June 9 - Waiting for that first day of the Finals to start seemed like an eternity, right? You missed our Expert Picks. You thirsted for them. You stalked our offices in hopes of some insight.
Well, stalk no more. Outside of the restraining order that we now have on you, the picks are coming. We/I picked Udonis Haslem on Thursday, and he -- eh hem -- performed admirably. Still in the 99th percentile.
While it is incredibly tempting to take Dwyane Wade or Shaquille O'Neal now to watch our numbers skyrocket, we are playing the patience game here. There will be a minimum of four games. We'll use our top four players during that span, but we can pick and choose what order we go with. And given Wade's health concerns of late, there are more than enough reasons to hold off on him.
So, if you read our pick on Thursday, you have an idea of where we're headed. Haslem had raised his level of play a notch recently, so he seemed like a safe bet to get us going. I have a feeling that Wade and Shaq will have their biggest games at home -- although I have no evidence to support this -- so I am reserving them for the next two games.
Who does that leave us? The next two on the list are rather close: Jason Williams and James Posey. Williams is actually averaging a higher playoff PRA, putting up 15.1 versus Posey's 13.9 for Posey.
I simply trust Posey more here. J-Will's numbers are partially inflated from his enormous Game 6 against the Pistons. The truth is that he has been incredibly erratic, posting anywhere between a two and 28 PRA during the past 10 games. You just don't know what you will get from him.
Posey, although erratic at home, has been consistenly good on the road during that span. Over his last five road games prior to Game 1 of the NBA Finals, Posey averaged a 15.0 PRA on the road, posting anything from nine to 25.
Whereas it seems Williams can throw up either a goose egg or a big game on any given night, Posey should provide us with something in the teens without much of a problem. No reason to roll the dice here. We're just looking for some solid numbers until we whip out the big guns.
And assuming this series goes beyond four games, Williams will get his day in the sun. It just won't be today.