Small Ball

For two straight games and a half, the Golden State Warriors' small ball has been giving LeBron and his Cleveland Cavaliers the fits. Can the Cavs truly adjust?

In Game 5, the Cavs still started Mozgov but seeing that he was too clunky for the Warriors' speed, they soon benched him. And thus began the road to zero PRA for him.

Tristan Thompson was the right choice against the Warrior's small ball. Athletic big man who can run the floor. Look for him to be heavily used in Game 6.

Here is the problem with the Cavs matching small ball -- they don't have enough people. Coach Blatt has insisted on a short rotation scheme. Minus Mozgov, that even limited their options. Maybe it's time to listen to the players and play the vets. Look, Shawn Marion has played in the Mavs' version of small ball before. He is not that quick anymore but his defense can still wreak havoc. 5 minutes of play for each benched vet is a precious rest for the core guys. Do it!

The Cavs will again force the two-headed frontcourt of Mozgov and Thompson early on, because if that clicks like it did in Game 3 and Game 4, then the Cavs will dictate the game. If not (like in Game 5), then run run run going small. The Dubs with small ball are forcing LeBron to run with them, hoping that will eventually tire him.

Warriors -- strength in numbers -- TRUE.

Cavs -- All in -- NOT QUITE. Play the vets.

As for DTTF, assume Game 6 to be the last even of you are rooting for the Cavs. Play your absolutely best baller remaining from your pool. Mine is Andre Iguodala. Going hot...

This may be it, guys and gals! Good luck!


  1. So pumped to be picking LeBron. Who cares if this round has been an awful disaster for me, I'm going to hopefully enjoy this and finishing with a good feeling. Hoping the Cavs win and force a Game 7, because a) I still have Iguodala and b) who wouldn't want to see an exciting game 7. My hope for LeBron is that he gets above 50 PRA, as that's the magic number to match the rest of the PRA I got from the Cavs this round. Perhaps he can go crazy and get to the 60 range, or even perhaps as insane as the 70's. We shall see. I want to jump up the percentile ranks back into the 80's and finish in a poor spot, but much better than where I am now, which is just plain awful. Go LeBron!

  2. In my private duel with my friend I got a break in game 5. I had Curry and I was sure he picked LeBron, but he saved the king and had bad luck with Mozgov. So I gained 48 points on him in one game, that put my some 35 or 36 ahead of him.

    It's a safe bet his pick for game 6 will be James. I don't think I have anybody left (going with Dellavedova) who can lose less than 35 PRA on James. So I am hoping for a blowout win for the Cavs with all the stars resting in the fourth quarter, James going for a "regular" evening of, say, 50 PRA, and Della cracking 25 in all of the garbage time.

    That would give me a fighting chance for game 7. And then all heck breaks lose. Go Cavs!

  3. We have reached crunch time in this series between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers, as Cleveland is now on the verge of elimination back at home for Game #6 after getting beat in Game #5 on the road at Golden State with some very questionable coaching decisions, namely the early benching of Timofey Mozgov, one of the few offensive performers for the Cavs in this series. Cleveland tried to play small ball with the Warriors, and the Cavaliers have zero hope of winning a game doing that, as that plays directly into exactly what the Warriors want to do. Cleveland's best games are where they try to slow things down and try to play at a methodical pace. They don't play well at all or match up well with Golden State one bit when trying to play the Warriors at their own fast pace which they prefer to play. Cleveland doesn't stand a chance doing this, although they very well may win tonight to force a Game #7. It still isn't a successful plan for them at all.

    My Draymond Green pick (30 PRA) was rather decent, and I am definitely happy with that. Green only had 3 games better than that (40, 35, and 33), and this was his 5th time he landed on 30 PRA exactly. So it was a good night overall to pick him.

    On the contrary this was a horrible night to pick Timofey Mozgov (0 PRA) who had been great in this series up until Game #5. Then the "brilliant" coach decided to bench Mozgov, and play small ball vs. the Warriors which was absolute suicide for the Cavs. And just like that the Cleveland Cavaliers are now facing elimination. By just sheer luck, I avoided the Mozgov fiasco because the Cavaliers were playing away, and I was going to pick a Warriors player on this home court. I could have just as easily played Mozgov like many others did and got screwed by Coach David Blatt and his idiotic stunt. But fortunately I didn't get bamboozled like that, but I definitely empathize with those that were totally screwed by what happened here, and I very well could have, and definitely will get screwed by some other stunt like this in the future, so I definitely feel your pain for those that this happened to.

    Best picks for Game #5: LeBron James (65 PRA), Stephen Curry (48 PRA0 Andre Iguodala (29 PRA), Tristan Thompson (29 PRA), JR Smith (23 PRA), Draymond Green (30 PRA), Harrison Barnes (21 PRA), Leandro Barbosa (15 PRA).

    Horrible picks: Timofey Mozgov (0 PRA, the goose egg) after a career playoff best (39 PRA).Andrew Bogut (0 PRA, another goose egg), neither played enough to matter. Unbelievable in the case of Mozgov going from career best one game to career worst in the very next game. Matthew Dellavedova (7 PRA) huge fall from grace, Shaun Livingston (7 PRA), and David Lee (4 PRA) after 2 decent games for him,

  4. And thus began the road to ZERO PRA for him. Are you sure game 5 happened?! ZERO PAR! Never could I imagine someone getting 0 PAR in a game that they were on the court for even 5 minutes. People have disappointments but this is beyond BRUTAL. Nobody playing this game should EVER get that and now I've gotten it more times than 98%+ playing this game (98%? more like 99.9%!) will ever get besides failing to pick or forgetting to change a player like Kyle Irving after getting hurt in a previous game! As a result of that non-game which is the 2nd straight worst ever showing in Game 5 of the NBA finals after Danny Green got 4 last year, only this years can never be broken and if it's ever repeated that will be the end of me playing DTTFs!

    1. 99.9% has never experienced that? As a matter of fact, 16% of people in DTTF this year alone know what that feels like. Mozgov was a hot pick. A lot of people experienced the same pain.

    2. Also, for the record, I've had two career zeros: Mozgov, and Thabo Sefolosha. Although with Thabo, I was desperately out of players.

  5. For tonight with Cleveland facing elimination I will pick LeBron James, as it is the right time, and I don't want to risk losing him by waiting for a Game #7, which I believe will happen with Cleveland winning tonight at home, but I am not crazy enough to risk not getting to pick LeBron by rolling the dice on that as there really is no reason to do that, so I will pick him tonight. Anything short of 60+ PRA for LeBron James tonight would be a huge disappointment, after seeing the other games he has posted in this series. So hopefully he makes magic again tonight in front of the home crowd, and buys Cleveland another day.

    I definitely believe this is going to a Game #7 on Friday night though for a big finale to the 2015 NBA Playoffs.


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