Green Got Dimmer

So the Celtics lost Game 6. Let me list my pickables: With the 76ers, I'm left with
  • Spencer Hawes (18 PRA)
  • Elton Brand (12 PRA, inconsistent 23 PRA).
With the Celtics, I'm left with
  • Kevin Garnett (31 PRA) 
  • Rajon Rondo (31 PRA)
  • Brandon Bass (17 PRA)
  • Ray Allen (15 PRA)
Notice that I crossed out Brand (inconsistency) and Allen (mostly 3-pt stats only), just to simplify the case scenarios I will lay out. And note that Garnett and Rondo are interchangeable, but I will use Garnett in these tables..

Game 7 Game 1 Game 2 Total
Pick Garnett Celtics Win Garnett 31 Rondo 31 Bass 17 79
Celtics Lose Garnett 31 Hawes 18 Filler 15 64
Pick Hawes 76ers Win Hawes 18 Filler 15 Filler 15 48
76ers Lose Hawes 18 Garnett 31 Rondo 31 80

To explain, the above table shows the possible picks in Game 7 and two future games in the Conference Finals. A filler pertains to any player in the pool that is left. Note that if a star from the winning team (say Heat) is picked in the conference finals, then that would mean a filler replaces him in the Finals. So that means, the filler slot still is valued as a filler in terms of value received in the end.

To simplify the four scenarios, here is the table..

3-game Value Celtics Win 76ers Win
Garnett 77 64
Hawes 80 48

The best and worst case scenarios are present in the Hawes row. That's a difference of 32 PRA. Now if you look at the Garnett row, the worse case scenario there (64) is just 18 pts below the best case scenario of Hawes. Even the next best scenario of 77 is not that far off from 80. Clearly from these, I am inclined to pick Garnett.

Now game theory does not end there. The results are paired with the probability of the Celtics winning or the inverse. For me there is 70% chance the Celtics will win because they are playing in Boston. If multiplied (70% with the Celtics win, and 30% with the 76ers win, then adding across rows), a resulting table will still show a Garnett pick makes more sense than a Hawes pick. Now try and play around with the probabilities, the Garnett pick will still look good. Thus, he gets my pick even if I think the Celtics will win this series.

By the way, Garnett is an unrestricted free agent after this playoffs. That is why he is playing well (for the next contract) and that is why he will keep playing well. Especially in Game 7. The last Game 7 he played versus the Hawks (note: on the road), he got 44 PRA. Even if I don't get that much, I'll be content with a 30 PRA from him.

Rondo is not a bad pick too. He'll rip it out and will play very well at home. His Game 7s (19, 24, 26,32, and 24 most recently) are not that bad. Just got to get the jitters out, I guess.

Cross your fingers!


  1. Taong, everything is easier... You have to pick a Celt because

    1- If you don't do it and Boston loses, you'll have missed 2 picks
    2- The consistent picks you have are Celts
    3- If you pick a Philly and 76ers win, you'll have no picks next round

    You made a very good analisis, but you just need common sense...

  2. Dammit, all you need is (basket)balls and pick a 76er as they are going down. Just like the Clippers went down in Memphis.

    Back then I did the sensible thing and picked my last remaining Clipper in Griffin (who sucked) because game 7 was played in Memphis, the Grizzlies had all of this playoff-experience that is supposed to be that important, the Clippers didn´t with the exception of Paul, and Paul and Griffin were both not healthy. No way in hell they could win. Well, there goes that idea...

    And why was I sensible? Because I was sensible the day before in the Lakers Nuggets game 7 where I would have loved to pick Lawson but was afraid to miss out on all of the Lakers if anything went wrong so I went ahead and picked Bynum. It was a good thing I didn´t pick Bryant (he sucked), but Gasol would have been the ideal pick. Incidentally Bynum and Lawson both had a 35 PRA, but only Bynum could have been picked in the next round. So I lost out. Didn´t want that to happen again and busted with Griffin.

    So all that brings me to game 7 of that pesky Celtics 76ers series. I picked Holliday, Iguodala and Turner and still have all my Celtics left. Common sense would tell me to pick Pierce, Garnett and Rondo, all 3 of ´em. I am tempted to pick Brand as he is rejuvenated in the last two games after being D.O.A. in the first four games. Do I really risk it? If I do and the 76ers manage to win two games in a row, I´m pretty much done for in the East. If everything goes according to plan, I will sit pretty good. But can I risk it?

    On the other hand, it´s not as if anything were at stake for me. Not only am I not eligible to win anything, I´m not even close to being anywhere in the stands where anybody would notice me. But still, it´s a matter of pride. Kind of.

    Right now I´m leaning heavily to Brand.
    Who knows, maybe the Pacers will force a game 7, that would give me still more headaches. Have to wait and see...

  3. Changing my mind again...
    Lebron today.
    Pierce tomorrow.

  4. Love your comments guys hehe.

    You are right Alex, all we need is balls to pick a 76er and I commend you for it. Upon reading that I suddenly paused and thought about my own LOL! Also that move of yours and a result of a Celtics win will definitely put you ahead of me in the long run because you will have all the Celtics available in the Conference Finals and I don't. It's gonna be a wild race!

    quark, I thought you're already through with changing minds? Hehe! And actually my only original reason for picking Garnett is the top PRA, a notion of game loss, and the unresticted free agency. I just found ways just to help me justify that pick by over-analyzing, which is never bad as long as you have time ;)

  5. Right, Taong... So, for game 7

    TAONG - Garnett
    ALEX - Brand
    QUARK - Pierce

    Having already picked Lebron, Wade and Rondo, is it wrong betting on Pierce??? I think NO... Ah, OK... I can pick a 76er but I don't want to miss Pierce and Garnett if Phillys get on... I expect a 30PRA but you never know...
    Next round (if Boston win) I'll have Garnett, Bass and Allen (!!??) enough with Chalmers, Bosh (¿?) and Haslem to fill all the picks. If Boston loses, I'll have Brand and Turner... So, Go, go, Boston!!

  6. Pierce is actually a better pick than Garnett. Pierce is the more passionate. Expect 40 PRA

  7. Having already picked Garnett, im going to go and pick Spencer Hawes, because even if i pick a Celtic and the Sixers win, im in a pretty bad shape, it wont change.

    Plus, Rondo had a bad game last night, i expect him to come out stronger in game 7 along with the extra Celtics


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