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HOLD ON TIGHT
Posted by By Jon Loomer on June 1, 2006 12:10 p.m. ET

EXPERTS PICK... AND WAIT

If we've figured out anything from this year's NBA Playoffs it's that nothing ever happens the way you expect it to happen. No sweeps. Momentum going one way, that momentum will shift. Just when you think that one team is in control of the series, the other team bounces back and looks nothing like it did in the previous games.

See Phoenix-Lakers. Or Pistons-Cavs. Or Pistons-Heat. Fantastic for the NBA and our viewing pleasure. Depleating our pool of players for the Drive to the Finals. And that's all we really care about in the end, right? Winning our leagues?

We're selfish like that. Despite Mr. Peterson's pick of Antoine Walker on Tuesday, the Experts remain in good shape assuming the Heat find a way to pull this thing out soon and no other experts choose to pick a Miami player. Following is what is left on our plate out East:

Ben Wallace (17.0 PRA)
Antonio McDyess (14.7 PRA)
Dwyane Wade (38.4 PRA)
Shaquille O'Neal (30.1 PRA)
Udonis Haslem (18.0 PRA)
Jason Williams (14.3 PRA)
James Posey (13.9 PRA)
Gary Payton (10.1 PRA)

So, we're good through seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals, assuming the Heat win and we pick only Pistons.

Out West, we have a much different picture:

Jerry Stackhouse (18.5)
Erick Dampier (11.0)
Keith Van Horn (9.1)
Adrian Griffin (8.5)
James Jones (8.5)
DeSagana Diop (8.1)

Nasty, right? Needless to say, we need this series to end in six games. After that, we have a significant drop in quality of players to choose from.

In terms of the NBA Finals, it doesn't matter all that much who makes it from the West. We have more players to choose from on the Mavs, but by the time we get that far we'll only have players with around 10 and under PRA's remaining. So, it adds depth that the Suns wouldn't provide us, but not much else. We will, however, have enough Heat players to get us through a six-game Finals. If the Pistons win, we're toast.

By the way, we're still in the 98th percentile. The odds may be against us, but we will finish in the top 50. Assuming I don't mess it up.

Off the subject a little... It's been well established that I jinx players in this game. Well, it doesn't stop here, my friends. I am also playing in the WNBA Triple Threat Fantasy Challenge (aren't we all?). This game has a similar premise, but not to the extreme. Pick one player each day, accumulate points based on Points + Rebounds + Assists, and you can't pick the same player twice in a given week.

Now, I don't claim to be a WNBA expert, which is part of what makes this fun for me. However, what I do know is that the top players underperform when I pick them. Entering Wednesday's games, Lisa Leslie led the WNBA with an average of 39.0 PRA, having scored under 20 points once and grabbed 16 boards in all three of her previous games. I pick her? Yeah, you guessed it. A nifty 15 spot: Eight points, four rebounds, three assists.

I picked Tamika Catchings on the day prior. She entered the day averaging a 27 PRA, having two 34 PRA performances and none under 20. Guess what? She threw me 13.

That's right, I'm your fantasy guru. I know my stuff.