The Game 7 vs Game 1 Dilemma

So, here we are. These are the decisions that can help define your DTTF season. Is it time to play it safe, or is it time to risk it all?

Game 7 is the ultimate test of your willingness to trust your gut. Are you willing to risk a top notch player from a team you think will advance? Do you expect the Cavs and Celtics to advance, and therefore save their top players for the next round?

There have been 129 Game 7s in NBA history, and the home team has a 103-26 record. That's a win percentage of over 80%. The home teams will be heavy favourites heading into the weekend.

Adding to the complication is that there is are Game 1s in the second round on the same day. They provide an opportunity to pass on the Game 7 and guarantee you don't pick a player from the advancing team. On the flip side, however, it means you will miss out on your best remaining player from the team that losses. That might not be worth the risk.

Let's break this down by each day:

Saturday's Games

Saturday features Game 7 between Boston & Milwaukee, and Game 1 between Golden State & New Orleans. I see three strategies here:

1) Pick your best remaining Buck
You expect the Bucks to lose, so you will pick your best remaining Buck. Almost everybody has picked The Greek Freak and The Royal One (K Middleton), so that leaves Eric Bledsoe and Jabari Parker. In my opinion, this strategy is the weakest one. Bledsoe and Parker are already risky picks PRA-wise, and in the off chance Milwaukee wins you will be almost completely out of options in Round 2. With the home team winning 80% of the time and a blowout being posible, a Boston win could also means that players like Bledsoe and Parker both dud. I think you'd be better off picking a Pelican if you think Boston will win.

2) Pick your best remaining Celtic
I'd only advise this strategy if you believe that Boston will not beat Philadelphia in Round 2, or if you are convinced that Milwaukee has a good chance of winning this game. I'm in both camps. Milwaukee has blown out Boston at home and lost mostly close games on the road. They could win this. I also believe in Philadelphia winning in Round 2. Boston is deep with medium talent but lacking in star PRA producers. I think I'm going to pick Horford because I feel he matches up better here than against Philly. I also think Rozier, Brown, or Tatum could make for a solid pick.

3) Avoid Game 7 and pick from GS/NO
Golden State is highly favoured to win this series, and New Orleans have five players worth picking (Davis, Holiday, Rondo, Mirotic, Moore). Picking from this series early might be a wise call. Personally, I'm going to give it a game and see who from the Pelicans are productive against Golden State's superb defense. I fear the possibility of blowout as well. That being said, if Curry is still out this could be a good opportunity to pick a Pelican guard.

Or..... perhaps you are a Pelican believer, and you plan on picking KD while curry is out. I could see that as an option. I wouldn't do it, but it could work well.

Sunday's Games

Sunday features Game 7 between Cleveland & Indiana and Game 1 between Houston & Utah. Once again, I see three strategies

1) Avoid Game 7 and pick from HOU/UTAH
Houston are heavy favourites to win. Picking a Utah player should be safe. Gobert and Mitchell are must picks for this round, and Ingles or Rubio (if healthy) are also solid choices.

2) Pick LeBron James
This is the probably going to be the popular pick. People won't be willing to lose LeBron, and will pick him even though they think Cleveland will win. Are you willing to risk it for what you believe in? LeBron James is a lot of PRA to lose if you are wrong.

3) Pick your best remaining Pacer
Most everybody has now picked Oladipo, so that leaves the likes of Myles Turner, Domantas Sabonis, or, dare I say, Lance Stephenson! This is probably the right call. Though the remaining Pacers are not all that enticing, they all can produce solid PRA, and it's hard to bet against LeBron James

What am I planning for Sunday? I actually think the Pacers might win this series. So that means I'm picking LeBron James? Absolutely not! I'm picking a Pacer! I am sacrificing LeBron James on Sunday for the sake of all of Canada and our collective hopes for the Toronto Raptors. We'd rather not see LeBron James in Round 2. By not picking LeBron, I'm hopeful that will make the basketball gods ensure that I lose LeBron James because of my foolishness. I'm willing to make this sacrifice!

Who will I pick? No clue. But it won't be LeBron.

Go Raptors!


  1. So glad you did this write-up. I read it diligently & it has helped me to determine that 100% I’m picking Lebron. His PRA in this round is through the roof & he’ll play nearly 48 min for sure. If they make it to the next round which I believe they will, maybe he’ll finally get some help from his friends, but he’s not going to rely on that in this crucial game & who knows, he may even lost, but I doubt it. He would like to keep that legacy of not being bounced in the first round ever.

  2. Oh and I’m totally with you on a the Horford logic. Even though I think BOS wins I’ve picked too many Bucks & I know Bos will lose our philly & that the matchup for Horford will be troublesome in that series.

  3. Still hurting with that PGeorge pick. Ugh!

  4. Ah, and it started so well this year. Good picks through the first two weeks, then Whiteside (7), Bledsoe (13) and George (16). The funny thing is, even my only player from the second round (so far) was a decent pick, as Rubio is hurt. But then I checked the boxscore, and how on Earth is it possible for George to play 45 minutes and do THIS? Strange things happening this season.

    In the Fantasy Postseason game I was even smart and picked George in g5 and Westbrook in g6, which was how I should have done it here, too, but who could predict that? Of course, the perfect strategy would have been George in g4 (to see if the Jazz really have what it takes, pick only the second best Thunder player), then RW in g5, and now the rebound-machine Steven Adams in g6. Ah, if only...

    Okay, that hurt, but it´s done. Next game. Tonight, I believe in Boston and will pick Al Horford anyway, the reasons have been outlined by smarter guys than me. Tomorrow I believe in LeBron and therefore pick my remaining solid Pacer in Sabonis. He did good in a lot of games, I hope he will be good (but not too good) in g7.

    By the way, too bad, that I can´t pick anybody in Fantasy Postseason beyond tonight, because I will be w/o internet access for the next two days at least. Can´t even pick from g7 tomorrow. I might even try LeBron in that game.

    1. Right before you get iff the grid, check again if the FPS pick page is open

  5. For Saturday, I will go with strategy 1. I remember picking Horford in G7 last year playoff against the Wizards. He was just solid, role players tends to play better. That was Olynyk who stole the show. So I likely will pick Parker over Bledsoe since he has been consistent over his last 4 games. I don’t want to risk losing a player if they advanced to the conference finals or nba finals.

    For Sunday, I will go with strategy 3. Never pick anyone from the Pacers yet, so it will be Oladipo. For Cavs to have a shot to advance, I think Korver, Smith, Love and Clarkson needs to scored in double figures even if James does scored over 40 points.

    For next round, I will try avoid picking from the Cavs and Raptors possible until I see if Raptors are up 3-X or Cavs 2-X. Only one good player to pick from Cavs.

    1. "For next round, I will try avoid picking from the Cavs" Will picking Cavs players even be an option next round?

  6. What happened to Paul George? 45 minutes? That couldn't possibly be with those numbers! I thought getting to pick him was supposed to be a good thing especially after seeing the Pacers demolish the Cavs! 16 PAR (Westbrook had the exact reverse digits 61) on google and just 11 on fantasy postseason!
    BTW on FP turnovers are count as -1 so if the number of turnovers is higher than Blocks + Steals that score is actually lower than google drive.

  7. I already said that I have Horford tonight. For tomorrow I still have Oladipo, so he gets my pick. I am not sure about the Cavs advancing, but if they do I will have LeBron available. And Pacers have more options than the Cavs. I also am willing to take the risk, as this round1 has been quite bad for me, so a little against the grain is necessary. Thank you PG13 xD At least I like the Jazz advancing and not watching a single player taking over 40 shots again...


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