Anthony Davis (Photo courtesy of NBA.com)

The group stage of the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup came to a close on Thursday in Spain, with three teams going a perfect 5-0: Greece, Spain and the United States. Team USA was as dominant as expected given the weakness if its Group C rivals, winning all five games by an average of 33.2 points. But the home team certainly appears serious about not letting the Cup get away, with an average winning margin of 25.2 points over some very tough opponents, while Greece staked its claim as more than just a dark horse.

The three favorites

United States

The inexperienced American team looked very good in its five wins, beginning with a 114-55 throttling of Finland. Their stiffest challenge came from Turkey in the second game, but the U.S.A. put the clamps down in the second half on the way to a 21-point victory. Probably the best news was the balanced contribution of all the rotation players to the offensive game, with no Americans among the tournament’s top 10 scorers. Continue reading Spain, U.S.A. Appear Headed for Final Clash at FIBA World Cup »

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Greece impressed as one of three unbeaten teams; how far can they take it? (http://www.greek-mythology-pantheon.com/)

The group stage is over in the World Cup, and to nobody’s surprise, the United States cruised. Spain also moved through handily, but what nobody saw combing was how well Greece did, winning all five games and helping push group favorite Argentina all the way down to third place. At least one team in each group made it through with a losing record as well, so it was a tough race for many teams.

With similar picks, our Pick ‘Em is neck-and-neck, so far relying on bonus points from picking the correct place finishers to open up leads. The results so far are below, and be sure to come back Saturday for the Round of 16 selections. Continue reading 2014 FIBA World Cup Pick ‘Em: Group Stage Results »

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With the 2014 FIBA World Cup underway, the USA will look to overcome Paul George's injury to defend their crown. ("Family Guy," 'The Perfect Castaway,' 2005)

The FIBA Basketball World CUp is underway. The USA will attempt to defend their title, but will have to do so without Paul George following his horrific injury. In the meantime, several nations should put up quite a fight, especially late in the knockout stages. But for now, the Americans will have to deal with Turkey, the team they beat in the Finals last time, as well as four others. For the tournament, we’re here to to present predictions for how things will turn out.

Correctly picking a team to advance past the group stage is worth one point. Furthermore, picking the #1 team from each group exactly is worth four points, followed by three points for exactly guessing each group’s #2 team, and so on.

So check below for the Group Stage picks, as well as a list of the teams in each group. The first four teams in each group will advance to the knockout stage. Continue reading 2014 FIBA World Cup Pick ‘Em: Group Stage »

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Team USA (Photo courtesy of NBA.com)

Starting on Saturday, Spain will host the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, where Team USA will look for its second straight championship and fifth overall, which would tie Yugoslavia for the most ever. The United States will be bringing a young and inexperienced team to the tournament, but one that still has to be considered the favorite to bring home a fourth straight major title, including the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics gold medals. What follows is a rundown of the USA’s chances of coming out on top at the end of what will be an intense two-week competition, and who will be standing in the Americans’ way.

Team USA: Still the favorite

Most of the headlines about the U.S. pre-World Cup training camp revolved around the absences, with big men Blake Griffin and Kevin Love both dropping out voluntarily before Paul George‘s gruesome leg injury knocked him out for the upcoming NBA season. Love’s absence leaves Anthony Davis and James Harden as the only returning players from the London Games, while Stephen Curry, Rudy Gay and Derrick Rose will all return four years after their 2010 World Cup win in Turkey. Continue reading 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup Preview »

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"Pro Wrestling," NES

The NBA Finals are over. Miami’s three-peat dreams are dashed, and San Antonio has crushed Miami in five games for some well-earned revenge. Even those who predicted San Antonio as champions didn’t see such a dominant performance coming. And instead of speaking about nothing, Coach Gregg Popovich answered two post-Game 5 questions on the floor with a total of five words; won’t it be great if that catches on?

With such a surprise performance, guessing the winner of the series was the only way to gain points in our Pick ‘Em’s final round. But it was worth four points to do so, which meant plenty. And on that note, the winner of the 2014 NBA Playoffs Pick ‘Em is… Continue reading 2014 NBA Playoffs Expert Picks: NBA Finals Results »

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The Heat and Spurs will duke it out once more for basketball's greatest prize. (http://www.theguardian.com/)

The NBA Finals are here, and it’s a rematch from the previous season with San Antonio and Miami squaring off for all the marbles. Of the past six such rematches, only Michael Jordan’s Bulls were able to win both years. But if anyone else can duplicate the feat, it’s LeBron James and his loaded lineup. Of course, San Antonio can win just as easily. That fact made its way into our predictions, with our experts split as to who will win. However, most agree on a lengthy series, which would certainly be appropriate for something of this magnitude.

For the Finals, we’ve added the scoring category of choosing the Finals MVP, which was generally easy to choose for for either team that was picked to win. And in addition, all picks are doubled! That means that picking the winner of the series is worth four points, while picking how many games the series will last and the MVP are worth two points each.

And in the event any of our experts tie, we’ll also be predicting how many points will be scored in the series’ FINAL GAME by Miami’s Big Three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh COMBINED.

So check below for our picks, and come back when the Finals is complete for the final standings and results. Continue reading 2014 NBA Playoffs Expert Picks: NBA Finals »

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Heat vs Spurs: Round Two

June 5, 2014 at 4:55pm in Featured, NBA, Opinion
Heat and Spurs fight in finals

Ever since last October 30, the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs have been on a collision course to meet in the 2014 NBA Finals. The Heat and Spurs are once again the last two teams standing, and will clash in the Finals for the second consecutive season. It is the first time that the same two teams will play in the Finals since 1997 and 1998, when the Chicago Bulls and Utah Jazz faced off in back-to-back years. In 2013, the Heat needed a game seven at home to capture its second straight NBA Championship. Will it be the same story in 2014?

The rematch

The Heat’s and Spurs’ rosters are very similar to last year’s. Mike Miller for the Heat and Gary Neal for the Spurs are key players that will not be in this year’s Finals, while Miami added Rashard Lewis and San Antonio now has Marco Belinelli in the fold. The Spurs have home court advantage this time around, but Miami has had an easier road getting to the Finals. San Antonio needed seven games just to get out of the first round against the Dallas Mavericks, and had a tough six-game series in the Western Conference Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Miami, on the other hand, has only lost three games in the playoffs. The question now is, will the Heat complete the three-peat, or will the Spurs avenge their 2013 Finals disappointment? Continue reading Heat vs Spurs: Round Two »

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