What To Watch This Week In US Sports: 24 January 2013
2013 Pro Bowl: NFC vs AFC
Where & When: Monday 28 January, 11:00AM; Aloha Stadium, Hawaii
TV: LIVE on ESPN and ESPN HD, Replay 7:30pm on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD
Ok, listen up people! This could be the last Pro Bowl ever, so we need to pay attention and care…..wow, look at those tumbleweeds….and I’ve never heard crickets like that in here…
Seriously though, there are good reasons to watch the Pro Bowl, as our own Chris Chard reminds us.
The NFC: With Rodgers, Ryan and Griffin out, the NFC bring in QBs will be Drew Brees, Eli Manning and Russell Wilson. They’ll be supported by the running game of Adrian Peterson, who could easily rush for over 700 yards this game if he feels like it! Look out for some potentially fun run-heavy formations that include AP, Wilson and Marshawn Lynch in on the same plays.
The AFC: Peyton Manning will be backed up by Andrew Luck – yup, it’s finally happening but at the Pro Bowl rather than in Indy as we thought it may have been exactly a year ago…how much does a year change things in the NFL huh?! Look for lots of fun with those two throwing up passes to AJ Green and Andre Johnson.
Final word and prediction: Some vaguely entertaining stuff will happen and about 100 points will be scored. It will be interesting to see if the players actually do put in some more effort than in previous years, as the NFL is essentially now saying that the future of the game will hinge on the performances and attitude of players on Monday.
Only three more weeks until all-star weekend, so the teams are all pretty much halfway through their regular season right now.
So, who’s hot and who’s not?
- Brooklyn Nets (25-16, 9-1 in their last 10) – PJ Carlesimo is doing a good job and the Nets have climbed to fourth in the East.
- Oklahoma City Thunder (33-9, 8-2) – OKC just keeps playing hard every night and chalking up nice wins.
- Detroit Pistons (16-25, 7-3) – The Pistons seem like they’re really over their early season slump and are looking much more cohesive as a team. They’re also up to tenth in the East.
- Atlanta Hawks (23-18, 3-7) – The poor form just continues, as do the Josh Smith trade rumours.
- LA Lakers (17-24, 2-8) – Things just get worse and worse, with Pau Gasol now riding the bench instead of being part of the starting five.
- New York Knicks (25-14, 4-6) – The Knicks have not been bad by any means, but the recent stretch of six losses in the past ten means that they’re falling back in the Eastern Conference dogfight that covers teams two through seven.
Must Watch Game
San Antonio Spurs (33-11) @ Dallas Mavericks (18-24)
Time & Date: Saturday January 26, 12:00pm
Coverage: LIVE on ESPN and ESPN HD w/Replay at 9:00pm on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD (See TV Guide for details)
So, two of the old school, veteran teams go up against each other. This should be really interesting. For starters, lookout for the two coaches. Rick Carlisle and Gregg Popovich are two of the best, most experienced and respected coaches in the NBA over the past 20 years. They always coach well-drilled teams that have superior execution of their half-court offences and set plays.
Then of course we have Tim Duncan v Dirk Nowitzki – two of the great post players of the past 20 years as well. They have remarkably different styles of play, but their competitive nature and brilliant leadership mean that you always learn something from watching them.
In recent weeks Dallas has improved mightily (Vince Carter even put up 29 points in the OT loss to OKC), but the Spurs are really clicking with three-point shooting from Danny Green (look out three-point contest), Manu Ginobili, Gary Neal and Australia’s own Patty Mills.
My Tip: This should be a good one. I think it will be close, especially as Dirk gets fitter and fitter. He’s not totally healthy right now, so I like the Spurs by six.
Ok, we’ll get busy with the NCAA Basketball and the NHL in the next few weeks. Enjoy!