The Spur, The Clipper, And The Maverick

Alrighty! Two games today, and it's not simple at all.

First, the Rockets will try again to eliminate the Mavs and this time they have the home crowd behind them. For exercise purposes, I would like you to set aside your best remaining Mav because we will use him later in this post. Mine is Dirk Nowitzki (PRA: 34, 25, 46, 28 -- Ave: 33) who performs well on elimination games, especially on the road. If there is one persistent player, the Überman is that. For some of you that will be Monta Ellis (PRA: 20, 32, 45, 40 -- Ave: 34).

Second, the Spurs and the Clippers. If you are among more than half of DTTF (like me) who have not picked from this series yet, then you might be wary of picking now -- from the Spurs, the Clippers, or wait for Game 5. There are at most three games left, so let's list the top three ballers from each team here:

  • Blake Griffin (PRA: 44, 52, 29, 46 -- Ave: 42)
  • Chris Paul (PRA: 45, 36, 14, 44 -- Ave: 34)
  • DeAndre Jordan (PRA: 24, 35, 18, 21 -- Ave: 24)
  • Kawhi Leonard (PRA: 27, 35, 37, 38 -- Ave: 34)
  • Tim Duncan (PRA: 26, 43, 15, 39 -- Ave: 30)
  • no other Spur is relevant right now

Suffice to say, everything rests heavily upon the result of Game 5. If the Clippers win, they will be heavily favored to win the series in G7 at Los Angeles, if not get lucky in G6. If the Spurs win, then surely they will look to close the series out in G6 at San Antonio. Your G6 pick will be easy for sure.

Now stay with me here. Assume the best case scenario that you pick from the loser and have all the players of the winner for Round 2, then that's the most ideal position.

If you pick wrongly, then you will lose that 35 PRA in the next round. Note: Do not assume you can get that PRA back by replacing with another pick in Round 2. That other pick in Round 2 will surely have a lower PRA. And worse, you will feel the chain effect of that for the rest of the playoffs, and then bite you back in the Finals. I had that mistake in a previous year, and trust me it does sting in the end.

So the objective is to not lose those 35 points. 35 points is roughly the difference between you and that person 3000 ranks away, so it's very precious.

The advantage of picking a Clipper (if you think they will lose) is that roughly about 30% of DTTF already picked a Clipper, and 25% more Tuesday. That's more than half of DTTF who will sink or swim with you. The disadvantage of course is when you pick wrongly, as always. 35 PRA down the drain.

The advantage of picking a Spur (if  you think they will lose) lies on numbers. Only around 15% of DTTF have picked a Spur and that includes Tuesday already. If the Clippers win, your extra 35 PRA will propel you past the 85% of DTTF as they lose Duncan's 35 PRA, and possibly scramble in Round 2 while you cruise along. The disadvantage lies when you pick wrongly and you will continue to fall behind that 85% (not percentile wise, but just within Round 2). It's a risky move.

My left hand brain is telling me that even though the Clippers own 2 home games out of the remaining 3, the Spurs are still favored to win. Just by the way people are picking in DTTF.

Now, who among you realized that the answer may not be in that Spurs-Clippers series? Oh yeah? :) It's with the Mavs. That's right! Pick a Mav at near 35 PRA! That effectively replaces the 35 PRA you would have used from the Spurs or Clippers this Tuesday, plus you get to save that 35 PRA for next Round, regardless of who wins Game 5. My pick: Dirk.

See, I could have put that previous paragraph in the beginning of the post and I wouldn't have had to scramble your brains about that main event.

So there you go. Nothing else to see here... wait, what? You already picked Dirk and Monta? Okay now I pity you. Good luck, buddy! ;)

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  1. Hahahaha... This is probably my favourite post of all time!

    It's definitely a pickle. I had CP3 pre-picked, because I think the Clippers are less likely go through and I'd want to save Blake for Game 6.

    But now I'm thinking of switching to Dirk. Simply because I think the Mavs go home tonight, and there is still some chance that the Clips DO advance, in which case having both Blake and CP3 would go someway to making up for my shockers so far (Isaiah 8, Lowry 12, Demar 22, MCW 19). And if I'm to rise from the depths of the 43rd percentile, I need to take some risks.

    I do like the Spurs... But it's now out with the old, in with the new!

    1. Enjoyed writing this too. Gotta go to sleep and rest my brain. See you all at tip-off!

    2. 3pm here in the UK!

  2. This is fantastic. Love the analysis. If you have Dirk, than that is an easy decision. For me, I've already picked Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis, so my next best is JJ Barea at 24 PRA. That's not enough to entice me to not make a decision on this game. Without that remaining 30+ PRA, it's far more worth it to take a chance to get a step on the competition. I guess that's the price I pay for making the picks necessary to ensure I didn't lose Dirk and Monta. I set myself up to pick from the series, so here I am.

    First thing that must be determine - who do I think will win the series. In my opinion, if you feel strongly about a team, then follow that and play it risky. I feel 50-50 about this series. I don't have a strong opinion. So instead of a risky strategy, I'm going to follow the flow of the series and hedge my bets. And I'll start with saying "never bet against the Spurs". Even though I feel 50-50, I have a hard time betting against the Spurs winning. As much as I'd like to see the Clippers advance, the Spurs can take a road game. Why not? Their the Spurs. Even in Game 7. What's going to be very interesting to watch is which camp people land in. For the most part, it sounds like everyone is going to flow with the series, but a lot starting at Game 6. I'll have a huge advantage if the Clippers lost, and be at a huge disadvantage if the Clippers win. Not ideal, since I'm 50-50, but I've gotta do something.

    The best comparable comes from 2007-08, ironically the Spurs vs. the Hornets with Chris Paul. Each team won their home games, so the Hornets went up 2-0, then 3-2, and then lost in 7. At 2-0, everybody picked a Spur, and at 3-2, again we all picked a Spur. By game 7, everybody scrambled and picked Chris Paul and the Spurs won. Bye bye David West. A huge advantage was gained by people who picked David West or Chris Paul in Game 5. The third round was interesting. I had to pick Ime Udoka from the Spurs, and he got me a 5. Never bet against the Spurs. If they lose, good on the other team. If they win, why did you bet against them?

    My pick is Blake Griffin. Never bet against the Spurs. If the Clippers are going to win the series, Griffin will need to dominate. So at a minimum, he does very well and gets a huge PRA, or he doesn't and the Clippers lose. I don't see a situation where the Clippers win without Griffin and Paul both dominating like they did in Game 4. I want Chris Paul when facing elimination. He cares so much about this. Did you see how early he showed up to the court for Game 4?

    "Prediction" for the series:
    It goes Clippers, Spurs, Spurs, Clippers, Clippers, Spurs, Spurs. So Clippers win Game 5, and the Spurs win the rest. I'm 50-50 on this, but it gives the best idea on how I will play it.

    Did I mention, never bet against the Spurs? Got that? Good. Best of luck to everyone out there.

    1. if i don't have that mavs star, i would have bet against the spurs just because of g4's loss. cp3 is eating the injured tony.

      glad i don't have to do that.

    2. Good pick Tangent. Keep CP3 for the elimination game!

    3. Last thing I want is the Game 5 loser winning this series, after being down 2-3.

  3. I'm betting against the Spurs. I have been since the very beginning, and I still am. I'm not confident in it though. For this reason, I will abstain from picking a player tonight!

    At least, from that series. Oh, and I still have Dirk. So there's that.

    Bummed by Aldridge's performance. I've hit a rut, it seems. Bad performances from great players the last few games. Oh well.

    My picks/ Best Picks
    1. Anthony Davis (43) / Quincy Pondexter (35)
    2. Isaiah Thomas (37) / Beno Udrih (34)
    3. Derrick Rose (31) / Tyreke Evans (33)
    4. Monta Ellis (32) / Monta Ellis (32)
    5. Brook Lopez (27) / Blake Griffin (52)
    6. Tyreke Evans (31) / Giannis Antetekounmpo (39)
    7. Kyle Lowry (26) / Dirk Nowitzki (46)
    8. Damian Lillard (31) / Anthony Davis (48)
    9. DeMar DeRozan (22) / Chris Paul (44)
    10. LaMarcus Aldridge (31) / Deron Williams (47)
    11. Dirk Nowitzki (??)

    313 points, 8'142nd place, 64th percentile and dropping.

  4. Hmmm my logic here is to maybe just like you go for the lower picks that might just give me 35 pra. So now I'm stuck here deciding between JJ Barea, Tyson, or maybe take the risk and grab Deandre while i still can. Hmmmmmmm.

    1. Don't go with DeAndre, if you go Clipper you might as well start at the top. Only go with DeAndre Jordan if you have some big hunch that he's going to have a massive game, but can you really predict that. If you need a day, take a chance on JJ or Tyson, but be prepared to be underwhelmed and in a tough spot for Game 6 Spurs-Clippers.

    2. go blake if you have to take a clipper

  5. If Spurs win next 2 games you will lose at least one great pick. Griffin or CP3. Sure about Dirk? I also didn't use both Clipps that's why I'm askin'

    1. Taong's point is that Dirk is close enough to Paul that it's worth it. Makes sense. Worse than losing Paul would be the Clippers winning and picking both of their stars in Round 1. That will cost you big time in Round 3, since I believe the winner of this series takes down Houston in Round 2.

    2. if spurs win 2 straight and u pick blake g5 and cp3 g6, then you lose a mavs 34 pra

  6. It's Dirk for me tonight! Having already picked Griffin on Sunday, I stay away from the Spurs-Clips series this time waiting for game 6 to take a decision.

    Right now i follow the #neverbetagainstthespurs hashtag, as I always said from the start of the series. On the other hand it's clear that if tonight The clippers go up 3-2, I'll pick a Spurs in game 6, facing elimination. In the other case, it will be CP3. In a probable game 7, I bet on the Spurs winning and I'd pick a Clippers. Game 7 is game 7 and the Spurs are the worst team possible to play against in this kind of games..IMHO the Clippers have one chance: win tonight and play game 6 as it would be a game 7 to win it and avoid that situation.

    Taking a look to the Hawks-Nets series: what your idea about it guys? Really surprised in negative by the Hawks..but I still see them winning 4-2. It's time to play JJ in game 5 and Deron/YOung in game 6 or would you keep JJ for game 6 picking Deron in game 5 riding his form?

    Cheers and good luck with your picks!!

    Let's go Dirk!

    1. hawks still own this. hard, but will. seeing this now as 7 games. hawks cant win in brooklyn it seems

  7. First things first. Last night. I had Brook Lopez for 39, he even chipped in 3 Assists!!! He was the third best pick of the day, and nobody picked Deron Williams. But the one that I didn't pick to get Lopez was Lillard, and he had even a 41.

    So, Lillard will have to pick up in game 5 and keep scoring, now that he knows how to do it :)

    For tonight, it's Dirk all the way. Nice to see that this is a great situation to be in, thanks to that big analysis, Taong.

    Going forward, I guess the Dallas series will be over after game 5, and for games 6 and 7 it will be the killer series. Chicago plays the same nights, but I don't want to pick from this series anyway (only series where I picked from both teams).
    The other pair of series, I think that Memphis will wrap it up in game 5 (go, Lillard), and then it's Atlanta - Brooklyn in game 6 and I hope there won't be game 7 in that one.

    Hmm... is this first round getting interesting after all? What a strange phenomenon.

    1. Indeed. as the slogan says, most unpredictable playof.. err round1 ever.

  8. Deron Williams lit it up last night with 47 PRA to easily be pick of the night (unless the Nets comeback to win that series). Prior to last night he was doing next to nothing with ranging from 16-20 PRA each night. Kudos to those that picked the right night with him.

    Damian Lillard (41 PRA) also had a fine effort last night and was easily the 2nd best pick. Brook Lopez and Michael Carter Williams with 39 PRA each were also great picks from losing (or supposed to be losing teams in their series).

    In the case of Atlanta they better win their home games or they could be the first #1 seed going home. They haven't been exceptional in any game they have played so far in the Playoffs for a #1 seed.

    As for the Bulls losing to the Bucks on homecourt, I believe that was the shock of the night to go along with Deron Williams 47 PRA out of nowhere. The Bulls better get it in gear or they are going to ruin a lot of brackets, as many had them going far.

    Kevin Love is done for the season in all likelihood, too bad won't get to pick him now and will leave a huge void in Round #2 or most likely later.

    LaMarcus Aldridge was okay, but did not put up that special game everyone hopes for in an elimination game effort. Aldridge's 31 PRA was his worst score of that series (31, 33, 39, and 47 PRA), and was 16 PRA less than his best effort. So that was a Net Loss of -16 PRA.

    Damian Lillard (41 PRA) was best from the Portland vs. Memphis game. LaMarcus Aldridge (31 PRA) was only 2 PRA better than Nicolas Batum (29 PRA), and 3 PRA better than Meyers Leonard (28 PRA), a bench player from the Trailblazer squad. So for Aldridge it was a disappointing night to have picked him. Wish I would have picked Damian Lillard (or Deron Williams, but that one was never considered at any point).

    1. If Batum had made his last FT, Aldridge would only have 28 PRA while Batum has 30. However, with only 0.6 left in the game, Batum missed and Aldridge scored on a tip-in. It would be nice to outscore those 21% who picked L.A. but 29 was ok for me.

  9. For tonight, I have no idea who will win the Spurs vs. Clippers series at this point, so I will stay well clear of that one. The most catastrophic thing you can do in this game is pick a player, especially an elite one, who moves on to the next round, and you have to pick scrubs while other people who kept their winning/moving on teams intact get to pick good/elite players.
    Even making bad picks in the first rounds you can recover from, as long as you don't use up your rosters from the winning teams best players, and/or the decent ones.

    I believe Houston will win tonight and clinch and move on, so I will pick a Maverick player, since this will most likely be the last day to pick from their roster. I haven't used a Maverick player yet, so I have a choice to pick from their entire roster.

    I will pick Monta Ellis tonight from Dallas vs. the Rockets. Monta Ellis was much better @ home (45 and 40 PRA) than on the road (20 and 32 PRA) and if I actually thought Dallas would win tonight I would switch my pick to Dirk Nowitzki and play Monta at home. However I don't believe that will happen tonight so I will go with the supposed best player from the Mavericks, although Dirk isn't a bad choice either. You could also pick JJ Barea who had a great game in Game #4, although he is more of a high energy guy and is probably better in a home game. But if you used Dirk and Monta Ellis, Barea is a decent enough choice to try.

    Going with Monta Ellis tonight and would really like to see 35+ PRA from him in the losing cause for Dallas.

  10. After one quarter, I'm not regretting this at all, even if the Clippers win. Blake with an amazing line of 13-6-2 in the 1st quarter!

    1. you had no choice but to pick frim this series. blake's a good choice as a fallback, win or lose

  11. Wow!

    This is what I saw: after the offensive interference, Clippers were shaking their heads and felt down... when the game wasn't finished yet!



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