Underdog

Congratulations to the Boston Celtics for winning that Game 7 and advancing to the East Finals! They deserve to be here.

But let's get into this "Underdog" discussion. The psyche of the underdog lies in the expectation to lose. If you are expected to lose, you don't get the pressure. You go into a tournament, enjoy it and be your natural best. You've got nothing to lose, and have everything to gain. Without the pressure to win, you can set your mind into other things like scouting the opponent and digging into the nitty gritty details. I've read somewhere that 3 out of 4 athletes love to be underdogs, and I understand why -- with only a portion of the athletes base able to fight for the Conference Finals (or corresponding Final Fours of other leagues), most of the players are by default underdogs.

Don Nelson loves it when the Mavs were underdogs. He enjoyed upsetting the odds and proving the basketball statistics wrong. Mark Cuban hated that by the way... because it assumed a culture of mediocrity. When the 2011 Mavs won it, the world may have seen them as the underdogs, but by that time the Mavs were already in a winning culture and in no way saw themselves the underdogs.

Maybe the young Celtics are in that phase "we are the underdogs". And that's alright if that works for them. Anything that can lit up the fire in them.

Let me light up a little bit more fire for them...

Cavs in 5. Game 1 pick: Isaiah Thomas.


And oh yeah West Finals Game 2: LaMarcus Aldridge as the re-injured Kahwi Leonard is expected to sit it out. Nevermind the Texas Aldridge plan, because this may be the only game that he will be the primary option. Kahwi can get back in Game 3 and be his usual self going forward, and thus Aldridge being the secondary option the rest of the West Finals.

Cheers!

12 comments:

  1. Maccabi de LevantarMay 16, 2017 at 9:01 AM

    Logical and rational pick to have LaMarcus today without Kawhi. I would also have him tonight if I had a winning record. But I am the underdog, after some bad picks so...I need to trust Simmons, hoping for a similar performance to the one he had in his last game without Kawhi.

    For tomorrow I will pick Crowder. Yes, dangerous pick against LeBron. But it will be the same every game. Probably he will be in foul trouble more than once during the series, I hope not in first game yet...

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    1. Simmons pick is a stroke of genius !

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    2. Maccabi de LevantarMay 17, 2017 at 4:10 AM

      I knew he could play a good game. But I didn't expect LaMarcus to disappear. It looked like the Spurs didn't believe in themselves without Kawhi.

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    3. also had simmons last night ��

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  2. I agree completely with both picks. I've got LaMarcus Aldridge tonight as well. I need to pick Kawhi in Game 3 if he plays, so now's a good time to go with Aldridge. If I still had Isaiah Thomas, I'd pick him for game 1. Instead, Al Horford it is. No particular reason, other than he's a good player playing at home in a series his team will likely lose. I'd prefer to have at least one game to see how the other guys on the Celtics are for this series.

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  3. Talk about (almost) an entire team going invisible! If you've got Simmons you are exempt! https://twitter.com/ESPNNBA/status/864666992564981760/photo/1

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  4. Argh, WTF happened there?
    I wasted LMA for this game? 47m30s of garbage time? On the other hand, the Warrior at least left their players on the court for a few minutes, except, of course, my risky pick of Zaza P.

    I thought I could try something funny, and it backfired in a big way. Pachulia with 6 min and 7 PRA, everybody else at least got their numbers, kind of. My, what a waste of a night.

    So, now, for g3, it will be Kawhi. He should be able to play after a few days rest. If not, then please insert Pau Gasol, not that this would help much.

    In unrelated news, the Celtics, East no. 1, won the lottery. Isn´t that great?

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    1. Thats why u trade for a first rounder.
      Brooklyn crying now

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  5. Now tell me again why there are so many playoffgames? The big favorites have yet to lose a game. It´s all just a big 6-week-warmup for the inevitable Finals with the same old teams for the third time in a row.

    You know, I sometimes wonder how successful LeBron would have been if he had been playing in the Western Conference all the time. I suppose he might be where Dirk Nowitzki is, maybe two Finals appearances if that. When was the last time he didn´t represent the East in the Finals? There is hardly any competition left. Maybe one real opponent, and every now and then he had the little bit to help him over the top.

    Ah well, just five more wins for the favorites (shouldn´t take more than seven games), and then it´s on. Again.

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    1. It's the LBJ effect.
      It's why he chose to play East coz of the easier competition.
      It's why East teams choose to tank more (what's the point?)
      It's why stars who wants to win seldom go East.

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  6. My 2nd round recap
    Date --Google drive pick (PRA) ---- Fantasy postseason (PRABS+bonuses-To)
    5/1 -- Clint Capela (34) ---- Jonas Valunciunas (12)
    5/2 -- Otto Porter (26) ---- Marcin Gortat (31)
    5/3 -- Kawhi Leonard (49) Looked great as a strong showing, bad since the Spurs advanced but good since he may not be at full strength for the Spurs two remaining games. (HINT SWEEP INCOMING) Didn't pick him in yet FP though. ---- Serge Ibaka (21)
    5/4 Bradley Beal (17) - The refs called 4 fouls on Beal and the blowout kept him off the floor in the 4th quarter.---- John Wall (36) I had a feeling I missed his best, but there are worse things COUGH HARDEN COUGH!
    5/5 Demar Derozan (42)----Demar Derozan (50)- I sworse I would not pick the same player in both games on the same day but it felt like the best time and this time it did not sting!
    5/6 Rudy Gobert (40) ---- Shelvin Mack (18) With Heyward used in G7 at Clippers and Hill gone for the season Mack became Gobert's alternate same day pick partner. See 5/8 picks for more details!
    5/7 Serge Ibaka (26) ---- Clint Capela (34)
    5/8 Shelvin Mack (25) ---- Rudy Gobert (28)- This is why I like that there are two games as the wrong order in one game (FP) equals the correct order in the other (GD)!! This was also the beginning of only 1 (and some 0) game days from here on out!
    5/9 Patty Mills (25) ---- Paul Gasol (11)-Bad night for me particularly on FP as Gasol was invisible AND the Spurs won! I had too much belief in the Rockets after game 1, then they lost games 2 and 3, got my hopes up in game 4 then chocked in OT of game 5.
    5/10 Al Horford (32) ---- Avery Bradley (35) Speaking of believing too much that's what I did on Washington Sports teams this year, two of them!! I thought this was finally the year that Washington teams would see the Final 4 and even thought the Caps would win it all and give Ovechkin his first ring! With the Wizards appearing to right the ship after two bad finishes in Boston it looked like the Celtics season might end in two games so I planned to use a Celtic in each game (then use IT in G6 if they lost despite my different players in each game rules) so I'd have at least used 2 Celtics if they went down.....Fast forward 3 hours Caps are gone and the Wizards get blown out by 22 in Boston after feeling that they were the better team despite the series having been 2-2 before that game! With the Caps out I knew the Wiz were then going to lose too only question was in 6 or 7?
    5/11 James Harden (20) MORE LIKE CHOKE HARDEN CHOKE!!!!! For some players 20 PAR is a good showing, for Harden it is terrible! He had only 10 regular points and apparently he sucks in elimination games which I did not know! He got drunk at a club after the game so it shows how much he cares about winning! I lost him in the other game outright as I did not think the Rockets would lose with Leonard out and they lost by 39!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NEVER AGAIN HARDEN NEVER AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!---- Lamarcus Aldridge (54) - Despite the Spurs having the "3" in the series I did not think they would win but I wanted to split Harden like usual so if the Spurs won in 7, I'd get hopefully LA's best performance the rest of the playoffs despite the Spurs going to another round and if Leonard was out in G7 I'd still get a strong showing in the Spurs last round! There was NO G7 thanks to HEARTLESS HARDEN! Who would have seen that coming? Who? God? Maybe maybe not even God but certainly nobody else! Alright good news is my strong showing belief happened with a 50+ performance and maybe it will be his best showing of the playoffs after all!

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  7. I couldn't post it all in one comment so here's the rest:
    5/12 John Wall (36) Same score as in FP but like I said before it beats Harden's latest invisible elimination stunt!! ---- Bradley Beal (45) Great showing and the Wiz pull out the win to make the answer "7" to my earlier question! Now I'll only lose 1 Wiz per game instead of 2!
    5/13 Derek Jeter - Since 5/14 was unavailable with the 3rd round starting up, I honored him a day early before his retirement ceremony!! ---- NO GAMES
    5/14 3rd round ---- "" - The funny thing about Wizards/Celtics was it started before a 1st round game (Jazz/Clippers G7 was that night) and ended after a 3rd round game happened (a day after Spurs/Warriors began)
    5/15 Marcin Gortat (17) ---- Markieff Morris (28) Well this was the inevitable, it's the best DC teams can get going the distance in the round of 8 (7 games 2nd round for Caps and Wiz, 5 games 1st round for Nats)!!
    This was a great round especially on GD as I went from the mid 30s to 10th! I also got into the top 100 on FP!

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