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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Miami is seeking a three-peat in its fourth straight Finals appearance after dispatching Indiana. (businessinsider.com)

The Finals are set, as Miami and San Antonio have advanced. The did so by dispatching the Pacers and Thunder in six games each. San Antonio especially had a tougher time than it anticipated, with Serge Ibaka making an early return to the Thunder. Still, it was not to be for OKC.

As for our contest, the Thunder cost some of our experts, with precious few points available at this point. But the six game series did manage to help out a bit for some.

But the contest is not over yet. One more round remains, the picks for which will be presented Thursday for Game 1. Stay tuned for them, but until then, updated results are below. Continue reading 2014 NBA Playoff Expert Picks: Third Round Results »

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Julius Randle (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images Sport)

The NBA Draft lottery wasn’t kind to the Celtics, who entered it with the fifth-best odds of getting the top pick but wound up with the sixth selection. Boston will also have the 17th overall pick as a result of the blockbuster that sent the remaining members of the Big Three to Brooklyn, and which will continue to pay dividends for the C’s until the 2018 Draft. The Celtics will not, however, have a second-round selection, as they traded theirs to Dallas when they moved up to take Kelly Olynyk last year.

So, while Indiana, Miami, Oklahoma City and San Antonio continue to compete for the 2013-14 Championship, in Boston it’s time to start looking at some of the prospects the Celtics could target on June 26, starting today with the sixth pick (and leaving aside, for now, the Kevin Love trade rumors). Considering, as it currently seems, that the top three will feature some combination of Duke’s Jabari Parker and Kansas’s Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins, the first prospect on our radar is Julius Randle of Kentucky: Continue reading Celtics 2014 Draft Targets: Julius Randle »

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