Drive to the Finals Expert Pick: 5/2/07
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By Dave McMenamin

A.I. or L.O.?

Forget what Shakespeare asked, this is the question that matters.

A.I. or L.O.?

Both are certified Grade-A tough guys. Not goons, mind you, but tough in the sense that a nick here, a bruise there and a few stitches anywhere arenít going to keep them out of the lineup.

We took your teammates already. Kobe gave us 57, Melo chipped in 38. If you want the job fellas, you better be prepared to give us an effort somewhere right in the middle.

Iím talking 40s, so Allen if that means you need to drop 32 points, 11 dimes and four boards on the Spurs, you better do it. And Lamar, your output better look something like 27, 17 and five to earn your keep.

Being a Drive to the Finals expert takes more than just looking at Wednesdayís game schedule. You have to look ahead. If I take Odom and the Lakers force Game 6, who do I take on Friday?

You have to think of scenarios. Fellow expert Jon Loomer sent me this via IM:

ďIf the Lakers win, Raptors and Nuggets lose, the Lakers game is the only one to choose from Friday. We've already used their two good players.Ē

Good point, Looms.

And thatís a likely outcome. I think the Lakers force a Game 6, I think the Raps bow out in Game 5 and Iím on the fence about whether the Nuggets can win Game 5, but Iím leaning towards them losing.

Meaning that Game 5 would be their last game of the series. Meaning that you know Allen Iverson will go out with a bang rather than a whisper.

Iverson has career playoff averages of 30.2 points, 4.0 boards and 6.0 assists. So if he just has an average game heíll reach the 40 PRA plateau Iíve set for him.

But no way will we see Average Iverson on Wednesday. He will be Allen Invigorated. The man is a warrior who led a bunch of one-trick ponies to the grandest of stages, The Finals, in 2001. You think heíll have a sense for the moment with the Defensive Player of the Year, Marcus Camby, and the leagueís second best cornrow-wearing scorer, Melo, on his side in a do-or-die game?

Also, the question becomes, if the Lakers and Nuggets both lose on Wednesday, how can I sleep at night during the rest of the DTF having passed on A.I.?

A.I. in the playoffs is like Michael Richards in Seinfeld, Yasmine Bleeth in Baywatch or Rachel Hunter in the Stacyís Mom music video. You canít go wrong. Itís his perfect outlet.

So A.I. or L.O.?

Like thatís even a question. I take A.I.

Play Drive to the Finals Now!

Allen Iverson, DEN

When: Wednesday, May 2 at 8 p.m. ET
Opponent: vs. San Antonio
Pts: 23.3 Reb: 0.8 Ast: 5.3
Average PRA: 29.4

Yesterday's Pick: Dirk Nowitzki, DAL (45 PRA)
Expert Pick Playoffs Total: 471
Expert Pick Archive
1. Lamar Odom, PHX vs. LAL (32.1 PRA)
2. Nene, SAS vs. DEN (27.3 PRA)
3. Marcus Camby, SAS vs. DEN (24.3 PRA)
If you've already taken Iverson, one of these guys could be the answer to filling out your DTF pick. All three can board, and score, and you have to expect them all to up their production a little more to try to stave off elimination.
You're picking me already?
(Brian Bahr/Getty Images)


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