What’s the difference between 82 and 78? Four. In the grand scheme of most things, that’s not a whole lot, especially if we’re talking NBA games. An 82-game schedule pretty much went out the window after last week, but the NY Post is saying if a deal is finalized sometime this week, we could be looking at a 78-game affair. We’ll take it. They’re saying it has to be an even number of games, and that David Stern is willing to push the season back enough to fit in as many games as possible, maybe even push a possible NBA Finals Game 7 to just a few days before the draft. That might affect the way the games are played, but for us it just means more basketball packed into a shorter time. That wouldn’t be such a bad thing … Also, the players will officially miss their first paychecks on Nov. 16. Prepare for an avalanche of tweets that day from guys freaking out about not having enough cash and not having a job … Great tweet (and accompanying photo) from Chris Kaman this weekend: I decided to express my feelings this Halloween weekend. This is what I feel about the lock out! … It’s crazy to think that most NBA players will lose more in the following month without games than most Americans make in an entire year. HOOPSWORLD did up the math. Dwyane Wade will lose $2.64 million this next month. LeBron and Bosh will both lose $2.72 million. Chris Paul, Deron Williams and Elton Brand will all lose close to $3 million (one of those names doesn’t fit). Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan are set to drop $3.6 mill while Rashard Lewis has $3.77 million burning up. Kobe Bryant will see the most cash vanish. He’s set to lose $4.3 mill. Of course, the money is not an issue to these big name stars. To Bryant, $4.3 million is worth it to get a good deal. This all just makes us feel worse … The best team in college basketball? We’ll have you covered, starting this week with previews of just about everyone who is someone in the only game going right now. We told you about the insanely good impressions Anthony Davis was leaving everyone from Kentucky practice recently. But he might not even be the best player on his team. After watching Terrence Jones go off for 52 points and 16 rebounds in the team’s intra-squad scrimmage last week, John Calipari called him the top dog in the nation. Adding Doron Lamb back into the mix, returning to Kentucky for his sophomore season, Calipari might have his most talented squad yet. Not only does he bring in Davis, but Marquis Teague, younger brother of Atlanta Hawks point guard Jeff Teague, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Kyle Wiltjer create the No. 1 recruiting class in the country … Keep reading to hear the North Carolina argument and Dwight Howard, the MVP? …
But before you crown the Wildcats national champs, you need to take a peak inside the locker room of the Tar Heels down in Chapel Hill. They are ranked No. 1 for a reason; North Carolina will be Roy Williams‘ most talented team since 2008 when he won the Dance with the likes of Tyler Hansbrough, Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington, Ed Davis and Danny Green. This years’ Heels won’t have the experience of the 2008 team, but they definitely have the talent. Tyler Zeller, John Henson and James McAdoo will provide North Carolina with the best frontcourt in the nation. They also have a steady sophomore point guard in Kendall Marshall and a bounty of dangerous wings. Look for the Heels to take the ACC, be a No. 1 seed in the tournament, and seriously contend for a National Championship. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed it’s against Kentucky. Who doesn’t want to see that? … Staying on the topic of college basketball, the No. 1 high school player in the nation – Shabazz Muhammad – went on an official visit to USC this weekend. Muhammad has yet to decide where he will play college basketball next season, and based on his skill set, he can play just about anywhere he wants. With a list narrowed down to UCLA (the rumored favorite), Kentucky, Duke (the rumored number two), Kansas, UNLV (the local school), Muhammad will make one of these coaches very happy. At 6-6, 215, the lethal lefty has a universal arsenal. He can shoot it from midrange and distance, as well as take the ball to the hoop and dunk on a defender. Muhammad also has an underrated post game with a little go-to back hook that he often relies on. If you’re a fan of one of these five schools on Muhammad’s list, start praying. It’s never too early. Why did he check out USC? His father (who went there) says the high schooler was “raised a Trojan.” … After a couple of tough losses in the 2011 Pan-American Games, Team USA rallied yesterday to finish the tournament with a bronze medal, beating the Dominican Republic 94-92. In one of their most well-rounded games of the tourney, Lance Thomas (14 points) led the way, but the team got important contributions from guys like Justin Dentmon (12 points, five assists) and Marcus Lewis (12 points, seven rebounds) … And Dwight Howard was easily the MVP of the early summer (Most Valuable Planker), so it’s no surprise he’s already jumped into the “Tebowing” craze … We’re out like 82 games.
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