It's not too late. Play Drive to the Finals Now!

By Rob Peterson

Previous Expert Picks

May 12 - Holy mackerel!

Let me start out by saying picking our star for tonight has been tough, like a mental boot camp. We have two series tied 1-1, and we've already used four players from one series (Suns-Clippers) and one superstar in the other series (Vince Carter).

So, who to choose? Who ... to ... choose?

Today's Expert Pick
Player: Boris Diaw, Phoenix
Opponent: L.A. Clippers
Regular Season Averages
May 10 -- Chris Kaman
May 9 -- Larry Hughes
May 8 -- Sam Cassell
May 7 -- Josh Howard
May 6 -- Kobe Bryant
Previous Expert Picks
Being that these series are tied 1-1, you can't put the superstud out there tonight. You just can't, especially in the Heat-Nets series. Both games have been blowouts? You can give a slight edge to the home team, but that's about it. Since we used Vince Carter early and you don't want to use Jason Kidd unless the Nets fall behind in the series, there's only one option on the Nets tonight.

And we'll get to him later.

Out West, we've already used four players in that series (Thanks for falling behind 3-1 to the Lakers, Suns!): Phoenix's Steve Nash and Shawn Marion, and the Clippers' Sam Cassell and Chris Kaman. We've used them to good effect, getting 130 points from those four players. So, don't mind us if we pat ourselves on the back.

Anyway, with the Suns-Clippers series, you're assured of one thing: scoring.

Like a bacchanaal, there will be scoring, lots of it.

That being said, as I see it, we have two players from which to choose: New Jersey's Richard Jefferson or Phoenix's Boris Diaw.

Now,'s own John Schuhmann went to Nets practice and asked R-Jeff about the ankle he injured in Game 1 after scoring 20 points in 23 minutes against Miami's Antoine Walker.

Diaw is the best all-around non-superstar player left in the two series' tonight.
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images/NBAE
"It's a lot better," Jefferson said. "It's almost a non-issue at this point."

Hmmm... That sounds promising. Jefferson at home, going against an opponent he lit up like a Christmas tree in their first meeting on an ankle that's close to 100 percent.

A stone cold lock, right?

Well, that's what you get for thinking, especially when it comes to what I'm thinking, which is: take Diaw if you already haven't selected him.


Yes, take Diaw although his Playoffs PRA is a tick lower than Jefferson's (29.8 to 29.1). And I have two reasons for doing so.

First, the Suns are on the road for the next two and I believe are more in danger of falling behind in their series than the Nets are against the Heat. The Suns will need a big game from Diaw to win Game 3 tonight (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN). Remember, that's just a hunch.

Also, it took the Suns four games to adjust to the Lakers' tactics in the First Round. How long will it take them to adjust to the Clippers' size? If they don't do it soon, the Suns could be in trouble and you may want to use any Sun now in Drive to the Finals.

Second, the scoring. As has been evidenced by the 483 points already scored in this series (241.5 combined points per game), the Suns-Clippers series promises to be high scoring, which means more chances for points, more chances for assists and more chances for rebounds. Diaw does all three relatively well.

Diaw will get you a solid 29 PRA for a game (he got a 28 PRA when I used him in Game 6 of the First Round), and in a 1-1 series for a road player, that's not a bad call.

And while I believe you can't go wrong with Jefferson (it's hardly a risky pick), I think Diaw is your dude tonight.