Pacers series. That may also be due to the Birdman's injury.

    When Lewis plays, Splitter sits. Glad I removed him from my Game 1 pick.

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  6. I"m going with Chris Bosh in G1...
    ....................In Texas he is Mr. Basketball

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    1. With Lewis in, Bosh will play center. On D, will guard Duncan. On O, will lure Duncan out of paint.

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  7. Tiago Splitter to start, so that is my pick for tonight, before he gets potentially sent back to the bench and contributes nothing. I would have picked Tony Parker, but I want to see a game with him coming off of an injury, and I haven't exactly heard optimistic things about him in practice or from him.

    If I still had Danny Green left, that would have been my pick for tonight. Instead hopefully Tiago Splitter does contribute something of value. And if he somehow gets over 20+ PRA, I would be ecstatic with that, especially with the level of uncertainty involving the Spurs starting lineup right now.

    I liked it so much better under Yahoo's old Sports section where they used to list starting lineups with at least 10 minutes to go prior to game start times. Now it is like pulling teeth trying to find a starting lineup prior to game time.

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    1. Don't you have Parker, Ginobili, Duncan, Leonard, James, Wade and Bosh? Splitter was a solid pick tonight, but I have to say you are running out of games......

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    2. tbt.blogs.nba.com
      Usually an hour before tipoff

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    3. Thanks Taong! Do they list starting lineups somewhere, or just post lineup notes (which is the only thing I saw at that site)? Maybe I am missing where to look for the actual starting lineups prior to game time?

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    4. Tangent,

      I had all of those players you noted. I was initially going to pick Tony Parker, but then was concerned he would either not last the entire game after getting injured again, or get the hook in a Spurs blowout, being his first game back after injury.
      I wasn't going to pick Splitter at all in this series, if he did not start. Since I saw him in the starting rotation, I thought it best to use him while he was starting, and see how well Tony Parker would play, or if he would last an entire game.

      I will most likely use Tony Paker now in Game #2, and I cleared Splitter off the board with 18 PRA. So not too bad for the most part. The best thing I did was not pick Kawhi Leonard. The only thing that you could really do wrong from Game #1. Tony Parker lasting the whole game was kind of a surprise, especially with how hot it was on the court.

      I won't use all of these picks though. Hoping to pick the best 6 or 7 though depending how long this goes.

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    5. Lineup notes, but still very indicative of what's going to happen.

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    6. Okay, thanks again Taong.

      This site is also helpful (but they don't update as quick as Yahoo used to when Yahoo would post starting lineups at least 10 to 15 minutes prior to game times, which I liked immensely.

      http://www.rotowire.com/basketball/nba_lineups.htm

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  8. Going with Bosh today. Good thing Lewis is going to start since it will help Miami spread the floor and pry Duncan outside the paint. Same can't be said for the Spurs since they will clearly pound it on the inside. Hoping that Bosh doesn't pick up silly fouls.

    Both MIA and SA are good three point shooting teams, long shots = long rebounds. Might be a wise pick for those going with rebounding guards like Ginobili or Wade

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  9. Going with Bosh tonight. Really wanted to pick Duncan but need to gained up ground. Did not know Splitter was going to start or not so I just went with CB the Texan.

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  10. Lewis starts. Splitter sits down just after 5mins. Diaw in.

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    1. 18... Let's have a big second half Bosh !!!

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    2. Wow Green 8 straight pts in 88 seconds to take back lead

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  11. That was a pretty crazy game. Obviously quite happy with how Manu performed. Also very convinced in Chris Bosh for Game 2. That is, if LeBron plays (as I'm sure he will). If LeBron is out, then Danny Green gets the Game 2 pick. But I think it should end up being Bosh.

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  12. Double dagger turning point....

    MIA - Heat Full timeout 95-105
    1:14 SA - Tony Parker makes three point jumper (Tim Duncan assists) 95-105
    1:27 MIA - Mario Chalmers bad pass 95-102
    1:43 SA - Kawhi Leonard makes 26-foot three point jumper (Tony Parker assists) 95-102

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  13. Nba.com/spurs/live
    Postgame press.

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    1. Pop: relaxed, "more kind"
      Spo: hurried back to lockers
      Media: pressing about aircon
      Tim: smh after q about last yr
      Thorn: no reason 2 stop game
      Wade: brow tense. ends ok
      Tony: ankle felt better n better
      Manu: not pumped about 1-0, picknroll not for this series.

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  14. Only got 17 PRA from green, but it's still so much better than 6 PRA before his 11 pts run. He's the weakest link in my final round, next game, Bosh in.

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    1. I'm sure you were cringing on Green's 3quarters. Then fistpumped on that last 2mims :)

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  15. 32 from Ginobili is a great start, I'm probably going to switch Bosh and Green around, moving Chris to G2 and Danny to G5.

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    1. I've got the same guys lined up in the same games. It's appears to be a really good order to pull it off.

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  16. I decided to punt on Parker in G1 since Manu was among the leading picks and was hoping to make up some ground. Happy with his 27 though obviously disappointed to see Manu top it.

    I'm a bit worried about Danny Green this series after watching last night. I figure the Heat saw how he burned them last year, and have a specific plan to stop him. For 3 Q's it worked, and so I really am unsure whether to stick with him for G2 or switch to Manu.

    Just feel that Green will have a better first half on Sunday than last night, and Manu can be relied upon more on the road. As such I'm switching to Kawhi for Game 2. He won't get into foul trouble again and usually follows up a dud with a good PRA outing.

    G1 - Parker 27
    G2 - Kawhi 20+ (target)
    G3 - Wade 30+
    G4 - Manu 25+
    G5 - Green 20+

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    1. I have same concern about Green. When Wade talked about playing poor D in 4Q, I think he was talking about the perimeter shooters like Green.

      I'd get Manu over Kawhi on Game 2 though.

      Kawhi followed up a 9 with 15 then 16.

      Manu's two latest duds came on the road.

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    2. Hmmmm... Fine I'll make that switch but it's all on you T!!

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  17. This series is going to get interesting.......
    ...
    BTW, what will all you guys be playing in next?

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    1. I do various horse racing contests, the Covers pick em contest for sports, ESPN games and Streak for the Cash (not good at that at all). As well as the Fox games, and a couple of the Nascar games/contests that still remain. Used to be a lot more available, but the free contests for sports are much harder to find now.

      If anyone knows of other free sports contests, feel free to list them. I am sure some of us would appreciate learning about other things that are available that we are not aware of.

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    2. Gonna play World Cup fantasy as well as fantasy football in yahoo!. Then going to wait and play NASCAR's fantasy game, after that, I am playing fantasy basketball in yahoo!

      I would really love to play fantasy baseball but I don't know how it works.

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  18. LeBron James was overcome by the Heat (no pun intended) and as he limped off the court because of dehydration and cramps, so did the Heat's chances of winning Game #1. The Heat were actually holding their own on the road until their best player by far was eradicated from the game because of the hot steamy conditions on the court. Everyone else on both teams seemed fine, but this massively affected LeBron, and eventually this lead to the Heat loss.

    Got away with picking Tiago Splitter for 18 PRA after noticing he would actually be starting, and wanted to clear him off the board when he was actually starting. I got lucky as Splitter started to put up some points in the 3rd quarter, after he was pretty much camped at 8 PRA for a good deal of the game after a quick start.

    Was initially going to pick Tony Parker (27 PRA) but I had too many concerns about him getting reinjured or a possible blowout seeing him land on the bench for a vast period of time. However neither happened, so now I have Tony Parker ticketed for Game #2 in San Antonio, hoping to get a decent effort out of him when I pick him.

    It was very hard to make a bad pick in this game, if you avoided Kawhi Leonard (11 PRA) who was nonexistent for the most part, for much of the game. Even LeBron James despite all of his woes, still posted 34 PRA, which is average for him, but considering he could barely walk, those that picked him were quite fortunate getting that 34 PRA score. Could have been much worse though.

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    1. you had 7 good/star players, 8 including ur tiago splitter pick so why would you even pick splitter? that makes no sense since now even if it goes to 7 games you will miss out on one of your stars

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    2. Funny how ppl hound Gatorade about it in twtter, when LBJ is sponsored by Powerade.

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    3. People get hung up on stars vs non-stars. Bottom line it is all about PRA points earned, no matter who you pick. The players I was looking at resulted in a net loss of -9 PRA if I would have picked Tony Parker (my initial pick), and I had a net gain of +1 PRA over picking Danny Green (if I still had him, he would have been my Game #1 pick). Picking Splitter wasn't the end of the world, and if someone doesn't get played, that isn't the end of the world either, especially if that player puts up less (Kawhi Leonard 11 PRA) than almost every other starter on that night.

      Read below for further explanation of why I picked Splitter over other players in Game #1. If it really matters to you that much. Doing what everyone else is doing, is never going to be something I strive to do. And I do play this far more cautiously than most people, I admit that. Not that the Finals really matter, as just about every starting player remaining will be picked eventually (as well as a few others).

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    4. The explanation seems to make sense. There were legitimate questions about Parker's health, Ginobili's effectiveness vs. the Heat, Leonard's consistency, and, how long Splitter will get the minutes in this series. Personally, I would have gone with Tim Duncan and awaited the answer to all those questions in Game 1. If Parker proved ineffective, I would have used Splitter in Game 2. I'm considering Splitter early in this series and saving Ray Allen for Game 7. We'll see what happens in Game 2.

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  19. Didn't know if or how long Tony Parker would still be healthy or available and/or if he would last the entire series. In the case of Splitter, getting him while he was actually starting, was something I did simply to make sure I wasn't stuck with less than 7 players, and forced to play Splitter when he was putting up single digit PRA coming off of the bench, as he did for much of the series vs. OKC, after the first game.

    Tony Parker was no sure thing to either play full minutes in his first game back, or even last the entire series vs. the Heat. Also another factor is Kawhi Leonard lately has been wildly inconsistent.

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  20. ESPN has world cup bracket and world cup pickem. World cup less than a week away

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