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The NHL regular is well underway and will end on April 6, 2019. The 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs will then begin a few days afterwards,
with the Stanley Cup Finals held in late May to early June.
The 2018-2019 NBA season is in full force and the games are very competitive and high scoring.
With a lot of changes to teams around the league, this season is shaping up to be an intriguing one — even if the Warriors are going to win again.
The 2018–19 NCAA Division I men's basketball season is underway with tons of tournaments around the country.
The The journey is long, but fun, to the Final Four in Minneapolis on April 8, 2019.
The 2018 CFB Bowl Season is just around the corner.
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NFL 2018 Discussion (Last Updated: 12/12)
1. New Orleans Saints (11-2):
Week 14 ranking: 2
Top wish list item: The NFC's No. 1 seed. The Rams opened the door with their loss at Chicago on Sunday
night. Now the Saints need to slam it shut with victories at Carolina and at home against Pittsburgh and
Carolina to end the regular season. New Orleans is certainly capable of winning on the road, but the team's
only Super Bowl in franchise history came when the Saints earned a No. 1 seed in 2009. And it wouldn't hurt
to avoid both the Rams and Bears in the divisional round of the playoffs.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (11-2):
Week 14 ranking: 3
Top wish list item: A win over the Chargers on Thursday night. That would get the Chiefs one of their
goals -- they would clinch the AFC West title -- and get them close to another, which is home-field
advantage throughout the playoffs. If they lose to the Chargers, the Chiefs would have to expend plenty
of energy over the final two games to reach both goals.
3. Los Angeles Rams (11-2):
Week 14 ranking: 1
Top wish list item: A Super Bowl ring. OK, so technically, that wish can't be granted until February.
But really, that's all this Rams team wants after an offseason that screamed "Super Bowl or bust" with
the additions of All-Pros Aqib Talib, Marcus Peters and Ndamukong Suh, not to mention record-breaking
paydays for Aaron Donald and Todd Gurley. The Rams have clinched the NFC West for a second consecutive
season, and while they found plenty of enjoyment in that, their goal from the outset was to earn a date
in February. Anything less than that stands the chance of getting re-gifted.
4. Los Angeles Chargers (10-3):
Week 14 ranking: 5
Top wish list item: A healthy Melvin Gordon. The Chargers have won both games Gordon missed with a
sprained right knee. However, the Wisconsin product accounted for 36 percent of the Bolts' scrimmage
touchdowns before his injury. If the Chargers want to make a deep postseason run, they need a healthy
Gordon to reach their full potential on offense.
5. New England Patriots (9-4):
Week 14 ranking: 4
Top wish list item: A "Back to the Future" flux capacitor. The Patriots would like to travel back in time
to Sunday so they can redo the final 69-yard defensive meltdown that led to a stunning 34-33 defeat to the
Dolphins. It is rare to see a Bill Belichick-coached team, which prides itself on excelling at situational
football, make such a miscue in a crucial situation.
NBA 2018 Discussion (Last Updated: 12/12)
1. Milwaukee Buckss:
Last week: 4, Record: 17-8
Pace: 103.8 (5) OffRtg: 114.0 (2) DefRtg: 104.9 (6) NetRtg: +9.1 (1)
Since Thanksgiving, the Bucks have lost to the Suns, Hornets and Knicks. They had their worst offensive
game of the season on Friday, getting outscored 57-21 from 3-point range by the Warriors (and no team has
allowed more 3-pointers per game). But they got a huge road win in Toronto on Sunday (their slowest-paced
game of the season), with Malcolm Brogdon turning a three-point deficit into a three-point lead with
back-to-back 3-pointers in the final 1:07. Brogdon ranks fourth in the league in 3-point percentage
(48 percent) and is 5-for-7 from beyond the arc with the score within five points in the last five minutes
of the fourth quarter or overtime. It will be interesting to see how George Hill (who has started 453 of
his 469 games over the last seven seasons) fits into the Bucks' backcourt, though it's worth noting that
they've been much better with Eric Bledsoe (plus-17.6 points per 100 possessions) or Brogdon (plus-9.2)
on the floor without the other than they've been with both (plus-2.9).
Week 9: vs. CLE, @ IND, @ CLE
2. Denver Nuggets:
Last week: 2, Record: 17-9s:
Pace: 98.8 (26) OffRtg: 110.5 (9) DefRtg: 104.3 (4) NetRtg: +6.1 (5)
The Nuggets have had one of the best benches in the league. They've outscored their opponents by 6.9
points per 100 possessions with Trey Lyles and Mason Plumlee on the floor together, Monte Morris leads
the league in assist-turnover ratio (5.72), and Malik Beasley has had some big performances, including
15 points on 6-for-8 shooting in the Nuggets' big win in Toronto last Monday. But they could have just
one opening-night starter against Memphis this Monday, with Will Barton (hip/groin issue) still out, Gary
Harris (sore hip) and Paul Millsap (broken toe) joining him on the shelf, and Jamal Murray questionable
with a shin injury suffered in Atlanta on Saturday. The injuries and a tough travel schedule seemed to
catch up with them over the weekend, when they lost both games of a back-to-back in Charlotte and Atlanta,
with the latter being their worst offensive game of the season. The visit from the Grizzlies is the start
of a four-game homestand, but the first three games are against top-seven defenses.
Week 9: vs. MEM, vs. OKC, vs. TOR
3. Toronto Raptorss:
Last week: 1, Record: 21-7
Pace: 101.0 (16) OffRtg: 112.8 (4) DefRtg: 105.8 (7) NetRtg: +7.0 (2)
Maybe Kyle Lowry will find his shot on the West coast, though he can't break out of his shooting slump
(8-for-42 over his last five games) if he doesn't shoot. Worse than Lowry missing shots is Lowry passing
them up, because his ability and willingness to shoot 3-pointers off the dribble (he was the best pull-up
3-point shooter over the last two seasons) opens other things up (for both himself and his teammates),
and when he does pass up an open shot, the Raptors might not get a better one on the same possession.
That was the case on multiple occasions as they lost close games to Brooklyn and Milwaukee over the
weekend, and it's not a coincidence that the last four games (four of the six games in which Lowry has
attempted less than nine shots) have been the Raptors' worst stretch of offense (102.2 points scored per
100 possessions) this season.
Week 9: @ LAC, @ GSW, @ POR, @ DEN
4. Golden State Warriorss:
Last week: 8, Record: 18-9
Pace: 100.9 (17) OffRtg: 114.5 (1) DefRtg: 108.8 (18) NetRtg: +5.7 (6)
The Warriors are starting to look familiar. Their offense got rolling in Atlanta and Cleveland last week,
they had one of their biggest third quarters of the season on Wednesday, and they shot 48 percent from
3-point range over the last three games of their trip. They're set to get Draymond Green back on Monday,
but they didn't wait for his return to have one of their best defensive games of the season. On Friday,
the champs were the first team to hold the Bucks under a point per possession, a performance that put
their own offense in the familiar position of No. 1 in the league. Forget 50-40-90, Stephen Curry is
going for 50-50-90, now at an even 50 percent (84-for-168) from 3-point range. The Milwaukee win began
a stretch where they're playing nine of 11 games against teams that currently have winning records.
Week 9: vs. MIN, vs. TOR, @ SAC
5. Philadelphia 76ers:
Last week: 6, Record: 18-9
Pace: 103.1 (7) OffRtg: 108.7 (13) DefRtg: 106.9 (10) NetRtg: +1.8 (13)
The diagnosis of a nerve issue in Markelle Fultz's shoulder leaves the door slightly ajar for Fultz to
contribute to the Sixers' season at some point down the line. For now, Philly still needs guys like Wilson
Chandler and Mike Muscala to make shots, and the pair had their best collective game on Friday, totaling 28
points and six blocks as the Sixers won in Detroit without Joel Embiid (rest). They were 2-for-10 in their
loss in Toronto on Wednesday, when the Sixers basically lost the game (when Toronto went on a 9-0 run) with J
immy Butler and Ben Simmons off the floor. Since Butler's arrival, the Sixers have been better in their
Butler-Simmons minutes without Embiid and J.J. Redick (plus-10.1 points per 100 possessions) than they've
been in their Redick-Embiid minutes without Butler and Simmons (plus-5.8). Both numbers are solid overall,
but the schedule has been relatively soft and the Sixers are now 0-4 (0-1 with Butler) against the other
three teams -- Boston, Milwaukee and Toronto -- we might expect them to be fighting for a trip to The
Finals come May.
Week 9: vs. DET, vs. BKN, vs. IND, @ CLE
CBA 2018 Discussion (Last Updated: 12/12)
The 10-0 Wolverines are No. 1 because they're the best combination of being undefeated and have looked
the most dominant. Michigan has the No. 1-ranked defense in America, has wins away from home against
Villanova, Providence and Northwestern, and also owns victories against North Carolina and Purdue. It's
also made a habit of holding opponents to 10, 15, 20, even 30 points below their scoring average. This
team already looks better than the group that made last season's national title game.
The Blue Devils (9-1) are slotted at No. 2 because they're trending as one of the most dominant
statistical teams of the past decade. At this point, Duke would be favored over every team in college
basketball on a neutral court. The loss to Gonzaga knocks them from the top spot for now, however.
Duke ranks first in most modern metrics, which tells you how much the computers respect it, particularly
with a lot of good teams still sans a loss. In the midst of a stretch against teams from one-bid leagues,
so the next must-see game comes in a week against Texas Tech at Madison Square Garden.
Undefeated Kansas (8-0) is tops in the AP Top 25 and Coaches Poll, but it hasn't played up to expectations
in the big picture so far. Part of that is the injury to big man Udoka Azubuike, but beyond that, the team's
not getting consistent play in the backcourt. Still, KU is undefeated and has played a very respectable
schedule. It's pushed on and won out despite some bumps and close calls (almost lost at home to Stanford,
had a close call against New Mexico). Next up is a tricky but obviously very winnable proposition:
Villanova comes to Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday.
Tony Bennett's team is 9-0 but isn't without its issues. Starting point guard Kihei Clark, who has been
an unexpected impact guy almost immediately, is out indefinitely due to a wrist injury. But I won't dock
UVA in the PR until I see how it plays without Clark in there. The Wahoos are averaging 72.8 points,
which is tracking as the most under Bennett (who took the job in 2009). Remains to be seen if Virginia
can stay above 70 once ACC play gets humming.
KenPom.com gives the 10-0 Wolf Pack a 12.4-percent chance at running the regular-season table. That's by
far the best of any undefeated team left standing. For comparison, Michigan is at 0.20 percent; B
uffalo: 0.20; Kansas: 0.10; Virginia: -.04; St. John's: 0.01; Texas Tech: 0.00; and St. John's: 0.00.
For Nevada to be at 12.4 is a gargantuan probability lead.
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