Our staff predictions for the first round.

Mike Prada has a super rad list of 31 cool things to watch for in the playoffs, from the Boston Loop to the Toronto Weave and everything in between.

My 21 bold predictions for the playoffs. I think the Raptors are going to the Finals, and the Warriors are going undefeated.

Our staff predictions for the first round.

Awesome crowdsourcing here: The Dream Shake is tracking all of the publicly announced MVP votes and compiling the results. It looks like Russell Westbrook is on track to beat James Harden as of now, though I imagine more Harden and Kawhi Leonard might be more likely to announce their votes as this point given the aggressiveness of some Westbrook backers.

I don’t think a Players’ Tribune plea for his teammate to win MVP will move the needle, but Trevor Ariza calling Harden “Bearded Picasso” is life-affirming! Bearded Picasso!

Williams, on the other hand, had several games in which he was on the field less than 20 snaps while playing in a loaded defense that made it easier to mask his weaknesses. Harris Wholesale MLB Jerseys played in 700-plus snaps in each of the past two seasons, which Williams didn’t account for in his entire career.

The Portland Trail Blazers are set to have three picks in the first round: No. 15 or 16 (their own pick), No. 19 or 20 (a pick acquired in the Jusuf Nurkic trade) and something Cheap Baseball Jerseys China out of Nos. 23-26 (the Cavaliers’ pick). Because the Clippers, Cavaliers, Raptors and Jazz all finished with identical records, a four-way tie will be settled randomly later this week.

Steve Smith, Aqib Talib fight early on Monday Night Football

As pretty much everyone in the NFL knows, Steve Smith is not to be trifled with, and Aqib Talib went at the veteran Panthers wideout early on Monday Night Football.

Talib and Smith battled twice a year when the corner was with the Buccaneers and there’s a little bit of history there. So as soon as Smith pulled in his second catch of the night, and enthusiastically popped up to celebrate a first down, Talib went for a little extra after the whistle to keep him down:

Williams, who plays offensive tackle for the Redskins, claims umpire Roy Ellison called him a “fat a**” during the course of the game. Williams was livid in the postgame locker room, regerring to Ellion as a “garbage a** disrespectful mother f***.”

The league should have plenty of evidence to examine, as Washington guard Kory Lichtensteiger told members of the media Sunday that he was wearing a microphone during the game, and that Ellison’s comments would be audible on the recording.

This race is anyone’s game. Orlando’s victory over Philadelphia Cheap Braves Jerseys was not good for its tanking chances. The Knicks rested several players against Portland to ensure a road loss.

Who has the tougher schedule? The Magic have five games remaining against teams competing for playoff position. The Kings have two such games, the 76ers have five, and the Knicks have six and have reduced Carmelo Anthony’s minutes.

What’s at stake? Nothing but higher odds at landing a draft NFL Cheap Jerseys Nike pick. Philadelphia has the option to swap first-round picks with the Kings.

The three types of tight ends as defined by Bill O’Brien and the Texans: Y, F, U.

The NFL is in an unprecedented era of innovation. There’s a running back for every situation. Nickel corners are just as important as the two starters on the outside. Changes in the college game are trickling up into the NFL. It’s something Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien has noticed and it’s changing the way he thinks about tight ends.

You definitely have a feel that these college teams are using their backs in different ways. It’s the same thing with tight ends, O’Brien said. There’s a lot receiving tight ends now.

These guys that are like 6’4, 250 that can run Extremely Cheap Jerseys and catch and smart. There’s a lot more of those now than the typical Y — you know, blockers, 6-8 yard route runner. There’s more of these athletic, almost like power forwards … I see running backs, I see what I call ‘F’ tight ends.

In the second quarter, we saw a growing trend in the NBA, as the Spurs tried to stop the Warrior comeback. San Antonio completely collapsed on Curry at the three-point line, leaving a wide open Zaza Pachulia at the basket. Curry found Pachulia for two easy points.

Within the first two minutes of the second half, the Warriors took their first lead at 59-57. While the Warriors had only scored 17 points in the first quarter, they scored 67 Cheap Utah Jazz Jerseys points in the next two, heading into the fourth quarter up 84-77. They never looked back.

Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were brilliant as ever for the Warriors but it was the late play of David West that kept the Spurs at bay. He finished the night with 15 points, five assists, and four rebounds, hitting big shot after big shot and finding teammates for open baskets.

Philadelphia, Green Bay trending opposite directions

Neither team looked particularly good during Sunday’s matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Green Bay Packers. The Eagles were able to pull out a 27-13 win, though the Packers were without Aaron Rodgers and, after the first series, Seneca Wallace. Injuries elevated Scott Tolzien to the starting quarterback position, and though he played surprisingly well, he hardly looked like an NFL MVP.

Though the Eagles were fortunate that the Packers were ailing, fans will still be happy with the win and a first-place standing atop the NFC East with the Dallas Cowboys. The win didn’t go exactly as planned for Philadelphia — the team suffered several key injuries, most notably to Jason Peters — but the team appears to be trending upwards. Mike Kaye at Eagles blog Bleeding Green Nation isn’t questioning the result.

Other teams in contention are the Chicago Bears (5-4), Green Bay Packers (5-4), Philadelphia Eagles (5-5) and the Arizona Cardinals (4-4, currently playing the Texans).

A very important and serious bit of news for the Texans this week is that head coach Gary Kubiak is out of the hospital after collapsing in Houston’s Week 9 game against the Colts. Battle Red Blog updated his status this week, noting that he will not be with the team against Arizona on Sunday:

This is VERY good news that he has Super Cheap Jerseys Fans been cleared to leave after two days of treatment and observation by some of the best medical professionals available in the world. Obviously they are continuing conservative next steps in keeping the coach home this week to fully recover from a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA), more commonly called a “mini-stroke,” which he suffered at half-time of the game against the Colts last Sunday Cheap Authentic NBA Jerseys night at Reliant Stadium.
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Be sure to check out SB Nation’s team blogs, Revenge of the Birds, Battle Red Blog, for more analysis and highlights from the game.

Joe Philbin cannot believe he just lost to the Buccaneers

Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin has had better months, and things continued to get worse on Monday Night Football when the previously winless Bucs pushed the Dolphins to 4-5.

Down three, Miami did get the ball with about two minutes to go and relatively good field position for a shot to move into field goal territory. But back-to-back sacks resulted in a fourth-and-28 situation, prompting this look from a confused coach who had seen enough:

The Seahawks’ offense had been doing juuuuust enough to get by, but got well in a hurry against Atlanta’s dire defense. Seattle boasts the league’s best pass offense/pass defense combo, which is a strong predictor of Super Bowl success. The question of the moment is whether the addition of Percy Harvin on offense can help balance out the loss of cornerback Brandon Browner. Seattle had best hope so, as it’ll need to thrive against one of the NFL’s toughest closing slates in order to wrap up home-field advantage.

The absence of Aaron Rodgers moved the Packers-Eagles line 10 points, and it turns out that wasn’t near enough. The season’s biggest Fantasy Football Decapitation Strike took out Rodgers while also kneecapping studs Eddie Lacy and Jordy Nelson, and in the real world (with a blizzard of other injuries) this has the Packers on the outside of the playoff picture looking in. The only silver Cheap Authentic NHL Jerseys lining is the solid gold tweet this situation generated, courtesy of the great Jonathan Moxon himself, James Van Der Beek:

I’m not saying the #Packers are Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping desperate, but they just called to ask if I could actually play quarterback.