Close-out?

All series are 3-2 controlled by the high seed, except the Rockets.

The Clippers will be the favorite to win Game 6 at home even after a lopsided win by the Rockets in Game 5 at Houston. I recommend picking your best remaining Rocket. I pre-picked Josh Smith still remembering how he helped dismantled the Mavs in Round 1. However, he has struggled a bit in this series. So my Thursday pick goes to Trevor Ariza. Hope he makes it rain.

(However, if you still have Derrick Rose or Jimmy Butler, they're the better picks at an elimination game.)

The other Game 6s will be played at the turf of the teams at edge of elimination. While LeBron has talked of a close-out, look for the Bulls to give it their all. The same goes for the Wizards and the Grizzlies. They know they must force a Game 7. I actually think all three series will go 7 games; that's how competitive this round is. But for DTTF sake, I wish they all end at Game 6.

We don't need to be troubled by suddenly being worried about picking LeBron and Curry in Game 7. I won't pick them, but I will still get worried. Not good.

My Friday pick is John Wall. Locked and loaded.

Good luck!

35 comments:

  1. Thoughts on Pau Gasol tonight after Wall's performance last night?

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    1. Big men are not as resilient as small guards.

      Pau is not as tough as Wall. Tough still, but not as tough.

      Pau will be in minutes restriction.

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    2. Pau is able to run and shoot, but jumping ability is hindered. So maybe less rebounds, and no lift on midjumpers.

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    3. Wall was about his pain threshold. It sounds like Pau has mobility issues. It would be a much bigger risk than Wall was for me last night.

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  2. Tonight, it's Noah for me. And after that is where everything gets complicated. To give you an idea of how my head works, here you go:

    If the Cavs and Clippers close out tonight, then the Wizards-Hawks and Grizzlies-Warriors game 7's (if necessary) will, for the first time in the second round, be on different days. In that case, I'll pick Paul Pierce on Friday, so that if both go 7, I can pick Conley on Sunday and Gortat on Monday. There are no quality Grizzlies left after Conley is gone, so I'll need to save him on Friday just in case.

    If the Rockets somehow win Game 6, then Game 7 might have to be DeAndre Jordan. I'm doubting I'll need that contingency plan.

    If the Bulls win Game 6, this is where things get interesting. Assuming Cleveland, Atlanta, Clippers, and Warriors all advance, my pool of players would be:

    CLE: LeBron, Irving, Mozgov, Shumpert, Smith, Thompson
    ATL: Horford, Millsap, Carroll, Korver, Teague, Schroeder
    GS: Curry, Thompson, Bogut, Green, Barnes
    LA: Jordan, Redick, Crawford, Barnes

    That's 20 players. The conference semi finals and finals can go max 21 games, and that's only with three 7 game series. That's actually a lot more than enough.

    In a possible Sunday of Game 7's with Bulls-Cavs and Grizzlies-Warriors (assuming at a minimum the Rockets lose), are players like Taj Gibson or Jeff Green worth picking? I wouldn't want to pick Conley on Game 7 if I don't have to, since it's likely to be a blowout. So if the Bulls win tonight, I'm going to pick Mike Conley on Friday, and on game 7 Sunday, I'm going to pull out the LeBron James card. He's been so good this series, I will gladly take a 50+ from him a bit early, since my other choices that day are likely to all be bad anyways. Plus, you never know if the Bulls will pull it off. It's been an amazing series.

    If the Bulls lose tonight, then I'll go Pierce on Friday. I'm a bit nervous about that, since that series has been so close, and that would be Wizard #4.

    This is going to get interesting!

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    1. I should add, if Pau Gasol proves his worth in game 6, I'd go with him in game 7, if necessary.

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    2. If LeBron's series goes G7, I won't pick him.

      Losing all the Spurs hurt. But I am not one to learn from that isolated case. I'm leaving the Cavs and Warriors intact.

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    3. If you still have Noah, I can see why. I won't even have Noah. It's just that the bottom of the Cavs (e.g. Shumpert and Thompson) are better than my options that day. But in order for it all to work, I need all the series to go my way. If not, then I'm down big time.

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  3. Ariza or Noah? 2 best available players I have remaining for Houston & Bulls. Sad, I know...

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    1. Ariza. I also thought of Noah coz he's my best remaining Bull. But Noah's PRA is inconsistent, unpredictable.

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  4. Taj Gibson is suspended one game. That makes me think about picking Paul Gasol. Also Tim Duncan outperformed Kawhi in elimination game, that's another reason.

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    1. Why? Why is he suspended? That play should have been a double technical, not a flagrant 2. Unbelievable, NBA.

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    2. Taj is not actually suspended tonight. He's playing

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  5. Holy Moly John Wall now has 31%! He was at 5% when I picked him and 12% when I last checked, that is a climb of 26%, 19% since I last checked, dang that means I will now have the highest % owned pick 3 days in a row, as Beal managed to top that column last night even with only 18% and now Butler has 29% (originally 19% when I picked him), but with the Bulls and Wizards (thanks to the DC sports curse) facing elimination, I must keep these picks.

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    1. No one was picking Wall, because he was injured. Once he came back, and proved capable of playing well, people started to pick him, apparently in droves.

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  6. "The Clippers will be the favorite to win Game 6 at home even after a lopsided win by the Rockets in Game 5 at Houston. I recommend picking your best remaining Rocket."
    I'm shocked that the Rockets blew them out in Game 5 (or any game for that matter) since I don't expect a much less defensive team to ever blow out a strong defensive team, it just doesn't make sense, not to hate on the Rockets but I presumed the Clippers winning this series from the start. If the Rockets had won a close one in Game 5 I'd be 100% sure that the Clippers would end this tonight and I still think (and need them for DTTFs purposes) they will end it tonight but only around 80%. If the Rockets did come back I'd be devastated in DTTFs. Even with Game 6, I'm done picking Rockets as I've used 4 of them (2 of which were disappointments or worse) and have only used 1 Bull.

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  7. Players I've used on leading teams:
    Golden State; none
    Atlanta; Paul Millsap
    Los Angeles; Blake Griffin (uugh but what can you do down 2-3 on the road, having lost him last year when they had a home Game 6 and couldn't force Game 7 vs. the Thunder)
    Cleveland; none
    Players I've used on trailing teams:
    Memphis; Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol
    Washington; Marcin Gortat, Bradley Beal
    Houston; James Harden, Josh Smith, Dwight Howard, Trevor Ariza
    Chicago; Derrick Rose
    As you can see, I've been very sold on the Rockets losing, I just didn't use most of their players (except Ariza) at the right time.

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  8. John Wall returned from injury to the Wizards, and Washington very nearly pulled off an upset road win, only losing to Atlanta by a point, 82-81. Washington could have very easily won this game, they even had leads late in the game, but Atlanta was able to do just enough to scratch out a home win here. After seeing that though, you have to like the Wizards chances of winning their home game and forcing a Game #7 to happen in this series, as most expected to see, before it even started. This series is very close, and anyone can win it.

    In the other series not so much. Golden State locked it down after Memphis had a nice start in the first quarter. After that it was all Warriors, who now have a 3-2 lead in this series, and look extremely likely to advance to Round #3, even if it does take 2 more games to do it. I could see Memphis winning their home game, but can't really see the Grizzlies winning in Golden State, with how well the Warriors play at home. This series is far more predictable of the two, Golden State seems extremely likely to advance to Round #3, without something dramatic happening.

    My Mike Conley pick (18 PRA) was somewhat disappointing as I was hoping he would at least hit 20+ PRA, but he hasn't exactly been great in these playoffs, and his playoff high was only 25 PRA, so I wasn't expecting much more than that. (Net Loss -7 PRA). Could have been worse.

    Best picks from losing teams: Marc Gasol (36 PRA), Bradley Beal (34 PRA), Marcin Gortat (26 PRA). Overall the Gortat pick might have been best of these three, as both Gasol and Beal are capable of much better. Gortat had a nice rebound from the hideous 11 PRA lack of effort he threw out there in Game #4 @ home.

    Horrible pick: Kyle Korver (9 PRA)

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    1. hawks was really lucky. it could easily be a different discussion if horford wasnt there for the putback.

      a g5 wizards win would have been disastrous for DTTF

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  9. Im 50 points behind the leader in my league, and Im debating going for the risky pick and taking Gasol tonight. Other options are Noah and Josh smith (already used ariza, rose, butler, howard, harden). What do you guys think? I need advice

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    1. Pau Gasol is likely to be playing limited minutes. Probably best to go elsewhere, Noah in your case, or roll the dice with Josh Smith, unless you have a better alternative. Houston looks likely to get eliminated today. Chicago probably not. So picking a Houston player might be best because of that.

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    2. close call b/n noah and smoove. i'd go smoove but dont expect high 20s.

      i know it looks epic to be the lead, but chipping at it is the way to go. 50 lead is small this early. for all we know, your league's leader made some winning-team-picks. if you are playing the game the right way, you will catch him.

      luck also works better in small steps. a pau pick may even be detrimental

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  10. For tonight I fully expect the Bulls to fight back and win Game #6 and force a Game #7 back in Cleveland. This series has gone back and forth, and almost every game has been tight. It would take an incredible effort for LeBron to close out the Bulls tonight in Chicago. It could happen, but I far more like the chances of a 3-3 series heading back to Cleveland for a deciding Game #7.

    In the other series, Houston vs. LA Clippers, this is the time that the Clippers need to buckle down and close out this series to advance. Houston played great, easily their best game of this series, and the Clippers laid down in Game #5 in Houston. It was a crushing defeat for the Clippers, who other than that blemish, have pretty much owned this series, and controlled every game. Well it is time for LA to go back that game plan as they need to win this tonight, and not have to go back to Houston. I believe they will accomplish this and close this series out tonight and advance to Round #3. If not, I may be forced to play Jason Terry and not much else, and no one wants that.

    For tonight I will pick James Harden, my last decent, if not great, Houston Rockets player. Harden has had a series best 47 PRA vs. the Clippers and a playoff best 56 PRA vs. Dallas. Either of those scores would be great to add, but if James Harden could at least cross the 40+ PRA plateau, I would be quite happy with that. Hopefully he makes that happen, and Houston gets eliminated in the process. That would be a win-win scenario for a change.

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  11. Replies
    1. ariza. rockets most likely to go down tonight.

      if pau plays bad, they'll lose series and he gets bad pra.

      if pau plays good, they may win and so you can pick him in g7 when he will have more rest and may play even better

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  12. So long Bulls. 55% of DTTF is disappointed with what they got from their Bull stars. Me? I'm happy. A 17 from Noah is good considering the game, only -5 from Rose and -9 from Butler, and +3 over Gasol. Good day to have a scrub! Hopefully, the Clippers-Rockets game is equally dreadful from a DTTF standpoint. Go Clippers!

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  13. Hey guys remember the long comment I made last year that included lower seeds down 2-3 in G6 automatically giving up?!
    http://nbadrivetothefinals.blogspot.com/2014/06/welcome-to-2014-nba-finals.html#comment-form

    "As awful as it was to use up Leonard and get a sub 20 from him, the worst thing was banking on a G7 in the Clippers/Thunder series and leaving Blake Griffin unused when the Thunder ended that series in 6. After that I will never assume G7, even when the series is between 2 evenly matched teams. It looks good that G7 has a super home advantage history but I've learned that there is a downside to it... some teams quit in G6 when they don't believe they'll win a G7. The Clippers did it to the Thunder and the Thunder might of somewhat done that against the Spurs, despite rallying to force OT."

    Looks like the Bulls probably did that tonight, only they were worse than last years Clippers and Thunder with a 21 point loss. One thing I failed to say last year, is that part of this may have been a contribution from experienced playoff teams to go for the clincher in their 1st opportunity, but I find it strange how the series has a pattern in the 1st 5 games (either all home team wins or all competitive games) then boom the higher seed wins game 6 on the road if up 3-2. If the Bulls were the team up 3-2, would they have lost by 20+ tonight? Absolutely not! It would be amazing just to see the Cavs force a game 7. However at 2-3, the team ahead with at least 1 playoff experienced player combined with their opponent that needs to win just to force a game 7 that they will 95% lose results in series over in 6. Sounds crazy, but this looks real! Last year I was told that Chris Paul and Blake Griffin would punch me in the face and they may but I'd still be right, even knocked out. It's probably a physiological thing. The same thing will probably happen with the Wizards and Grizzlies tomorrow, so we are staring at either all road teams winning G6 or all 2nd round series ending in 6.

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    1. Haha I remember that Chris Paul and Blake Griffin comment I made. Classic. I think you have a point, but it tends to happen in the middle of the game if things start to go south. It isn't as much about Game 7 as it is about Game 6. Once the score gets a bit of separation, reality starts to sink in. It's not that a team "gives up" as much as all their efforts start turning to mush when things go south facing elimination. We shall see if it happens to the Rockets here. Things started to turn at the end of the half. If the Clippers get some separation, I think it grows and grows. It won't be that the Rockets give up, but they will start to lose focus as their season starts to fade away, and they make mistakes out of frustration.

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  14. Um..... what the heck just happened?

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  15. WTF has happened to the Clippers, sorry for but 33-10 in the 4th quarter?! I check the score and the Clippers were up by 13 going into the final quarter, I check back and it's down to 3, the screen refreshes and it's tied at 102, I check back a few minutes later and it's 112-102 Rockets. WTH?! My DTTFs season is dead DEAD!

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    1. 40-15 Rockets in the 4th quarter, Clippers lead by 13 coming in and lost by 12, no I'm not talking about the entire 2nd half or even an OT, just 1 quarter in which they were outscored by 25... a collapse for the ages!

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  16. Hahahahahahahahahaa clippers SUCK!!!!

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  17. I pulled a Paul Pierce. In the third quarter, I called "series". I even went to my DTTF screen and switched Conley for Paul Pierce for tomorrow, thinking I might need Conley for Sunday. And man was I wrong. As a result, I'm pulling Paul Pierce from tonight, and switching Conley back in. I need to conserve talent. I have more confidence in Golden State closing out, so I have to go with that. Because, as we saw last night, anything can happen, but the Warriors have to be trusted.

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