Irving Out

Defense wins championships, and Game 1 was just an appetizer. With great defense, the Warriors rallied in the fourth, and suffocated LeBron and company in overtime.

The bad news? Kyrie Irving seems to have re-aggravated his injury right there in the last few minutes of overtime. How unlucky.

UPDATE: Fractured left knee cap :(

What does this mean for DTTF? If Irving sits out Game 2, here are some of those who may have a boost on PRA:

  • LeBron James. He will most likely handle most of the point guard duties in the second half. When Irving was out in the Hawks series, James got PRAs of 50 and 68.
  • Steph Curry. In Game 1, he was defended well by Irving whenever they got matched up. When guarded by any other Cav, Curry shot well above average. Lights out?
  • Matthew Dellavedova. Game 2 might be the only chance Della gets the most minutes. He doubled his PRA when Irving was out back in the Hawks series. 21 PRA.
  • Iman Shumpert. He was about +5 PRA in the two games missed by Irving last round. Without Irving, the Cavs bench has pressure to step up.
My tentative pick: LeBron James. Down 0-1, he knows they need this game. If they lose Game 2, Cavs Nation may have to wait for next year to end the drought. He may look to involve others on offence early on, but soon he'll have no choice but to take over.

Game 1 he scored 44. Game 2 he'll have his triple double.

Let's get it on!

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Right Player, Right Time

Pick who when -- that's the problem. For many, here's the typical order of picks from Games 1 to 4 (with their respective ownership percentages):

Steph Curry 24%, 23%, 5%, 4%
Klay Thompson 7%, 20%, 6%, 7%
LeBron James 7%, 9%, 30%, 10%
Kyrie Irving 6%, 4%, 20%, 20%

Picking Curry in either Game 1 or 2 makes sense as he "may" be more effective at home. The Cavs will play their own game and may reserve matchup adjustments after Game 1, thus the "unstoppable" Curry may have his way in the first game. Also, people forget that Curry is still prone to injury -- something he has evaded this postseason... so far. He is the best example of pick-first-the-best-player-at-home-in-Finals strategy that most have been doing in DTTF for years.

Thompson, on one hand, said he is still dealing with nerves that comes with the Finals. Not sure about you, but that seems like Game 1 will just serve as a warm-up for a Game 2 when he'll be more comfortable. Also, he may feel it out first coming off concussion. Game 2 fits him well.

Many of us are depending on the production of LeBron in the Finals and which game he will perform his best. His Game 3 is his first home game in the Finals, and most believe that game is his rightful place in DTTF. I am not entirely convinced, except if the Cavs are going for a commanding 3-0 like what happened last round against the Hawks. That won't happen against the Warriors. My belief is that his best will come after LeBron's Cavs trail the series (0-1 so G2, or 1-2 so G4, or 2-3 so G6, whichever comes first), or if they are going for a 3-X lead.

Irving, on other hand, is unpredictable being injured. The quotes on recent articles tell me that the Cavs will be limiting his minutes and will try to manage him in favor of longevity. Truly if he can pace himself for 20 minutes per game, then he can help the Cavs. My bet is either Game 1 just in case he aggravates his injury and plays less in succeeding games, or in an elimination game when he can lay it all out on the line.

For those trailing in their leagues and have nothing left to lose, how about doing a series of cold picks? James then Irving then Thompson then Curry? Who is bold enough to pick James in Game 1?

You know what? I feel LeBron needs a Game 1 win to have a chance to win this series.

My Game 1 pick: Harrison Barnes. Picks for the rest of the games will be based on "feel".


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Which drought ends here? ;) Post why in the comments! And how :P

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