Undefeated VS Relentless

Are you excited about today's two games? I am! You should.

First, I just saw in Facebook that the Clippers under Chris Paul has never lost a Game 7. They are 2-0! Even if that is a small number, that is already big in terms of the number of Game 7s in NBA history (moreso Clippers history). So this game is more competitive than I thought. I am looking forward to the game!

The Spurs just need to remember Finals 2013. They lost Game 6 and lost Game 7. That was a heart-breaking moment that they had to endure for a full year before they got redemption. The circumstances were different and the format was different, but I know they hated that feeling and will not allow that to happen again.

The undefeated versus the relentless. I honestly cannot tell now who will win. My pick goes to Chris Paul. Frak the next round hehe!

For the second game, it's the undefeated  Floyd Mayweather versus the relentless Manny Pacquiao. If you know me, you know I'm biased. Regardless, it is "the fight" of this decade. Don't miss it.

So, who's your pick? :)

Do or Die

It's good when a series like the Hawks-Nets show some stability -- the home team has won all five games. That trend may or may not continue in Game 6 as the Hawks look to finish the Nets off on the road, but at least the notion of Game 7 in Atlanta has this series favoring the Hawks.

I have already picked Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson, and now it's Deron William's time to step to the plate. He had 47 PRA in Game 4 in Brooklyn that helped tie the series, and the same situation has presented itself. Granted this is a do-or-die for the Nets, Deron has showed he can carry this team, and I can only wish he lives up to that in Game 6. If not, I'll take his average PRA of 23.

As for the West, the Spurs and the Clippers each have won twice on the road. Because of that, homecourt advantage doesn't hold anymore. Besides, the Spurs are a veteran team whose core has done all these before. Game 7s are a routine to them.

I have Chris Paul penciled in for Saturday. If they win, then I lose all Spurs' PRA. I can debate between that fear of loss and the master plan, but I won't do that. Win or lose, I am sticking with it.

So who is picking a Spur?

#neverbetagainstthespurs

Going into Game 5, some of us held back from picking in that series because we wanted to be sure we can bring the winning players into the next round of the playoffs. Now that the Spurs won and have put the Clippers into the brink of elimination in Game 6 at San Antonio, we are confident now that we can finally pick a Clipper.

My pick is a no-brainer; it's Blake Griffin for 40+ PRA. 50 is a bonus. And for those of you who already used him, Chris Paul is still a 30 PRA prospect. Even those who are only left with DeAndre Jordan, I think he'll give you 30 in a redemption game.

Do you think the Clippers can steal a game again on the road? If they do, will they be the favorite to win Game 7 at home? And ruin all our plans?

I dare not answer that now. My pick is Blake and my expectation is for the Spurs to finish them off in Game 6. If not, only then will I worry about that.

Good luck to us!

1st Seed VS 8th Seed

Wednesday's game is a little like Tuesday's. The Grizzlies are up 3-1 and are trying again to eliminate the Blazers. Meanwhile, the Nets and Hawks are even at two wins apiece.

Actually, today's is far from yesterday's situation. 

If you want to apply yesterday's strategy, don't bother. First, the Hawks are still favored to win this series. Second, most of us already started picking Nets; it will be hard to turn tail and root for the Nets. Third, it's most likely you already used Aldridge and Lillard, and Batum's PRA may not be as good as a replacement now that Deron is already playing well.

Deron Williams has come out of his shell and is expected to take Game 5 seriously. He knows it is crucial. Coming off a 47 PRA, he is an enticing pick.

Brook Lopez is still the best Nets player in this series. He is dominating the paint (and Horford) and is the Nets' X-factor in this series. Pick him if you still have him.

Joe Johnson is the Nets go-to-guy. He needs to heat up before going at it, but he usually stuffs the 4th quarter stat sheet. He also loves to play against his former arena, and that is the reason he gets my pick.

Who among you are betting otherwise? Smelling an upset?

The Spur, The Clipper, And The Maverick

Alrighty! Two games today, and it's not simple at all.

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 √úberman 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! ;)


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Staying Alive

Joe Johnson was pre-picked for Monday's game, but the Nets' win in Game 3 ensures that I can still pick Joe in Game 5. I still think the Nets will lose the series; it just gives me extra time to pick from the other teams facing elimination on this date.

The Bucks extended their series but are expected to fall to the Bulls on the road. I recommend staying away from picking a Buck -- we do not know where their PRAs will fall. Giannis and MCW teased us with their Game 3 burst, but then fell back to earth in Game 4.

The Blazers who are facing a sweep are the preferred source of picks. LaMarcus Aldridge is a must-pick for those saving him for elimination. I like Damian Lillard in Game 4 because Mike Conley will not play due to injury. I already used both, and so my pick goes to the trending Nicolas Batum. I hope to get high 20s from him.

Good luck with your pick.

Swept

While we ponder and figure out the series that is the Clippers-Spurs, three teams are on the verge of being swept: the Celtics, Raptors and Mavericks. And all three teams have different reasons why they may probably be eliminated today.

The Celtics, because of LeBron. I can imagine him saying to his young team, "Hey I know you guys think we can slack off in Game 4 coz we can fiinish them off in Game 5 back home. No! Let's finish them off now!"

The Raptors, because of Wizards fans. They did not take care of home court; now they have to contend not only with Pierce and his cohorts, but the whole kingdom as well.

The Mavs, because of themselves. What they have left on the floor is not what they envisioned during the season, neither before or after the Rondo trade. The absence of Parsons for me has the greater effect. Without him, Ellis and Dirk cannot do it.

As for our picks, I think we should not try to guess which of these teams get swept and then factor that in in our pick decision. See, all these three have good reasons to lose today. So just pick the best available player in these three team's pool, and go with that. Get your 30 and be happy.

I got Monta Ellis.