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.