Plan To The Finals

With Rockets and Hawks picked too early last round, and with limited amount of good PRA players remaining from now to the Finals, sometimes it makes it easy to plan ahead if you can list all the players in a spreadsheet and pin each into the games they may be picked in.

On the table here, I listed all the top 21 players left in all four teams and highlighted the top 12. As you can surmise, 21 represents the worst-case scenario of three Game 7s, and 12 represents the best-case scenario of three sweeps. It took me several attempts to assign each into games, and I think this is one of the best versions.

In the East Finals, I still have plenty of Hawks to pick and so my top four Hawks (Millsap, Carroll, Teague and Korver) are pinned into Games 1-4. Of course, I can interchange the four into games I feel each will perform better. I will keep on picking those four until a Game 5 is imminent. Like for example if the series gets tied at 1-1, then Shroder gets into that mix. The hope is that the Cavs win that series because if not, then we'll all be in a lot more mess than we already are. By the way, only 9 out of 14 ESPN 'experts' say Cavs win it.

In the West Finals, I have a shortage of quality Rockets to pick (also the reason I did this table) and so I have to pin my top four players in this series into Games 1 to 4. That includes three Warriors (Curry, Green, Thompson). I'll maybe start with Josh Smith in that series and then those three Warriors. If both teams get at least 1 win each, then Terrence Jones gets into the mix, and so on. All ESPN 'experts' say Warriors win it.

All PRAs in this table are playoffs averages (without the missed games, like Irving and J.R. Smith). If you think a player will perform better on Game 1, home, away, elimination or any other factor, feel free to bump that player up in the list.

Note that I don't have Harden, Howard, Ariza and Horford anymore. If you still have them, do adjust for them too. Also Jason Terry may be bumped out of this Top 21 list (you're still the man JET! MFFL!) and Patrick Beverley into Top 12 list, if the latter becomes available for the West Finals.

In Game 1, I pick Stephen Curry (SURPRISE! This is MADNESS!). The Splash Brothers play better against the Rockets than against the Cavs. Especially that Beverley is not playing, Harden and Terry form a very poor defensive backcourt. Draymond Green plays better versus the Cavs than the Rockets, so maybe he gets bumped into the Finals.

Good luck to us all!

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  1. Great job, I love this :) It's a hell of a job, and I was afraid of picking Jones, Let's go with this scheme :D, I would consider picking Curry/James in elimination games and not in game 1

    1. I would bump Jr Smith up, because his true PRA lies higher (he got one 8 PRA in the game he was ejected)

    2. right! forgot about smoove's ejection

  2. Darn, you opened everybody's eye to the clear pick plan haha. Well done, that's the way to do it. Start with some top Warriors before dipping into the Rockets scrubs. With the Warriors and Cavs both 6 players deep, I was wondering when you'd leave the position that you need "all your Cavs and Warriors for the Finals to reach top 100". I'm in a similar position, only with Al Horford added and Josh Smith subtracted. I'm starting with Klay, and then perhaps Draymond Green, although I'm still deciding if Green will be better here or in the Finals (playing against LeBron is always tough, but that might motivate him to elevate his game to a higher level too). I think I'll save Curry for the Finals.

    The way it looks for me:
    East: Millsap, Horford, Irving, Teague, Carroll, Korver
    West: Thompson, Green, Brewer, Jones, TBD

    Atlanta doing well early might make me switch to the Hawks winning, we shall see. Might pick JET in Game 5 just to be safe in the event of a GS-ATL Finals, even though he is #21 for me too.

    1. Also, Taong, I might recommend moving up Brewer and Jones from G5 and G6 to G3 and G4, because there's no way there are 3 sweeps, but a good chance that GS can sweep Houston, so you are better getting them for sure picked, since they are ranked #13 and #14, and if two of the other series go 5+ games, you want them picked.

    2. yep they sure will go up as soon as Rockets win 1.

    3. Players used:
      Rockets; Harden, Smith, Howard, Ariza
      Warriors: none
      Cavaliers: none
      Hawks: Millsap

    4. ah aceee, you'll sure have to use Warriors in this series.

    5. Sadly yes and I took Klay Thompson tonight. Hope he gets 35+ PAR.

  3. Some notes:
    1) If Irving starts to put up decent (lets say 23+) PRA numbers again, I would pick him as soon as possible before he reinjures himself.
    2) I would indeed spare Curry/James, because if it comes to a game 7 in the East/West you can still pick one and hold the other for the elimination game in the Finals
    3) East: I would follow this scheme (having already picked Horford): game1-> Hawk, game2 (1-0) ->Cav (0-1) ->Hawk, game3 (if Cavs have won at least 1)-> Hawk (2-0) -> Cav; if Hawks have won at least 2 games after game 4 i pick a Cav in game 5; game 6-> withever team is down; game 7 :James
    4) In the West i will pick a max of 2 GSW players (assuming Houston doesn't advance, like everyone does)

    1. thanks for the notes. i'll treat irving as we did john wall. wait for a good game, then pick right after. maybe.

  4. My 2nd round recap:
    D16 Zach Randolph 34: Strong pick as it was Randolph's playoff high and his last round of action in 2015.
    D17 James Harden 37: This is where the line of picking players on the conference finalist Houston Rockets began, 10 below his best game of the series.
    D18 Paul Millsap 34: My lone green bar of the playoffs, with 5 players that were averaging 24 PAR or more using 1 didn't look bad, key word being were as unfortunately I used him instead of Kyle Korver who has posted 12, 12, 9 and 8 in his last 4 games.
    D19 Josh Smith 15: At least I wasn't alone here as he was no more than 1 PAR better in 5/7 games, but I envy those who got that 27 from him or still got him or Ariza.
    D20 Derrick Rose 44: Although he had a 47 in the 1st round, it was his best showing in his would be final series, despite that it looked like bad pick at first; there was an unfortunate downer though that his last 3 was a tie-breaking buzzer beater which means more PAR I could have had given the used Rockets situation that we are now in.
    D21 Marcin Gortat 25: Only 1 PAR below his 2 best 2nd round games and I did something I usually don't do, dodge the disaster(s) as he had 11 in G4 and 5 in G6 (only played 12 minutes, presumed injury) see Dwight Howard below, a miracle OT after a 21 point Wzards lead nearly came into play before PPs tiebreaking buzzer beater.
    D22 Dwight Howard 14: This is the most sickening, disastrous pick of the playoffs (despite there being 3 other picks I made that gave me the same or less PAR), not only his playoff season and I'm sure career low thanks to not knowing how to stop fouling (got 8 fouls 6PFs and 2 TFs, who knows if anyone has gotten 9) as although everyone presumably used Howard on the eventual winning Rockets (though blown out that night, going down 1-3), his 2ND WORST game of the series was 30 PAR, his best 43 which means I've gotten 16-29 less PAR than nearly everyone a hole that maybe impossible to overcome! I still can't believe that happened.
    D23 Marc Gasol 35: Initially picked Klay Thompson and then thought of taking Otto Porter but missed the 7:00 (or 6:55) start time, which was for the best as Porter got 12. I debated between who would win the MEM/GS series with the Grizzlies up 2-1 but decided to switch back to my original belief that GS would still win possibly 3 straight to win and keep the possibility of not going the distance alive. Fortunately that gamble worked and I also wanted 35+ PAR from him and got 35 on the dot, despite it being his 4th best PAR of that series, +23 for missing that ATL/WAS lock.
    D24 Trevor Ariza 33: I used him in G5, down 1-3 and got his best PAR not only in the 7 game series but in 12 playoff games this year to date, bad news is hence that to date, others have either him or Smith for R3 (especially if they have Ariza) I don't.
    D25 Bradley Beal 34: Bummer he decided to go off the game before I picked him, got his 4th best but 1 of the 2 performances that was worse was when 41% of the DTTFs field took him.
    D26 Jimmy Butler 26: The lone sub 30 PAR pick since the DH disaster, he too did much better the game before I had him.
    D27 John Wall 39: Excellent showing in a losing cause, only bad part for DTTFs purposes was yet another OT was so close but did not happen as PP appeared to have tied the game but was instead 0.1 second late, the Wizards score went back to 91 on the TV, the game was (disbelievingly a) Final and so was the series.
    D28 Chris Paul 41: This was a result I needed to have since I had messed up the entire rest of the series like everyone but having used 1 extra Rocket than many and the DH disaster. I'm still a ways back but at least have some hope though not much.
    Need to get these two series right, get the Rockets/Warriors to end in 5 (can't ever expect a sweep in these rounds) and figure out how many games will the Finals end in. Up to 70 percentile, now gotta figure out how to keep it up especially with the Rockets roster.

  5. I'm amazed how many people are sold on the Cavs beating the Hawks, I really think the Hawks will be the winners and I've believed all playoffs it will be Hawks/Warriors in the Finals. During the first round, I thought the Hawks would beat the Cavs since the Cavs weren't really ready this year but still wouldn't be surprised if the Cavs did get to the Finals as a totally healthy team. Once Love went down, I considered the Cavs to have no shot at winning it all and even winning 2 series without Love to get to the Finals is a stretch. With Love gone, that was the Bulls time to finally win a series against LeBron James (and Irving gets slightly injured too boot) and they failed miserably! The Bulls came into the series 2-0 in G1s vs. LBJ teams and 0-8 in all other games, the Bulls improved to 3-0 in G1s and got their first win in another game but that was it as they became 1-12 in other game numbers vs LBJs, they got that elusive 2nd win but no more as they were an EPIC fail of a team, with the only excuse being Paul Gasol being hurt.
    I don't believe the Hawks will lay down like the Bulls did and can turn this into a best of five like series if they reach 3 wins first as ROAD TEAMS are 6-0 in G6s in this years playoffs and HOME TEAMS dominate G7s historically, the chances of the Cavs (or anyone) being able to beat both of those trends would be low at at full strength, with no Love and an Irving at reduced strength, the chances are minute even with the 2 word reason that I'm sure all people who think the Cavs are going to win the East. LeBron James is one of the greatest players of all time and he can be like the eqivalent of 3 players at times but he is still 1 human as in he can't do it alone and I don't think there will be team efforts that will beat the Hawks 4 times. Out of respect to LeBron James I'll predict the Cavs to win 2 games so Hawks in 6.

    1. i'll start believing in hawks as soon as they win their first two home games (2-0).

      if cavs win 1 in atlanta early, then ...

  6. This Houston situation is even worse than I thought. It seems many people have far more Rockets players than I ever envisioned. I am totally surprised that 19% still have Trevor Ariza to pick, and even 1% still have Dwight Howard to pick, and that is on only day #1 of this series starting. How many more will still have these top 3 Rockets players to pick for this series (including James Harden)? If you have any or especially all of those three, you can start counting on winning Round #3 prizes. After looking at that, it doesn't seem I have much of a chance. Probably best for me to keep intact (or do a much better job) and making sure I go into the finals with full squads of the remaining two teams and definitely the top 3 players of each team + one strong wildcard, if the series goes the full 7 game, to make my best attempt at Round #4 prizes.

    Wish I would have done a better job in the second round, or the Clippers didn't suck so much, and I definitely should have picked a Clippers player and not a Rocket player in Game #7, with the Clippers in full collapse mode. Wishful thinking over logical thinking got the best of me there. Live and learn! Now time to pay for those mistakes.

    I really like Golden State to win (hopefully very quickly with the Rockets situation I face). The Cleveland vs. Atlanta series is at best a toss-up. Atlanta won the regular season between the two teams 3 games to 1, with Atlanta adding a road victory to go with their two home wins. Cleveland won 1 home game, lost 1, and punted both road games vs. Atlanta. There is the LeBron factor so you can't just think Atlanta will win this, but Cleveland does seem less likely to move on without Kevin Love and an injured (who knows how much) Kyrie Irving. If this was any other team, you would think Atlanta would easily move on. However Atlanta hasn't really been all that dominant in their wins, and LeBron can easily carry a team to victory, and has done so numerous times in the past.

    So here is the plan, at least until the plan gets thrown into chaos. Going to pick in some order Andrew Bogut, Andre Iguodala, Harrison Barnes (maybe?), and possibly David Lee, if he gets some minutes, from the Warriors to go with Rockets Josh Smith and unfortunately Jason Terry, who probably won't do much. Plus Marreese Speights is out, so more minutes for David Lee is possible here, at least early in this series). Maybe Patrick Beverley returns from injury early and saves the day, although his return would completely kill the value of Josh Smith and Jason Terry, as he would replace them, most likely. Although Beverley will most definitely be rusty after being out injured for quite some time. Still he is much better than Jason Terry, if healthy.

    For tonight, I wanted to pick David Lee @ home, with Marreese Speights out, but I don't know how many minutes Lee will actually end up getting. Instead, I will roll the dice, hope Speights misses at least one more game, before committing to playing Lee in possibly Game #2 @ home. Hopefully I haven't missed the boat on all of this as it plays out. David Lee has had good numbers vs. Houston in the past, and the fact that Houston plays little to no defense gives Lee a better chance to succeed at home and put up PRA if given the chance. Still the "safer" pick for tonight seems like Andre Iguodala, if that can possibly be said. And that is who I will go with in Game #1 @ home. Hopefully Andre Iguodala can near or better the 20+ PRA mark tonight.

    1. "How many more will still have these top 3 Rockets players to pick for this series (including James Harden)?"

      If I have more time, I'll tally remaining ownership percentages so that we can all survey the field. But I doubt a significant pie saved Harden or Howard.

  7. I bet the ones winning Round 3 or finals prizes are new accounts who have all players available ;-) . Because well, thats the way to cheat the system.

  8. Rockets almost stole. Just 1 or 2 plays away.

    Curry and Harden were great!

    1. Shaun Livingston was no doubt the surprise of the night with 27 PAR, 11 more than his next highest PAR of the playoffs (and 6 more than I got with Klay Brick Thompson)!


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