Top 10 Players in the Tokyo 2021 Olympics

This was fun to do especially with so many opt outs and top countries not making the final cut. Teams like Serbia, that have the 2021 NBA MVP Nikola Jokic alongside Hawks starting SG Bogdan Bogdanovic & the mighty Greece team, where their leader is celebrating his first championship & Finals MVP in Giannis Antetokounmpo are all missing out of 2021 in Tokyo. Other great players like Dennis Schroder couldn’t get insurance to play for Germany & other teams like Lithuania with Sabonis just didn’t qualify.

Teams in the Olympics

  • Japan (Host Country)
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Czech Republic
  • France
  • Germany
  • Iran
  • Italy
  • Nigeria
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • USA

So here we go, ranking the top 10 Players in Tokyo 2021

10. Danilo Gallinari, Italy

He arrived late to the party due to the Atlanta Hawks making it to the Eastern Conference Finals but Gallo has been one of the most consistent international players the NBA’s ever had. In FIBA 2019, Gallo averaged 17.2 ppg, 5.6 rpg & 2.8 apg while shooting 50% from 3. Italy has more scorers now who can light up the scoreboard including the Warriors Nico Mannion, but look for the Italian veteran to prove he’s still the go to guy & the reason Italy could medal.

9. Tomas Satoransky, Czech Republic

The underdog role fits Tomas Satoransky perfectly. His 16 ppg during the qualifying round in Victoria, helped lead to upsets over Canada & Greece, including a game winner over Lu Dort. Along with Jan Vesely, look for Tomas to try and make a statement in a tough group with USA and France. Will the underdog become a hero and rise to the occasion? FIBA 2019 stats: 15.5 ppg, 8.5 apg & 5.6 rebs while shooting 48% from 3.

8. Rudy Gobert, France

The big man upfront, The Stifle Tower from the Utah Jazz, help leads a loaded France team looking to capture gold in the Olympics. Rudy Gobert is arguably the best defender in the WORLD, he’ll look to use his length to dominate the Olympics this go around. We last saw him help defeat Team USA in FIBA 2019, where he posted 21 points, 16 rebounds & 3 blocks. He’s the best big in the Olympics and he’ll prove that once again.

7. Evan Fournier, France

Just like his teammate, Evan Fournier is ready to bring France the gold. He poured in 22 pts vs USA in FIBA making France a dominating duo alongside other NBA players like Nicolas Batum & Frank Ntilikina. Fournier average 19.8 ppg, 4 rpg & 3 apg in 2019 and is poised for another great run. France takes on Team USA in their first game, Fournier will be counted on as the lead guy, to upset USA again.

6. Jayson Tatum, USA

Jayson Tatum is a top 15 player in the NBA so he has to make a top 10 list in the Olympics. This is the summer where Tatum take his defensive prowess to the next level. I mention on the Preach Kev Preach w/ Rashad Podcast Episode – Everything That Glitters Ain’t Gold – that Team USA needs to learn their roles. Tatum worked out with the late great Kobe Bryant and his role was defense. Taking the challenge to lock down France’s Evan Fournier & Czech Republic’s Tomas Satoransky in Group play is a task Tatum is made for.

5. Ricky Rubio, Spain

Man let me tell you about the one they call Ricky Rubio. As the Gasol brothers age out, Rubio remains the catalyst & most important player on the Spain team. This is Spain’s final opportunity to capture goal. If they do, it’ll all be up to Ricky. 16 ppg, 6 apg, 5 rpg from the FIBA World Cup shows all the confidence he’ll to return to the form or even better. Rubio’s game is exactly the way you want to model yourself in international play demonstrating great IQ & playmaking ability. Rubio led all scorers vs USA in the final friendly heading to Tokyo with 23 points.

4. Patty Mills, Australia

Superstar Patty Mills!!! That’s all I can say. He’s been a beast for the Boomers and if you watch international play, you’d know that by now. Australia has been disappointing the last few times out including when they had the opportunity to win Gold in 2019 but look for the team to look toward their best player to lead them to the promise land. Patty Mills has average 20+ points on the last 3 Boomer Teams (2019 FIBA, 2016 Olympics & 2012 Olympics), this is why we call him Superstar Patty Mills.

3. Kevin Durant, USA

I know what you’re thinking…THIRD? Well we know KD is arguably the baddest man on the planet, however his role is carved out for Team USA differently. He’s one of the best scorers in Team USA history and he’ll continue to do so, especially in the Carmelo Anthony role . KD is the Guard-Center of this team, which is a made up position, but he’s the tallest player on Team USA, aside from Mcgee and I think they’ll use him in numerous ways including controlling the glass which could take away from his superstardom we see in the NBA.

2. Damian Lillard, USA

Dame will take up the slack for Team USA. When in doubt, give the ball to Damian Lillard, he can make something out of nothing and he’ll be the key reason Team USA wins gold. Obviously, Team USA is loaded with talent, but he’ll still find away to lead the team in scoring and probably 3 pointers made. The Olympics is very guard centric right now and he’ll provide that as an elite option & probably the best Tokyo will see.

1. Luka Doncic, Slovenia

Are Kevin Durant and Damian Lillard better than Luka? It’s definitely a debate, but when it comes to International play, I’m taking Luka everyday and twice on Sunday. Luka won MVP at 18 and he’s carrying yet another team on his back. Slovenia has a shot and it’s all up to Luka. In the qualifying round Luka average 21 ppg, 11 apg & 8 rpg in 4 games, not to mention his historic triple double vs the mighty Lithuanian team in the Finals. Luka is the most exciting basketball player to watch in the world and honestly I don’t think that’s up for debate. Can’t wait to see how far Luka can take Slovenia.

THE NEW ALLSTAR WEEKEND EVENT?

Every year we see NBA free agency filled with talents that have us wondering, “how is he not signed” and wondering why our favorite teams are not filling these voids. I think I figured out the solution to this problem.

During All-star weekend the NBA should have a game that features the top available free agents and there are two ways this could happen or free agents that drew the most interest from the NBA Teams

-3 Game Tournament. 4 Teams of 10. Team A Vs Team B, Team C Vs Team D and those winners play one another. You get to see 40 players between those two teams & 8 coaches between the teams. 

OR

2 Teams of 12-13 Players

Benefits of this addition?

-NBA gets the other event they have been looking to add to All Star Weekend which will add more revenue to the weekend.

  • NBA gets the other event they have been looking to add to All-Star Weekend, which will add more revenue to the weekend.
  • Fans get a competitive meaning event to enjoy to begin All-Star Weekend
  • Teams get to checkout players that could potentially fill gaps and improve their team post All-Star weekend.
  • We have these players working their tails off during the summer waiting for their opportunity; they do not truly have a platform to showcase their improvements.
  • As of now, the most exciting event we have is the 3PT contest with the dunk contest constantly becoming a hit or miss, I feel that this will bring the viewers back while drawing new viewers to check out this event.

WWE Reviving Momentum in Women’s Division

*Disclaimer – Do not come into this article hoping to read a professionally written article. Just an article that makes so much sense

Currently the women’s division is in a interesting place, we have two new fresh faces as champions with Bianca Belair and Nikki A.S.H. and they are doing terrific jobs this far. However, with the release of so many women superstars, having a women’s tag team division on the main roster does not make much sense at the moment. Tamina & Natalya as a tag team seemed random at first but they ended up meshing well. It would be great if the roster still had other tags such as; Iconics, Bella twins, Riot Squad, Fire & Desire, Bayley & Sasha, Kabuki Warriors, Alexa & Nikki. The thing is, none of those tag teams exist anymore either from breaking up or no longer being with the company. Instead of forming random tag teams that don’t compliment one another WWE should replace the women’s tag team division with a mid-card singles belt. I am a fan of women’s division but having a tag division with the current constructed roster it does not benefit the company at this point.

Committing to someone as world champion is a big deal. Adding this title would allow WWE to test the waters of their women superstars to see if they are built for the responsibility of a champion and would allow the company to push women who they do not see as world champions but still see them as championship worthy, fan favorite superstars especially. In a tag division there are only so many rivalries you can have before you are repeating storylines or throwing random tags together. Women superstars such as; Naomi, Tamina, Sonya Deville, Mandy Rose, Liv Morgan, Dana Brooke, Natalya, Zelina Vega, Carmella, Eva Marie and so many more who may not be in the title picture anytime soon because management does not have evidence or confidence in them to be an successful title holder would benefit from this enormously. This mid-card belt could be that stepping stone for the superstars while still being a huge achievement within itself.

Other benefits of adding a mid-card single’s belt include:

  • Allowing women to stay relevant without being a world champion
  • You can have tag team matches without having a tag title and they don’t lose much meaning. Mid-card singles matches would mean more by having the title involved
  • Having a way to develop or discover mid-card talent as world champion talent
  • Allowing fans to see fan favorites hold a title.
  • Allowing the women who will always be mid-card to stay motivated to put on good shows and get better because they still have a chance to be a realistic title holder
  • If you are bringing a new superstar into the company or bringing a superstar from NXT and want them to hit the ground running but do not want to commit to them a world champion this allows that to happen.
  • It gives the women who feel that have already achieved their goals as world champion a new milestone to look forward to. Such as Charlotte Flair & Sasha Banks.
  • Giving fans a fresh reason to want to tune in.

Lastly, It’s just time. The women’s division has had some huge milestones in the last decade; from ‘Evolution’, wrestling in Saudi, being the Wrestlemania main event, women’s rumble and so many other achievements. I think we all can agree that for many reasons WWE main roster has had one too many stale storylines or repeated rivalries and too many missing superstar pushes. The historic history of the men’s IC and US title is legendary with some of the names who held that title from; Terry Funk, Ricky Steamboat, Razor Ramon, Jake Roberts, Bret Hart, HHH. It is time to offer that opportunity to the women.

WWE Reviving Momentum in Women’s Division

Hot time for Boxing

Boy are we getting blessed with some amazing fights in the months of June, July, and August! If you are a boxing fan then you could not be happier with these next couple months and if you are looking to get into boxing, these next few months are the time to do that. Check out the fights lined up and my predictions for the key fights.

Predictions in Red

JUNE

June 5: Shropshire, England

  • Title fight: Daniel Dubois vs. Bogdan Dinu, 12 rounds, for the vacant WBA interim heavyweight title–Dubois, coming off his last loss I feel like Dubois is on a mission to redeem himself. Also, Bogdan lost vs Big Baby Miller and I feel like Dubois is more active and a heavier striker than Big Baby
  • Nathan Heaney vs. Iliyan Markov, 10 rounds, middleweights-
  • Liam Davies vs. Stefan Slavchev, 6 rounds, bantamweights-
  • Daniel Buciuc vs. Naeem Ali, 6 rounds, junior middleweights-
  • Tommy Fury vs. Jordan Grant, 6 rounds, light heavyweights-
  • George Bance vs. Des Newston, 4 rounds, welterweights
  • Adan Mohamed vs. Luke Fash, 4 rounds, featherweights
  • Caoimhin Agyarko vs. TBA, 6 rounds, middleweights

June 6: Miami (Showtime PPV)

  • Floyd Mayweather vs. Logan Paul, 8 rounds, “special exhibition” – I am not a fan of this fight, OR The ‘celebrity exhibition boxing’ wave that is going on because I do feel like professional boxing is back. Collectively, boxing has some of the most depth of great boxers in a long time. Boxing is at one of it’s peaks and I feel like these kinds of fights take away from that.
  • Badou Jack vs. Dervin Colina, 10 rounds, light heavyweights- Badou Jack

June 12: Las Vegas (ESPN/ESPN+)

  • Title fight: Shakur Stevenson vs. Jeremiah Nakathila, 12 rounds, for the vacant WBO interim junior lightweight title Shakur Stevenson picks up a statement win in this Title fight
  • Jose Pedraza vs. Julian Rodriguez, 10 rounds, junior welterweights
  • Xander Zayas vs. Larry Fryers, 6 rounds, welterweights
  • Tyler McCreary vs. Manuel Rey Rojas, 8 rounds, junior lightweights
  • John Bauza vs. Christon Edwards, 8 rounds, junior welterweights
  • Bryan Lua vs. Frevian Gonzalez, 6 rounds, junior lightweights
  • Troy Isley vs. LaQuan Evans, 4 rounds, middleweights
  • Kasir Goldston vs. Maurice Anthony, 4 rounds, welterweights
  • Jahi Tucker vs. Ysrael Barboza, 4 rounds, welterweights

June 12: Newcastle, England

  • Lewis Ritson vs. Jeremias Nicolas Ponce, 12 rounds, junior welterweights
  • Cyrus Pattinson vs. TBA, rounds TBA, junior middleweights
  • Scott Fitzgerald vs. TBA, rounds TBA, junior middleweights

June 19: Las Vegas (ESPN and ESPN+)

  • Title fight: Naoya Inoue vs. Michael Dasmarinas, 12 rounds, for Inoue’s IBF and WBA bantamweight titles- Naoya Inoue 
  • Title fight: Mikaela Mayer vs. Erica Farias, 10 rounds, for Mayer’s WBO women’s junior lightweight title- Erica Farias 
  • Adam Lopez vs. Isaac Dogboe, 10 rounds, featherweights

June 19: Miami (Triller PPV)

  • Title fight: Teofimo Lopez vs George Kambosos Jr, 12 rounds, for Lopez’s WBA, WBO and IBF lightweight titles- Teofimo Lopez picks up a dominating win over Kambosos in his first title defense
  • Charles Conwell vs. Mark DeLuca, 10 rounds, junior middleweights
  • Title fight: Franchon Crews Dezurn vs. Elin Cederroos, 10 rounds, for Crews Dezurn’s WBC and WBO women’s super middleweight titles, and Cederroos’ WBA and IBF women’s super middleweight titles- Elin Cederoos 
  • Andy Vences vs. Jono Carroll, 10 rounds, junior lightweights
  • Michael Hunter vs. Mike Wilson, 12 rounds, heavyweights
  • Willie Monroe Jr. vs. Juan De Angel, 10 rounds, middleweights- Willie Monroe Jr
  • Zhilel Zhang vs. Daniel Martz, 10 rounds, heavyweights
  • Aaron Aponte vs. Gerardo Contreras Gonzalez, 4 rounds, junior welterweights
  • Ray Robinson vs. Ramal Amanov, 8 rounds, junior middleweights
  • Haven Brady Jr. vs. Manuel Lara, 4 rounds, featherweights
  • Nikoloz Sekhniashvili vs. TBA, 6 rounds, junior middleweights
  • Arnold Gonzalez vs. Gabriel Gutierrez, 4 rounds, welterweights

June 19: Houston (Showtime)

  • Title fight: Jermall Charlo vs. Juan Macias Montiel, 12 rounds, for Charlo’s WBC middleweight title- Jermall Charlo will have a dominating win as he tries to make his point that he needs to see GGG or Canelo next.
  • Kudratillo Abdukakhorov vs. Cesar Miguel Barrionuevo, 10 rounds, welterweights
  • Angelo Leo vs. Aaron Alameda, 10 rounds, junior featherweights- Angelo Leo
  • Isaac Cruz Gonzalez vs. Francisco Vargas, 10 rounds, lightweights

June 19: Jalisco, Mexico (PPV)

  • Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. vs. Anderson Silva, 10 rounds, cruiserweights
  • Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. vs. Hector Camacho Jr., 6 rounds, middleweight exhibition
  • Omar Chavez vs. Ramon Alvarez, 10 rounds, middleweights
  • Damian Sosa vs. Abel Mina, 10 rounds, junior middleweights
  • Kevin Torres vs. Jorge Luis Melendez, 8 rounds, junior welterweights
  • Manuel Jaimes vs. Francisco Arturo Ramirez Martinez, 8 rounds, lightweights
  • Mario Alberto Ramirez vs. Pedro Castro, 8 rounds, featherweights
  • Erik Inzunza vs. TBA, 6 rounds, junior lightweights
  • Karen Rubio vs. TBA, 4 rounds, women’s junior flyweights

June 19: El Paso, Texas (DAZN)

  • Jaime Munguia vs. Maciej Sulecki, 12 rounds, middleweights
  • Bektemir Melikuziev vs. Gabriel Rosado, 12 rounds, super middleweights
  • Title fight: Ibeth Zamora vs. Marlen Esparza, 10 rounds, for Zamora’s WBC women’s flyweight title- Ibeth Zamora
  • Blair Cobbs vs. Brad Brad Solomon, 10 rounds, welterweights

June 26: Las Vegas (ESPN+)

  • Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Masayoshi Nakatani, 12 rounds, lightweights- Lomachenko 
  • Rob Brant vs. Janibek Alimkhanuly, 10 rounds, middleweights

June 26: TBA (Showtime PPV)- The best card from start to finish 

  • Title fight: Mario Barrios vs. Gervonta Davis, 12 rounds, for Barrios’ WBA “regular” junior welterweight title- Boy this will be an interesting fight. While Tank is the obvious favorite, Barrios size difference could be a big problem for Tank if he can’t manage to close the distance. I do believe Tank overcomes the size difference for the win
  • Erickson Lubin vs. Jeison Rosario, 12 rounds, WBC junior middleweight title eliminator- Rosario, I do feel Rosario will redeem himself after his last fight 
  • Batyr Akhmedov vs. Algenis Mendez, 12 rounds, junior welterweights-
  • Julian Williams vs. Brian Mendoza, 10 rounds, junior middleweights- This will be one amazing fight to watch but tough fight for both fighters. I feel as if this is a must win for Julian Williams career, I think he understands that and will get the job done.

june 27th: pbc, live on fox:

Title fight: David Morrell Jr vs Mario Cazares, 12 rounds, WBA Super Middleweight Championship – David Morrell stays unbeaten in his title defense, giving Cazares his first loss.


JULY

July 3: Carson, California (Showtime)

  • Title fight: Chris Colbert vs. Yuriorkis Gamboa, 12 rounds, for Colbert’s WBA interim junior lightweight titleChris Colbert, I feel as if Gamboa’s days are numbered. Gamboa is a tough fighter and will not be a cake walk but ultimately I think he loses in a stoppage.

July 9: Los Angeles (DAZN)

  • Gilberto Ramirez vs. Sullivan Barrera, 12 rounds, light heavyweights
  • Joseph Diaz Jr. vs. Javier Fortuna, 12 rounds, lightweightsFortuna

July 17: TBA (Showtime)

  • Title fight: Jermell Charlo vs. Brian Castano, 12 rounds, for Charlo’s IBF, WBC and WBA junior middleweight titles and Castano’s WBO junior middleweight title- Jermell Charlo – Jermell Charlo with KO of the Year candidate 

July 17: Germany

  • Tina Rupprecht vs. Katia Gutierrez, 10 rounds, for Rupprecht’ WBC women’s strawweight title

July 24: Las Vegas

  • Title fight: Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder, 12 rounds, for Fury’s WBC heavyweight title- This one is hard for me. With Wilder having a new trainer he has shown actual boxing skills and not just being a slugger. If Wilder changes up his fighting style to what his training has looked like alongside his KO Power then I have a hard time betting against him. Fury is so skilled and agile for a fighter of his size. However I am nervous that he is doubting Wilder’s ability to beat him. By the skin of my teeth I have to go with Deontay Wilder. I feel a loss for Wilder would be more detrimental to his career than if Fury lost. 

AUGUST

August 14: TBA (Showtime)

  • Title fight: John Riel Casimero vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux, 12 rounds, for Casimero’s WBO bantamweight title- John Riel Casimero

August 21: Las Vegas (FOX PPV) (Fight of the year until further notice)

  • Title fight: Errol, Spence Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao, 12 rounds, for Spence’s WBC and IBF welterweight titles- Errol Spence Jr, Boy is this fight huge for the boxing world. We have Manny Pacquiao trying to cement his legacy against arguably the top boxer of today’s boxing generation. Errol Spence Jr has been calling Manny out for some time, so to add a win over Manny Pacquiao to his resume would be amazing. Please disregard Manny Pacquiao’s age, he will be even more prepared than he was for Thurman, however Errol Spence is no Thurman. Coming off a huge win against Danny Garcia, Spence says he currently feels 100% again and did not during Danny Garcia’s fight. I do not seeing 100% Errol Spence losing to Manny Pacquiao.

August 28: TBA (Showtime)

  • David Benavidez vs. Jose Uzcategui, 12 rounds, WBC super middleweight title eliminator- David Benavidez Winner 

Hot time for Boxing

NFL AFTER WEEK 3 RANKINGS

Week 3 is in the books, a lot of movement and finding out which teams are real and which team is not. The rankings has been consistent with teams at the top, as well as team at the bottom. Don’t let another moment go until you see the Prophet Rankings after week 3.

32. New York Jets (0-3)

Last Week Ranking: 32

(AP Photo/Gail Burton)

This could be the worse team in the NFL and I don’t think it’s close. Adam Gase is one more blowout away from being fired, but what would that really mean? The race for 0-16 is on.

Highest Ranking: 32

Lowest Ranking: 32

31. New York Giants (0-3)

Last Week Ranking: 31

Another team from New York and another way to open the season up with disaster. Rookie HC Joe Judge has a lot of improvements for this young team. However it is hard to judge them when they faced defenses like Steelers, Bears and the 49ers.

Highest Ranking: 31

Lowest Ranking: 31

30. Washington Football Team (1-2)

Last Week: 24

Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Washington biggest problem is the QB position. Dwayne Haskins hasn’t showed any real signs through 3 games that points to him being a franchise QB. The DL is dangerous and Terry is Scary but that’s all they have going for them

Highest Ranking: 28

Lowest Ranking: 30

29. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2)

Last Week Ranking: 21

Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

They are who we thought they were! After impressive win over the Colts and impressive lost vs the Titans, the Jags showed the world on National TV where they really stand. Can they bounce back?

Highest Ranking: 23

Lowest Ranking: 30

28. Cincinnati Bengals (0-2-1)

Last Week Ranking: 28

Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

A Tie? Joe Burrow was a couple of plays away from making the 2019 NFC East Champs 0-3. They are showing signs of what could be an incredible offense in the near future. Stay Tuned

Highest Ranking: 24

Lowest Ranking: 30

27. Denver Broncos (0-3)

Last Week Ranking: 20

(AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

The injuries has piled up for the Broncos which make their ranking low. A team with promise seems to be stressing. Will they get their first win in Week 4?

Highest Ranking: 23

Lowest Ranking: 29

26. Carolina Panthers (1-2)

Last Week Ranking: 30

Got their first win without their star player in Christian McCaffrey. This team will be a pain in the butt all year but there is a lot to look toward for Matt Rhule and company.

Highest Ranking: 21

Lowest Ranking: 29

25. Philadelphia Eagles (0-2-1)

Last Week Ranking: 26

Someone tell me where the real Carson Wentz is. He hasn’t showed any signs of a good QB – I question can he even read the defense. Nonetheless, the Eagles are still hurt (as always) and it doesn’t appear to be getting any better.

Highest Ranking: 21

Lowest Ranking: 27

24. Atlanta Falcons (0-3)

Last Week Ranking: 22

The Comeback Kids got their name when they played the Falcons. Another late fashion lost, this team could be one of the best but they stand in their own way. The clock is ticking for Dan Quinn

Highest Ranking: 24

Lowest Ranking: 26

23. Miami Dolphins (1-2)

Last Week Ranking: 29

Dolphins went wild vs the Jags on TNF. Brian Flores has the team playing pretty well sticking with the Pats and Bills to start the season. How will they fair with another Mobile QB in Week 4, let’s find out.

Highest Ranking: 22

Lowest Ranking: 28

22. Los Angeles Chargers (1-2)

Last Week Ranking: 17

This team will be up and down all season. A team that has changed QBs plus with multiple injuries it is hard to get a real grasp if the lighting bolts are real.

Highest Ranking: 19

Lowest Ranking: 29

21. Minnesota Vikings (0-3)

Last Week Ranking: 25

Vikings made NFL History with a rusher over 175 yards and another player with over 175 yards receiving and still lost to the Titans on Sunday. They have looked better since Week 1 but still haven’t received their 1st win. Could be in store in Week 4.

Highest Ranking: 27

Lowest Ranking: 19

20. Houston Texans (0-3)

Last Week Ranking: 23

Watson is doing all he can but that isn’t enough right now. The schedule was not kind to the Texans, a very brutal start to the season.

Highest Ranking: 17

Lowest Ranking: 25

19. Las Vegas Raiders (2-1)

Last Week: 15

Raiders have to prove they can play from behind. Aside from the beautiful stadium there is still some ugly to their game.

Highest Ranking: 18

Lowest Ranking: 22

18. Detroit Lions (1-2)

Last Week Ranking: 27

Impressive win over the Arizona Cards, this team was one catch away from being 2-1 and being in control of the destiny. Stafford is Top 10 in passing without Kenny Golladay, put some respect on his name.

Highest Ranking: 18

Lowest Rankin: 20

17. Cleveland Browns (1-2)

Last Week Ranking: 18

Run the ball! That’s the success for this team — They’ll move up in they continue the 2 headed monster in Chubb & Hunt.

Highest Ranking: 17

Lowest Ranking: 18

16. San Francisco 49ers (2-1)

Last Week Ranking: 13

The injuries are mounting up yet they still win. Kyle Shanahan is doing all he can, hopefully the injury bug moves away.

Highest Ranking: 11

Lowest Ranking: 16

15. Arizona Cardinals (2-1)

Last Week Ranking: 12

Kyler Murray…. how could you lose to Detroit? It’s okay, things happen, we still believe in you.

Highest Ranking: 11

Lowest Ranking: 16

14. Chicago Bears (3-0)

Last Week Ranking: 14

The change at Quarterback helped them stay undefeated. Bears are who we thought they were.

Highest Ranking: 11

Lowest Ranking: 16

13. New Orleans Saints (1-2)

Last Week Ranking: 9

Don’t know where to peg the Saints. Brees Average Depth of Throw is extremely low. He’s missing Mike Thomas but the defense isn’t that great so far. They’ll clean it up.

Highest Ranking: 11

Lowest Ranking: 14

12. Indy Colts (2-1)

Last Week Ranking: 16

(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Still can’t believe Colts lost to the Jags but they dominated the Jets. Real challenge in Week 4, will they live up to the hype.

Highest Ranking: 9

Lowest Ranking: 15

11. Dallas Cowboys (1-2)

Last Week Ranking: 13

The offense is the calling card for the team and right now they’re 1 for 3. Dak lead the league in passing, that’s it for now.

Highest Ranking: 8

Lowest Ranking: 16

10. Tennessee Titans (3-0)

Last Week Ranking: 10

They probably won Week 3 because they had the Coronavirus, either way they pulled out 3 wins by kicking game winning FGs. Can they dominate for 60 mins.

Highest Ranking: 8

Lowest Ranking: 15

9. New England Patriots (2-1)

Last Week Ranking: 11

Big follow up to Week 2 performance putting up a lot of points. The big task is if they can do that in Week 4.

Highest Ranking: 7

Lowest Ranking: 10

8. Los Angeles Rams (2-1)

Last Week Ranking: 7

Rams was a DPI call from being 3-0 and higher on this list but here they are looking so much better than initially thought. Goff and the offense has gotten back on track and that’s all you can ask.

Highest Ranking: 8

Lowest Ranking: 10

7. Tampa Bay Bucs (2-1)

Last Week Ranking: 8

(AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

They may have the best defense in the NFC but they played the Panthers and the Broncos. The offense is getting better, can we trust Brady down the line??

Highest Ranking: 7

Lowest Ranking: 9

6. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-0)

Last Week Ranking: 6

The defense played amazing in the 2nd half and the offense is getting better each week. All faith in Steelers this year to continually be in the top 7 all year.

Highest Ranking: 2

Lowest Ranking: 6

5. Green Bay Packers (3-0)

Last Week Ranking: 4

A-Aron and A-Aron are doing everything in their power making them one of the best offenses in the league. Week 4 make way for some more fireworks.

Highest Ranking: 3

Lowest Ranking: 5

4. Buffalo Bills (3-0)

Last Week Ranking: 5

Josh Allen continues to prove the doubters wrong. After giving up a 28-3 lead he proved how clutch he can be. The success is on his shoulders and he can handle it.

Highest Ranking: 2

Lowest Ranking: 6

3. Seattle Seahawks (3-0)

Last Week Ranking: 3

Russ Cooked and it was good. Another Shootout performance by Seattle and it seems that Tyler Lockett may be the most underrated WR in the game.

Highest Ranking: 2

Lowest Ranking: 4

2. Baltimore Ravens (2-1)

Last Week Ranking: 2

Lackluster performance but the only time the Ravens trail is when they play the Chiefs. They’ll be fine and will bounce back huge in Week 4.

Highest Ranking: 2

Lowest Ranking: 4

1. Kansas City Chiefs (3-0)

Last Week Ranking: 1

Is it Chiefs vs Everybody? Indeed it is. Mahomes and company looked great in Week 3 on both sides of the ball. They’ll look to keep that up vs another mobile QB in Cam Newton.

Highest Ranking: 1

Lowest Ranking: 1

NFL Pre Week 2 Rankings

Week 1 was full of exciting moments and surprising upsets. Which teams took a dive after one week of play and which team jumped. Only 1 game played so far, so no need to panic, but does your team has cause for concerns ? See the new Week 2 Power Ranking.

32. New York Jets (0-1)

Last Week Ranking: 31

(AP Photo/Gail Burton)

The New York Jets offense did not impress as predicted. Adam Gase gets another crack to show what this team can do. However, he’ll be without starting running back Le’Veon Bell and the ageless Frank Gore will start.

Highest Ranking: 32

Lowest Ranking: 32

31. New York Giants (0-1)

Last Week Ranking: 28

ESPN.com

Not a horrible start, but can this offensive line provide any room for Saquon Barkley to operate. This defense also has a lot of growing up to do.

Highest Ranking: 26

Lowest Ranking: 31

30. Cincinnati Bengals (0-2)

Last Week Ranking: 30

Bleacher Report

Bayou Bengal’s first game and it was almost a win, if not for AJ Green’s OPI call. Still needs improvement but it is good signs in the right direction for Joe Burrow and company.

Highest Ranking: 28

Lowest Ranking: 30

29. Carolina Panthers (0-1)

Last Week Ranking: 29

Charlotte Observer

Gave up a lot of points, but that was expected with a new young defense. The offense put on a show – will they be able to do it again?

Highest Ranking: 26

Lowest Ranking: 31

28. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-0)

Last Week Ranking: 32

Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Beating the Colts was definitely a shocker. Minshew played great, trying to hold off all of the Trevor Lawrence talk. Jaguars up this week.

Highest Ranking: 25

Lowest Ranking: 31

27. Miami Dolphins (0-1)

Last Week Ranking: 25

Bleacher Report

#TankForTua to #PlayTuaNow will be the new hashtag for Week 2 after a bad game from Fitzpatrick. Small decline after high hopes for this squad.

Highest Ranking: 22

Lowest Ranking: 27

26. Las Vegas Raiders (1-0)

Last Week Ranking: 26

Sports Illustrated

Las Vegas Raiders, led by Josh Jacobs, looked great on offense. A win over Carolina didn’t mean much but can they repeat said performance in week 2 over the Saints?

Highest Ranking: 21

Lowest Ranking: 28

25. Detroit Lions (0-1)

Last Week Ranking: 24

Athlon Sports

Another “Lions will be Lions” type of game as they blew another late lead vs. the Bears. Swift, in his rookie debut scored his first Touchdown and also dropped the Game Winning Touchdown, talk about your up and down, but that’s the Lion way.

Highest Ranking: 20

Lowest Ranking: 30

24. Atlanta Falcons (0-1)

Last Week Ranking: 21

ESPN.com

The offense did what the offense do but once again Dan Quinn doesn’t have the defense to stop anyone.

Highest Ranking: 17

Lowest Ranking: 29

23. Cleveland Browns (1-1)

Last Week Ranking: 14

Cleveland.com

Browns were blown this past Sunday vs a Super Bowl caliber team. Now they face one of the bottom teams. Are we sure they’re not a bottom team too?

Highest Ranking: 21

Lowest Ranking: 27

22. Los Angeles Chargers (1-0)

Last Week Ranking: 15

Draftkings Nation

Down in the ranking after a win. They were a good kick away from facing overtime vs the Bengals. The offense did not look good — How long until the fans rant “We Want Herbert”.

Highest Ranking: 17

Lowest Ranking: 29

21. Washington Football Team (1-0)

Last Week Ranking: 27

. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

That front 4 can be, will be and should be the best in the league. This defense can carry this team as far as it can go. Still some questions and reserve on starting QB Dwayne Haskins.

Highest Ranking: 17

Lowest Ranking: 25

20. Indianapolis Colts (0-1)

Last Week Ranking: 12

(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Going down in the rankings should not be a surprise after losing to the Jags. What do you have left Rivers? The rankers are all over the place on this one.

Highest Ranking: 10

Lowest Ranking: 26

19. Houston Texans (0-1)

Last Week Ranking: 18

Click2Houston

Defense is swiss cheese, however Will Fuller looked good in DHop absences. The offense should take another step in Week 2.

Highest Ranking: 13

Lowest Ranking: 24

18. Chicago Bears (1-0)

Last Week Ranking: 20

Bleacher Report

Mitch with a comeback behind win vs the Lions. Keeping his job for another week.

Highest Ranking: 15

Lowest Ranking: 20

17. Denver Broncos (0-1)

Last Week Ranking: 16

(AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Almost a win without Von Miller, Denver will still be a surprise team this season.

Highest Ranking: 16

Lowest Ranking: 21

16. Philadelphia Eagles (0-1)

Last Week Ranking: 13

Eagles Wire

Very thankful that Wentz is still upright after a brutal beating from the team in Washington. Hopefully they will get players back to help the North Dakota State alum.

Highest Ranking: 14

Lowest Ranking: 18

15. Minnesota Vikings (0-1)

Last Week Ranking: 9

Daily Norseman

Coming in to the season, the defense had all eyes on them, and so did Aaron Rodgers. Will Zimmer get his defense back on track in Week 2.

Highest Ranking: 13

Lowest Ranking: 19

14. Los Angeles Rams (1-0)

Last Week Ranking: 23

LA Times

Aaron Donald is the best non-QB player in football. That is all you need to know.

Highest Ranking: 8

Lowest Ranking: 17

13. Arizona Cardinals (1-0)

Last Week Ranking: 19

PFF.com

Great upset to beat the NFC champion from last season. Kyler looked great to get a comeback win in the 4th.

Highest Ranking: 10

Lowest Ranking: 18

12. New England Patriots (1-0)

Last Week Ranking: 22

(AP Photo/Steven Senne, Pool)

Cam Newton broke one record for the Pats already, how many can he get the rest of the year?

Highest Ranking: 11

Lowest Ranking: 15

11. Tennessee Titans (1-0)

Last Week Ranking: 17

AL.com

Thank God the kicker made 1 FG and it was to win the game. Derrick Henry pounded the rock per usual.

Highest Ranking: 10

Lowest Ranking: 16

10. Tampa Bay Bucs (0-1)

Last Week Ranking: 8

Newsday

First Game with Brady under center, there’s room for improvement for Arians with this offense.

Highest Ranking: 14

Lowest Ranking: 10

9. Dallas Cowboys (0-1)

Last Week Ranking: 6

BloggingTheBoys

Mike McCarthy is to blame for the week 1 loss. Deciding to go for it instead of tying the game is mind blowing. We all thought coaching wouldn’t cost the Cowboys anymore.

Highest Ranking: 6

Lowest Ranking: 12

8 San Fransisco 49ers (0-1)

Last Week Ranking: 3

NBC Sports

Super Bowl Hangover? The team banged up? Oh BOY!

Highest Ranking: 5

Lowest Ranking: 9

7. Green Bay Packers (1-0)

Last Week Ranking: 10

Forbes

Rodgers is still a badddddddddd man. If he continues this play, look out NFL.

Highest Ranking: 5

Lowest Ranking: 8

6.Buffalo Bills (1-0)

Last Week Ranking: 7

Democrat and Chronicle

Josh Allen impressed this past Sunday, he was a long shot for MVP, PLACE YOUR BETS!

Highest Ranking: 3

Lowest Ranking: 11

5. Seattle Seahawks (1-0)

Last Week Ranking: 11

Northwest.com

Did Seattle just let Russ Cook? You love to see it

Highest Ranking: 4

Lowest Ranking: 12

4 Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0)

Last Week Ranking: 5

Bleacher Report

Big Ben is back and that defense is straight up filthy. How do you score on them?

Highest Ranking: 4

Lowest Ranking: 6

3 New Orleans Saints (1-0)

Last Week Ranking: 4

Daily Advertiser

Didn’t even play a great game but the Saints fall into the Super Bowl or bust category. Even without Michael Thomas having 10+ catches the offense clicked, the defense clicked.

Highest Ranking: 2

Lowest Ranking: 5

2. Baltimore Ravens (1-0)

Last Week Ranking: 2

New York Times

The Ravens aren’t going anywhere and will probably destroy anyone in their way. Lamar providing his back to back MVP case already.

Highest Ranking: 2

Lowest Ranking: 3

1. Kansas City Chiefs (1-0)

Last Week Ranking: 1

Bleacher Report

As expected, you must score at least 30 to even have a shot. Team is too talented and Clyde Edwards-Helaire was amazing to watch.

Highest Ranking: 1

Lowest Ranking: 1

The Prophet NFL Rankers: Keven Myrick, Rashad Harris, Austin Hunt, Kevin Callair

Kev’s 2020 NBA Mock Draft

The Draft Lottery was surprising, for one it was done virtually and secondly, we seen two teams rise up — the Charlotte Hornets (picking 3rd) and the Chicago Bulls (picking 4th) and of course watching the Knick fans be disappointed yet again (falling from 6th to 8th). It’s weird that the first mock draft is in August but Covid-19 had other plans. See where these young tantalizing prospects are headed in the Prophet Mock Draft ⬇️

1. Minnesota Timberwolves

NBA.com

SG – Anthony Edwards, UGA

Edwards is the perfect fit for the T’wolves. With KAT and DLo, a tough-nosed player would help them toward making the playoffs. At 6’5 225 he already has a man body at such a young age. This trio could grow together and make some noise in a tough Western Conference.

2. Golden State Warriors

New York Times

C – James Wiseman, Memphis

Wiseman had to be dismissed from school but that won’t dismiss him from being a top pick. Warriors have duct tape the Center position with the likes of Mcgee and Chriss, imagine if they can get an elite Paint Patroller. He’ll get easy baskets in this system as he continues to work on his game.

3. Charlotte Hornets

USAToday.com

PG – Lamelo Ball, Australia

The Last Ball brother is here, LaMelo. We watched him grow up before our eyes and I believe he’s ready to take the league by storm. At 6’8 he can score from anywhere. The move to Australia was the best thing for him and it allowed him to mature. We seen the OKC Thunder pull off a 3 Guard set and be successful. Ball-Graham-Rozier could give teams hell.

4. Chicago Bulls

The Jerusalem Post

SF – Deni Avdija, Israel

THE player in the draft — Yes Deni is my #1 player on the board. I believe the top 3 teams could regret passing on the Israel Star just like teams did with Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Deni is an all around talented wing with great size, elite versatility and he can play from shooting guard to power forward. The Bulls luck up here to put him along side scoring machine Zach Lavine and Finland Star Lauri Markkanen.

5. Cleveland Cavaliers

The Athletic

SG/SF – Devin Vassell, FSU

Too much in the front court to get a big like Toppin or Big O and they spent high draft capital on the backcourt the last few drafts (Sexton in 2018, Garland in 2019). A defensive wing is necessary— enters Vassell. A 2-way player that can help the Cavs in so many ways. At 6’7 he has the length to be your prototypical ‘3 and D’ and can relieve some pressure of the backcourt of the Cavs.

6. Atlanta Hawks

RealG

SF – Isaac Okoro, Auburn

I love Okoro’s game, he also preaches versatility and he fits the prototype of an NBA small forward. Being 6’6 220 lb. with great athletic ability, the sky is the limit. For the Hawks, they didn’t get the wing spot right last year. Okoro has the ability to be 2-Way and can even help a small ball role by sliding Hunter to the 4. Hawks need to hit and not waste Trae Young’s talent.

7. Detroit Pistons

Sir Charles in Charge

PG – Killian Hayes, France

Rebuild is key for Detroit. Killian Hayes could be the best PG in the class while being able to play either guard position. Has great IQ and I believe he has the tools to run a NBA high powered offense. Derrick Rose is the starting PG but not only can Killian learn from him but they can play together seamlessly.

8. New York Knicks

Soaring Down South

PG – Tyrese Haliburton, Iowa State

Narrow frame but he’s fierce. The Knicks will continue to draft a Point Guard until they get it right. Tyrese is a 6’5 long-armed PG with a great assists to turnover ratio. I know they have plenty of guards but the jig is up for Dennis Smith Jr. and Frank Ntilikina.

9. Washington Wizards

Factory of Sadness

PF/C Obi Toppin Dayton

The National Player of they Year has found himself in a good situation. Bradley Beal and John Wall throwing you alley-oops? The Wizards would allow Obi to play his natural position at the 4. Yea he can be a tweener but in a positionless NBA, it won’t matter. Can Obi be a 20-10 guy like John Collins? The Eye test says yes.

10. Phoenix Suns

Wreck’Em Red

G – Jahmi’us Ramsey, Texas Tech

All I know is defense when I see Ramsey. I wonder if he’s related to Jalen Ramsey because he’s bringing the clamps just like his big cousin. The Texas Tech Freshman is a combo guard that can play either position and has the length to play small ball 3. Any chance I can help Devin Booker I will. Yea he can play defense, but the offense is just as impressive, he shot 43% from 3pt last season, he’ll look to improve.

11. San Antiono Spurs

Los Angeles Times

C – Onyeka ‘Big O’ Okongwu, USC

Big O, the 2nd Chino Hill Star in the Draft. The Spurs have a lot of guards right now and Jakob Poeltl may be something but Onyeka can be a elite rim protector right now. He’s slightly undersize but plays big like John Collins and Montrez Harrell. These young guards like Murray and White would love to have him as the defensive anchor and the Spurs organization should feel the same.

12. Sacramento Kings

Nova Athletics

F – Saddiq Bey, Villanova

Not going to lie, Saddiq Bey is my favorite player in this class. He can do it all, a Jack of all trades, the only thing is, he doesn’t do anything at an elite level, but that’s alright. For the Kings, getting a front court scorer who can play both positions will help out Bagley, Fox, Buddy and Boggie. His high energy can maybe upstart and propel Kings to the next level.

13. New Orleans Pelicans

Tennessean.com

SG/SF Aaron Nesmith Vanderbilt

Pelicans will lose wing players in free agency. They can make it easy on themselves if they surround the star players with shooters. Nesmith was one of the best in the country. I mean 52% from 3pt is unheard of. Maybe we can’t expect that but shooters like Nesmith will always be valued and always find a home.

14. Boston Celtics

Duke Athletics

C – Vernon Carey, Duke

REBOUNDING AND SIZE!!! Come on Boston it’s finally time, that’s been the weakness for years. For Carey, he’s just the opposite of weak. With his strength for both ends of the floor, he can also put the ball in the basket. 6’10 270 says it all. Come on Boston, beef up the front line for once.

A Duo Of Bad Boys

I love the notion and idea of a duo in the NBA. Yes you still need all 5 players on the court in unison but being able to lean on another player that you can depend to bring it at an elite level every night is something special. Neyo said it best “I’m a movement by myself, but I’m a force when we’re together” and that was makes a dynamic duo. It’s a combination of being great individually with great individual success but also the team dynamic success when you pull it together.

What’s the hardest duo to succeed in the NBA? Its when both players aren’t the biggest on the court in height, but can play big amongst the giants in the NBA. We seen Shaq and Kobe dominate, we seen Twin Towers like Tim Duncan and David Robinson dominate and from the wings, we seen MJ and Pippen, but how can 2 guards demonstrate dominance?

Isaiah Thomas,aka Zeke, was the 2nd overall pick in the 1981 draft. A young 20 year old pup from Indiana University, who had stardom written all over his face. In his first 4 years, he average 21 ppg and 10 assists per game. Coming off a Eastern Conf SemiFinals series where he and the Pistons lost 4-2 to the Boston Celtics, it was clear to Jack McCloskey (GM) and Chuk Daly a 2 way player was needed

In 1985 Draft, the Pistons took Joe Dumars from McNeese State University with the 18th pick. He started majority of his rookie season and once he got his feet wet, it was all set up for a potential great backcourt for years to come.

Individually, Zeke is one of the best PGs to ever play the game. During his time with Joe Dumars he averaged 20 points 9 assists, 2 steals and 4 rebounds per game. Although he made previous appearances, Zeke was an 8x All Star with JD as his teammate, a one-time All-NBA nod in 1986 and 2nd All-NBA in 1987.

Dumars was impressive individually as well, averaging 17 points 5 assists, 2 rebounds and was assigned the toughest matchup at the guard position, facing foes like MJ, Clyde and Mitch Richmond, etc. He was a 4-time All Star in consecutive years from 1990 through 1993. 4-time 1st All-Defense and one-time 2nd team all defense and ending up on All-NBA nods (two-time 3rd Team and one-time 2nd team)

We all know the Bad Boys story throughout the late 80s and early 90s but what separates them as the best backcourt duo was the ability to be the best player on the court on the biggest stage.

In 1989, they dismantled the Boston Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks without losing a game and with rising superstar, Michael Jordan on the horizon, the Pistons was able to beat them in 6. One year removed from losing to the Lakers in Game 7 due to Isiah Thomas not playing in 1988, this dynamic backcourt was able to sweep Magic and Kareem led Lakers, combining for 49 points per game and 13 assists. This tandem was able to to seek revenge vs LA. Joe Dumars was your Finals MVP (27 ppg and 6 apg) and being known for one of the best defensive players, he came away with the hardware, scoring the most points in the Finals.

The following season, the Pistons’ Finals MVP has arrived making 2nd Team All NBA and another 1st Team All-defense nod. What were the odds he could win the Bill Russell Award for the 2nd straight year? In 1990, the Pistons were able to handle the future of the 90 Teams like sweeping the Indiana Pacers, beating the New York Knicks in 5 and once again holding off Michael Jordan and the Bulls in 7.

Heading into the Finals vs the Portland Trailblazers, this duo once again showed up when it mattered the most. Another year averaging 48 combined points and 13 assists per game brought out another championship that was headed back to the city of Detroit. Joe Dumars in Game 3 went off with 33 points but that alone wasn’t enough to get him the Finals MVP trophy. Zeke, playing less minutes than his duo counterpart, poured in 28 a night with 7 assists and 5 rebounds, shooting 54% from the field and 69% from 3.

Isiah Thomas after winning the 1990 NBA Championship

No backcourt duo will ever be able to pull off what these bad boys accomplished. Together, they accumulated a winning percentage of 59% through 9 years. Pulled off 7 straight playoff trips, 3 straight final appearances, 2 Eastern Conference Finals Appearance me a backcourt duo that, individually stand on their own, have a premier dominating run together that results in multiple championships and both bring home the NBA’s most pinnacle award, the Finals MVP

The Championship Theory

Without a doubt the Summer of 2019 will go down as the most epic in NBA history. Over $3 Billion dollars was doled out to players within the first 24 hours of free agency. Superstars such as Kevin Durant changed coast going from Golden State to Brooklyn, Jimmy Butler was signed and traded to South Beach and later in the week like a thief in the night Kawhi returned to the United States by signing with the Clippers.

And that wasn’t all, Paul George was traded from OKC to join Kawhi in LA which lead to Russell Westbrook being dealt to Houston to team up with his good friend James Harden. These moves along with countless others now have everyone wondering who will win the NBA Championship this upcoming season. For the first time in nearly a decade the NBA season doesn’t feel like a foregone conclusion. But maybe it is! After analyzing each team, their off-season moves, and using my 2 key indicators (the age of your superstar and the position he plays) I feel we can accurately predict the next champion.

When it comes to building a championship team I firmly believe that “Wings win you Rings”. More times than not the key cog that fuels a championship run will be a player listed as Small Forward (SF) or Shooting Guard (SG) and ranges from about 6 feet 5 inches tall to 6 feet 9 inches tall. Jalen Rose is famous for noting that “positions were created so that a novice can follow the game” but history has shown us that with the exceptions being Isiah Thomas and Steph Curry point guards/small guards do not lead to championships (Sorry Dame).

Yes, Magic Johnson was listed as a Point Guard and won championships but let’s note that he’s 6’9 and he walked into the perfect situation playing alongside Kareem. So Magic does fit into the wing category. It is also worth pointing out that great big men don’t win titles without an elite wing alongside them. But 2 great wing players (Mike and Scottie, LeBron and Wade) can win together.

Now let’s talk age. The most consistent themes are ages 22, 23, 27 and 32

At age 22 Shaq, Tim Duncan, LeBron and Kawhi all made their first NBA Finals. Duncan (1999) and Kawhi (2014) were victorious capturing Finals MVP while Shaq in 1995 and LeBron in 2007 were swept. 

At age 23 Kareem (1971), Hakeem (1983), Dwight Howard (2009) and Kevin Durant (2012) made their first NBA Finals. 

At age 27 Michael Jordan, LeBron, Shaq, and Isiah Thomas all captured their first NBA titles. Kawhi Leonard and Larry Bird won their 2nd ring and were selected as Finals MVP. Clyde Drexler made his first of 3 NBA Finals. Dirk Nowitzki also made his first Finals appearance at age 27.

At age 32 the aforementioned Clyde Drexler won his first title playing alongside Hakeem who the previous year won his first title at 32. Dirk also makes this category for defeating the highly touted Heatles in their first year together winning his first championship. Championship glory eluded Kareem for 9 years until he won again at this age.

Let’s compare this with the odds makers favorites for this season – Lakers, Clippers, Bucks, Sixers and Rockets. 

LeBron will turn 35 this season. He’s playing like he’s still in his prime years but how long can he hold up. His running mate Anthony Davis will be 26 this year which coincidentally is the same age Steph Curry won his 1st title and Duncan won his 2nd title. This bodes well for the Lakers titles hopes. However, with King James’ mileage it’s possible he begins to wear down as the season goes on. 

Harden will turn 30 and Westbrook 31. I like these 2 players, they are box office but at their age, defense not being their greatest attribute and no dominant big to lean on I can’t see them winning the title. 

The Bucks have Giannis who is continuing to ascend. He’ll be 25, he’s still getting better and is arguably the best player in the East. It has been proven having the best player in the Eastern Conference can get you to the Finals. But with no costar also in his prime I think the Bucks fall to this next team.

The Sixers have Embiid and Ben Simmons who will be 25 and 23. These guys are entering their primes. With an expected ascension in their games, being motivated from how the playoffs ended for them and entering that age window where players start to win I expect the Sixers to be in the 2019-2020 NBA Finals. But who will they face….

Kawhi Leonard will be 28 and Paul George 29 respectively. Both guys have dealt with injuries throughout their careers but these ages are typically considered athletes “prime years”. Championship winners usually consist of 2 guys in their primes. Again think MJ and Scottie or LeBron and D-Wade 2012. PG and Kawhi are elite 2 way wings both coming off career years. These guys check both boxes of playing the right position and prime age. Don’t be surprised if the Clippers take home their first Larry O’Brien trophy.