NFL 14: Week 10 Matchup Predictions

If you think the first  half of the current NFL season were a sight to behold,  you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!  There may be a couple of 10-win teams that don’t make the playoffs, and some new kids on the block as well.  Here are the week 10 predictions:

 

Browns @ Bengals:  If the Browns are going to make the post-season, they must beat the Natti and use Crowell in the screen game from here on out. PICK:  Browns

 

Chiefs @ Bills:  This is as good as it gets for a matchup this late in the season; Bills and Chiefs?!!  I know right?!!!  PICK:  Chiefs

 

Dolphins @ Lions:  Phins are tryin’ real hard to not be forgotten; I bet the Lions don’t after this one. PICK: Dolphins

 

Cowboys @ Jaguars: PICK: Cowboys

 

49ers @ Saints: Both of these two have fallen off the wagon. PICK:  Not sure

 

Titans @ Ravens:  I still can’t get over what the Ravens allowed  “Hamburger”  to get away  with Sunday night. PICK:  Ravens

 

Steelers @ Jets:  Steelers are makin’ a serious playoff push; we all know what can happen if they get in! PICK: Steelers

 

Falcons @ Buccaneers:  Lovie & co. finally get off the snide. PICK:  Bucaneers

 

Broncos @ Raiders:  Raiders will put up a fight, but Peyton preys on the bums. PICK: Broncos

 

Rams @ Cardinals:  Arians is tough to beat at home. Rams have a way of doing the unthinkable.  PICK: Cardinals

 

Giants @ Seahawks:  Eli may not be  “Elite”  after all. PICK:  Seahawks

 

Bears @ Packers:  Cutler is overrated. PICK:  Packers

 

Panthers @ Eagles:  Panthers have been decimated by injury.  Can the Eagles still soar under Sanchise?  PICK:  Eagles

 

Bye week teams:  Colts,  Vikings,  Patriots,  Chargers,  Redskins,  Texans

 

GET OUT AND VOTE!!   http://www.theshopreport.com

NBA 2K 15: Teams 2 Watch ( East)

When most NBA writers preview an upcoming season, they do so by covering all 30 teams. Not me.  If you watch NBA basketball like I do, you know who the bottom-feeders are, and why it can be rather boring spending time discussing the teams who’s only shot at contention -of any kind- is that of who gets first pick in next seasons’ draft!

No disrespect to the unfortunate “less thans”, but because today’s sports’ culture is all about  ” instant mashed potatoes”, I’ve decided to get right to the point and give my take on which teams’  will matter in the 2014-15 NBA season.

Starting with the East, here are the ‘Teams’ 2 Watch’ this season:

BULLS:  Every time I watch the Bulls, it is clear to see in Thibodeau the Spurs/Popovich pedigree. Despite the abscence of Rose and Deng last season, Thib’s still managed to get  48 wins out of a depleted “MASH UNIT.”  Add to this mix former Laker Pau Gasol, fifth ranked NCAA all-time Division I scorer Doug McDermott, and 6′ 10″  ‘Inside-Out’  Nikola Mirotic, and it’s no tellin’ just how much havoc Thib’s and co. will wreck this season; provided Rose can stay healthy the entire season.

RAPTORS:  DeMar DeRozan,  Kyle Lowery,  Amir Johnson,  Terrence Ross,  Jonas Valanciunas, and  Lou Williams are, and will be, a headache for whomever they play. Coach Casey has no excuse for this squad not to improve on last year’s success; need to get away from so many overtime games (1-6) last season.

KNICKS:  Phil Jackson is the only person I’ve seen to ever get NBA-ego’s to come together just long enough to win an NBA Title. So, excuse me for not understanding all the doubt folks had surrounding his return to basketball because he decided to claim a front office position (with the Knicks) instead of his customary seat on the bench, saying, ” Phil can’t be the difference for the Knicks unless he’s the coach!”  I say those folks don’t understand just how much damage an over-inflated NBA ego can cause. For a man of his stature to win multiple NBA Titles with some of the most volatile personalities the game has ever seen, it wouldn’t matter the capacity Phil chose, just so long as he’s somewhere in the building!

PISTONS: Recently acquired Stan Van Gundy will get the motor going in this city once again. Like him or not, Gundy understands how to get his players to play to their strengths. With a front-court every team in the NBA would dream of in Monroe and Drummond, the Pistons only need for Josh Smith to stop jackin’ so many trey’s and become the complete player he should be, and Jennings to understand the difference between point-guard and facilitator. Once that happens, Van Gundy’s version of the Pistons’ ain’t gon’ be nothin’ nice.

HAWKS:  Coach Budenholzer’s Hawks made unwanted press with the admission of co-owner Bruce Levenson’s, and GM Danny Ferry’s racist remarks regading Hawks fans. Sometimes, thing’s of this nature can unravel not only a franchise (regardless of sport) off the court, but on the court as well. Al Horford’s return, combined with Milsaps relentless play and Budenholzer’s  San Antonio pedigree, the Hawks will use the fallout from management’s ” brainlock” moment to re-establish the cohesiveness necessary  to make them contenders.

WIZARDS:  The Wizards are a ” round robin” lock simply because of their front-court of  Gortat and Nene. Beal’s wrist injury is not so serious that the wiz’ will falter in his abscence. Wall, Gortat, and Nene will keep the ship afloat til Beal gets back in the fold. There is one thing that I question; can Paul Pierce make more of a difference than Trevor Ariza?  We’ll see. If so, the capitol could be in for a big time celebration.

NETS: After Kidd’s exodus, Brooklyn went out and got one of the NBA’s best in Lionel Hollins. That said, the clock is ticking on Deron Williams and his band of merry men to finally put to good use all the money  Prokorov has dished out over the last few seasons. This team’s ticket to a Finals appearance is solely tied to their ability to rebound, which was second worst (38.1) in the NBA last season.

CAVS:  With all the “ready made” off-season moves, don’t talk to me about what this team does in the regular season or playoffs. With Love, Irving, and James, the only talk surrounding the new “Big-3” should be not 1… not 2… not 3…  CHAMPIONSHIP(s)! PERIOD.

Honorable Mention: Heat – Wade and Bosh will be out to prove something.  Hornets – Al  Jefferson is coming; forget the plantar this go round!

As always, let us know what you think: http://www.theshopreport.com

NFL 14: Week 8 Matchup Predictions

No need for the funny conversation today. Time to get down to bidness and make it all about the picks this week. Read em’ and weep!

Chargers @ Broncos: PICK: Broncos

Lions @ Falcons: PICK: Lions

Rams @ Chiefs: PICK: Chiefs

Texans@ Titans: PICK:  Texans

Vikings @ Buccaneers: PICK: Buccaneers

Seahawks @ Panthers: PICK: Panthers

Ravens @ Bengals: PICK: Ravens

Dolphins @ Jaguars: PICK:  Jaguars

Bears @ Patriots: PICK:  Bears

Bills @ Jets: PICK: Jets

Eagles @ Cardinals: PICK: Cardinals

Raiders @ Browns: PICK:  Browns

Colts @ Steelers: PICK: Colts

Packers @ Saints: PICK: Packers

Redskins @ Cowboys: PICK: Cowboys

Remember, don’t place any bets off my picks; losing your money will most likely be the end result!

What say you about your picks?  Let us know. http://www.theshopreport.com

NFL 14: Week 7 Matchup Predictions

Is this the year the Browns finally make it to the playoffs, and make some noise when they get there? Are the Eagles a lock to win Super Bowl 49? Are the Rams better than their 1-4 record?  Can the Colts make Peyton Manning a distant memory? Do the Patriots deserve the “Grandfathered” treatment because of their past success?  All this and more, is sure to be answered as the 2014 season unfolds, but one thing is for certain- my matchup predictions.

Jets @ Patriots: Boy oh boy, the Jets are a complete mess right now, and Rex Ryan looks to be the Browns number one choice (I hope) for defensive coordinator next season; division matchup aside, Pats have this one on lock. PICK: Patriots

Falcons @ Ravens: “Matty Ice” can’t- unfortunately- play both offense and defense, which is too bad for the Falcons. Ravens are my choice to represent the AFC in this year’s bowl. PICK: Ravens

Titans @ Redskins: Titans got away with another close one, and Redskins have a quarterback controversy by default. PICK: Whoever has the ball last

Seahawks @ Rams: Hawks got it handed to them by the Boys in such a fashion that they will most definitely be looking to take it out on the Rams. Rams would look like an entirely different squad with a better QB. PICK: Seahawks

Browns @ Jaguars: Browns can ill afford to fall asleep against the Jags. Take the the Jags lightly, and fans in Cleveland will most assuredly go back to cryin for Johnny. PICK: Browns

Bengals @ Colts: This is the contest I look forward to seeing more than any other. Bengals are starting to look typical under Marvin Lewis, and the Colts minimal attention from the national media seems to be just fine by them. PICK: Colts

Vikings @ Bills: The Bills are playin’ as if though they’d rather be in L.A.; Vikes are not really playin’ at all. PICK: EENIE MEENIE… you get the idea.

Dolphins @ Bears: Phins had the Pack on the ropes and couldn’t put em away. Bears are who I thought they were (an enigma), and I can’t let em off the hook. PICK: Bears

Saints @ Lions: Something is amiss with these Saints, and despite the Lions 4-2 record, no MEGATRON could end up being the diff. PICK: Saints

Panthers @ Packers: Aaron Rodgers; need I say more? PICK: Packers

Chiefs @ Chargers: Chargers don’t look as invincible as I once thought. On the other hand, Chiefs have a way of showin’ up when you least expect. PICK: Chargers-only because they’re at home.

Cardinals @ Raiders: Derek Carr looks to be far better than his brother (David) ever could. Arians, the coach folks in Cleveland said was too old, has the Cards playin some good ole fashion football. Did I mention Fitzgerald is startin’ to come alive? PICK: Cardinals

Giants @ Cowboys: Giants had me fooled; shame on me. Anybody who thinks the Boys are not for real is foolish! PICK: Cowboys

49ers @ Broncos: Manning is hard to beat at home. Maybe not so for the Niners. PICK: 49ers

Texans @ Steelers: If the Browns can make “Big Ben” look like one of his namesake sandwiches, just imagine what Watt will do. If you didn’t know now you do, J.J. IS DY-NO-MITE!!

For all you gamblers out there, I hope this weeks picks help you fair better. Let us know what you think at: http://www.theshopreport.com

NFL 14: Week 4 Matchup Predictions

Week to week, the NFL never fails to impress when it comes to the wild and crazy. From blowouts to “no way they should’ve won”, it never gets old. Only one thing is for certain every week; the Browns will always find a way to lose the game by way of the self-inflicted wound.  Here are my week 4 predictions:

Giants @ Redskins: Kirk Cousins is making the seat cushion underneath RGIII  a lot more uncomfortable with each passing performance. Eli Manning seems to have found whatever was missing, and this is a division game. PICK: Pick em’

Packers @ Bears: What is wrong with Mr. “Discount Double Check?”  Rodgers, nor the Pack as a whole are looking like the Pack of 2010; could this be the end? I hope not. All of a sudden the Bears potent offense (on paper) looks like more than the Pack can handle. PICK: Bears

Bills @ Texans: Without Arian Foster, Texans have limited options on offense, thus making them an underdog to even the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian league. Bills have the advantage by default. PICK: Bills

Titans @ Colts: The question here is, who gets first pick in next year’s draft, Browns or Titans? Andrew and his stable of horses are startin’ to come around. PICK:  Colts

Panthers @ Ravens: Panthers may look the part, but they smell of “overrated; Ravens are slowly but surely gathering steam. And they’re at home. Next to the Seahawks, this may be the toughest team to beat at home. PICK: Ravens

Lions @ Jets: Both these two are still somewhat enigmas’ in my book.  Well coached, but hard to pin-point from week to week.  PICK:  Pick em’

Buccaneers @ Steelers:  Bucs are just god awful. Steelers know how to win.  PICK:  Steelers

Dolphins @ Raiders:  Although Raiders played the mighty Patriots pretty tough,  Phins identity is starting to come to fruition. PICK:  Dolphins

Jaguars @ Chargers: Bortles will impress, but Rivers says enough with this “slow start” mess. PICK:  Chargers

Eagles @ 49ers: Eagles don’t look as strong as I initially thought, and 49ers window may be closing. PICK : 49ers

Falcons @ Vikings:  Falcons offense – without question –  is high powered championship material; the defense is still a question. For the Vikings, this season can’t be over fast enough.  PICK:  Falcons

Saints @ Cowboys: Who’s defense can stop who?  neither.  This one will come down to which team has the ball last. PICK: Saints

Patriots @ Chiefs: No doubt Brady and Bill are joined at the hip, but disjointed is what best describes these Patriots early in the season. For Andy Reid, it’s find a fix…  or be fired!  PICK:  Patriots

Bye Week: Cardinals, Bengals, Browns, Broncos, Seahawks, Rams.

As always, let us know what your picks are!  www.theshopreport.com

NFL 14: Week 2 Matchup Predictions

Boy oh boy, week 1 of the 2014 NFL season -as usual- did not disappoint. Nobody in their right mind would’ve thought the Dolphins could beat the Patriots no matter how improved the Phins’ are. Or, the Bills to beat Chicago, in Chicago!!  So, I make my matchup predictions this week, keeping in mind to expect the unexpected.

Steelers @ Ravens: Without going on some long drawn out rant about the Ray Rice fiasco, Imake this pick strictly based on football. Steelers barely got by the Browns (surprisingly), and Ravens uncharacteristically couldn’t finish the deal after getting the lead against the Bengals. PICK: Ravens

Dolphins @ Bills: Both of these squads have put the league on notice that they’re tired of being everybody else’s fodder. That’s why this game is a: PICK EM’

Jaguars @ Redskins: I have the Jags as one of my sleepers, and they did exactly that after getting a lead against the dynamic Eagles-fell asleep! Skins’ fared no better scoring only 6-pts against the Texans. Not sure if I should pick a winner, or see who gets first pick in next year’s draft. PICK: Redskins

Cowboys @ Titans: Romo and co. looked downright abysmal against Niners; PICK: Titans

Cardinals @ Giants: No way the Giants are 14-pts bad. On the other hand, Cards have to be better than 18! PICK: Cardinals

Patriots @ Vikings: Pats’ still have the aura and mystique, but like the NFL shield, it’s starting to show severe cracks. Vikings look solid. PICK: Vikings

Saints @ Browns: Although most fans’ in Cleveland feel think there is reason for hope after the second half showing against the Burg, I say Saints are more than pissed at how they lost to the Falcons. PICK: Saints

Falcons @ Bengals: Falcons offense is better than decent; Defense is not. Bengals D will do what Saints couldn’t, and the offense is more than what Falcons D can handle. PICK: Bengals

Lions @ Panthers: Lions played against the Giants with the mindset that they won’t give away the North this time. Panthers better hurry up and get Cam back. PICK: Lions

Rams @ Buccaneers: Rams are hurting without a legit starting QB; Bucs will win this one with their D. PICK: Buccaneers

Seahawks @ Chargers: Hawks can beat anybody anywhere, anytime. Chargers slow start this season will be due to what opponents are doing to them, not what the usually do to themselves. PICK: Sehawks

Texans @ Raiders: Even without Clowney, Texans are more than Raiders can handle. PICK: Texans

Jets @ Packers: Jets are pretty well coached all around under Ryan, but the Pack wants some get back after what happend in Seattle. PICK: Packers

Chiefs @ Broncos: Chiefs won’t have enough left in the tank after making the “Mile High” climb. Peyton may end up not even playing the second half. PICK: Broncos

Bears @ 49ers: What the Niners did to the Cowboys was downright disrespectful; can’t say the boys didn’t deserve it. Cutler trys to often to make THE PLAY, instead of THE RIGHT PLAY, which ends being to the detriment of the Bears offense. PICK: 49ers

Eagles @ Colts: I like the Colts, but not in this one. Eagles haven’t reached their full potential. PICK: Eagles

 

Those are my week 2 picks… Name yours.  www.theshopreport.com

 

NFL 2014 Teams to watch: NFC

Now that we’ve told you who to watch for from the AFC side of thing’s, let us take a look at the NFC’s representatives.

Packers: Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers are joined at the hip like nobody’s business. The Pack’s infrastructure is built from adamantium, and is usually the case with the “always mentioned” squads in the NFL who just seem to get it right year in and year out. These cats’ don’t rebuild, they reload!! If you’ve got your money on this bunch to be the NFC rep in this year’s Super Bowl, I’d say that ‘s about as safe a bet as you can make.

Eagles: I know D Jack is no longer in the mix, but that won’t slow down Chip and co. not one bit. As it stands, I seem to have been DEAD WRONG about Chip and his brand of offense. This guy has already shown that he understands how to use, and get most out of whoever is on the roster; something the Browns – 15 yrs and counting- have yet to figure out. His offensive philosophy can be downright scary at times. Again, D Jack is a big loss, but I believe Chip will find a way to compensate for the loss.

Saints: There seems to be a common thread amongst teams that figure to consistently be in the mix. A good head coach (Payton), and a franchise QB (Brees), and what you get is a greater than 75% chance your team will be in post season conversation each and every go round. Nothing says that more than how the Saints fared during the 1- year suspension of Payton; Brees, and the rest of Benson’s Saints had an ok year, but not like the Super Bowl year when Payton was on the sidelines. As long as those two (Payton/Brees) are together, Saints are a playoff foregone conclusion.

Seahawks: We all know the Russell Wilson story by now. It’s a high crime that “Wilson Mania” falls far below “Manznia”, and Wilson has down far more in the way of production on the field as Manziel has in filming TV commercials; blame it on the basanova. This squad was a Marshawn Lynch fumble (on the 2-yd line) in 2012 against the Falcons from going to the Bowl that year. As long as the mantra in Hawks camp- “every week is championship week!”- remains the same, I see know reason why they shouldn’t repeat.

Cowboys: The boys’ have an absolute dawg in Dez Braynt; the question is, can Romo finally get over the regular season phenom, playoff putrid player he is now known for? I could give a crap less about QBR and any other stat people use to try and justify a players performance. What Romo lacks is unquantifiable. There is enough talent on this squad to make some noise, but it all starts with Tony.

Sleepers:

Rams: I’m not so sure I clearly understand all the concern surrounding the loss of Bradford. He was slightly above average in my estimation, and not nearly worth the 13-16 million he is supposed to make next season. That doesn’t mean Shaun Hill will thrill, but Jeff Fisher is solid enough as an NFL head coach that I think the Rams will figure it out. Bradford going down does not hurt this squad like it would the Browns were Bradford in Cleveland. Because of Fisher, Rams will be a tough out for just about any team this season.

Cardinals: Arians, “Honey Badger”, Palmer, Peterson, and Fitzgerald. If the Cards are going to make any noise this season it’ll be up to these five to anchor a playoff push this season. I think it can be done, simply because Arians’ will give the oppositions DB’s a severe workout night in and night out, and a healthy Peterson/Honey Badger combo will make it a whole lot less stressful on the Cards’ pass rush. Not to mention Fitzgerald came very close to an 1,000 yrd season (952) in 2013 playing with what seemed like a myriad of qb’s.

Vikings: All Day Peterson should flourish under Norv Turner, who I think was prematurely ousted in Cleveland. If Vikes could get to a Wild Card (2012) against the Pack on “ALL DAYS”  back, with Norv, they may just win a round this time.

Bears: Their version of ” The Big 3″ with Jeffery, Cutler, and Marshall, poses an offensive explosion that could be downright offensive once the lights come on. The question is, can the D bring something to the party? Anything? If so, Houston, the entire NFL will have a problem.

Well, that’ll do it for my teams to watch in 2014. As always, let us know what you think at: http://www.theshopreport.com.

Up Next: Week 1 matchup predictions

NBA 2K13 In Season Review: Boston Celtics

Of all the playoff teams’ I’ve previewed up to this point, the Boston Celtics are by far the one playoff squad that is surrounded by a myriad of questions. Can Pierce and Garnett pull it together for one more championship run? Will they survive a playoff series without the playoff- walking triple-double- Rondo? Are Avery Bradley’s shoulder seperations a thing of the past? I’m not sure what the answers to these questions are, and I may never know if the Celtics get handed a first-round exit ticket by the Knicks, but I do know one thing: no matter who’s name is on the back of the jersey at the time, putting on that Celtics uniform has enabled all those who wear it to perform. How else would you explain 17 championships?

Doc Rivers is second only to Greg Popovich when it comes to being a complete coach. As has been mentioned before with the likes of Jerry Sloan, both Pop and Rivers were former players who’s teams’ seem to have taken on the identity of each. Despite the rash of injuries that have befallen the Celtics this season, Doc has managed to keep his troops moving forward towards another possible championship run that many think the Celtics are too old to pull off. Never underestimate the heart of a champion; did not the tortise beat the hare? This team’s horses may have lost some it’s Kentucky Derby speed, but their high playoff basketball I.Q. more than makes up for that.

The Celtics stack up pretty modestly against the rest of the league from a statistical standpoint, but we all know know numbers never tell the whole story when it comes to the tenants at T.D. Bank North. They rank 11th in points allowed (96.5), and 18th in points scored (96.6). I’d be worried if these numbers were attached to the Atlanta Hawks because of their style of play. In the case of the Celtics these are grind it out numbers, and grind it out is what Boston does best; slow you down and be physical in the process. Because of this fact, I believe the first-round matchup against the Knicks is a toss up.

Yes, Melo and J.R. Smith are two of the game’s hottest shooters who have an uncanny ability to shoot the three. However, without an inside presence to compliment what the Knicks can do from the perimeter, the Celtics win this series. We all saw what happend to the Thunder in last last year’s Finals. Tyson Chandler is the key element for both teams in this series. The Knicks need him to balance out their half court offense, and the Celtics need his absence in order for their 29th league rank rebounding position to not rear it’s ugly head. Last but not least, the Celtics do a much better job of moving the ball in the halfcourt offense than do the Knicks.

With the playoffs set to start about a week from now, this is the only Eastern conf. matchup I look forward to seeing. The Celtics D vs. the Knicks love for the 3… Win or go home!

NBA 2K13 In Season Review: Denver Nuggets

Did you know there once was a time in the NBA where if a player was fouled in the backcourt that player was then awarded 2 free-throws? Which is a testament to defense being a high priority in those days. While it’s not okay that defense in today’s NBA is played with an old school flavor by a select few, what is okay by today’s standards is a team like the Denver Nuggets being made to play 20 of it’s first 31 games (this season) on the road because of the money grubbing, headlining powers that be… who feel as though it’s better for the basketball fan to see… all home games national-lee… played by the front runners down in Mia-mee. More on this subject later. Right now it’s about the Denver Nuggets and why they could be one of the most dangerous teams in the 2013 playoffs.

If I told you the Nuggets have the 2nd best record behind OKC in the Northwest division (30-18), and are 6th best in the NBA overall, suggesting I have my head examined by a medical professional would be good advice if none of what I just were true.

Winners’ of their last 6, these Nuggets’ put some serious lumps on the foreheads of a few 2013 playoff contenders; knocking off the James Harden led Rockets (twice), the Finals repeat shoo-in Thunder (according to many), and the fastly up and coming Warriors’ during that span. This doesn’t mean that the Nuggets’ are completely cured of their bad habit of “stock market-itis”, where one minute they look like the green arrow pointing up, and the next minute looking like the red arrow pointing down. They do however look like a team that if the playoffs started today could knock off the clippers’ in a first round series. Which would be shocking to most of the basketball world except me.

Unlike years’ past, I don’t recall the Nuggets having a player on the roster who plays with the ferocity and relentlessness of a Kenneth “The Manimal” Faried, or an Andre Iguodala who seems to have finally found the place where his type of game can really flourish. Add to that a JaVale McGee who’s skills are over-shadowed by his ” Shaqtin-a-fool” moments, a “Deadly” Galinari from the outside, the blossoming facilitator Ty Lawson, and Corey Brewer with Wilson Chandler, this could be the year These Nuggets’ go into a second round with people actually placing bets in their favor. This team has more depth than in recent years; better team free-throw shooting and team defense- allowing 100.7 per/g- could lead to an upset of grand porportions and their first ever NBA Finals’ appearance

NBA 2K13 In Season Review: San Antonio Spurs

The San Antonio Spurs are what I like to call authentic. Where they rank in statistical categories is not even worth the mention, because it really doesn’t matter if they’re at the top, middle, or bottom, the playoffs always seem to be a foregone conclusion. The Spurs are one of two teams'(Grizzlies are the other) whose style of play could survive the removal of the 3-point line. Know why? They play from the inside out; Which of course is a key ingredient to 4 NBA Titles.

The other key ingredients are none other than Greg Popovich, Tim(The Big Fundamental) Duncan, Ginobili, Parker, and a host of players who not only understand their roles, but relish in the idea of being role players minus the ego. A rarity in today’s NBA and just about any other professional sport. Unlike the more talked about NBA teams, if you get a chance to “witness” the Spurs in person or on t.v. leave your popcorn at home and instead bring a pen and pad- school is in session!

Playing in his 16th NBA season at the ripe old age of 36, Tim Duncan is a class act who unfortunately, doesn’t get the SportCenter credit that he rightfully deserves. Can you believe this dude is puttin’ up 17pts per? That’s insane for a guy (according to some) who should’ve been put out to pasture eons ago. Talk about durability. Along with Parker and Ginobili (if healthy), the Spurs core is a formidable one no matter how fast the other team is. Throw in a bench comprised of blue collar construction types in Splitter, Jackson, Blair, Leonard, Green, Neal, and Diaw, you have the makings of what a legit NBA title contender should look like.

Just as important as personnel is coaching. Who is better than G Pop in the game today? Pop has a system that won’t wow you with the flashy, but will bore you with the fundamental. Matter fact, Pop’s style is so boring 8 out of the 12 players’ on his roster shoot better than 80% from the free-throw line, and no player- except Parker (19.7)- averages more than 20 pts/g!! Every player makes his minutes count.

When it comes down to the San Antonio Spurs’, what’s already understood really need not be explained.