What To Watch This Week In US Sports: 11 December 2012
December already! And what a great time of year it is. The NFL is cranking up for the playoffs, the NBA has found a groove, there are a plethora of fun NCAA football bowl games and the NCAA basketball is just heating up. Unfortunately, the NHL lockout keeps rolling on, so no hockey for us
Who’s for real: The OKC Thunder – they’ve well and truly recovered from the shock of the James Harden trade, with Kevin Martin stepping in and scoring 15.4 points per game in an average of 29 minutes. Oh and in case you haven’t heard, the New York Knicks are red hot and sit atop the Eastern Conference because they did this to the Miami Heat:
Who’s not: The Milwaukee Bucks, Charlotte Bobcats and the Phoenix Suns. All these teams started really well, getting to .500 or above through the first 10 games of the season. In the past 10 games all three of these teams have gone 3-7! Ouch!
The jury is out: The Lakers – we really don’t know what to make of LA until Steve Nash gets back in the starting five. All that I’ll say is that I’m worried. With Mike D’Antoni hell-bent on getting his team to playing his trademarked “Run ‘n Gun ‘n Fun” offence, Pau Gasol is almost certain to be traded. I think this might be a case of the coach’s system not being flexible enough to fit the available roster.
Must Watch Game
Memphis Grizzlies (14-3) @ Denver Nuggets (10-10)
Time & Date: Saturday December 15, 2:30pm
Coverage: LIVE on ESPN and ESPN HD w/Replay at 8:00pm on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD (See TV Guide for info)
Two teams that are physical and play a tough brand of basketball . They’ve played once already this season on November 19th with the Nuggets winning on the road 92-97.
The Griz are flying high now though, with a fit and angry Z-Bo (12.9 rebounds and 17.5ppg), Rudy Gay (19.1ppg) and Marc Gasol (7.4 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 15.6ppg), they’ve been shredding teams and sitting on top of the West.
The Nuggets are a mixed bag so far this year. They’re really entertaining, with so much talent, lots of promise, but at times they still look like a group of individuals rather than a cohesive team.
My Tip: This is the middle of a tough road trip for Memphis, where they’re playing three games in four nights. Give me the Nuggets by four in overtime at home.
Well, we’ve had the last week of the regular season and the conference championships, so we finally have sorted out who gets to play in the big games.
One interesting thing to note is that in 2014, the current weird and confusing system of rankings (current called the Bowl Championship Series) will be replaced by a proper playoff to decide the national champion.
So the current system is this:
The two top ranked teams in the country – as decided by a shady collection mash-up of computer algorithms and human polls – play off in the BCS Championship Game.
This year the two teams are the No. 1 ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs the No. 2 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide. They will play off in Miami on January 7th in what promises to be an awesome battle for the crystal trophy.
The other teams go into the rest of the Bowl Games. There are two types of these Bowls, the much more important and lucrative BCS Bowl Games and then the other ‘normal’ bowl games (Of which there are about 26 or so).
The way that teams are selected for all these BCS and normal Bowls is a horribly complicated mash up of rankings and conferences that makes little sense to anyone!
We’ll preview and/or recap all the interesting Bowl Games in the coming weeks in this column.
The new system is this:
Starting in 2014, there will be a four team playoff, where the four best teams in the country will be ranked by an “expert panel” (who the panel consists of hasn’t been decided yet), and then they will play in a knockout semi-final, with the winners playing for the National Championship. It should give us a much more fun and transparent system.
Anyway, there’s no college football for a week, but it’ll be lots of fun when we get to some of the awesome BCS games starting on January 1st.
Ok everyone, happy viewing and we’ll see you here next week. As always, shoot us any comments in the white rectangle just below!