Final Four Recap

Alright peepz! Finals is lotsa days away. I just want to dedicate this area for recaps.

Here's mine..

I haven't got any great round yet. The first two were average I think, and the last round was particularly awful. Hopefully the Finals changes that.

Rockets were awful. Hawks too some. Good thing we have a chance in the Finals to pick players in a "winning effort" for a change.

Bad bad bad.

How's yours?

Splits

As we all try to figure out whether we should keep picking our best remaining Rocket or pluck away a Warrior from the Finals, one of the things we should look at are splits stats. Splits "by opponents" tell us whether a Warrior may play better against the Cavaliers or in this series versus the Rockets.

Here are their splits:
* Player Name / Playoffs vs Rockets / Season vs Cavaliers
* Stephen Curry / 42 / 30
* Draymond Green / 34 / 28
* Klay Thompson / 23 / 27
* Harrison Barnes / 15 / 18
* Andrew Bogut / 17 / 12
* Andre Iguodala / 15 / 16

Anyone ready to pick Curry?

I know this sounds too objective, but in the absence of inside information, these numbers provide guidance.

I already picked Curry and Bogut, so that leaves me with Green with 'probably' better outing this series than against the Cavaliers.

Before considering the splits, I was thinking of Jason Terry who showed he can showcase his skillz as an upcoming free agent in an elimination game by suddenly getting a 20 PRA in Game 4. However, Game 5 is on the road so I may not get that 20.

If I pick Green in Game 5, I still have (in order of PRA average) LeBron, Kyrie, Klay, Tristan, Harrison, Iman, Timofey, J.R. and Iguodala for the Finals. The 4th to last in that list have slightly lower stats than JET's FA-in-elims probable numbers, but I can just monitor the next series more closely to do some maneouvering like I did last year's Finals.

Terry is still a logical pick (and hottest too), but Green gets my pick for tonight.

As Morgan Freeman mentioned in the movie Deep Impact, "Good luck to us all."

Unrestricted Free Agents

I have been playing this DTTF for too long to observe (and read from others who do too) that unrestricted free agents (team option) are very good at elimination games. Here are some notable ones from this round:

Josh Smith is a good example. In 4 elimination games so far this postseason, he had PRAs of 20, 27, 16 and 31. That 16 was awful but that was a different series. Yesterday's 31 at home is a good sign that he's into it at the edge of elimination versus the Warriors. Game 5 on the road will be tough but I still reckon he can do above his average PRA.

Jason Terry is another one with PRAs of 22, 19, 7 and 20. Note that his 7 and Smith's 16 are from that Game 7 so maybe Game 7s are exception. I have someone else picked for Game 5 but I am still thinking about Terry.

Paul Millsap is a good pick for today for those saving him for an elimination game. His 31 from Game 3 was partly due to the ejection of Horford, but I think he can do it again in Game 4 even with Horford back. He has to show the Hawks that he deserves a hefty new contract this summer. If not, at least the other GMs are sure to keep their eyes glued to the TV.

DeMarre Carroll is a risky pick (and the hottest pick too at that). He hasn't been himself since that unfortunate knee sprain. 9 and 15 are hardly encouraging PRAs but at least it's trending up. Here's hoping the fear of elimination kicks some more adrenalin to overcome his banged-up knee, because he is my pick.

PCT 92 is now a tough spot for me. I was at PCT 98 this time last year. I just have to minimize bad luck during the Finals. Picking LeBron James on the right day (and as cold pick hopefully) should bring me back on the hunt. I need one of those 60 PRAs of his ;) It's a longshot to Top100 but the game is still on.

gl!

Change of Mind

With the Rockets down 0-3, this may be our last chance to pick a Rocket.

If you still have Josh Smith because you've been saving him for an elimination game, I think you are in good position with that pick. Smith is a free agent this summer, and there's no other place he can showcase his worth than this Game 4 in Houston. He should be able to produce near his Game 3's 28.

I veered away from my pick plan and decided to move Klay Thompson and Draymond Green to the Finals. The change of mind made me pick Terrence Jones in Game 3 and place Corey Brewer (MFFL!) in Game 4. The flaw there was me settling on the promise of 18 PRA whereas what I really needed was 20+ PRA to move my percentile closer to 99 (currently at 94). Jones before Game 3 wasn't really trending towards a 20+ PRA game, and I should have seen that. Now, Game 4's Brewer is in same situation where he does not seem to get enough minutes nor touches lately to even break his average.

Andrew Bogut on the other hand is trending up. He had 26 and 25 PRAs the last two games. If he can get 20 PRA, that's still better than Brewer's. Typical reasoning is that he is a Warrior not a Rocket, and he even starts for them, thus should be picked in the Finals. Actually, his playoffs average puts him behind seven other players I have lined up for the Finals, so I can definitely afford to pick him now while his upswing is still fresh. Who knows if he'll have a better (or worse) outing against the Cavs?

My pick: Andrew Bogut



Anyone else in this series looking like a 20+ PRA guy?


Korver Out, Bazemore In

Losing Korver is the final straw to the Hawks' downfall. It all started at All-Star Weekend when the Hawks' starters were in an all-time high. What followed were games uncharacteristic of who the Hawks were before the All-Stars. It seems they were content to getting to All-Star. Injuries now in the playoffs are the dagger on the back. Hawks have no hope.

Then here we are in DTTF who are supposed to be rejoicing with our all-Hawk picks going to this round. What followed were disappointments. It is still otherwordly to even think of picking a Cav just to make up for the points, but let's just save them for the Finals.

Assuming the Cavs and Warriors sweep, here are my Finals roster (sorted according to average PRA):

* LeBron James
* Draymond Green
* Kyrie Irving
* Klay Thompson
* Tristan Thompson
* Harrison Barnes
* Iman Shumpert

The last three have PRAs of around 17, so it can justify picking a Hawk capable of 17 PRA in Games 3 and 4.

I am saving DeMarre Carroll for an elimination game (because that's what I do with incoming free agents sometimes). And so I am going with Dennis Schroder. Nothing exciting there, just scraping up the bench for PRA.

Note that the absence of Korver may open up big minutes for Kent Bazemore, both as starter at the 2 and as backup to Carroll. If he starts, you may want to consider switching to him.

I am at PCT 93 and needs 6 straight solid showings (at least average PRA) to get to PCT 99. That and the correct placing of LeBron "may" bump me into Top 100. One day of subpar PRA will mean two steps back. This is a challenge.

Good luck!

UPDATE: Kent Bazemore will start. Changed pick from Schroder to Bazemore. It's a gamble.