With the NBA season set to tip-off, we asked TSN NBA experts Jack Armstrong, Josh Lewenberg and Duane Watson a few burning questions about the year ahead. Today we ask: which teams pose the biggest threat to Miamis three-peat aspirations? Duane Watsons take: No team in the league can stop LeBron James, but this may be the first time his Miami Heat face a legitimate threat from within their own conference. First and foremost, the team they have knocked out of the playoffs the last two years, the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers pushed the Heat to seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals last season. Paul George has emerged as a franchise player, Lance Stephenson has become a solid rotational player, and the Pacers retooled their bench with the additions of Luis Scola and C.J. Watson. They did that all without All-Star Forward Danny Granger who was out with a left knee injury, if Granger comes back as 75 percent of the player he was, hell be a solid addition off the bench. Look for Coach Frank Vogel and his "smashmouth basketball" to upset the Heat and make their first trip to the NBA Finals in more a decade. Other challengers include a healthy Chicago Bulls with a rejuvenated Derrick Rose in the line-up. In 2011, they lost to the Heat 4-1 in the Conference Finals, but they didnt have a defensive stopper like Jimmy Butler on the wing then. If the Brooklyn Nets can gel and be healthy rolling into the playoffs, the combination of All-Star players like Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez, with the veteran experience of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Andrei Kirilienko may pose some problems. In the Western Conference, you cant count out the San Antonio Spurs (ever), who were one rebound away from winning the NBA Final before falling in Game 7. Lastly, dont underestimate the Golden State Warriors who have little problem putting points on the board, and added an All-NBA defensive player in Andre Iguodala to their line-up. Josh Lewenbergs take: Even if the reigning, two-time champs are on cruise control until April its hard to imagine any team, in either conference besting their record in an 82-game season. After three years together they are a well-oiled machine. Unlike the Nets, for instance, theres no adjustment time required here. This is the same team that won 66-games a year ago and another 60-win season is well within reach. A full season with Birdman on board and a couple low-risk, high-reward signings in Greg Oden and Michael Beasley can only help their cause. Theyre too talented, too deep and too familiar with each other. Fast forward to the spring and thats where things could get interesting. As always, the loaded Western Conference will produce a legitimate contender to the throne. The Thunder, Spurs, Clippers, Rockets, even the Grizzlies and Warriors could all be in the mix. The Heats stiffest competition may reside in the East though. After a four-to-five game cakewalk in the first round, the Heat should immediately be put to work. Evident in last years seven-game Eastern Conference Finals, the size and physicality of the Pacers – now featuring an improved bench and a returning Danny Granger (maybe) – could be Miamis kryptonite. Similarly, the Bulls – with a healthy Derrick Rose – should have the personnel and defensive wherewithal to challenge the champs. With their talent, depth and experience, the Nets are the wildcard in this scenario. Will they have all the kinks worked out come April? Jack Armstrongs take: In the East I really like Chicago and Indiana to push Miami this season. A healthy Derrick Rose and the addition of Mike Dunleavy will make this existing unit much more potent offensively and efficient. The Bulls have a winning culture, an outstanding Coach in Tom Thibodeau and a fan base that demands/expects excellence. It should be a fun time in the Windy City. The Pacers made a savvy move by picking up Luis Scola as a backup forward. Hes slowed down a bit but is still one of the more crafty front court guys in the NBA. Danny Granger needs to stay healthy and be a pro about his role changing with the emergence of Paul George - be efficient and explosive. The Pacers have lots of Playoffs experience and theyve reawakened their fan base that bailed out after the Malice in the Palace. They guard and have enough scoring. They will be a tough out. The Nets made some flashy moves and the acquisitions of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Jason Terry and Andrei Kirilenko give them a major talent upgrade. The question is, can they stay healthy all year? If so, they are a dangerous squad. There is lots of pressure on Coach Jason Kidd in his first year. It is a small window here. The Knicks have more than enough scoring, but will they play as a team and share the ball and guard you in crunch time? There is enough talent there to beat anyone on any given night but also lose to the dregs because they play too much on their Talent and not enough on the little details that define winning. Coach Mike Woodson has to demand even more and better from this team. Its there but sometimes they lose their focus. In the West, the Spurs will be right there again due to their amazing veteran cast, coaching and the Residue of Winning that exists there. Kawhi Leonard really improved last year and is a keeper. The Rockets, with the addition of Dwight Howard, will be improved. The more efficient the 3-point shooting around him is, the better hell be if he sees a lot of single coverage in the post. Hell change their team defensively and theyll hold you to one shot more often. The Oklahoma City Thunder have two of the more dynamic players in the NBA today in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Who picks up the slack with the trade of James Harden and then Kevin Martins free-agent departure? Only time will tell. The Thunder hold an incredible home court advantage and will be heard from in late May/early June. Theyre still a contender but the margin of error has decreased significantly. The Clippers could be the best team in the West with the additions of coach Doc Rivers, J.J. Redick, Jared Dudley and Darren Collison to an already talented squad. If Chris Paul stays upright they have a great shot. The Warriors will be entertaining with the addition of Andre Iguodala but I think theyll miss the leadership and consistency of Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry. Memphis will be a really hard team to beat due to the Power game and solid defense. At the end of the day in the West, I feel the Spurs, Thunder and Clippers would be the teams that could hang with Miami but the Heat are still the best. Josh Bynes Jersey
. The veteran fighter will be squaring off with Henderson in a five-round lightweight bout as part of another network televised card at the United Center on Saturday night. Adrian Wilson Jersey
. scored 18 of his career- high 28 points in the first half, as fifth-ranked Ohio State dominated No. http://www.thecardinalsshoponline.com/haason-reddick-cardinals-jersey-92/
. Although head coach Randy Carlyle jokingly wondered how much actual training Bolland got done while in London. "I dont know how much training goes on when you go back to the junior team that you played for so I wouldnt read too much into that," laughed Carlyle after the Maple Leafs were put through an up-tempo practice that concluded with a 10-minute bag skate on Thursday. Andy Lee Jersey
.C. -- Lucy Li made two double bogeys, a triple bogey and finished her historic round at the U. Pat Tillman Jersey
(SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of teams in the midst of three-game slides will clash on Monday evening when the Pittsburgh Penguins visit the New Jersey Devils. The Penguins are on their longest slide of the season, one that was extended with Saturdays 3-0 setback to the Washington Capitals. That loss snapped Pittsburghs five-game winning streak at home and it comes in having dropped four straight (0-1-3) on the road. Marc-Andre Fleury made 31 saves and allowed all three goals on Saturday, though he didnt get beat for a second time until 5:36 into the third period. They grabbed momentum with that second goal, said Penguins forward Sidney Crosby. We were hanging around for a while. The Pens are dealing with a rash of injuries and have also been one of several teams this season to see some of their players diagnosed with the mumps. Forward Steve Downie and backup goaltender Thomas Greiss are two players currently dealing with the illness. Pittsburgh caught no breaks on Saturday, with Patric Hornqvist suffering a lower-body injury that is expected to sideline the forward for a few weeks according to head coach Mike Johnston. Defenseman Kris Letang also did not practice on Sunday due to a bruised right ankle, but was expected to make the trip to New Jersey. The Penguins have won the first two of five meetings with the Devils this season, with both victories coming in Pittsburgh. Crosby scored twice in an 8-3 rout on Oct. 28, while Evgeni Malkin had a goal and Fleury posted 29 saves in a 1-0 triumph on Dec.dddddddddddd 2. Fleury is 19-22-4 versus the Devils in his career, posting a 2.44 goals against average, .917 save percentage and five shutouts. New Jersey has won four straight and 12 of its past 14 at home versus Pittsburgh, a trend it would like to continue in its second game since firing Peter DeBoer as head coach. DeBoer was let go on Friday and president and general manager Lou Lamoriello named Adam Oates and Scott Stevens co-coaches the following day ahead of a meeting with the New York Rangers. Oates will handle the forwards and Stevens the defense, with Lamoriello joining them on the bench for an unknown length of time. The shake up didnt help versus the Rangers, with the Devils falling 3-1 to lose for the eighth time in nine games. Cory Schneider made 25 saves and Steve Bernier had the goal. It was interesting just watching, listening and seeing what was transpiring, and I thought it was extremely positive. The bench was extremely alive, Lamoriello said. New Jersey did see forwards Dainius Zubrus and Jacob Josefson return to the lineup from injury, but also played without forwards Martin Havlat (illness), Michael Ryder (mumps) and Patrik Elias (mumps). Schneider, who has lost his past six starts, is likely to start this game, but is 0-4-0 in his career versus the Devils with a 3.30 GAA and .867 save percentage. He started both losses this season. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys
' ' '