Cavs Are Champs!

Cleveland Cavaliers 2016 NBA ChampionsCongratulations LeBron, Cavs and especially their fans!!! They deserve it. 52 years of waiting comes to an end. To Finals MVP LeBron James, you are now officially a hero. To Kyrie Irving, you've been great this series. To Kevin Love, you persevered your trials and now you finally got that ring. To the rest of the Cavs, coach Tyronn Lue and the coaching staff, congratulations!

As for the Golden State Warriors, it is still a great season no matter what. Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and the gang with Steve Kerr on the helm will be formidable for this generation of NBA fans. I'm looking forward to enjoying next season following the Warriors.

As for Drive To The Finals, we did not have that this year, and many of us have been vocal to AutoTrader and TNT early on. I am sure they have seen the errors of their ways and will bring us back DTTF next year.

As for Google Drive, I would like to give big thanks to mfari031. You've been a great part of that enjoyment of these playoffs. I enjoyed making my picks there even though I bombed out :P Again, thank you mfari!


As for Drive & Slam, I would like to thank Ganaca for hosting an alternative. They did not have to do it, but like us they are huge NBA fans. So don't forget to thank them.

Among 1100+ players in the beginning, trimmed to 250+ players in the Finals -- and here is how I fared...


Click image to see full leaderboard
Congratulations to those who topped your respective leagues. Here's this blog's leaderboard...

I have put up an unofficial global leaderboard on this page [link]. It has ranking and percentile, as per popular demand ;)

And of course, big thanks to you guys and gals. To Tangent, @topknox, Jerry Ricochet, aceee06, Daytona, mfari031, Maccabi de Levantar, Alex Herges and the rest of you -- your comments are better than gold these playoffs. I must admit that your contributions have been more valuable than my blog posts recently. I am sure our readers are grateful to you. Again, thank you thank you thank you!

It's been a whirlwind of a ride these playoffs!

So that's a wrap! See you again in ten months!

Game 7 -- This. Is. It!

The Warriors staved off elimination from the Thunder last round in a Game 7, so they very well know that it is possible. Of course they believe in themselves, and wouldn't have it any other way than the end saying "Dubs are champs!" It's a nice cap to a record-setting 73-win season, isn't it?

And there's the Cavaliers. Nothing is sweeter than LeBron bringing that far-longed championship to Ohio. He said that's the only reason he came back. And he wills it, and can will it. The good thing is that he no longer has to carry the city in his shoulders.. he's got Kyrie, who's been equally phenomenal this series. It's totally possible.

And there's us. It's the battle of role-players and bench-warmers. Put your best remaining player forward. There's no Game 8. This is it boys and girls! The endgame. All our ups and downs this postseason come down to this very day.

My final pick... Leandro Barbosa. Hottest pick, too (how ironic).

Enjoy the game!

Game 6 Preview: Mavs for Cavs

Bogut is out. He does have small minutes, but he sets up the defensive tone early on for the Warriors. Even with Ezeli, expect more of drive and slam from the Cavs early on (forced pun hehe).

Green is back. Warriors will go small more now, and I think that makes them better, and negates Love's presence on the court. But who's betting here Green will get another flagrant foul and miss Game 7?

Me, because the Cavs are winning Game 6. I know Cuban will earn more with his "City of Champions" trademark, but it's time to repay Cavs Nation for 2011...

Mavs for Cavs!

UPDATE: I have lined up Iman Shumpert for Game 6 playing at home, but with him being all-defense and un-measured contributions on the court, I am not sure if we'll ever see decent PRABS from him.


Bogut's absence has brought in more picks for Ezeli. I looked at games this year when Bogut is out, and found that Ezeli is not an automatic replacement. He still serves as relief backup and may continue to do so. Despite his eagerness shown in interviews, I am not convinced (yet) that he can make an impact for Game 6.

Frye and Dellavedova are the two other Cavs fillers that can have big points potential. It's just they have not shown that yet these Finals.

Hmm...

The heck.. I'll go with Leandro Barbosa. Tried and tested ;)

Good luck with your picks.

UPDATE 2: Change of heart. Change of pick. This guy got more minutes when Bogut went down in Game 5. He was 0/6, but that just tells you he's not afraid to shoot it.

Marreese Speights, let's go!

Game 5 Pick: All In

You're down to your last chips, and you take a look at your cards. With a straight poker face and toneless voice, you push everything forward and say, "All in."

The Cavs are in that situation. They've been winning the last 3 tables with ease, but found themselves in the same table as the poker player of the year, the Warriors. Down 1-3, it's all-in for Game 5. If they upset the Warriors on the road, they'll go all-in again in Game 6 at home, and so on. Unfortunately, there's no bluffing involved. The Warriors will keep calling, until the Cavs draw a poor hand.

We are in that situation. With a probable final game, we are to weed through our roster and bring forth our best remaining player. To all of you who have been saving LeBron James in an elimination game, now is that time. To all who have been waiting for the right time to pick Kevin Love after his concussion, now is that time.

Alas, all I have left are fillers. My pick goes to my best remaining player... Shaun Livingston. He's been the X-Factor for the Warriors, in my opinion. Hopefully my DTTF season ends with a bang with a stupendous Livingston outing.


This year has been bad for my DTTF game, but I hope to overtake rebounds and jerry in the final day in our league leaderboard.

And tangent is sneaking up on Alex, but he probably doesn't want me revealing that :P

Good luck ;)

Game 4 Pick: Uncle Drew

And now we have a series!

Dead-half of Drive & Slam picked LeBron James in Game 3 and he delivered as expected. A 52-PRABS performance is the best so far these Finals, so congratulations to those who went with the obvious pick for Game 3.

My pick Kyrie Irving was also good for 43 PRABS. If it wasn't for the blowout, he and LeBron would have gotten more.

Tristan Thompson and J.R. Smith were the steal picks of the game. With 29 and 28 PRABS respectively, I don't think they can do better for the rest of the series. And as a reaction from the community, these two have bumped up in ownership for Game 4...


I still see 9% picking Kevin Love, who is still questionable. Better delay that pick, guys and gals!

The Australian Assassin Kyrie Irving is the hot pick for Game 4 as this might (just slightly) be the last home game for the Cavs. Better not waste the opportunity for some home ballin'!

My pick is Richard Jefferson. He played 33 minutes in Game 3 as he replaced Love in the starting lineup. I will be happy if he gets 20 PRA. And if for some reason Love returns from head concussion for Game 4, I'll still be sticking with him as he is my best remaining Cav.


I love what I saw from the Cavs in Game 3. Less iso-ball. More picks. More ball movement. More energy. Lockdown D. Let's see them win Game 4 please.

Good luck with your picks!

Game 3 Pick: LeBron Time

I did not bother recapping Game 2 -- it was that awful. Let's go straight to our Game 3 pick. Here is the updated ownership breakdown...


Most will go for LeBron James in Game 3. Down 0-2 and probably missing Kevin Love, LeBron will assert himself and carry this team to victory. It's a must-win for the Cavs, and LeBron will make sure they get this one. He knows that a loss, a 0-3 hole, is unacceptable. Picking LeBron makes a lot of sense in Game 3.

Everyone will be saving the last of their Big 3 for the elimination game. And because I am following the path of the cold pick, I am picking my last of the Big 3 right away for Game 3 ;)


There's nothing wrong with the Cavs focusing on defending the Warriors (defense wins championships anyway), but they've been drawn to playing the Warriors' game instead of theirs. Their scheme for Games 1 and 2 did not work (what I saw were iso-balls again in Game 2). Only a fool keeps doing the same thing expecting different results. I say let's see the Cavs get back to their old self and win this game. Move the ball!

Good luck to the Cavs!

Game 2 Pick: Still Cold


As he was the hottest pick in Game 1, Kyrie Irving remains to be for Game 2. He's quite good in isolation, and if the Cavs change back to their ball-moving and long-range shooting, he'll be good there as well. So it's a win-win situation for his pickers, couple that with the risk of him being injured later.

My pick plan had him for Game 2, but because I still want to avoid the hot pick, I am switching to Kevin Love. Hoping he gets another double-double!


Then maybe I'll move Kyrie to an elimination game, just to break every typical strategy in DTTF.

What's your move?

Game 1 Review: Iso Ball

My cold pick of LeBron James was okay. He got the highest of all the Cavs with 47 PRABS, and just 1 assist shy of a triple-double. It remains to be seen how that will stack up against his next PRAs in these Finals, but I am satisfied how it turned out even if that happened while the Cavs lost in a low-scoring effort. I am guessing he tops that 1 or 2 more times these Finals.

The hot pick Kyrie Irving was excellent I might say as he got 36 PRABS which is above average. I reckon he can top that only once more, but 12 trips to the free throw line won't happen again. His pickers should be happy with that performance.

The steal of the night is Shaun Livingston with 27 PRA. There should be less than a dozen of you feeling genius about that pick because he won't be getting those stats again this series. Congratz!

As for the game, the Splash Brothers only had 27 field goal attempts. That's far from their usual 40+ line, so I guess the Cavs really did a great job limiting their touches and disrupting their pick-and-roll. Steph and Klay missed a lot of open shots, and that bids well for the Cavs because the two never really had the chance to get hot due to the Cavs D. Even if the Cavs lost, they should stick to that game plan versus the duo.

The Warriors bench won it for them. Livingston and Leandro Barbosa were unstoppable. There really is strength in numbers! A 45-10 point advantage is impressive, but I don't really blame the Cavs bench like what is told and hyped out there. They only had 10 attempts because...

The Cavs did a lot of iso-ball, pumping the rock to LeBron and Kevin Love. Maybe the Cavs wanted to take the Warriors off their game by slowing the pace. It didn't work though, as it got defended well and really just didn't warm their shooters enough. Offense-wise, I think the Cavs should get back to what they do best and run. And they can still do that. Anyone from the roster from Kyrie and Tristan can run, and a trailing Kevin Love is dangerous from three.

The Cavs wanted to steal one by changing who they are, instead of just sticking to what works and just doing it better.

Anyway, there is a lot of basketball left :)

Game 1 Pick: Finals Edition

It's the Finals, folks! It matters less now who wins this series, coz you are not saving up for anything anymore. We've been pacing this marathon, and now that the tape is near, it's time for a sprint.

The Injury Factor. Athletes are still human. 82 games and 3 rounds of the playoffs are no small feat. Anytime between opening night and now, muscles get stressed and bones get chipped. The reason teams employ the best in sports health is because wear-and-tear is real. Nobody wants anyone to be injured, but **it happens. And when a part of the body snaps in an unfortunate situation, it's a player in the injury list.

For our fantasy game, we should be wary of that. Of all the Cavs in our pool, Kyrie Irving has the greatest risk. With him missing time in last year's Finals, it's easy to be worried about losing the chance to pick him. The table below shows the percentage of us picking Kyrie in Game 1. I am sure a chunk of that 26% is based on this factor.


The Home-Cooked Meal. That 26% ownership in Game 1 for Kyrie is not all the story. 26% (and 12% for Game 2) means that more than half of us are waiting to pick him for a home game. Kevin Love's 17% in Game 3 and Draymond Green's 15% in Game 1 is a reflection of this.

I just read an article the other day that assists (and blocks) are more likely to be higher at home. That's not likely to be true for all teams, but the Cavs are one of the top teams where that rings true. Assist-heavy Cavs Kyrie and LeBron suit well being picked at home in Game 3 and 4. The Warriors' Green and Shaun Livingston (coz noone has Steph Curry anymore) in turn are suited for Games 1 and 2.

The Elimination Game. It does not reflect in the table above, but I am sure most of us are waiting to pick LeBron in an elimination game (if that happens). It's a perfectly sane logic. LeBron will be extra motivated to perform (read: triple doubles) when he is pushed to the edge of a ravine.

I originally have LeBron for Game 4 (just in case we get a sweep) and he gets moved further as the series gets extended. I suggest you do the same.

The Cold Pick. Regulars to this blog know this strategy all too well. For those new here, it's just the opposite of the "hot pick". So basically if you are lagging behind in your league's leaderboard (like I do), you intentionally avoid picking the popular nor the one that makes sense. You pick the unorthodox choice and pray that your gamble pays well. Besides, you can't overtake anyone who have the same pick as yours, right?

So here is my modified pick plan for Games 1 to 4. Notice how this might not make sense.. at all..


Good luck ;)

Welcome to the 2016 Finals!

The Cavs will meet the Dubs in a Finals rematch! Gamedates are open for the picking. Here is what mine looks like (without any deep thought)...


Here's hoping there will be a sweep, because there's not much there for me past Game 4. It's a long shot!

I'll post in my analysis of my modified lineup before Game 1 comes around.

Meanwhile, here's our leaderboard, in Drive & Slam...


... and in mfari's Google Drive...



Go set your picks now. Let me see if I can talk strategy in one more post pre-Game 1.

Good luck!

The Basketball Gods

And just like that, boom! The Warriors are back in the game! I'm not saying they have this, but I got Westbrook picked..


The Thunder squandered their chance to finish off the Warriors in Game 6. Now they have to do it on the road... in Oakland... amidst an expected loud crowd... against the defending champs. They have to be their best version to pull this off. We've seen it before. Let's see if they can do it again.

The Warriors cannot breathe a sigh of relief. Three straight wins were out of our sights from days ago. Now, we can see it. It can be done. They are generally favored to win Game 7, but first they have to do it.

Unless the gods thunder up!

Yeah they must be crazy.

The Cavs Await!

Just showing off my lone 40+ PRA the whole postseason!!


Yeah I know, 2016 blows :P

---

When the Thunder won Game 4 to a 3-1 advantage, they became favorites to win the series. and we began picking off the Warriors. Even when they lost Game 5 on the road, we keep picking off the Warriors (I got Klay next). Now, losing Game 6 at home... that's unacceptable.

You know what that means. If Thunder loses Game 6, we all pick a Thunder in Game 7 (mine's Westbrook) because the Warriors won't lose a Game 7 at home. So for me, Game 6 is a do-or-die for both teams. Don't miss Game 6 folks! 

And oh, congratulations to the Raptors for a great season. Now, they have to pay DeRozan the max. Else, they'll lose the momentum. 

Watch out for the Cavs! Going for the ring!

The Durantula Is Here To Stay

KD is definitely home. Free agency will be a formality's sake. The Lakers and the Wizards and the Spurs are fooling themselves thinking he will leave OKC. And sorry Mark Cuban, he hates you so don't bother. With the way they are trashing the Dubs, future is bright in OKC.

Look, I know we are all disappointed that the record-breaking Warriors are on the brink of elimination, but the truth of the matter is that Green is not himself in this series, Curry is playing hurt, and the Thunder is playing the better small ball! From what I've seen, the Warriors do not deserve to win this series -- the Thunder does.

And so it is not a sin to write the Warriors off. Steph in G5 and Klay in G6. There's just no way they can win three straight, while Green is looking like a walking time bomb (one more flagrant and poof goes the bacon).

By all means we should all be saving as much Cavs players for the Finals. The Raptors have had their thrill ride, but I can't imagine them winning G5 nor G7. Carroll plays better at home than in Cleveland, so he gets picked for G6. Despite lowered minutes, I'm sticking with James Johnson for G5.


Good luck with your picks!

Panic Time?

So I am working 10-hour shift today and I am currently having my two-hour break. Took to a local pub looking for Warriors' Game 3. There on the screen, 30-point Thunder lead in the third quarter. I thought, 'Sh..'. I bought myself a pint of beer. I'll continue this entry when I get home after work. Let me see if this beer is worth it.

UPDATE: OKC wins it 133-105! Alright @topknox, Thunder Up? should be Thunder Up! Anyone interested in a Game 4 pick of Klay Thompson and Game 5 Steph Curry? Tell me why, and also why not! See you in 7 hours...

UPDATE 2: I traced Draymond Green's game logs playing on the road at OKC, looking for any decent game. I went 2016, 2015, 2014... bah! I stopped there, nothing! Green sucks @OKC. And so because I'm crazy this season...


So yeah as some of you think, Game 4 is the game changer. Whoever wins that game most probably will win this series.

If OKC wins G4, it's Steph for G5 coz I am not risking not picking him, even though I believe Warriors will take G5. And then Klay in G6.

If GS wins G4, it's Waiters in G5 and Westbrook in G6.

Good luck!

Thunder Up?

The Thunder stole Game 1 and homecourt advantage. But have they really? It will only take the Warriors one road win to take it back, and that is not so far-fetch to think of. We'll see.

For Game 2, I have changed my pick to Iguodala. The Dubs' Death Lineup heavily involes Iggy as he logged 32 minutes in Game 1. Hopefully, his minutes translate to some stat sheet stuffing.

I still believe that the Warriors can win this series, and that is why I have moved Westbrook's elimination game to Game 5.


As for the East, it looks like the Cavs have control of that series and Valanciunas does not look like he'll go Willis Reed anytime soon. Nothing's changed much with the pick plan, except putting soon-to-be free agent James Johnson for Game 4.

And oh! Can Philly please start grooming and winning with their trio of Okafor-Embiid-Ingram/Simmons? Really, tanking never is fun.

Good luck!

UPDATE: With Delladova's injury, I'm switching my pick to Cory Joseph in Game 3. Will he fare better versus Mo Williams? Or will they just play Kyle Lowry more?


By the way, here's a puzzle... If Thunder wins Game 3, will you pick Klay Thompson in Game 4? :P

Conference Finals

My cards...


As you know, I am saving my aces for the Finals' 4x multiplier. For now, I'm juggling with my role players.

I like picking players when they are playing at home. I can only name a handful of players who revel balling on the road, but none in this pool.

In the West, I like Barnes in OKC games when Bogut is not playing (see January 2015 games). As for Roberson in Game 2, maybe I'll play Iguodala instead if Bogut remains sidelined. Kanter gets the nod at home in Game 3 (hopefully with Bogut still out). And of course Westbrook gets the elimination game, whichever game that may be.

In the East, I like Thompson in Game 1s, and J.R. Smith in Game 2s (look at the first two rounds). I like Frye in non-close-out games, so maybe I'll move him to Game 3 if the Cavs sweep again.

As lower seeds win games, we'll reach further into the bench. But no matter what happens, the 2 Big Threes stays reserved for the Finals ;)

Well, that's the plan!

League Leaders

And so the Heat has extended our agony by forcing a Game 7. Can the Heat continue to use small ball? Will the Raptors adjust, or to continue to play their game? I got the Raptors winning Game 7 at home, but to tell you honestly, I am not at all confident in that. Let me roll the dice...


My guts tell me Joe Johnson is the better pick. He looks like he is out of his funk and he (along with Luol Deng) are unrestricted free agents this summer with something to prove. But... few things beat number of touches, so my bet is on Goran Dragic.

Anyone picking a Raptor? ;)

Now that we have leaderboards, I now see that our friend Alex has been silently creeping past all of us all this time :D


Gute Arbeit! Weiter so!

Looking Forward

It's the NBA Finals, and here is my pick plan:
Game 1: Stephen Curry
Game 2: Draymond Green
Game 3: Kyrie Irving
Game 4: Kevin Love
Game 5: Klay Thompson
Game 6: LeBron James
Game 7: Andre Iguodala

The top 6 are there to maximize the multiplier, and Iggy can be the Finals' X-Factor again.

Why am I thinking so far ahead? Because I am running out of picks for the Conference Finals, that's why. With OKC's Westbrook remaining and TOR/MIA's pool dwindling, I have to borrow from the expected Finalists.

So the schedule for the OKC@GS series is out and here is my pick plan:
Game 1: GS Barnes
Game 2: OKC Roberson
Game 3: OKC Kanter
Game 4: OKC Westbrook
Game 5: GS Bogut
Game 6: OKC Waiters
Game 7: GS Livingston

Not that great, but I'd sacrifice my x3 for my x4.

My East Finals might look like All Cavs if the Raptors advance. Sad.

And oh yeah, I got Dwyane Wade for Game 6 because we are still in Round 2.


Good luck!

Plan Z

So the Thunder mounted a surprise win in San Antonio... yeah just like that! All the Spurs you've been saving for the Conference Finals have suddenly gone poof! Yeah the Spurs can still win Game 6, but who here wants to dare not pick a Spur in an elimination game, and in Oklahoma City? Thought so. I got MVP runner-up Kawhi Leonard up next. I'll save Aldridge for a Texas game in the Conference Finals... or altogether lose him because it's Westbrook in Game 7 if needed.

Speaking of Game 7, it's May 15. And that's also a possible Game 7 for the Heat@Raptors series. Hopefully, those two games do not happen. Otherwise, I'll be missing on a lot of Heat players because the Raptors in spite of themselves will win Game 7. If it ever gets to that point.

However, I have a gut feeling that the Heat will win Game 5 and 6. Call me crazy.


Good luck to me!

Two-Two

So the Thunder made it even, and I am not surprised nor alarmed with my picks. It is now down to a best-of-three series, and the Spurs have Games 5 and 7 at home. I still pick them to advance, and I hope Adams will remain active on the boards..


Just take note that the Spurs' Game 7 on May 15 will share the same date as the Raptor's Game 7, so do not wait too long to pick your best players. I have Westbrook penciled in for Game 6.

Good luck!

Shout out to mfari's Google Drive league.  Tangent is leading. I look horrible in that league, but it's worth a look...


Drive & Slam's leaderboard is almost ready, we're just cleaning out fishy picks. We will only display top 500 active members for global leaderboard, and all members for league leaderboards.

Btw, we removed 7000+ bogus and inactive users. The site was not able to handle an 8000-size leaderboard that it crashed the other day.

Cross-fingers!

An Undesirable Occurrence

Sunday's pick is easy. The Hawks are down 0-3 and are facing elimination, so our pick has to be a Hawk. That Hawk you've been saving, bring him forward. Mine is Jeff Teague.

Exception to this is if you still have OKC's Big Two, which in case you have to consider picking a Thunder. The Spurs having to retake homecourt advantage means they should be in control going forward. It's not out of the realm to think Spurs can win the next two games to advance.

As for Monday, it's not as easy. The Raptors (yes them, Raptors) have stolen one back in Miami and are leading 2-1, hence the undesirable occurrence. Now, those media 'expert' predictions of the Heat taking this series don't look promising at all. Even if the Raptors lost Valanciunas, the loss of Whiteside from the Heat I think is more impactful.

Do we start picking Wade or Deng? If the Raptors steal Game 4, then we are looking at lost opportunities picking more Heat players. Or can the Heat win two straight games and get up 3-2? Unlikely, but this series has gone wacky enough that anything is possible. It might be good to take a wait-and-see approach with this series.

Good thing there is still the not-so-lowly-anymore Blazers. They convincingly won Game 3 but we still don't expect them to take this series from the Warriors even if they tie 2-2. My best remaining Blazer is Crabbe. Not great, but good enough move for me especially for PRABS-M.


Good luck!

These Raptors

I picked the Pacers to win after they won Game 1 against the Raptors. That didn't go well.

I am picking the Heat to win after they won Game 1 against the Raptors. That should fare better.

I am not a Raptors fan (although I like Canada and what it represents to the world with diversity). To me and maybe the general outsider, the Raptors are riddled with uncertainty, forever stained by the loss of Vinsanity, and stars that are not quite stars. Yes, shallow. That's why only fans have the right to diss their own team.

But as I start reading about these Raptors, I get a sense of how the Raptors and fans feel about this year. "Everything feels so right this year". I guess that's true. There's a vibe that if there's a chance, this is it. I always admired the coach (a Dallas champ) and how he sacrificed his pride by agreeing to not win games years ago so that they can build towards today. He knows how to win. He transformed these offensive-minded players into ones who value and practice D.

But the Heat happened. Let's see.

My next pick: Lowry @ Home.


Drive & Slam update: May 04 and May 05 picks will stay open until the start of the Raptors Game 2. Everyone make sure you get your picks in (including those who posted in the comments).

Round 2 Pick Plan

In picking for the Conference Semis, just make sure to rank all your available players (from Portland, OKC, Atlanta and Miami) from best to last, and then make sure that your top ones are allocated into your picks assuming all sweeps. Of course sweeps are rare late in the playoffs, but at least your next-ranked players are ready to be dispatched if needed.

Here is my pick plan assuming all sweeps (and my record so far).


Subject to change.

Good luck!

UPDATE: Seems like many media 'experts'  predict the Heat to take that series. It's true that series is dodgy, and so I will take the side of caution and wait and actually watch Game 1 to see for myself. So for now, I am changing my pick to a lowly Blazer...



Crazy Gameday

I'm taking a small break from the site because this is just too good to pass up.

So yeah I picked Kevin Durant for Round 2 Day 1. I cannot say I am happy with the result, but it is what it is. Just glad I didn't take Westbrook, because I know he's gonna cook up some triple doubles at home.

As for May 1? Haha okay it's a little complicated. We have two Round 1 Game 7s, and 1 Semis Game 1.

If your league is playing classic DTTF PRA, you should definitely have to pick from the Game 7s because you can save some Blazers for later. The Hornets screwed it up and are now not the favored to win in Miami. If you still have Kemba Walker, you definitely have to pick him. As for the Pacers, if you think the Raptors have this, then Paul George is your guy. He will stuff the [insert expletive here] out of the stat sheet.

If your league is playing PRABS with Multipliers, then you have a dilemma.
* Pick Walker or George for 30-50 points, OR
* Pick Lillard or McCollum for 50-70 points (multiplied)

That 20-ish difference might be the difference between you and your league leader. Make a wrong pick and you'll definitely refer to this gameday again in the future. I recommend that you go for a Blazer and start reaping the rewards from the multipliers as early as possible. I got McCollum penciled in.

What about George? Well, what if the Pacers win? What about Lowry and DeRozan? I'll leave you to that thought.

Back to the site.

Game Sixes


Down @ Home

The Celtics are the ones to pick from the 28th -- that we already know, regardless of a Game 7.

However, the Pacers are another thing because they share the 29th with two other match-ups. Since they are playing at home, they have the higher chance to extend to 7 games. Paul George will explode even more after that Drake comment, but I am not picking him (kids do not do this at home!). If that series ends in 6 and I didn't pick George, then so be it. That series has been very good for us fans. Game 5 was a thrill ride and Game 6 will sure be another one, don't miss it! 

Down & Away

The Clippers and the Heat are on the brink of elimination, and unfortunately playing on the road. I won't bet that both teams can extend to 7 games. At least one will buckle, but which one?

The Heat's Game 5 loss was a heart-breaker. The Hornets will be tough to beat -- they are young but they smell blood. But I believe the Heat can steal one, at least compared to chances of...

The Clippers are a goner. If I'm Rivers, I'm now thinking, "Now that we've let it all out in Game 5 and still lost, shall I risk injury to my remaining of the Big Three?" Although unlikely, re-injuring DJ will spell a difficult free agency period for the Clippers. Note that Rivers is not just the coach of that organization. You have options: Jordan, Redick, Crawford, Green (and even Austin Rivers if he gets one of those Super Saiyan moments). I got the Sixth Man of the Year.


Good luck!

Clipped

With Griffin and Paul confirmed out of the playoffs with injuries, the Blazers are now expected to win this series. Now, don't mess this up Blazers, because I'm switching my pick on the 27th from the Hornets' Lin to the Clippers' DeAndre Jordan. He has played great when Griffin was out during the season, and that should be in full display in Game 5. If you doubt that, there is 6th Man of the Year Jamal Crawford as a great alternative as he should be picking up Paul's minutes.


As for the 28th, the Hawks will be looking to close out the Celtics. From that pool, my best remaining player is Evan Turner. Avery Bradley's absence has helped his game and he should continue to shine in Game 6.

Good luck!

Best of Three

On the 26th, we have to pick from Pacers-Raptors' Game 5 because the Celtics-Hawks' Game 6 will be the lone match on the 28th. In a best-of three series, the Raptors are now the general favorites to win the series. However with each already have won on the road, it's free-for-all. That Game 1 Pacers win influenced me to pick a Raptor in Game 2 which clearly was a gamble. Now, sticking to that gamble (and being lucky) may pull me back in the race. It's a risk too early but I have to stick to my guns. I got Valuncianas next.

On the 27th, there is the dilemma of the Clippers' loss of Chris Paul and possibly Blake Griffin too. If I'm Rivers I won't risk Griffin anymore if losing Paul means never getting out of Round 2 anyway. Most of us picked the Blazers' Lillard already and now are in a situation that sticking to our guns may not be such a good idea anymore. Even for anyone like myself who is looking to get lucky, there is uncertainty. Without Paul, I don't see them winning Game 5 nor 6, but I've been wrong before. It's hard.

Luckily there is still the Hornets-Heat matchup on the 27th. Despite the 2-2 standing, I believe the Heat will still win the series especially that Deng is playing well. While most of us already picked Kemba Walker, there are still options there from the Hornets. I like what I've seen from Jeremy Lin lately so I am picking him, but others can try Al Jefferson or Marvin Williams.


Or if you want to be super safe in who you pick, you can always pick a Rocket ;)

Good luck!

Day 7 - 10: Lest We Forget

I am presenting my next four picks as I will be going on a trip for the long weekend. On Monday, Australia and New Zealand commemorate the first major military action fought by the joint forces during the First World War. We all hate wars, but we remember those who did fight so we won't have to, and a future where man learns to be a better race. Together.

Here we go...



On the 22nd and 24th, between Memphis, Boston and Detroit, I've already picked the top guys and so I am looking for those who potentially can have 20+ PRABS from that combined pool. I find the Detroit starters very strong, and the remaining players there I reckon are better generally than Memphis and Boston's 2nd best players. Thus, Drummond and KCP.

Boston's Evan Turner is another option as Avery Bradley nurses an injury -- I hope I can still pick him later but it's okay if I miss out on him.

Houston's Game 5 does not offer me anything much after Harden and Howard except maybe Ariza.

On the 23rd and 25th, I have juggled Charlotte's Walker and Portland's Lillard, switching them many times. In the end, I figure Portland has higher chance to extend and if not, Lillard will perform better in an elimination game than Walker.

I'll revisit Dirk in Game 5. Of course, not in a wishing kind of way.

Peace!

Day 5 & 6: Twenty-Nine Percent Shooting

Hey, here's my picks' combined field goal stats... 19/65.  Looks sad, but really I'm laughing! I've had bad runs before but this one is uncanny! I suggest differentiating your picks from mine. We have good strategy-oriented posts in the comments section, and they're pretty good. That's where the real content of this blog is.

Ok let's do some thinking...

Day 5, seems like there's nothing interesting to pick from the Hornets. The Blazers are a one-man show, and there's no way Lillard can win against the jampacked Clippers -- and it might be wise to save him for an elimination game or at home. The Pistons are loaded: you have Drummond, Morris, Caldwell and of course Jackson. I just came from the pub (don't drink and drive, kids!) so I'll let the alcohol do the picking...

Day 6, the Thunder's and the Raptors' series are tied 1-1. Unless you are willing to gamble and are not worried about the multipliers later, then feel free to do so, like I did with picking DeRozan (see how that turned out). The Warriors are going to sweep, with or without Curry, so feel free to pick a Rocket at home. Howard seems like someone who wants to play for his next contract (somewhere) so he has two games left to perform.

Thus,


Nah, that was not a lot of thinking.

Good luck!

Day 3 & 4: Headache

Okay... the first two days sucked. Both Harden and Z-Bo (as usual whenever I pick him) shot miserably. Look for my picks to suck in the first round as most of my time after work is spent on helping on the site. (Btw the points and leaderboard are almost ready we just hit a snag. Might as well not promise an ETA, but we'll try to fix  it before Round 2. Don't worry, your picks and points are intact).


DeMar DeRozan shot poorly in Game 1 (don't they all do nowadays?) but I am hoping he bounces back big-time playing at home. And oh, I am risking picking the Pacers to win the series after stealing Game 1 (which historically is a big indicator).

Those few who picked Isaiah Thomas in Game 1 should be ecstatic. He put up big numbers on the road, and I'm hedging on a repeat of that... in a losing effort. The Celtics are just so young.

Good luck!

Day 1 & 2: Brooms Anyone?

For the benefit of those who are new to the game, I'll make it easier for you... pick the player from the losing team. Stick to that and you'll be fine ;) Look at my picks...


Outside of Rockets and Griz fans, who would really bet against the Warriors and the Spurs? The West's top two seeds are looking ripe and ready for a championship run. It's too early for talks of sweeps, but of all matches, these are the most likely to finish early.

The Warriors' record-breaking 73 wins is not a fluke. Believe it baby! They are charging like a freight train! The Rockets' chemistry is a wreck this year. Talent was able to get them the 8th seed, but I believe that's as far as that can bring them. James Harden will try to strike early because he knows a Game 1 win is the only thing that can turn this around in a big way.

The Spurs are always in the mix. 40 home wins -- that's unheard of, and they do win on the road consistently too! The Grizzlies are a beat-up squad. A long list of injuries and a revolving door for a roster. There is no way they can match up to the Spurs. Zach Randolph is a safe pick as maybe (just maybe) he can exploit Duncan's age and Aldridge's subpar D.

We have many veteran followers who have other tricks up their sleeves. Look for their thoughts in the comments.

Good luck!


Drive & Slam notes: For the site's simplicity of maintenance...
* All picks for April 16 close at 12:30 PM ET (New York). You had 24 hours to do the pick. Anyone who misses a pick will be given the lowest PRABS score just this once only.
* No live / real-time results yet
* Cut-off times are getting improved upon as soon as resource allows

How To Pick

We're doing a basic picking system. It's pretty lame, but it will get better and changed as we go along.

Here's how to pick:


  1. Go to drive.ganaca.com.au and login
  2. My Picks
  3. Pick for new gameday
  4. Clone
  5. Enter pick, for example
  • Date: 04/16/2016
  • Team: DAL
  • Player: Dirk Nowitzki
Repeat until you create picks for at most 05/01/2016.


Alright gotta sleep. Catch you all later.

Picks Start Friday Noon New York Time

The picks page is already functional, just working out the tiny bits to make it smoother before we let you all see it. I'll send out an email to all via Drive & Slam when it's ready Friday noon EDT. Thank you for your patience.

Now, will my Mavs finally get out of the first round? :P

UPDATE: Almost there!!!  Wait a few minutes, I'll post a blog entry for the picks entry.

[Drive & Slam] Leagues

Here you go guys, join/create leagues and invite your friends in: http://drive.ganaca.com.au/leagues

How to join leagues
  1. Tap on Leagues tab
  2. Choose and tap on a league
  3. Tap on Subscribe to group
  4. Tap on Join
How to invite friends to join league
  1. Tap on Leagues tab
  2. Tap on your league
  3. Tap on Group tab
  4. Tap on Invite People
  5. Input email address of friends
  6. Tap on Invite user(s)
How to create a league
  1. Tap on Leagues tab
  2. Tap on Create new league
  3. Tap on Group tab
  4. Tap on Invite People
  5. Input league name
  6. Tap on Save
How to add members to league (league owners only)
  1. Tap on Leagues tab
  2. Tap on your league
  3. Tap on Group tab
  4. Tap on Add People
  5. Input usernames
  6. Tap on Add Users
Fan of these? Join fan leagues:
Atlanta HawksBoston Celtics
Brooklyn NetsCharlotte Hornets
Chicago BullsCleveland Cavaliers
Dallas MavericksDenver Nuggets
Detroit PistonsGolden State Warriors
Houston RocketsIndiana Pacers
Los Angeles ClippersLos Angeles Lakers
Memphis GrizzliesMiami Heat
Milwaukee BucksMinnesota Timberwolves
New Orleans PelicansNew York Knicks
Oklahoma City ThunderOrlando Magic
Philadelphia 76ersPhoenix Suns
Portland TrailblazersSacramento Kings
San Antonio SpursToronto Raptors
Utah JazzWashington Wizards
.

Drive & Slam

Here it is!

I am fortunate enough to know the maker of Planet 123 and he is an NBA nut like us. So he was kind enough to setup a site for us to play DTTF, and I will help him maintain it.

Features:

  • Multipliers! -- remember 1-N-Done?
  • Points, rebounds and assists -- as usual
  • Blocks and steals -- by popular demand
  • Dynasty -- one account forever; see your stats each year

The site is still barebones at the moment but we're looking to jazz it up later.

Go on and sign up now here, and just get back here for talks :)

Fun continues!

Still A Drive To The Finals

Alright peepz! NBA.com's Drive To The Finals may not be with us this year. This fantasy game has been wholly sponsored by AutoTrader.com in the past via TNT, but I don't think they'll continue with it this year. As viewers know, TNT NBA Tip-Off is now presented by State Farm (was AutoTrader.com in previous years), and that could spell the absence of DTTF this year. If State Farm can sponsor that fantasy game or another version of it, we will definitely be thrilled.

I've seen signs. Prior to March, NBA.com shut down the URL http://fantasy.nba.com/drive . Many external websites point to that URL and maybe AutoTrader owns the fantasy game itself and took it with them. Only the URL http://www.nba.com/drive/desktop.html is giving me hope.

So... just in case we lose DTTF this year, I am imploring your help. Let's find alternatives! It may be a pick-one daily format like DTTF and 1-N-Done (Hello ESPN!), traditional roto leagues or whatever. Let's post them in the comments below and see how the others feel about playing it. We'll pick one (or two with similar format) coz I definitely will be playing a fantasy game this playoffs season. And posting about it.

Let's do it :)