Drive to the Finals Expert Pick: 5/13/08
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By Dave McMenamin

I try to stay away from the predicting business.

It's a lot easier (and I come off sounding a lot smarter) when I look back at a game and analyze it, rather than look ahead to one and hypothesize what is going to happen.

The nature of Drive to the Finals, however, is to pick a player who you think will have a big night before he has it. It's all about predicting.

So, since I'm going to have to predict the experts' best choice on Tuesday, I'm going to go with a player who has been doing a little prognosticating of his own.

Not only does Orlando guard Jameer Nelson predict a win in Game 5 of the Pistons-Magic series, he guarantees one:

""We're going to make some adjustments and we're going to win this game. I'm not being arrogant or cocky or anything like that. I think [Saturday] we let it slip out of our hands. Game 2 we let it slip out of our hands. We're going to win this game in Detroit."
Those are some big words for a small guy.

Big words that he'll have to back up on the court, which shouldn't be too much of a problem considering he's averaging 16.4 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists (25.5 PRA) in the playoffs so far.

It's an elimination game for the Magic and we've already snatched away Dwight Howard, Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu in previous games. The only Florida resident remaining who's worth grabbing is Nelson.

I'm predicting he'll put up around a 30 PRA and Orlando will lose ... but, that's no guarantee.

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Jameer Nelson, ORLWhen: Tuesday, May 13 at 7 p.m. ET
Opponent: at Detroit
Pts: 16.4 Reb: 4.3 Ast: 4.8
Playoffs Average PRA: 25.5
Yesterday's Pick: LeBron James, CLE
Expert Pick Playoffs Total: 681
Expert Pick Archive
1. Manu Ginobili, SAS @ NOH (27.1 PRA)
2. Chris Paul, NOH vs. SAS (41.0 PRA)
3. David West, NOH vs. SAS (31.7 PRA)
If you think that the Magic are going to rally from a 3-1 deficit to win the series and want to save Nelson for the Eastern Conference Finals, be my guest, save him.

That leaves you with Tuesday's other game, the Spurs at the Hornets in Game 5 of a 2-2 series. If you feel like San Antonio will lose, then maybe you pick Manu. If you feel like the Hornets will lose, you go with Paul or West.

If you're like us though, you save Ginobili, Paul and West for an elimination game and pick the best remaining Orlando player on Tuesday.

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