So here we are again at the epitome of our Drive To The Finals fantasy game, and with us are the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs meeting for the second straight time in the Finals. Each deserves to be here. On one corner stands the reigning NBA Champions the Miami Heat, who has yet to meet a worthy opponent in these playoffs. And on the other corner is that nemesis they are waiting for, the San Antonio Spurs, who are bent to finish the task they failed to do last year. No more Mr. Nice Guy, this is serious, boys and girls. Suit up!
In DTTF, look at what you have left in your Heat and Spurs rosters and those are the chips you have earned in this final table. Don't waste them on reckless gamble. Pick your players wisely on what date, on what floor, on what circumstances. To help you gauge how much your players were already used by the field, here is a rough estimate of their usage so far:
Pretty much half of DTTF still have the Big Threes (or Fours or Fives) from both teams. And if you're like me and have shortage of those stars for the Finals, then you need to constantly review your pick, and make every guess as educated as possible. Here are some tips (in order of importance):
- Best Four. Choose the best 4 out of your pool, and pick from those four only! Just in case there is a sweep (it has happened), then you are assured you've used your best four. Only when the series gets extended to more games, that's when you add from your pool to your pick group.
- Injury Factor. Pick players like Tony Parker, Dwyane Wade or Manu Ginobili the earliest as possible due to being prone to injury, or them nursing current ailments. The healthiest they can ever be is Game 1, and will gradually worsen as the series goes on.
- Texan Bosh. Texan natives like LaMarcus Aldridge and Chris Bosh love playing in Texas. Chris Bosh has proven to be pumped up whenever he gets to play near his relatives. Pick him in Game 1, 2 or 5 in San Antonio. Trust me, I've been doing that with him for the past three years.
- Home Games. Nothing better than home cooking. Some players do play far better at home games. You can research their home and away stats, and see if that affects a player. Try to pick players when they are playing at home. Except of course Bosh :P
- Early Starters. In Games 1 and 2, use starters that have the chance to be rotated to the bench due to adjustments later in the series. Guys like Tiago Splitter and Chris Andersen (if they are part of your Best Four) like what happened in the last series, belong to this group.
- Cornered Cats. There are stars who perform better when their backs are against a wall. LeBron James and Tim Duncan are great examples of this. They will not give up, even if they are in a hole. Save one of them for an elimination game.
- Coldest Pick. [NOTE: Non-compulsory] If you are behind in your league, the Finals is the best round to use this strategy. Avoiding hot picks will give you a chance to catch the ones in front of you, if and only if you use this strategy wisely. In Game 1, gather your Best Four and pick the one with the lowest percentage owned. In Game 2, your Best Three. And so on. I used this last year and lifted me from 92 to 98 percentile just in the Finals (plus I had Big Threes then). If you have only fillers left, if you consistently get around 20 PRA each, then you can raise your percentile by about +1% per pick. Of course, it comes with risks -- pick poorly and you lag behind some more.
- Hottest Pick. If and only if you are nursing a lead, going with the flow is what you need to do. Chances are, the ones just tailing you are most likely to pick the popular picks; and as long as they have the same pick as yours, they can never overtake you.
- Scouting. If you have the time and patience to do it, look at former picks of the one you are targeting to overtake (your buddies or a troll in the Trash Talker section in DTTF leagues), and try to figure out who they have left. If it's me you're trying to catch, I'll just tell you here hehe!
Hope this helps. If there is anything I missed, just mention them in the comments.