Unrestricted Free Agents

I have been playing this DTTF for too long to observe (and read from others who do too) that unrestricted free agents (team option) are very good at elimination games. Here are some notable ones from this round:

Josh Smith is a good example. In 4 elimination games so far this postseason, he had PRAs of 20, 27, 16 and 31. That 16 was awful but that was a different series. Yesterday's 31 at home is a good sign that he's into it at the edge of elimination versus the Warriors. Game 5 on the road will be tough but I still reckon he can do above his average PRA.

Jason Terry is another one with PRAs of 22, 19, 7 and 20. Note that his 7 and Smith's 16 are from that Game 7 so maybe Game 7s are exception. I have someone else picked for Game 5 but I am still thinking about Terry.

Paul Millsap is a good pick for today for those saving him for an elimination game. His 31 from Game 3 was partly due to the ejection of Horford, but I think he can do it again in Game 4 even with Horford back. He has to show the Hawks that he deserves a hefty new contract this summer. If not, at least the other GMs are sure to keep their eyes glued to the TV.

DeMarre Carroll is a risky pick (and the hottest pick too at that). He hasn't been himself since that unfortunate knee sprain. 9 and 15 are hardly encouraging PRAs but at least it's trending up. Here's hoping the fear of elimination kicks some more adrenalin to overcome his banged-up knee, because he is my pick.

PCT 92 is now a tough spot for me. I was at PCT 98 this time last year. I just have to minimize bad luck during the Finals. Picking LeBron James on the right day (and as cold pick hopefully) should bring me back on the hunt. I need one of those 60 PRAs of his ;) It's a longshot to Top100 but the game is still on.



  1. I still have Bazemore available - would you pick him over Carroll?

    1. i'd pick bazemore and pray there's G5 for carroll

  2. I hoping that Carroll lives up to the upcoming free agent billing. I had a decision to make between 3 players. I have Bazemore, Carroll, and Dellavedova. The Warriors and Rockets going 5 games takes Dellavedova out of the running. I'm now using Curry in Game 5, and that means I might need all my Cavs in the NBA Finals. So between Carroll and Bazemore, it's close. Bazemore is probably the safer pick, but overall Carroll looked a lot better in game 3 than he has in the series (that is, until overtime where he seemed to hurt himself again). If he plays tonight, I think he might finally have a 20+ effort. Bazemore might come back to earth and get a 15. Who knows. I'll have my decision made at least an hour before tip-off.

  3. Sigh. This also works. I complain and whine and BAM, the Jet lights it up. He got me a 20, including 3 garbage points in the final 80 seconds (2 rebounds and 1 assist). He was better in the very first game of the playoffs (21) and in game 5 against the Clippers (22), so I finally got lucky. Too little too late, but nice anyway.

    I have far too many players left for the finals. Let's see: From the Cavs it's LeBron and four players with PRA between 15-20 with Thompson, Shumpert, Mozgov and Smith. Plus Villavedova. From the Warriors it's Curry and Green, and Bogut and Iguodala with 15.x PRA.

    But for game 4 I still have Teague, and even though he won't be as good as he was in game 3 he is still better than the Cavs players I could pick except LeBron.

    Game 5 in the West it's gonna be Brewer. Who else should I pick? Save Curry and Green for games 1 and 2 of the finals, and Bogut or Iggy or Brewer or Jones? It's a toss-up. Brewer was bad in game 4 so I go hoping for the bounceback that tends to happen just after I pick 'em.

    The only thing I am looking forward to in the conference finals is my round-up of my dreadful picks, coming soon. Stay tuned.

  4. The good Houston team actually showed up for Game #4, unlike the miserable one that mailed it in for Game #3, and the Rockets annihilated the Warriors from pretty much start to finish. After breaking out to a big lead in the first quarter, Houston held pretty much even after that, to buy themselves at least another game in this series going forward. It will be up to Golden State to get things done in Game #5 at home with an opportunity to advance and end this. Hopefully this will not get complicated, as options especially for the Rockets are done, and even the Warriors are not teeming with options going forward either, as I want to save the top 3 for the Finals.

    Golden State survived a huge scare when Stephen Curry was upended and airborne in this game, landing on his head and back, and luckily not on his arm or wrist, which could have spelled disaster had he broken something. So a big sigh of relief went out by those that had not used him yet, myself among those that didn't pick him yet. Stephen Curry still ended up with 28 PRA, which was miraculous considering that he missed a lot of time in this one, after getting injured during his aerial show. It was a nasty looking incident, and it was shocking and very fortunate that Stephen Curry walked away from that virtually unscathed.

    Hopefully the Golden State Warriors head back home now and wrap this series up, since I have now picked pretty much everyone possibly worthwhile from Houston, and have and will have to continue dipping into the Golden State roster now the longer this continues going forward.

    My pick, Josh Smith did surprisingly well (31 PRA), which was his 3rd highest 2015 Playoffs (32 PRA best, done twice thus far), and I am happy with that. Considering he had 25 PRA at halftime though, it was kind of disappointing that he only added 6 more PRA in the second half, as he sat early on, then couldn't make a free throw if his life depended, Golden State kept fouling him and sending him to the free throw line, where Josh Smith was absolutely useless, and he was eventually benched because of it. So the opportunity was there for a monster game from Smith, but he just didn't take advantage of it. Still getting 31 PRA out of Josh Smith overall was a totally good thing.

    Best picks (Overall): Most likely eventual losing team Houston Rockets: James Harden (59 PRA) phenomenal effort, Josh Smith (31 PRA), Jason Terry (20 PRA) did well since I didn't pick him last night, Trevor Ariza (25 PRA), Terrence Jones (21 PRA)

    From the losing team/most likely eventual winning team: Draymond Green (40 PRA), Klay Thompson (29 PRA), Harrison Barnes (22 PRA), Andre Iguodala (22 PRA), Leandro Barbosa (16 PRA). In the case of the latter three (Barnes, Iguodala, and Barbosa), these were some of the best efforts from these players of the entire playoffs.

    So there were a lot of good options to pick from last night among several players, which has not been the case at all in this series on most nights.

    Horrible picks: Corey Brewer (5 PRA), Shaun Livingston (7 PRA), Andrew Bogut (12 PRA). Pretty much every other viable pick was decent to great vs. their average.

  5. Cleveland tries to close out the Atlanta Hawks tonight on home court up 3-0 in this series. Atlanta easily played their best game of this series and probably even their best game of the 2015 Playoffs in Game #3. They forced an overtime, and head every chance to win, despite losing Al Horford to ejection right around halftime, and dealing with injuries to other key players. It was a remarkable effort for the Hawks, after they basically mailed it in for Games #1 and #2. Still down 3-0 their prospects are not good at all for both winning this series (nearly impossible), or for even winning Game #4 which looks unlikely at I am sure Cleveland will want to end this tonight, and not have to go back to Atlanta for a Game #5 or possibly more if they would fail to win that. So I am sure LeBron and his teammates will go all out tonight to have this series end in a sweep and move on, and get some rest, and hopefully for them Kyrie Irving healed for the Finals.

    For tonight, I like two players of note: Jeff Teague, who has been phenomenal vs. Cleveland in the past, and is also coming off of a 43 PRA monster effort in Game #3, which was easily his best 2015 Playoffs effort. Either that or Al Horford who already has a two 40+ games in this year's playoffs, and should be inspired to play tonight after being ejected in Game #3 after having a very nice first half 19 PRA, before being dismissed from the game for the Dellavedova incident. Horford could also be targeted though by the Cavs, and they could try to agitate him again to see if he reacts, and the referees will have all eyes on Horford and Dellavedova in case anything happens, which puts a target on both player's backs for possible ejections tonight and going forward. So that is something to think about, when considering picking either player.

    For those with little or no Hawks players left, you may want to use Matthew Dellavedova tonight. If/when Kyrie Irving comes back, Dellavedova's use will take a huge hit. Also Kent Bazemore is a very decent option as a starter. His per minute numbers are better than most of the other Hawks players, when given the chance. DeMarre Carroll, hasn't been real good in this series (9, 9, 15 PRA), in the first three game. He is coming off his best effort (15 PRA), but even so, if you have better options I would go there instead of picking Carroll until he shows he is capable of doing better than that, unless you have no other options.

    In any event, with elimination looming for the Hawks, I will go with Jeff Teague tonight as my pick, hoping for another monster type effort out of him. Although that probably is not likely, if he can surpass the 35+ PRA mark tonight, I would be quite happy with that.

  6. Irving may play G4, so stay away from Della until lineups are submitted

    1. Irving will play tonight with a 25 minute limit.

  7. Going with Bazemore over Carroll tonight.

  8. After a 1 day reprieve, it is hilarious how evil my luck has become to "make up" or more appropriately dump down for that, ZERO regular points by my picks for SIX QUARTERS/THREE HALVES, brilliant art at invisibility!

  9. Alright I am sick and tired of this BS... NINE PAR... NINE lousy par by a player who averages OVER TRIPLE that amount! Hortford got ejected midway though Game 3 so unlike most of the other Hawks (except incoming free agents) he had reason to play hard, even if they got blown out and the rest of the team quit due to the demoralizing game 3 loss and being 0-3. Instead I get the practical opposite (except for the blowout), he gets not only less PAR than any other game but LESS THAN HALF of his 2nd lowest score which ironically was when he got ejected... so he got less than half in a full game than he got in half a game to go along with everything else I said, what a disgrace.
    He joins Isaiah Thomas as a sure 20+ PAR that didn't even get 10+ and joins Thomas, Kyle Lowry and Dwight Howard who have triple handily ruined my season! That and the Clippers collapse ruins it 2 more times, although many people used up 3 Rockets, I used 4 so many had Trevor Ariza or can't hear it enough Josh Smith available this round (some super lucky ones may have even had both), a huge advantage for them/disadvantage for me and I also lost DeAndre Jordan. Now I had some other 7+ PAR below average picks particularly in this round but the others at least had other bad games, these 4 were horrible! Lowry can be partly forgiven with a small sample of games (Thomas had just as few but a much worse margin below his 2nd lowest PAR), but Thomas, Howard and now Hortford's stunts are UNFORGIVABLE!!!!! I heard about Bazemore but I figured that he was only a good option for those who did not have Hortford, Teague or Millsap (or possibly even Carroll though he's been invisible for awhile). Never did I think he would be a better pick than Hortford (coming off an ejection no less which should mean redemption) much less 2.5 times as good (and was the leading Hawks PAR to boot). Some round this is, some playoffs this is. Won't even have 75% going into the Finals...

  10. al hortford, are u freaking shitting me. 9 PRA...... 9!!!!!


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