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Sunday, February 09, 2014

CMan's Sunday NBA Top Ten - Feb. 9


#1. OKC Thunder: 41-12
A 10 game win streak that included wins on the road and home over the top contenders in bot conferences, and an awesome month for Kevin Durant have propelled the Thunder to the top of the rankings leading up to the all star break. Two games remain before the break, both on the road, against Portland and the Lakers. After the break, the anticipated return of Russell Westbrook.

#2. Indiana Pacers: 39-10
The Pacers played an average January but remain on top of the Eastern Conference playoff race by 4 games over the Heat. Indiana and OKC are in the top 5 in most of the NBA's team performance categories. Indiana is on "Pace" to finish the regular season with home court throughout and should end up playing for an NBA championship this season.

#3. Portland Trailblazers: 36-15
Portland started strong and most thought they would falter mid season. They didn't. Needless to say the Blazers continued to play well. They remain a serious contender for a Western conference run this season with the Thunder the only team standing in their way. If they stay healthy, the 2qnd half of the season should be interesting.

#4. Miami Heat: 35-14
Its difficult to say whether the Heat are bored or losing some of their power. They have played well at times and yet, lost some games where they really seemed to be outplayed. It would be difficult to not let complacency set in after three trips to the finals and 2 consecutive championships. There is a lot of season left and they will be in the playoffs. Time will tell if they are still Champs.

#5. San Antonio Spurs: 37-14
The Spurs come in at #5 despite a better record than Miami or Portland. However, the Spurs are 1-11 against the NBA's top teams. San Antonio may be finally running out of steam. Their record will get them in  the playoffs but they won't be playing the bottom feeders once they get in. Look for the Spurs to be one and done in the playoffs. Time to restock in San Antonio, put the old fellas to bed, Pop.

#6: L.A. Clippers: 35-18
The Clippers, like the Thunder, have played very well without their All Star point guard. Chris Paul is due back this week and that makes the #6 Clippers a lot better. The Clippers are on the verge of becoming a legit elite team. A deep run in the playoffs is almost certain. The Clippers aren't afraid of any team and no team wants to draw them as a playoff series opponent.

#7: Houston Rockets: 34-17
Houston is a weird team. Some nights they look unbeatable, other they look like a 17-34 team. I think that the addition of so many components over the last two seasons has hampered their ability to gel. Dwight Howard has adapted to the team well enough but they still do not play as consistently as they will need to in order to advance past the second round of the playoffs.

#8: Phoenix Suns: 30-20
Phoenix has come on strong in 2014 currently occupying the 6th playoff spot in the West and only 6 wins off the top 4. The Suns are playing over preseason expectations and have only lost 3 games since mid January. The playoffs are a real possibility with the Warriors and Nuggets slipping. However, this is not a battle tested team and will be hard pressed to get out of the first round.

#9. Dallas Mavericks: 31-21
Dallas gets back in the top ten after a good start to the new year. The Mavericks have quietly played consistent basketball with Dirk Nowitski and a cast of no name role players. Dallas looks to make a return to the playoffs but won't likely make a run past the first round. Dirk isn't getting any younger and the rest of the team, combined,  can't match his experience.

#10. Toronto Raptors: 26-24
There are several more West teams with better records but Toronto is the only other East team that is more than 2 wins over .500. The Raptors will make the playoffs because the East will need 8 teams to round out the field, however they will only provide extra practice for the Pacers and Heat as they prepare to face each other in the conference finals.

Waiting on the Bench: Golden State Warriors (30-21), Memphis Grizzlies (27-22), Atlanta Hawks (25-24), Chicago Bulls (25-25)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

CMan's Sunday NBA Top Ten - Jan. 27th


#1. Indiana Pacers: 34-9
The Pacers continue their pace atop the East standings and one game in the win column behind the Thunder. They continue to lead the league in fewest losses. Indiana is impressive and should stay on top of a weak Eastern conference through the end of the season. Look for an Indiana - Miami conference final and, barring injuries, an Indiana crowned as conference champions.

#2. OKC Thunder: 35-10
The Thunder move from 4th to 2nd this week based on victories over 3 of 4 other top West foes last week. OKC is riding a 7 game win streak going in to Mondays game at home vs Atlanta. The streak includes a road victory at Boston with out Westbrook and Durant, a first for the franchise. The stout play of the Thunder, without Russ, should send a strong message to the rest of the NBA.

#3. Portland Trailblazers: 33-11
Despite back to back losses to Houston and OKC, Portland continues it's high level of league play. The Trailblazers are not going away and should contend for the Western conference crown. Portland was 2-0 vs OKC until last week and always play the Thunder tough. Is OKC's division crown in jeopardy? Stay tuned.

#4. Miami Heat: 32-12
Miami is playing uninspired basketball. They beat good teams and lose to bad ones. Perhaps playing in the East has that effect on a good team. They are in no danger of losing home court either. The Heat will make the playoffs and everyone knows that the Heat play well when the games mean more. The hot Thunder visit Wednesday, perhaps they can wake the sleepwalking Heat.

#5. LA Clippers: 31-15
The Clippers, like the Thunder,  have adjusted well to life without their All Star point guard. Chris Paul makes them better but they aren't bad without him. They should fare well for the second half of the season and having Doc Rivers roaming the sidelines will make them better come playoff time. The Clippers are Kings of Los Angeles for once, can the Lakers regain their crown? Doubtful.
#6. San Antonio Spurs: 33-11
Despite better record than LA, the Spurs sit at #6 in light of their 1-9 record against the top teams in the West. The Spurs are injury prone yes, but they are aging as well. Pop is magical and most believe the best coach in the NBA, but he's running out of juice with his big three. Too many starting lineups lead to inconsistent play. Injuries and sitting tired, old  players will lead to that.
#7. Houston Rockets: 29-17
Houston continues to play better except against the elite teams. The jury is still out on the addition of center Dwight Howard. The Rockets will be a 1st round irritation for someone in the playoffs but without home court, I don't see them advancing. They must get a lot better on the defensive end to join the top tier. You won't advance trying to outscore your opponent.

#8. Golden State Warriors: 26-18
The Warriors have slowed a bit in mid-season. However, they are still a high powered offensive team. They, like the Rockets, must learn to defend better. Currently 6 in the West standings, the Warriors should still make the playoffs. They will also be a probable first round exit unless they aren't taken seriously by their first round opponent.

#9. Atlanta Hawks: 23-20
The Hawks are finally 3 games above .500, pretty good for an East team not in Indiana or Miami. Although, .500 should get a few teams in the playoffs this season in the East. Atlanta plays well against the East (but, who doesn't) but they struggle against the West including a 105-79 loss to the Spurs on Friday. The Hawks visit OKC Monday with KD in search of 11 straight over 30.

#10. Phoenix Suns: 24-18
New to the rankings this week are the Suns. Head Coach Jeff Hornacek was a great player in his time and he has the Suns on track. The Suns finished December with a 10-3 record and started the new year with the same attitude. Phoenix is currently 7th in the West and looks to make a playoff bid this season.

Waiting in the wings: Dallas Mavericks:25-20, Memphis Grizzlies:22-20, Toronto Raptors: 22-21, Chicago Bulls:22-21, Denver Nuggets: 21-21



Monday, January 20, 2014

CMan's Sunday NBA Top Ten - Jan. 19th


#1. Indiana Pacers: 32-7
Someone in the East finally decided it was time to build a team to compete with Miami. Unfortunately, none of the other East teams had the same idea. This team was built by hall of fame legend Larry Bird, and they play like him. They are the real deal and should keep the Heat in the stands for the finals this year.

#2. San Antonio Spurs: 32-9          I don't know how Pop continues to do it but he does. The Spurs continue to be the cream of the West despite half the roster being senior citizens. The Spurs have been a great regular season team for a long time but they have faltered lately in the playoffs. Will 2014 be different? Probably not, age eventually catches up.
#3. Portland Trailblazers: 31-9
Portland came out of nowhere in the West. After finishing the last few seasons in the tank and still reeling from the decision to draft Greg Oden and not Kevin Durant, little was expected. The experts still believe they will collapse before the end of the season. I'm not so sure.

#4. OKC Thunder: 31-10
The loss of Westbrook for the second time this season took a little getting used to. The Thunder were second to the Pacers prior to the second injury. Despite this, the Thunder are learning to play with out their All Star and they're getting better. Watch out West, when Russ returns the Thunder will roll.

#5. L.A. Clippers: 29-14
Like the Thunder, the Clippers are playing without All Star Chris Paul. And, like OKC, are starting to play well without him. The Clippers have been in the hunt all season and are starting to look like the other LA team used to. Adding Doc Rivers didn't hurt.

 #6. Miami Heat: 29-12
Miami may have fewer losses than the Clippers but they are starting to look bored. The Clippers are hungry. Miami is sleepwalking through what could be their fourth consecutive finals appearance. They may not be hungry but they are still good. Watch out for them come playoff team. Don't count them out just yet.

#7. Houston Rockets: 27-15
Houston seems to play well with everyone except the Thunder. Could be the curse of the Beard. Despite adding the best center in the NBA, the Rockets can't seem to get to the next level. They are in a good position for a playoff run, but I'm not convinced that they believe they can win it all. They have the talent to go deep but the mentality for a first round exit.

#8. Golden State: 26-16
This team scares me. I'll openly admit that I never thought Steph Curry would do in the NBA what he did in college. I was wrong. This is a good basketball team that is only going to get better. Barring an injury they should see second round action in the playoffs again and, with the right match up, could contend for the West crown.

#9. Dallas Mavericks: 25-18
That's right, Dallas. I can't tell you the starting 5 without looking it up but here they are, sneaking up the rankings. Probably the way Mark Cuban likes it. The Mavs are three years removed from their Championship and are not likely to return this season but Rick Carlisle has got them poised for a playoff run again.
#10: Atlanta Hawks: 21-19
I could have gone with the upstart Phoenix Suns at #10 but I feel kinda bad for the East. The Hawks will probably not go anywhere this season but they are the third, and last, East team with a winning record. They will probably make the playoffs because the East needs 8 teams in. However, I doubt they make it to the second round and if they do, they won't go any further.

Waiting in the wings: Phoenix Suns: 23-17, Toronto Raptors: 20-20, Memphis Grizzlies: 20-20, Denver Nuggets: 20-20, Washington Wizards: 20-20

Saturday, January 18, 2014

NBA Standings: 1/17/14

Eastern Conference: (GB)= Games Back
*Weekly Notable: Indiana has the best record in the NBA, despite playing in perhaps the weakest Eastern Conference of all time.

New York:15-25(6GB)





Western Conference:(GB)= Games Back
*Weekly Notable: After the Thunder lose two games in one week, Portland and San Antonio are tied for the best record in the West.

Oklahoma City:30-10(1GB)

LA Clippers:28-13(0GB)

Golden State:25-16(3GB)
LA Lakers:15-25(13GB)

San Antonio:31-9(OGB)

New Orleans:15-23(15GB)

Friday, January 17, 2014

Buster & CMan's Final Top 25!

AP Top 25:

1. Florida State
2. Auburn
3. Michigan State
4. South Carolina
5. Missouri
6. Oklahoma
7. Alabama
8. Clemson
9. Oregon
10. UCF
11. Stanford
12. Ohio State
13. Baylor
14. LSU
15. Louisville
16. UCLA
17. Oklahoma State
18. Texas A&M
19. USC
20. Arizona State
21. Notre Dame
22. Wisconsin
23. Duke
24. Vanderbilt
25. Washington

CMan's Top 25:

1. Florida State
2. Auburn
3. Michigan State
4. Missouri
5. Oklahoma
6. Alabama
7. South Carolina
8. Clemson
9. UCF
10. Louisville
11. Oregon
12. Baylor
13. Ohio State
14. UCLA
15. Stanford
16. Oklahoma State
17. LSU
18. USC
19. Arizona State
20. Texas A&M
21. Notre Dame
22. Wisconsin
23. Duke
24. Vanderbilt
25. Washington

Buster's Top 25:

1.Florida State

7.South Carolina
12.Ohio St.
18.Oklahoma St.
19.Arizona St.
20.Notre Dame
22.Texas A&m

Monday, December 09, 2013

Buster and CMan's Final Regular season Top 25

 BCS Top 25:

1. Florida State
2. Auburn
3. Alabama
4. Michigan State
5. Stanford
6. Baylor
7. Ohio State
8. Missouri
9. South Carolina
10. Oregon
11. Oklahoma
12. Clemson
13. Oklahoma State
14. Arizona State
15. UCF
16. LSU
17. UCLA
18. Louisville
19. Wisconsin
20. Fresno State
21. Texas A&M
22. Georgia
23. Northern Illinois
24. Duke
25. USC

CMan's Top 25:

1. Florida State
2. Auburn
3. Michigan State
4. Alabama
5. Stanford
6. Ohio State
7. Missouri
8. Baylor
9. South Carolina
10. Oklahoma
11. Oregon
12. Clemson
13. Oklahoma State
14. Arizona State
15. UCF
16. Louisville
17. LSU
18. UCLA
19. Wisconsin
20. Fresno State
21. Duke
22. Northern Illinois
23. Georgia
24. USC
25. North Dakota State

Buster's Top 25:
1.Florida St.
4.Michigan St.

7.Ohio St.
9.South Carolina
13.Arizona St.
14.Oklahoma St.
21.Fresno St.
22.Northern Illinois
25.Texas A&M

Sunday, December 08, 2013

CMan's Big 12 Power Rankings: Final Regular Season


(This edition of the Power Rankings will only include the Top 4 teams)

#1. Baylor Bears (8-1, 11-1)

Last Week - Defeated Texas 30-10

The Bears redeemed their lone season loss to Oklahoma State by dispatching the Texas Longhorns and probably Mack Brown. The Bears picked up their first ever Big 12 Title winning the last game played in the aging Floyd Casey Stadium. The Bears move in to their new home next season. All told it was the greatest season in Baylor history. If Art Briles decides to stay on as Head Coach the future looks very bright for Baylor Football.

#2. Oklahoma Sooners (7-2, 10-2)

Last Week - Defeated Oklahoma State 33-24

Prior to last weeks game in Stillwater, the Sooners were contemplating and invitation to a pre new year dud bowl. After the win Saturday the Sooners will begin practice for a BCS Bowl. Big game Bob Stoops returned to prominence leading the underdog Sooners to an instant classic win against in state rival Oklahoma State. Stoops pulled out all the tricks starting with a fake field goal that produced a game tying touchdown. Sooner third string QB Blake Bell solidified his Bedlam legacy by leading his team to victory for the second year in a row. Starter Trevor Knight was injured on the last play of the first half and Kendall Thompson shared the second half with Bell. Bell proved once again to be a gamer, giving OU the best chance to win. Oklahoma wins its 10th game of the season for the 4th straight year. Sooner coach Bob Stoops is now 12-3 against OSU.

#3. Oklahoma State Cowboys (7-2, 10-2)

Last Week - Lost to Oklahoma 33-24

All Mike Gundy had to do this weekend was beat Oklahoma and his Pokes would secure the top BCS invitation for the Big 12, and share the conference title with either Texas or Baylor. Having beat both schools Oklahoma State would own any tiebreaker. What Gundy and the Pokes did was lose at home to instate rival Oklahoma despite being favored by as much as two touchdowns and playing the game on their home field. Gundy has built a strong program at Oklahoma State but is only 1-8 against OU. As a result of the loss, the Pokes will play former Big 12 rival Missouri in the Cotton Bowl as Oklahoma received the at large, Big 12 bid to the BCS Sugar bowl. At least Poke fans will only have to travel to Texas.

#4. Texas Longhorns (7-2, 8-4)

Last Week - Lost to Baylor 30-10

After the loss to Mississippi left the Longhorns at 1-2 Mack Brown proclaimed that the Longhorns still had their eye on a Big 12 Championship. It looked for awhile like they were going to pull it off as they reeled off six straight conference wins to boost their record to 7-2. then they faced Oklahoma State and the streak stopped. They had two games left, win both they could still share the title. Unfortunately the last game was against Baylor in Waco. The loss to Baylor cost them a title and a decent Bowl game. Mack Brown looked to have secured another season in Austin with the streak but that may have ended in Waco as well. In the end, Texas  finished the season where most thought they would. The only real bright spot was a victory over Bob Stoops and Oklahoma.

Big 12 Bowl Match ups:

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl Tempe, Ariz. – 10:15 p.m. ET, Dec. 28



Alamo Bowl San Antonio, Texas – 6:45 p.m. ET, Dec. 30



Holiday Bowl
San Diego, Calif. – 10:15 p.m. ET, Dec. 30




Cotton Bowl
Arlington, Texas – 7:30 p.m. ET, Jan. 3


Big 12 BCS Bowls:

Fiesta Bowl
Glendale, Ariz. – 8:30 p.m. ET, Jan. 1


Sugar Bowl
New Orleans, La. – 8:30 p.m. ET, Jan. 2