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April 22 -- The Clock Ticks

KICKING AND SCREAMING
Posted by By Jon Loomer on June 9, 2006 10:35 a.m. ET

SORTING THROUGH THE DEMONS

I picked Udonis Haslem for yesterday's game in the Drive to the Finals. He finished with 13 PRA.

I can only laugh. You have to laugh. Otherwise, you drive yourself crazy.

I know you're tired of hearing me cry and whine about it. Sick of the conspiracy theories. No one likes crybabies. I'm tired of it, too. But I just can't stop writing about it.

Seriously, people. This is far past the level of hilarity and approaching mysterious. It doesn't matter which player I pick. They will perform poorly. It's good stuff, really.

Let's take a look at the players I've cursed for the Experts:

Date Player My PRA Avg PRA Difference Good Bad
4/22 Mike Bibby 24 25.7 -1.7 -1.7
4/23 Michael Redd 17 34.2 -17.2 -17.2
4/29 Vince Carter 41 41.9 -0.9 -0.9
4/30 Shawn Marion 33 33.6 -0.6 -0.6
5/6 Kobe Bryant 29 39.3 -10.3 -10.3
5/13 Drew Gooden 14 16.4 -2.4 -2.4
5/14 Richard Jefferson 23 30.4 -7.4 -7.4
5/21 Zydrunas Ilgauskas 11 17.5 -6.5 -6.5
5/27 Rasheed Wallace 21 22.2 -1.2 -1.2
5/28 Tim Thomas 25 22.6 2.4 2.4
6/3 Jerry Stackhouse 22 19.1 2.9 2.9
6/8 Udonis Haslem 13 18.1 -5.1 -5.1
Totals and Averages 273 321 -4 2.65 -5.3

That is some impressive work there. You have to admire it. Ok, let's admire for a while...

Of the 12 players I have picked, 10 played below their playoff average on that day. I even had a streak of nine in a row before Tim Thomas and Jerry Stackhouse messed it up and played slightly above their playoff averages.

I hurt the Experts by four points for each player I picked. Now this is just looking at the players' averages. Some would argue that I not only picked the right players on the wrong days, but I picked the wrong players altogether. In that case, the damage I've done is far greater but impossible to measure.

Not to get even more philosophical here, but in reality the averages of the players I picked were higher prior to the game that I picked them. If you omit the game that they played on the day that they were playing for the Experts, the damage I did by picking them in the first place is even greater.

Whaa??

What I mean -- I think -- is that the players' averages were lowered because of the horrendous performances they put up on the days that I chose them. Follow? Never mind.

But if my players simply played the way they do on an average day when I picked them ("average" including the horrendous day when I picked them), the Experts would have scored 48 more points so far. Not a big deal? That takes us from a ranking of 276 into the Top 50.

You see, this is a very difficult task to accomplish. The typical "bad" fantasy player is simply careless or lacks knowledge about the sport or players. I have taken this to a new level. I am strategically horrible.

Even the careless squirrel finds a nut every once and a while. But the strategically dumb squirrel will never find a nut. He will starve, but other squirrels will marvel at his inability to find a nut.

("Man, that is impressive. Even a blind squirrel can find a nut, but that squirrel was so dumb -- or smart? -- that a nut avoided him at every turn. He is someone to be respected.")

I like to think that's what the squirrels would say.

I even did a study on the picks I have made for my own team in the Expert league, but I won't bore you with tables and graphs and such. As bad as I've done in that league, I took it up a notch as an Expert.

Unfortunately, I'll be making the remainder of the Expert Picks. Keep that in mind as you strategize from here on out.