Drive to the Finals Expert Pick: 5/17/07
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By Jeff Dengate

Now that the Utah Jazz punched its ticket to the Western Conference Finals, there's only one game on the NBA schedule for Thursday: Detroit at Chicago.

There's also, perhaps, only one game left for the Chicago Bulls in the 2006-07 season. Lose tonight and they're Gone Fishin'.

Now, you might be tempted to reach out and take a Pistons player, considering that you -- and by you, I mean, us -- have already selected Kirk Hinrich, Luol Deng and Ben Gordon. Seriously, what's Ben Wallace going to give you other than about 12 boards, right?

That line of thinking leaves us, really, with only three players we'd consider tonight: Andres Nocioni, P.J. Brown and Tyrus Thomas.

Don't waste a pick on the Argentine. When healthy, he's a good choice, but he's been limited in this series because of a sore right foot and strained quad and logged only four minutes in the Bulls' Game 5 win in Detroit.

Brown is aging, but he turned in his best game of these Playoffs when his team needed it most. Brown shot seven-of-nine and finished with 15 points in Game 5. He also added eight boards and three assists. Did you really think Brown would register a 26 PRA at this point in his career?

Thomas, meanwhile, can create fits for Detroit defenders because of his unbelievable athleticism. If we were adding in blocks and steals, I'd say he's your man, but, then again, he's only a rookie and maybe you're not sure if he can handle the pressure.

So, what to do? Flip a three-sided coin, I say.

Well, since we only have your standard-issue nickels around the offices, we're playing it safe and going with the vet. Brown's been around, he knows how to get it done when needed. Plus, we like the fact that back on Feb. 25, he posted a 19-and-12 night on the Pistons in Detroit.

If any of these three is going to put up respectable numbers for you on a night when your choices are limited, Brown's your man.

Play Drive to the Finals Now!

P.J. Brown, CHI

When: Thursday, May 17 at 8 p.m. ET
Opponent: vs Chicago
Pts: 7.0 Reb: 4.7 Ast: 1.0
Average PRA: 12.7

Yesterday's Pick: Jason Kidd, NJN (35 PRA)
Expert Pick Playoffs Total: 901
Expert Pick Archive
1. Ben Wallace, CHI vs DET (20.4 PRA)
2. Tyrus Thomas, CHI vs DET (9.2 PRA)
3. Andres Nocioni, CHI vs DET (12.8 PRA)
It's an elimination game for the Bulls, so it goes without saying that you should hang on to your Pistons for later rounds.

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