NBA PREVIEWS

It is quite possible that this week there won’t be an NFL picks article, however fear not, the NFL Picks Challenge will still occur. Just make sure to have your picks in by Friday at midnight and we’re good to go peoples. Glad we got that out of the way. Now back to the business at hand. Two weeks ago, I mentioned that every week the readers and I would vote on the two best NBA games on the schedule for the week and that I would then proceed to preview those two games. Just like a great Eminem track, the fans have spoken to me this week and have asked for their games. But before we get to the games, who wants Power Rankings? You know you want them right?I mean, everybody loves Power Rankings! It’s like the walk off in battle in Zoolander, you might think that they are ridiculous but you can’t pull yourself away from watching and eventually you end up enjoying them. So play the song Beat It in your mind and race through my NBA Power Rankings. The rankings are divided into groups who are all identified by a lyric stemming from a song.


Artist: 98 Degrees
Song: Invisible Man
Lyric: “Baby to you all I am is the invisible man…”

30. NEW JERSEY (2-29)
29. MINNESOTA (7-25)
28. PHILADELPHIA (8-22)
27. GOLDEN STATE (9-22)
26. INDIANA (9-21)

Artists: T.I. ft Chris Brown
Song: Don’t Matter
Lyric: “It don’t matter tonight….”

25. WASHINGTON (10-20)
24. DETROIT (11-20)
23. NEW YORK (12-19)
22. MILWAUKEE (12-17)
21. CHARLOTTE (12-17)
20. NEW ORLEANS (13-16)

Artist: Big Punisher
Song: You Ain’t A Killer
Lyric: “You ain’t a killer, you still learning how to walk from New York to Cali…”

18. LA CLIPPERS (13-17)
17. MEMPHIS (14-16)
16. TORONTO (15-17)
15. SACRAMENTO (14-16)
14. OKLAHOMA CITY (17-14)

Artist: Big Punisher
Song: You Ain’t A Killer
Lyric: “Any last regrets before you meet your maker?”

13. UTAH (17-13)
12. HOUSTON (19-13)
11. MIAMI (16-12)
10. SAN ANTONIO (18-11)

Artist: Joe Budden
Song: Blood on the Wall
Lyric: “Jay-Z, Saigon, Nas already killed’em, Tupac he ain’t alive but you ain’t kill’em”

9. DENVER (20-12)
8. PORTLAND (20-13)
7. ATLANTA (21-9)

Artist: Joe Budden
Song: Forgive Me
Lyric: “Seems the things yall never forget, I never remember…”

6. PHOENIX (20-12)
5. ORLANDO (22-8)
4. DALLAS (22-9)


Artist: LL Cool J, Method Man, Redman, DMX, Canibus (verse by Canibus)
Song: 4,3,2,1
Lyric: I’m the illest &%$# (rhymes with trigger) alive, watch me prove it, I snatch your crown with the head still attached to it..”

3. BOSTON (23-7)
2. LAKERS (25-6)
1.CLEVELAND (25-8)



PREVIEWS
Atlanta Hawks (21-9) @ Cleveland Cavaliers (25-8)
Last night, the Cleveland Cavaliers traveled to Atlanta for what was a statement game for the young Atlanta Hawks. Atlanta tried as best as they could to contain LeBron James hoping that him having a bad night would translate into a win. The athletic forwards defended James well; his output last night: 14 points, 4 turnovers, 6-20 field goal shooting and 0-5 from three point range. Normally this should be sure fire way to defeat Cleveland, especially at home. But the Cavs did what every dude does after a break up: they went looking for a rebound. The Cavs owned the boards on this game (43-30 edge) which in turn allowed them to control the paint. Cleveland shot 49.8% from the field while scoring 50 points in the paint, all the while limiting Atlanta to 44.3 field goal shooting and 32 points in the paint on their way to a 95-84 road win. Needless to say, when both teams play again tonight, the Hawks will have to try and be more physical on the boards in order to limit the Cavs rebounding opportunities and also to get out on the fast break. Atlanta wants Josh Smith to get out in transition to finish hard at the basket; mind you that can’t happen if Atlanta fails to rebound.

If you remotely follow comic books, you are aware that Superman’s one great weakness is kryptonite. Because he knows that it’s the only thing that could kill him, he obviously tries to limit his contact with it and also has tried destroying all the kryptonite on the Earth. The point I’m trying to make here is that it is important to understand your weaknesses, and then find a way to combat them. In the Hawks case, they were exposed on the boards last night. However, they managed to expose the Cavaliers knack for turning the ball over. Indeed, the Cavs are 15th in the league in turnovers whereas the Hawks are #1 in the NBA in ball security. The problem last night though, was that the Cavs forced Atlanta to turn the ball over as well. Therefore, the turnover battle was fairly even (Cavs 18, Hawks 16) and Atlanta’s advantage there was nullified. So if Atlanta wants to win at the Quicken Loans Arena tonight, they will have to do a solid job on the boards, force turnovers and limit theirs. Tiny problem they might encounter though: LeBron James rarely has consecutive bad games (this qualifies as bad line for him: 14 points, 10 assists, 8 rebounds, 5 steals, 1 block, 4 turnovers, 6-20 field goal shooting against the Hawks last night). In other words, I’m picking the Cavaliers tonight. Pick: Cavs win 97-95.

Boston Celtics (23-7) @ Phoenix Suns (20-12)
In the movie How High, Mike Epps plays the role of a pimp named Powder who drops some knowledge on his assistant pimp: “My daddy was a pimp, my grand daddy was a pimp, my great grand daddy was a pimp. It’s in my bloodline. But you ain’t neva gonna be more than an assistant pimp; cuz yo daddy was an assistant pimp and yo grand daddy was an assistant pimp. That’s in yo bloodline”. And just like that, you understand the nature of the Phoenix Suns. This season, the Suns have defeated the Lakers, Celtics, Magic and Spurs so far. And yet, I cannot take them seriously as a contender. The reason is simple: this team has teased us before in recent years with a high win totals and big performances in statement games. However, when the games truly counted (you know, in the playoffs) the Suns eventually fizzled out and left their fans disappointed. While teams like the Lakers, Magic, Celtics and Cavs have made it least one trip to the Finals this decade, the Suns have only been able to manage trips to the Conference Finals.

So tonight, when Phoenix hosts a shorthanded Boston team (Paul Pierce is injured), I expect them to run and gun as usual, shoot a lot of threes (13-24 from three point range in first meeting in early November) and limit their turnovers. The Celtics however will pound the boards and try to muscle the Suns inside. In their November 6th game, the Celtics outscored the Suns 60-36 in terms of points in the paint. However, keep track of the fouls tonight. The Boston Celtics are 2-2 in their last four games, and teams have been getting to free throw line with more frequency as of late. In their last four games, Boston’s opponents have gotten to the line 25 times per game. So if Phoenix starts shooting free throws as well as three point bombs, expect Celtics announcer Tommy Heinsohn to blow a fuse on the air and start blaming the refs. I do think though that Phoenix will take care of business at home tonight. Please make sure to pay attention to the Stoudemire-Garnett match up. Always tons of trash talk when they go head to head, and Amar’e usually tries harder when playing against the likes of Duncan and Garnett.Quick fantasy note: Absolutely startRajon Rondo against Steve Nash. Trust me on this one. Needlesss to say, the Lakers, Celtics and Spurs are pimps, the Cavs and Magic are pimps in training and the Suns are assistant pimps. Pick: Suns win 112-107

Joe Budden & Jay-Z back in 2003

Back in June 2003, Joe Budden released his hits single Pump It Up. With rumors circling that Shawn Carter was prepping for retirement (despite dropping The Black Album a few months later), Joe asked the Jigga Man to get on a remix of Pump It Up with him. S Dot respectfully declined but then took the beat and dropped a hot verse on it. Check it out:


Jay-Z
“[…] worry I’m not Mike Jordan
Of the mic recordin’
Hovi baby you Kobe, maybe Tracy McGrady
Matter fact you Harold Miner, JR Rider
Washed up on marijuana
Even worse you a Pervis Ellis
You worthless fella
You aint no athlete you Shawn Bradley
I aint talkin to nobody in particular
My flow just vehicular homicide when I’m kickin’ em
Yes, anybody in my path
Is a car crash waitin to happen
N*gga what?
I got my foot on the door
On the post of this rap game and I ain’t lettin up
[…] I say what I feel yall adjust to that
I do the opposite of yall so I just attract
The realer audience usually unjustly black
Know my flow and the sh*t they go just match
Like the sound of my voice and a choice just track
I just tackle the something the flack of the public
Nothin’, I know real n*ggas happen to love it
If you don’t like it or look in the mirror
Most likely you ain’t livin’ so you don’t get it
You ain’t did it so you can’t envision it
The picture I’m paintin’ ain’t vivid
The language I’m spittin’ is so foreign to ya
She was starvin’ a dude to ya
Growin up hard in a little apartment will do to ya
I’m just talkin to ya”


With Jay-Z lighting up the track after declining his request, Joe took Jay-Z’s verse on his beat and then added his own second verse to send out a message to Mr. Carter. It’s actually crazy that I have never noticed the lyrics before and that no one has ever seemingly spoken about them.


Joe Budden
“Part in the future
Sing the track now
It’s been a good week Hova
You can bring it back now
[…] I ain’t Kobe or Tracy or Jay-Z, Jay be murked
Joey be the future, I’m more like Dirk
[…] let me hear your man say I’m the Jordan of rappin’
He's gettin fatigued girlie his scorin’ is lackin’
Legacy is getting’ ruined and you don’t want that
So pretty much learn from him
Don’t come back
And rap is getting’ wack
Time for G's to get stepping
Cause you are not that hot
Don’t believe the yes men
it ain’t about who’s better than uh
It’s so evident
They hard to be real with no evidence
And i ain’t comin’ at Jay
Cuz he’s the greatest breathin’
But he already paved the way
I’m just layin’ my seaman
[…] next time you listen to many men ill make sure you relate”


Both rappers provided some great rhymes, but doesn’t it seem like Budden was trying to send a message? I’ll you be the judge of that one…

NFL Picks Challenge

Our weekly Picks Challenge is back ladies and gentlemen. As usual, the things that are on the line are bragging rights; and the winner gets to sound off on whatever topic he or she chooses. Last week, Heller & Sparkles both won with a record of 11-4. So here are the unedited thoughts.

Heller

Special thanks to ShyneIV for making this possible.

Ever wonder where our stereotypes about fans originated? You know the ones I'm talking about. There may be varying opinions on what teams these refer to, but what NFL fans are: A) bandwagon fans whose hometown are a bunch of beach bums who only support their team if it as a winning record, B) criminals with a sub-high school education level, C) has no faith or confidence in their team after 20 years of losing records, D) seems to have smug fans in every city across the United States. I'm not giving away any answers to these questions since the answers themselves are subjective based on who you ask.

Are these stereotypes accurate? There may be some truth in each one of these, but it's possible that you could apply all 4 of those scenarios to almost any or all of the 32 teams in the National Football League.

We are all unique in our levels of devotion to our favorite sports team. Each team has its own bandwagoners who give up on their team once the going gets tough. Or if their team has a streak of losses, they get lost in the negativity of previous years of losing seasons. Any fans who are a little overzealous and talk a lot of smack if their team is winning all of their games and is a Super Bowl contender. As hard as it is to believe, there are people all over with various criminal offense who are sports fans, so that could probably even be disputed.

At the end of the day, we are all alike. We love our sports teams, and the fans of any other team are smug, bandwagon fans with criminal records who are living in the glory of past winning seasons.

Sparkles

I sat here and pondered what to write ab since Monday and I came to the conclusion that I'm just gonna write what I feel. Right now I don't even know if I am capable of feeling anything. You see, just a few weeks ago my longtime boyfriend (now my ex) of 8 years broke up with me...and it was on a bad note. After being pushed around for so long with it getting increasingly worse each time I finally had enough. After the most recent incident the douche bag dragged me around by my hair and threatened me and then threw my IPhone into a creek. The cogs began to move inside my brain and I thought to myself "Oh Hellll NAW" With tears streaming down my face, mascara making me look like a zebra, my hair pulled, and my shirt shreaded up I walked up the stairs at our apartment and told the neighbors to call the cops. My primary concern at that moment was my IPhone, so I went through trees and shrubs and lots of leaves to get down to the creek and retrieved my IPhone. It just so happened to land on a rock. I felt a slight relief of the anxiety I was feeling. I walked back to my building...tears still streaming and heart shattered. The police arrived, etc, etc. After the sh*t show I moved back home with my parents and left him with MY apartment. I still wonder what I did wrong? Why did he do this to me? Is there any hope that we will ever be together again? My first real love, the person I lost my virginity to, the person who knows me better than anyone in the whole world is no longer a part of my life. In fact, I feel as if he died. And with his "death" a part of me died with him. Am I happy to be on this Earth? Truth is I am not really sure. Do I wake up every morning wishing I was still waking up to him? Yes. But I have to wake up from my dream world and realize that I will probably never wake up next to him again. I will never have him hold me again. I have lost the one thing that had the ability to make me forget about everything in the world. My comfort is gone and I am lost. Lil Wayne says it best in "Drop the World" featuring Eminem "...I have hate in my heart and love in my mind..." I hate everything right now. Everything. Love is everything to me and there is none in my heart. I am at the edge of my world slowly waiting for someone to give me that little push so that I may begin to fly. I may be alone but the oppression I have faced for the last 8 years is finally gone. My life can finally revolve around me again. Its almost bittersweet. I feel hopeless and then remember that I am the motherf*cking sh*t. Any man would be lucky to get this. The IPhone now has a different meaning to me. When I saw it land in the creek I flipped. A switch was turned on. The IPhone is a luxury item of mine. I value it, I paid for it, I worked hard for my IPhone and to see the person I care about most throw my most valued item into a creek made me realize something. I too am a luxury item and he also threw me into a "creek" Something I forgot was how to value myself, just as I value my IPhone, my car, my Tiffany's, and now my life. No longer is my IPhone my most valued item. It can be replaced. I am my most valued possession. I wake up everyday and thank god for the brain I was given and the family and friends I have. This brain that sits in my head is what is going to give me the ability to reach the many goals I have set for myself. Some may seem lofty but in my eyes they are ALL reachable. The heart still weeps everyday...but when I begin to feel the tears well up in my eyes I look up towards the sky and think of all the possibilities in my future. To look up at the stars and just to listen to the wind blow brings me back to the simplicity of this life and I am once again thankful for everything I have...even NJM (ex-bf). Without him I don't think I would have realized my full potential and I am now driven toward success. Life is what you make it and I may have hit the ground and hit it hard but I got right back up and started running again. Its my time to shine.

Picks

CYN NATE HELLER SEAN SPARKLES CHAOS JAG MARISA BX GAMBLAAR
SD SD SD SD SD SD SD SD TEN SD
ATL ATL ATL ATL ATL ATL ATL ATL ATL ATL
CIN CIN CIN CIN CIN CIN CIN CIN CIN CIN
CLE OAK OAK CLE OAK OAK OAK OAK CLE CLE
GB GB GB GB GB SEA GB GB GB GB
BAL PIT BAL BAL BAL BAL BAL BAL PIT BAL
HOU HOU HOU MIA MIA MIA MIA HOU MIA HOU
NE JAX NE JAX JAX NE JAX JAX NE NE
NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO
CAR NYG NYG CAR CAR NYG NYG CAR NYG NYG
SF DET SF SF DET DET SF SF SF SF
IND NYJ IND IND IND IND IND IND IND NYJ
ARI ARI ARI ARI ARI ARI ARI ARI ARI ARI
DEN DEN PHI DEN PHI PHI PHI PHI PHI PHI
DAL DAL DAL DAL DAL DAL DAL DAL DAL DAL
MIN CHI MIN MIN MIN MIN MIN MIN MIN MIN


VRANOS STEVO KHAZE KATE BELLA SPARKY CHELLE SHYNE SoCal FU3LISH
SD SD TEN SD SD SD SD TEN SD SD
BUF ATL ATL ATL ATL ATL ATL ATL ATL ATL
CIN CIN CIN CIN CIN CIN CIN CIN CIN KC
OAK OAK OAK OAK OAK OAK OAK CLE CLE OAK
GB GB GB GB GB GB GB GB GB GB
BAL BAL PIT PIT BAL BAL PIT PIT PIT BAL
HOU MIA HOU MIA HOU HOU MIA MIA HOU MIA
JAX NE JAX NE NE NE NE NE NE NE
NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO
NYG CAR NYG NYG CAR NYG NYG NYG NYG NYG
DET SF SF SF SF SF SF SF SF SF
IND IND NYJ IND IND IND IND IND IND NYJ
ARI ARI ARI ARI ARI ARI ARI ARI ARI ARI
PHI PHI DEN PHI PHI PHI DEN PHI PHI PHI
DAL DAL DAL DAL DAL DAL DAL DAL DAL DAL
MIN MIN MIN MIN MIN MIN MIN MIN MIN MIN


By the way, I want to wish a happy holidays season to all and thank all those that participate in the Picks Challenge every week. You guys keep it interesting and make it fun. But it doesn't feel right just thanking you as a group...

Cynthia: Although it's your first time participating, thanks for taking the time to send in your picks and striking up funny conversations with me.

Nate: Another first time participant, but he gets more shine with me than Nate Robinson. Thanks for talking basketball with me and striking up good points and debates.

SoCalChick81: Huge Cowboys, Texans, Rockets and Comets fan. Thanks for always talking sports with me participating in the picks challenge on the regular. I still don't forgive you for not telling Ochocinco about me LOL.

Sean: Thanks for ALWAYS sending your picks in first and always taking the time to read whatever I write and retweeting it to the masses. Thanks for being a good homie!

Kate & Chelle: Thanks for always putting up with me and all the people that make fun of you guys because you love the Broncos. The Picks Challenge just wouldn't be the same without you guys.

Gamblaar: Thanks for always participating every week, for reading my stuff, for sharing my fascination with Ray Rice (you know you do) and for talking trash with me. You always keep me on my toes.

Chaos: Thanks for always participating and for dropping your insights on the NFL and NBA.

Marisa: Thanks for always sending in your picks (even after a good drink LOL) and being the only Chargers fan to not make fun of me about my Colts.

BX: Thanks for always suggesting to people to follow me and to check out my blog. Quick shout: BX won the Picks Challenge two weeks in a row!

Vranos: Thanks for always being the first person to say good morning! Cool person to talk to with a great sense of humor. Still waiting for my food.

Stevo: One of the newest in the group, but you always send in your picks on time (unlike some that shall remain nameless) and drop me a few lines here and there.

Khaze: Thanks for being part of the Picks Challenge and talking football and basketball with me. By the way folks, he's a dead ringer for Josh Radnor (dude that plays Ted Mosby in How I Met Your Mother)

Jag: Overall great dude that always finds a way to add more people to the Challenge and keeps it interesting as well. By the way, I feel a good week coming out of him soon.

Bella: Thanks for always being part of the Picks Challenge no matter how bad your week is going, and for entertaining all of us with your hilarious tweets.

Sparky: Thank you for being part of the Picks Challenge even though I forgot to post your picks last week (DOH).

Sparkles: Thanks for always reading my stuff, giving me some insight and talking hoops with me.

Heller: Thanks for always participating, retweeting my tweets and always bringing your A game when making fun of my Colts.

FU3LISH: You never pull punches, never mince words and always come out raw. You keep it realer than most and always come up with the best lines to make fun of my Colts (you and Heller are like Redman and Method Man in that respect). No one does it better than you, and it always hilarious.

THANK YOU AND MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL.



Cavs @ Lakers Preview


Hope everyone enjoys the holiday season with their loved ones. The most anticipated preview of all time (I have to build it up right?) is now ready for all of you to enjoy. Feel free to dro me a comment here or send me an email at Shyne@NBAShouts.com. So without further ado, just click here for the preview.

2009 NFL Week 16 Picks






Here we go ladies and gentlemen, as usual my weekly NFL Picks. Just click here to read them. Hapy Holidays to all of you!!

Updates

THose of you that are waiting for new posts, I'll give you a quick timetable. The NFL Picks article will be on by either later tonight or tomorrow afternoon. In addition, I will be previewing the Christmas match up of Cavs @ Lakers which I'll try to have up by tomorrow as well. So hang tight. By the way, Sparkles and Heller won the last Picks Challenge, so they will be submitting their thoughts in the next Picks Challenge, should be fun.

Picks Challenge

Just wanted to take the time to give a quick shout out to Bella who is currently going through some tough times dealing with tragedy in her family. Hopefully you can get back on feet, drop down and give us a DeSean Jackson (I don't doubt that you will).

For those of you looking for my weekly NFL Picks article, just click here to see the Week 15 Picks. As it pertains to the Picks Challenge, I've decided to add a wrinkle: from now on, the weekly winner gets to write whatever he wants on the blog. Last week, Sean tied with Riversfn; she wasn't all that intrigued about dropping a few lines but Sean was; so here's what he wanted to share with you all this week: "Shyne claims he is a colts fan but that's cause he's a Canadian and wants to be close to his team but deep down inside he's a San Diego supercharger fan. He wears his powder blue with pride. He wouldn't bet against the Bolts. But if he did and lost he wouldn't puss out like roach and he would pay up."

MARISA

BX

SPARKLES

GAMBLAAR

SARA

STEVO

VRANOS

HELLER

SOCALCHICK

IND

IND

IND

IND

IND

IND

JAX

IND

JAX

NO

NO

NO

NO

NO

NO

NO

NO

NO

NE

NE

NE

NE

NE

NE

BUF

NE

NE

ARI

ARI

ARI

ARI

ARI

ARI

DET

ARI

ARI

MIA

TEN

MIA

TEN

TEN

MIA

TEN

TEN

TEN

KC

KC

CLE

CLE

CLE

KC

CLE

CLE

KC

HOU

HOU

HOU

HOU

HOU

HOU

STL

HOU

HOU

ATL

NYJ

ATL

NYJ

ATL

NYJ

NYJ

ATL

NYJ

PHI

PHI

PHI

PHI

PHI

PHI

PHI

PHI

PHI

GB

PIT

GB

PIT

GB

GB

PIT

GB

PIT

CHI

BAL

BAL

BAL

BAL

BAL

CHI

BAL

BAL

SD

SD

SD

SD

SD

SD

SD

SD

SD

OAK

DEN

DEN

DEN

DEN

DEN

OAK

DEN

DEN

TB

SEA

TB

SEA

SEA

TB

TB

SEA

SEA

MIN

MIN

CAR

MIN

MIN

CAR

MIN

MIN

MIN

WAS

NYG

NYG

NYG

WAS

NYG

WAS

NYG

NYG

SPORTSBRAIN

KATE

SEAN

CHELLE

CHAOS

RIVERSFN

KHAZE

SHYNE

FU3LISH

IND

IND

IND

IND

IND

IND

JAX

IND

JAX

NO

NO

NO

NO

NO

NO

DAL

NO

DAL

NE

NE

BUF

NE

NE

NE

NE

NE

NE

ARI

ARI

ARI

ARI

ARI

ARI

ARI

ARI

ARI

MIA

TEN

MIA

TEN

TEN

TEN

TEN

TEN

TEN

KC

KC

CLE

KC

KC

KC

KC

KC

KC

HOU

HOU

HOU

HOU

HOU

HOU

HOU

HOU

HOU

NYJ

NYJ

ATL

ATL

ATL

NYJ

NYJ

NYJ

NYJ

SF

PHI

PHI

PHI

PHI

PHI

PHI

PHI

PHI

GB

GB

GB

GB

PIT

GB

GB

PIT

GB

CHI

BAL

BAL

BAL

BAL

BAL

BAL

BAL

BAL

SD

SD

SD

CIN

SD

SD

SD

SD

SD

DEN

DEN

OAK

DEN

DEN

OAK

DEN

DEN

DEN

SEA

SEA

SEA

SEA

SEA

SEA

SEA

SEA

SEA

MIN

MIN

MIN

MIN

MIN

MIN

MIN

MIN

MIN

WAS

NYG

WAS

NYG

NYG

NYG

NYG

NYG

NYG