The UCLA Bruins (13-3, 3-0) have been white hot over the past month going on an eight game winning streak. This young and talented team is finally playing up to the potential many critics and fans had hoped.
Sensational freshman guard Shabazz Muhammad has been averaging 20.1 PPG during UCLA’s winning streak, but did play poorly against Utah going 3-13 with just six points.
The Colorado Buffaloes (11-4, 1-2) has won three of their last five games, but if consider the circumstances over the past week many critics would argue that they should be 5-0.
Colorado had a game stolen from them last week against the Arizona Wildcats by a blown call by the referees when Sabatino Chen hit the game-winning jumper at the end of regulation. Colorado was never able to recover in OT and the aftermath of that game lingered with them against Arizona State, who they should have beat.
This game will feature two players ranked third in the Nation in their respected categories.
The UNC Tar Heels make their first trip to Tallahassee this season to face fellow ACC rival Florida State.
North Carolina (10-5, 0-2), hasn’t played well in their past five games going (2-3), including two straight losses (Miami & Virginia) to ACC opponents for the first time since the 2008-09 season.
Florida State (10-5, 2-0), which is (4-1) in their last five games. Unlike the Tar Heels, the Seminoles have pulled out two close gritty wins over fellow ACC rivals Maryland and Clemson.
Even though the Tar Heels don’t possess a dominant offensive low post presence they are ranked fourth in the Nation in Rebounds Per Game (43.3) and Assists Per Game (18.5).
If North Carolina wants to avoid going 0-3 in the ACC they are going to need big games from sophomore James Michael McAdoo and junior Reggie Bullock. Many critics and fans are awaiting another dominating performance from McAdoo much like the first two games of the season.
Entering Tuesdays Christmas Day matchup between the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers both teams are coming off gritty wins.
The Knicks are (3-2) in their last five games winning their last game against a Minnesota Timberwolves squad that fought well despite not having Kevin Love in the lineup due to an eye injury. However, the Lakers are hot (4-1) winning their last four games and coming off a thrilling OT win over the Golden State Warriors (118-115).
The Lakers are hoping to avenge their Dec 13th (116-107) loss at Madison Square Garden and exorcise their past Christmas Day blunders by tying the season series against the Knicks at Staples Center.
Christmas did come a little early for the Lakers and their fans this year in the form of a certain two-time MVP point-guard in Steve Nash returning to the starting line-up to face the Warriors. Nash had been out since the second game of the season where he suffered a left leg fracture.
Kobe Bryant is the most talented and greatest Laker of all-time.
Earvin “Magic” Johnson was the greatest team player in Lakers history and arguably in all of sports, but Bryant holds sole ownership of being the greatest player in the prestigious history of the Lakers franchise.
Jerry West, who is on the Mount Rushmore of the NBA and Lakers history, made his thought public in an article in USA Today:
“What he (Bryant) has accomplished with this team, I don’t think there’s any question in my mind at this point in time – because of him being with this team for his whole career – that he has been the greatest Laker player.”
West was the Lakers G.M. that thought highly enough of Bryant coming out of high school that he traded then Center Vlade Divac to the Charlotte Hornets for the rights to Bryant, who was selected 13th overall in the first round. West’s next move was signing then free-agent Shaquille O’Neal as the centerpiece for that current Lakers squad that a couple years later ended up winning three NBA championships in a row cementing West’s basketball I.Q. in the top five in basketball history.
Michael. Jordan. Is. Was. And. Will. Be. The. Greatest. Period.
How quickly people forget how amazing Michael Jeffrey "Air" Jordan was. Some of Jordan's friends, teammates, and coaches have forgotten how amazing he really was--lets remind them.
Earlier this week Syracuse head basketball coach Jim Boeheim, basically, suggested LeBron James was the best player he'd ever seen:
"This guy can guard five [positions] ... put him on anybody, he can guard him. I always felt Michael Jordan was the best player I've ever seen ... I didn't think it was close ... and I'm not so sure anymore ... I'm not so sure anymore."
Along with these comments Boeheim said that James is a hybrid of Magic Johnson and Jordan while marveling at James physical presence: 6'9/260 lbs.
[Somehow LBJ size is always up for debate. Most profiles and programs list James as 6'8 260 lbs & if Dwight Howard is superman James is the hulk.]