First, the Rockets will try again to eliminate the Mavs and this time they have the home crowd behind them. For exercise purposes, I would like you to set aside your best remaining Mav because we will use him later in this post. Mine is Dirk Nowitzki (PRA: 34, 25, 46, 28 -- Ave: 33) who performs well on elimination games, especially on the road. If there is one persistent player, the Überman is that. For some of you that will be Monta Ellis (PRA: 20, 32, 45, 40 -- Ave: 34).
Second, the Spurs and the Clippers. If you are among more than half of DTTF (like me) who have not picked from this series yet, then you might be wary of picking now -- from the Spurs, the Clippers, or wait for Game 5. There are at most three games left, so let's list the top three ballers from each team here:
- Blake Griffin (PRA: 44, 52, 29, 46 -- Ave: 42)
- Chris Paul (PRA: 45, 36, 14, 44 -- Ave: 34)
- DeAndre Jordan (PRA: 24, 35, 18, 21 -- Ave: 24)
- Kawhi Leonard (PRA: 27, 35, 37, 38 -- Ave: 34)
- Tim Duncan (PRA: 26, 43, 15, 39 -- Ave: 30)
- no other Spur is relevant right now
Suffice to say, everything rests heavily upon the result of Game 5. If the Clippers win, they will be heavily favored to win the series in G7 at Los Angeles, if not get lucky in G6. If the Spurs win, then surely they will look to close the series out in G6 at San Antonio. Your G6 pick will be easy for sure.
Now stay with me here. Assume the best case scenario that you pick from the loser and have all the players of the winner for Round 2, then that's the most ideal position.
If you pick wrongly, then you will lose that 35 PRA in the next round. Note: Do not assume you can get that PRA back by replacing with another pick in Round 2. That other pick in Round 2 will surely have a lower PRA. And worse, you will feel the chain effect of that for the rest of the playoffs, and then bite you back in the Finals. I had that mistake in a previous year, and trust me it does sting in the end.
So the objective is to not lose those 35 points. 35 points is roughly the difference between you and that person 3000 ranks away, so it's very precious.
The advantage of picking a Clipper (if you think they will lose) is that roughly about 30% of DTTF already picked a Clipper, and 25% more Tuesday. That's more than half of DTTF who will sink or swim with you. The disadvantage of course is when you pick wrongly, as always. 35 PRA down the drain.
The advantage of picking a Spur (if you think they will lose) lies on numbers. Only around 15% of DTTF have picked a Spur and that includes Tuesday already. If the Clippers win, your extra 35 PRA will propel you past the 85% of DTTF as they lose Duncan's 35 PRA, and possibly scramble in Round 2 while you cruise along. The disadvantage lies when you pick wrongly and you will continue to fall behind that 85% (not percentile wise, but just within Round 2). It's a risky move.
My left hand brain is telling me that even though the Clippers own 2 home games out of the remaining 3, the Spurs are still favored to win. Just by the way people are picking in DTTF.
Now, who among you realized that the answer may not be in that Spurs-Clippers series? Oh yeah? :) It's with the Mavs. That's right! Pick a Mav at near 35 PRA! That effectively replaces the 35 PRA you would have used from the Spurs or Clippers this Tuesday, plus you get to save that 35 PRA for next Round, regardless of who wins Game 5. My pick: Dirk.
See, I could have put that previous paragraph in the beginning of the post and I wouldn't have had to scramble your brains about that main event.
So there you go. Nothing else to see here... wait, what? You already picked Dirk and Monta? Okay now I pity you. Good luck, buddy! ;)