Gilbert today, but what about tomorrow?
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May 5 -- Now What?
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Posted by By Jon Loomer on May 5, 2006 11:00 a.m. ET


I'm off of my soap box on the LeBron James pick debate. LeBron dropped a wicked 58 PRA on Wednesday night. I asserted that regardless of the potential additional points you could get for that one day, T.J. Ford was your man. Now, I still don't think it made sense to pick James since the Cavs won... But, the 19 points that T.J. Ford got me don't help my argument. Keep watching.

Since this is the first time that this game has been played, we're all learning on the fly. A few days ago, I remarked that a long first round is good, since it gives you more options. Uh, check that. A long first round only confuses matters. Although Nets-Pacers didn't go seven, the fact that it wasn't lopsided messed up my strategy. With the Nets down 2-1, I picked Vince Carter. The Nets inevitably bounced back and won the series.

Another exciting series but fantasy mess is Cavs-Wizards. Do you pick LeBron? Do you pick Arenas? Or do you save one for the next round? Which do you choose? I'm picking Arenas today in my personal league. If the Wizards win, we've got a Game 7 and I am forced to either pick LeBron or risk the possibility of never being able to use him if the Wizards win the series.

And now we have Suns-Lakers, the perfect example of when a fantasy game can mess with one's head. Suns started out hot early and went up 1-0. In one league, I then picked Kobe, thinking I'd need to use him this round. The Lakers then bounce back and win the next two. I pick Marion. Lakers go up 3-1. I use Nash. Suns even up the series and force a Game 7 at Phoenix.

Now what? With the Suns the new favorite, do I pick Lamar Odom? If I do and the Lakers win, I have little more than Smush Parker to pick from on the Lakers next round. If I pick Boris Diaw and the Suns win, I have Tim Thomas, Leandro Barbosa, and Raja Bell. Better options, but hardly stellar with Marion, Nash and Diaw off the board. Or do I just let it play out and lose the ability to use either Diaw or Odom now -- but automatically have one available next round?

Wait, not possible! Suns-Lakers is the only game tomorrow. This is a preview of what will be in store for you beginning next round. Tough decisions. And of course I'll be on the clock for this Expert Pick. The Experts haven't picked Kobe yet. Nor have we picked Diaw. Or Odom. I'm leaning towards Kobe.

Yeow. I'm still battling with this one. As far as the Expert Picks entry goes for today, I think that Gilbert Arenas makes the most sense, and that is indeed Rob Peterson's pick. Actually, today is relatively harmless. If you don't pick Arenas, there are several good options with the Wizards and Kings both down 3-2: Antawn Jamison, Caron Butler, Mike Bibby, Ron Artest, Bonzi Wells and even Brad Miller. Arenas is clearly the best option, but if you've used him already you are still guaranteed a 20+ PRA from whoever is left.