LeBron Doesn’t Lose Game 2s

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The Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Chicago Bulls 101-86 in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Semifinals series Wednesday night. This isn’t a surprise. Since 2009, LeBron James teams are 8-0 in Game 2s following a Game 1 loss. James averages 27.75 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.6 assists in these contests.

Date/Result

Points Rebounds Assists
May 22, 2009-Eastern Conference Finals: Cavaliers 96, Magic 95 35 four five
May 18, 2011-Eastern Conference Finals: Heat 85, Bulls 75 29 10 five
June 14, 2012-NBA Finals: Heat 100, Thunder 96 32 eight five
May 8, 2013-Eastern Conference Semifinals: Heat 115, Bulls 78 19 five nine
June 9, 2013-NBA Finals: Heat 103, Spurs 84 17 eight seven
May 20, 2014-Eastern Conference Finals: Heat 87, Pacers 83 22 seven six
June 8, 2014-NBA Finals: Heat 98, Spurs 96 35 10 three
May 6, 2015-Eastern Conference Semifinals: Cavaliers 106, Bulls 91 33 eight five
Average margin of victory: 11.5 Average: 27.75 Average: 7.5 Average: 5.6

Bryan Paul’s Puzzling NFL Predictions: Week 11

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In 1891, Dr. James Naismith, a physical education teacher at the International Young Men’s Christian Association Training School in Springfield, Mass., created a new indoor game. In this game, players dribbled a soccer ball around a court and earned points by shooting the ball into a peach basket. Today, basketball remains one the world’s most popular sports.

Football and basketball are different. Football stadiums are large structures. Basketball arenas are smaller, more intimate facilities. Football players, shielded by helmets, face masks and pads, perform like Roman Empire gladiators. Basketball players wear a simpler uniform consisting of a jersey, shorts and sneakers and display their talents and skills with the same dramatic flair as Broadway actors.

There is less parity in basketball. Since David Stern became commissioner of the National Basketball Association in 1984, eight different franchises have won NBA championships. Fourteen different National Football League teams have won the Super Bowl.

There are similarities. Lucas Oil Stadium, the Georgia Dome and Ford Field have hosted Super Bowl and NCAA Final Four games. NFL players Antonio Gates, Tony Gonzalez and Julius Peppers played college basketball. Football and basketball coaches both have a range of interesting characters from the wise Vince Lombardi and Phil Jackson, to the stern Tom Landry and Larry Brown to the zany Jimmy Johnson and Bob Knight.

In honor of slam dunks, steals, three pointers and technical fouls, the Week 11 predictions theme is basketball.

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Miami Dolphins (4-5) at Buffalo Bills (3-6)-Nov. 15-8:20 p.m.-NFL Network

The Los Angeles Clippers, formally the Buffalo Braves, played in Western New York from 1970-78. Since the Braves moved away, the Bills are 271-294. Imagine, Buffalo sports fans: Chris Paul and Blake Griffin playing at First Niagara Center. Oh well.

Bryan Paul’s Pick: Miami

Pollock’s Pick: Buffalo

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Green Bay Packers (6-3) at Detroit Lions (4-5)-Nov. 18-1 p.m.-Fox

The University of Kentucky won its fifth national championship in 1978. This year, the program won its eighth title. The school’s triumph will doom Green Bay this week. The Packers are 1-6 in Week 11 games in years Kentucky wins the national championship.

Bryan Paul’s Pick: Detroit

Pollock’s Pick: Green Bay

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New York Jets (3-6) at St. Louis Rams (3-5-1)-Nov. 18-1 p.m.-CBS

John Calipari coached this year’s Kentucky national championship team. He has coached four teams that reached the Final Four. The Jets are 6-7 in November games during those seasons. The Rams are 2-11-1. However, the National Collegiate  Athletic Association vacated two of those appearances due to player eligibility and academic issues.

Bryan Paul’s Pick: St. Louis

Pollock’s Pick: St. Louis

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NBA Finals analysis everyone can understand

          The National Basketball Association championship begins Tuesday night as the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Western Conference champion, and the Miami Heat, the Eastern Conference champion, compete in the NBA Finals. The matchup between Kevin Durant and LeBron James takes its place among other major battles of 2012 including Lane Pryce vs. Pete Campbell, Batman vs. Bane and Mark Sanchez vs. Tim Tebow.

But players won’t decide who hoists the Larry O’Brien NBA Championship Trophy. Here’s a series of facts in a best-of-seven format that indicate who will win.

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