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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 also in full force with tons of games around the country.
The The journey is long, but fun, to the Final Four in Minneapolis on April 8, 2019.
The 2019 Major League Baseball season is slowly approaching. It will begin on March 20 and is scheduled to end on September 29. It is the 150th season in MLB history, dating back to the 1869 establishment of the National League. The postseason will begin on October 1.
The World Series is set to begin on October 22 and a potential Game 7 will be played on October 30 if necessary. The entire schedule was released on August 22, 2018.
The 90th Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be held on July 9 at Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians.
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NBA 2019 Discussion (Last Updated: 02/15)
1. Milwaukee Bucks, Last week: 1, Record: 41-14:
Pace: 103.1 (5) OffRtg: 113.3 (4) DefRtg: 103.8 (1) NetRtg: +9.5 (1)
Without Giannis Antetokounmpo on Saturday, the Bucks suffered their worst loss of the season, shooting 6-for-35 from 3-point range and falling to the Orlando Magic by 20 points. Their worst loss in a game in which Antetokounmpo played was Dec. 12 in Indiana, where they'll close their pre-break schedule on Wednesday. But they should have both Antetokounmpo (who sat Saturday for precautionary reasons) and new addition Nikola Mirotic (who hasn't played in almost three weeks, dealing with a calf strain) for both of their games this week. Mirotic will come off the bench for the Bucks, but adds some size and potency to Antetokounmpo-at-center lineups, which have been more successful defensively (less than a point per possession allowed in 115 minutes since Christmas) than offensively. Even with the 6-for-35 performance on Saturday, the Bucks have shot better from 3-point range with Antetokounmpo off the floor (36.2 percent) than they have with him on the floor (35.6 percent, subtracting his own attempts) or off his passes (35.2 percent).
Week 18: @ CHI, @ IND
2. Golden State Warriors, Last week: 2, Record: 40-15:
Pace: 101.8 (10) OffRtg: 116.1 (1) DefRtg: 108.7 (14) NetRtg: +7.4 (2)
Kevon Looney lost his starting job to DeMarcus Cousins, but still has an important role in the Warriors' rotation. Since its first two games together, the champs' new starting lineup has been outscored by almost 24 points per 100 possessions in 82 minutes. But since Cousins' first game, the Warriors are a plus-20.5 points per 100 possessions with Looney on the floor (with the bigger difference in his on-off numbers on offense). Even though he started 22 games this season, Looney has the league's fifth-highest cumulative plus-minus off the bench, with teammate Andre Iguodala having the highest. But even with Iguodala out on Sunday, the Warriors were a plus-14 with Looney on the floor in a two-point win over Miami. They've won 15 of their last 16 games, but have lost four of their last five meetings with the Jazz, who are in Oakland on Tuesday.
Week 18: vs. UTA, @ POR
3. Oklahoma City Thunder, Last week: 5, Record: 36-19:
Pace: 104.0 (2) OffRtg: 110.2 (13) DefRtg: 104.9 (3) NetRtg: +5.3 (5)
Questions remain about the Thunder depth, but, with Jerami Grant shooting 16-for-29 from 3-point range over the last three weeks, their starting lineup has never looked stronger. It leads the league in cumulative plus-minus (plus-199) by a wide margin, though almost 12 percent of that total (plus-23) is just from their last three third quarters, in which the Thunder have outscored their opponents, 110-62. Their comeback from 26 points down in Houston on Saturday, with Paul George scoring 28 of his 45 points in the second half, improved them to 12-9 in games within the top 10 of the West. Three of those nine losses were the first three games of the season and the Thunder have allowed just 104.8 points per 100 possessions in the 18 games against the West's current top 10 since then. They play eight of their next 12 games, including a big meeting with the fourth-place Blazers on Monday, within the group.
Week 18: vs. POR, @ NOP
4. Toronto Raptors, Last week: 9, Record: 41-16:
Pace: 100.3 (15) OffRtg: 112.2 (7) DefRtg: 107.1 (8) NetRtg: +5.2 (6)
The Raptors' new five-man bench unit was a minus-8 in a little more than 11 minutes at Madison Square Garden on Saturday. But you could see a formula -- Marc Gasol as the offensive fulcrum, with four athletic guards/wings around him -- for success with that group. And Toronto's regular starting lineup may have turned things around (after getting outscored by 9.4 points per 100 possessions in just 16 games together over a two-month stretch), registering a plus-16 in 39 minutes in wins in Philadelphia and New York last week. So it will be interesting to see if coach Nick Nurse continues to maximize minutes for the two separate groups or mixes and matches more going forward (as was the idea early in the season). Gasol played less than three minutes alongside Kyle Lowry and Kawhi Leonard on Saturday, but could help the All-Stars' offensive cohesion, with Leonard having assisted Lowry just 15 times (in 921 minutes on the floor together) all season.
Week 18: vs. BKN, vs. WAS
5. Philadelphia 76ers, Last week: 7, Record: 36-20:
Pace: 102.7 (7) OffRtg: 111.7 (10) DefRtg: 108.3 (11) NetRtg: +3.4 (8)
Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid are just 22 and 24 years old, respectively. But 39-year-old general manager Elton Brand had no interest in waiting to go full throttle in the Sixers' drive toward title contention. And after two games with Tobias Harris, Brand looks like a genius. Harris totaled 36 points (on 15-for-26 shooting), 14 rebounds and nine assists (with just one turnover) in wins over the Nuggets and Lakers on Friday and Sunday, and the Sixers' new starting lineup was a plus-17 in its 30 minutes over the two games. That lineup presents matchup issues for opposing defenses (Denver had Jamal Murray guarding Harris for much of the game on Thursday), but the new addition also gives the Sixers more firepower in the 33-36 minutes per game that all five starters aren't on the floor together (with coach Brett Brown always having at least two starters in the game). And what better time than Tuesday for the Sixers to take another shot at their nemesis from Boston.
Week 18: vs. BOS, @ NYK
CBA 2019 Discussion (Last Updated: 02/15)
1. Duke, Last week: No. 2:
If indeed there are alternate universes and different versions of you, and me, and Louisville, and Duke, then the Blue Devils (22-2) are probably third or fourth in those power rankings. But what just happened last week: Duke had its best game of the season in winning at Virginia, then pulled off the biggest comeback win ever under Mike Krzyzewski. That's either telling us that Duke is capable of the incredible almost whenever it wants -- or it's never going to better than what we just saw.
2. Tennessee, Last week: No. 3:
Vols fans are loving their team being No. 1 in the polls yet again, holding off Duke after its conquest of Gonzaga. Weirdly, UT (23-1) has not won against a ranked team since the Gonzaga defeat more than two months ago. Finally, Saturday, a chance for another huge win. Tennessee at Kentucky. I'll be there for the best game this weekend.
3. Virginia, Last week: No. 1:
The Cavs (21-2) don't slip far, not after winning Monday night in the Dean Smith Center. I'm fortunate enough to say that, by the end of Saturday night, I'll have watched five of the top eight teams in these Power Rankings. Here's my column from Chapel Hill on how Virginia took the Duke loss and turned into a North Carolina win.
4. Gonzaga, Last week: No. 4:
The question with the Bulldogs (23-2) isn't when they're going to lose, but what their closest win is going to be. Gonzaga is beating league opponents by an absolutely absurd average margin of 31.1 points. KenPom.com projects the season finale at Saint Mary's to be a nine-point spread.
5. Nevada, Last week: No. 6:
The Wolf Pack (23-1) will continue to get respect and be highly rated in the Power Rankings, which is small consolation for what I addressed in this week's Court Report. The reality is, even if Nevada Gonzagas its opponents and wins by an average of 30 points, lack of key nonconference wins will keep this team from getting a No. 1 seed. If a second loss comes, I kind of think a 3 is the ceiling.
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