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April 25 -- Antawn Jamison
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April 20 -- Mike Bibby
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April 22 -- The Clock Ticks

NO DOUBTING THE EXPERTS
Posted by By Jon Loomer on April 25, 2006 9:03 a.m. ET

THINGS AREN'T ALWAYS AS THEY APPEAR

So we have three games in the books and three "Expert" picks for the Drive to the Finals playoff fantasy game that have scored 24 points or less. In most leagues, that would put us near the bottom of the standings. You laugh. You chuckle. You wonder why anyone would read these articles. My retort: You will see.

Ok, that's a weak retort. You are blinded by the luster of your early success. You are deafened by the roar of the home crowd. You are so geeked up after making an acrobatic layup while getting hacked that you forget to close the deal and make your free throw. Had enough of the lame analogies? Me, too.

There's a plan here, friend. Am I disappointed that Bibby, Redd and Gordon didn't produce more? Absolutely. But the critics are missing something. Each player who was chosen has joined his team in the losing locker room. What that means is that we are on a run here of taking players who will likely be eliminated from the player pool after the final buzzer sounds for Round 1. Still not buying it? Still don't get what that means? That means we'll be picking LeBron, Marion, and Brand while you're picking their shoelaces.

I'm just saying.

While I don't have an official "expert pick" for today, I did announce yesterday that I was going with Carmelo. It's the kiss of death, I tell you. Guy is immediately in foul trouble and misses much of the first half. I may need to start writing an anti-Expert Pick column so that you know who you should not pick.

It should be noted that in two leagues I picked Hinrich, who popped out 40 fantasy points. Yeah, I'm -- as Fredo Corleone would say -- "smaht."

I broke down the numbers for Sunday's games while watching games Monday, so let's take a look at Sunday's top performers.

Vince Carter - 50
Dirk Nowitzki - 47
Lamar Odom - 38
Tim Thomas - 37
Pau Gasol - 35
Kobe Bryant - 33
Steve Nash - 32
Nenad Krstic - 31

Of these players, the players who put up these numbers on losing teams are Carter, Odom, Gasol, Bryant, and Krstic. First, congratulate yourself if you picked Thomas. You found a way around the system. You picked a player on a winning team while not digging into the top five of that team's roster and still managed big points. I know you didn't pick him, so stop lying. I'm hesitant to say the big winners were those who picked Vince Carter. Yes, based on everything I've said, you want players on teams that will be eliminated. Yes, the Nets lost. But I'm not buying that one yet. I still like the Nets in that series. Feel best about yourself if you picked Odom or Gasol. They won't be available for long, and you won't get much more than this out of them. Nice if you had Kobe, but I'm sure you would have preferred more production than that.

Ran across some interesting numbers today for those of you playing Pick 'n Roll. If you aren't playing Pick 'n Roll, you're an NBA fan so this applies to you as well. If you've been living under a rock, this is our NBA Playoff bracket game. I was given a report outlining the frequency of picks in this game. It probably doesn't surprise you that more picks went to the Pistons in the NBA Finals than to any other team. What surprised me, however, is the ridiculous volume of the Pistons picks. Take a look at who you think will be the next NBA Champion:

Pistons 47.17%
Spurs 18.11%
Heat 10.45%
Mavericks 6.99%
Suns 5.32%
Lakers 4.46%
Nets 2.85%
Cavaliers 1.22%
Kings 1.04%
Pacers 0.61%
Bulls 0.55%
Nuggets 0.43%
Clippers 0.33%
Wizards 0.29%
Bucks 0.09%
Grizzlies 0.09%

Wow. Nearly half of you -- even when you include the die-hard fans from the East picking their own teams out of sheer loyalty -- picked the Pistons to win the NBA Finals. I am proud to announce that I am one of the .09% (no, not 9% -- that's under 1%) who picked the Grizzlies. No, I don't really think the Grizzlies will win it all. My four-year-old made my picks. Grizzlies sweeping the Pacers in the Finals. It could happen.