We made it! Round 1 of our playoffs start today. We’re back to facing #4-seed MILL$AP ROCKY for the third time this year. Both previous matchups were 6-3 wins. Losing the %age cats each time, splitting the DD and PTS cats, and taking the rest of the counting stat cats. His team largely remains unchanged since our last matchup so you can look to my preview of that matchup from week 18 if you want to see my breakdown of his roster.
Since we’re in the playoffs, I put a little more effort into preparing for the matchup. To get a rough projection of the matchup, I took our players stats from the past 30 days and multiplied them by the # of games they’ll play in the next two weeks and added it all up. A little bit of a brute force way to go about it, but here’s what it looks like:
The reason I chose stats from the past 30 days is 15 felt like a too small sample size to accurately predict what a player could do. One or two games, good or bad, could skew the average and make the prediction less accurate. I didnt want to use season averages either since they wouldnt really take into account if a player had improved/regressed recently or if their situation had changed (eg – trades, injury, etc). Also, I excluded Hibbert since I thought I was going to drop him, but it is currently looking like Len will be the drop to get Goran back into the lineup. The projections dont reflect this, but I anticipate that Duncan and Millsap get rested a game or two as they have been previously this season. Lawson already is supposed to miss Monday’s game for rest (lucky me :D).
Yet again, this is only a rough projection, but it looks like this matchup will be just like our previous ones. He’ll take the %age cats and PTS, while I’ll take 3PM, REB, AST, STL, and BLK. DD were too close to call and will probably be a tossup. But since it’s the playoffs, it doesnt matter if you win 9-0 or 5-4, as long as you have more cats than your opponent at the end, you advance.
In addition to playing with the projections in Excel, I got my watch list in order, trying to identify players who may potentially give me that little boost in a cat if necessary. Also, I set my lineup for the whole two weeks to see if I had too many starters on a given night, but luckily it looks like I’ll only be missing one game during the next two weeks. Taken together, you can even make notes to pick up certain players on days you have room to stream (good matchups or what not). Personally, I didnt go that far since I dont think I’ll be streaming much this matchup, but its something you can consider in your own matchup.
Being the playoffs, I’d expect my opponent to care a little more than he did in our previous two encounters (missing starts, etc). If nothing changes, I would stick with the projected 6-3 victory, but I anticipate he’ll actually make some pickups during the week and stream a bit to make up ground in some of the counting cats so I think a edgy 5-4 win will be more likely. 3PM is the easiest to make up and hopefully, if he opts to chase the cat, he ends up hurting himself in FG%, giving me a better chance at stealing the cat.
EDIT: News that Ibaka needs to get his knee checked out and is prob out til the real playoffs is a pretty big blow to MILL$AP ROCKY. A big source of BLK, DD, REB, and even some 3PM, the gap between our teams in those cats just got wider.