San Francisco Giants vs. Los Angeles Dodgers MLB Free Picks

The call him "The Freak" for a reason some of the things that Tim Lincecum does on the mound are just downright scary, and now, he can flash a World Series ring to boot. Lincecum has won 49 games over the course of the last three seasons, and last year was his worst ERA of the bunch... merely 3.43... However, you know that Lincecum is going to give you innings and give you a ton of strikeouts. He has at least 231 Ks in each of his last three seasons, and he has averaged over 250 per year in that stretch. Still, he's not going to be the only man to watch in this game. Keep a really close eye on Buster Posey behind the plate. Posey came on strong last year and was a key in the playoffs, and he came back in Spring Training this year and batted over .400 and helped lead the G-Men to one of the best preseason marks in the game. He could be the missing link for a team that frankly wasn't all that great offensively last season. It'll also hurt that Brian Wilson, the team's closer, isn't available for this MLB Opening Day tussle.

This is a big time statement game for the Dodgers. It's their home opener off of a season in which just didn't go all that well, their arch rivals are in town, and they are flashing their new World Series rings. No, one game doesn't nearly make an entire season, but it is also the first game in the first full season for Manager Don Mattingly, and he would love to win this series to get the fans in Tinseltown on his side. The San Francisco Giants start their defense of their World Series crown on Thursday night on the road against their arch rivals, as they take on the Los Angeles Dodgers in MLB free picks action. The youthful Clayton Kershaw is the man that he is sending to the bump in MLB Opening Day betting action, and for good reason. Sure, Kershaw has only won 21 games over the course of his 62 starts in the last two seasons, but his ERA has stayed below 3.00 in those starts. He's thrown over 370 innings as well, and he struck out 212 batters last season. It also helps that the last game that he pitched against these Giants was a complete game shutout, the first and only complete game of his entire career. Kershaw allowed four hits in the complete game 1-0 victory, and he didn't walk a batter. Still, when push comes to shove, Lincecum is 7-1 over the course of his last eight starts against the Dodgers, something that cannot be ignored. Kershaw might be improving, but he's not an MLB Opening Day starter. Back the champs. MLB Free Picks: San Francisco Giants For Great MLB Picks and MLB Betting Discussions, Check Out The MLB Forums At Bang The Book!

The Lakers Can Not Find an Antidote Against Chris Paul

With 23 second-half points the Hornet's point guard led his team to victory and now the series is tied to two.

Controlling the paint was going to be the key factor to win game four in the series between the Los Angeles Lakers and the New Orleans Hornets, which had the defending champions on the lead 2-1. Playing at home and with the support of their people, Sunday night was a great opportunity for the Hornets to square the series at two games apiece. Chris Paul and company were going to make it happen.

With 27 points, 15 assists and 13 rebounds for his first triple double of the season, Chris Paul was simply unstoppable for the Lakers that still can't find an antidote for the cause of their headaches. Not even their franchise player Kobe Bryant was capable or outshining the Hornets' top performer, and LA's No. 24 had nothing but praises towards him at the end of the game, stating that: "you're dealing with one of the best point guards in this game."

Paul's 23 second-half points were crucial for the Hornets' 88-93 victory over Los Angeles, a performance that perfectly backs up Bryant's comment about him. He saved the best for last after a very discrete first half, accounting for 58% of New Orleans' points in the decisive fourth quarter, which also included aborting a shot to assist Jarrett Jack with 9.3 seconds to go to put things 90-86.

That decision of aborting the shot was a great sign of Paul's comradeship, a virtue that many Lakers accuse Bryant of lacking, as he usually takes all the decisive shots despite having teammates open to take those shots, and him not being in the best position to do so.

Questioned about his decision to abort that shot, Paul was brief and concise in his response as he explained that: "I was about to take one of the worst shots I'd taken all game," and saw Jack better positioned.

It was definitely a bad night for Bryant, as he not only lost his second of four showdowns against Paul, but also finished the game with an injured left ankle that forced him to leave the New Orleans Arena in crutches.

His 17 points, 8 assists and 6 rebounds were insufficient to guide his team to a victory that would have left them in a pretty favorable situation: a 3-1 lead with game five to be disputed on Tuesday 26 at home, where everything could have been decided on their favor.

Despite this and having missed a 3-point attempt with two minutes to go which could have evened the score to 83, Bryant wasn't the only player responsible for the defeat. Like we said earlier, controlling the paint was the key for winning this game. And here is where the Lakers failed, in great part due to the low performances from players like Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol that together reported just 13 rebounds, in contrast with Paul, who had the same number of rebounds all by himself.

The Lakers have two great problems to face now: number one is stopping Paul of course, and number two is having more presence in the paint. If they manage to solve these problems they shouldn't experience no more counteracts in the series, but it they fail to do so the underdog might end up upsetting the defending champions with an early elimination from the 2011 NBA Playoffs.

More Fantasy Basketball Tips To Help You Be On Top

Here are tips you can use to boost your ranking in your fantasy basketball league.

Fantasy Basketball Tips To Follow....

Fantasy Basketball Tips To Follow # 1 When it comes to picking your draft know your league setting. Research and memorize your league's settings. The best way you can have the best draft is to know what your league is looking for. Your league dictates who will win the fantasy basketball league so you will be good to play on the terms of your league.

Fantasy Basketball Tips To Follow # 2 Know what your league requires so you spend less time and headache forming your draft. You know how to make an uncomplicated decision and narrow your choices for draft? Well the best way is to know what you are looking for in NBA players and what the league prefers. If they give more points to NBA gurads with a lot of assists well check the stats and see who is number 1.

Fantasy Basketball Tips To Follow # 3 Less emotion and more analysis. Forget your favorite player or at least do not give so much importance to him on the first few rounds. Get all the player ranking and statistics and always base your draft on those numbers rather than on emotion or good vibe, you want to be number one do you not?

Fantasy Basketball Tips To Follow # 4 The first four round in your fantasy basketball draft is important. So do not pick quirky players. Pick quality and good raking players instead. On the last few rounds you can play and ease up a little and put the underdog or your favorite NBA players in your fantasy basketball draft.

Fantasy Basketball Tips To Follow # 5 Make sure you have a super stars NBA player in the first four rounds of your fantasy basketball draft. The only way to win the fantasy basketball league is to perform well and the reason why players become superstar is they play well so make a logical decision and grab as much star (superstar!) player as you can.

Fantasy Basketball Tips To Follow # 6 Prepare for drafting picks well. Do not go choosing your players winging it. In order to have a good draft you must have done a lot of research. Research the web, magazine, watch news, read blogs because the more insider information you have the better equip you are in choosing a strong fantasy basketball team.

Fantasy Basketball Tips To Follow # 7 Again as a form of preparation when it comes to picking a fantasy basketball draft already have a prepared list which is bloated with player. Rank those players from best to average and keep the list bloated so that if other players choose the names of your list you have more names to call and give out. Listing the players by rank just makes it more smart and logical.

Can the Magic come back; History Says Yes!

Can the Magic come back; History says yes!

by Zak Kertesz,

The Sports Complainer

written on 06/08/09

----The series is over, right?� The 2009 NBA season has untheatrically ended as the Lakers have taken a commanding 2-0 lead, right?� Stan the Man should bury himself as he panicked once again by using multiple lineup changes, all while playing the Dukie for 27 minutes (J.J. went 2/9, hitting one three point shot, his supposed specialty), right?� Kobe can't be stopped, right?� Lamar Odom is killing them with his efficiency and versatility, right?� The Master of Panic is overmatched by the Zen Master, right?� Wroaang.�

It's been done before (in the NBA finals). �I've seen it before.� I was there when Dwyane Wade took his team down from 0-2 (basically down 0-3, as the Heat were trailing by 14 with under eight minutes to play in the fourth) to eventually trounce the Mavericks by winning four straight.� No, I wasn't there when the '77 Trail Blazers were down 0-2, only to come back and beat the 76ers 4-2.� And no, I wasn't there when the '69 Celtics beat the Lakers after being down 0-2 either.� But that's not the point.� The point is this:� It's happened before, it can happen again.

This Magic team lives and dies by the 3-point shot.� That's what gotten them this far and that's what could get them even further.� So why isn't it working in this series?� Phil Jackson must have outsmarted Van Gundy with his defensive schemes.� Something Mike Brown couldn't figure out.� And the Lakers wing players are tall and long.� Something Cleveland lacked.� Or maybe, just maybe, Orlando's player's were distracted by ZZ Top's beard (sorry, couldn't tell you if that was Billy Gibbons or Dusty Hill under all that getup). Yea, some of that may be true, but the underlying truth is something that every whippersnapper practices from the get-go: making shots.�

Orlando's perimeter players are getting great looks.� As Van Gundy stated during the post game interviews, fully aired on NBATV (what a fabulous network, by the by) "They're only guarding three guys:"� Turkoglu, Lewis and Superman.� Thus, Courtney Lee is wide open, Mickael Pietrus is wide open, Skip (Rafer Alston) and Jameer Nelson are wide open (if Stan actually decides to play a point guard) and most significantly, J.J. Redick is wide open.� These guys need to hit shots, period.

Orlando was the best 3-point shooting team all year, as displayed just last series against The King and his noble men.� This series they are shooting a woeful 18/54 from beyond the arc.� Yes, Orlando lives and dies by the 3-point shot.� Well, for two games they've been dying.� It's time to live.� Live!

Stan's squad is already down 0-2, so they have nothing to lose.� They can basically just let it fly, which certainly fits the mold of his team.� Even Kobe himself said that Orlando is becoming a "loosey goosey" team.�

Furthermore, the three guys who Phil has actually decided to guard, played extremely well in Game 2.� With Rashard Lewis breaking out in the second quarter and Hedo-He does, the fourth quarter-man, not only coming up big on the offensive end, but defensively as well: He swatted Kobe's attempt to end the game in regulation (which of course, Kobe whined about, expecting a foul; as he does after every missed shot, or even made shot, for that matter).� And as for Superman, he wasn't quite super, but still the most dominant big man on the court.

Not to mention, actually I am (expletive) mentioning it!� This series was just a Courtney Lee missed layup attempt (albeit, a rather difficult attempt) from being tied up.� Moreover, Pau Gasol goaltended on that very same play.� No, it did not actually affect the shot, however, according to the NBA rule book: "A player shall not touch the ball or the basket ring when the ball is using the basket ring as its lower base."� For the layman's, that's goaltending!� Which means that the series should be tied.� But that's all hearsay now.� Unless David Stern grows a pair and actually does something about it (sure, and have Kobe not win it all, after he already lost out on LeBron winning it all).

"You know never know, [a] series can change," Stan stated.� That's right Stan, and history has proven that.� The only difference here is, those three teams which stand alone in the glory of 0-2 comebacks, didn't have to face Kobe Bean Bryant.� The Heat's toughest opponent was a soft German (now that's an oxymoron), not the Kobester.�

But hold on.� That '77 Portland team had to contend with Daryl Dawkins and some Doctor guy (you know who I'm talking about).� And while Kobe is one of the best to ever play the game, he is not the logo of the league.� That my readers, is Mr. Jerry West, who also had Wilt Chamberlin on his side (thought the Stilt was worth mentioning).� And yes, the '69 Celtics not only came back from 0-2, but they defeated the legendary Laker mystique as well.

With Stan the Man guiding the likes of Hedo and Rashard and the new Superman, anything can happen.

Will it happen, probably not.� But it's possible.� Indeed, it's possible.

NBA All-Star 60th Birthday

It has been 60 years when the first NBA All-Star opened. How many people do remember what it was in the year of 1951?

1."We made it!" at 8000

When the boss of Boston Celtics standing at the entrance of the gym and accounted the 8000 number, he said "We made it!", that meant that he did the success of the first NBA All-Star Game. You now can image how few people were watching the NBA in the house at that time.

2. No one want to invest in the game- the NBA All-Star(NBA Shoes) was almost canceled.

Back to the night 60 years ago, most of people in Boston Garden center wanted to watch the All-Star weekend. There were total of 10094 people there, which was a much small figure compared to 108,713 stayed in Rugby field. The average of audience of Celtics' general season was only 3,500.

During the past ten years, the NBA All-Star brought about 0.64 billion US Dollars to ten cities in US; however, the first one was almost canceled due to the lack of fund and some players said that they could not come on time because of the lack of money for transport fees.

Thanks to Brown's insist, he finally succeed! And now all cities are keen on owning the right of holding the game.

3. The first broadcasting Live, the first time solution in contract.

The NBA boys were smart and clever. They finally gained what they were asking for by staying in the rest studio and not be on the court to force the boss to sign the new contracts.

When talking about the salary, how could those old NBA players image the much big amount of the salary of Kobe Bryant (Kobe Bryant Shoes)? Regarding to the old experience, LeBron James(LeBron James Shoes) is now trying to gain more by talking between each other. It is not a good idea for him to do as what the former players did in 1951.

It is just few elements linking the past and the nowadays. What we should do now is to wait and watch the brilliant game tomorrow!

All About Nike Air Max LeBron VIII

All About Nike Air Max LeBron VIII Last month, Nike organized a Facebook session with the lead designer on the Nike LeBron 8 � Jason Petrie. In the Q & A, JP addressed a lot of questions straight from the fans. Recently he also sat down with Sneaker News and talked about the much-anticipated new shoe, as well as LeBron James' controversial decision, new team/home and the future of the Nike LeBron line. From the net, we came across several models of Nike Air Max LeBron 8, and most James's fans are looking forward to the release of them. It is widely admired that this version of LeBron James Shoes will surely make the heat among the market.

November 11 is Veterans Day. LeBron salutes those who have served with a red, white and blue Nike LeBron 8 in Miami tonight. The USA Basketball edition now also known as "Veterans Day" shoes is King James' weapon of choice for tonight's match up against the Boston Celtics. The popular White/Navy/Red colorway, most seen in LeBron James Shoes, returns in fabulous style. It features white tumbled leather upper, iridescent navy Flywire panels, and prominent red tongue. NBA fans can look for these in stores on November 24th, 2010.

The most anticipated release of the season is being pushed back. The South Beach Nike LeBron 8 was supposed to drop in two days, on November 12th, at and on November 19th at Footaction, Footlocker, and other accounts. It seems like it is one day for all stores now as NDC has changed the launch date to 11/19 as well. It's still a limited edition, but with the distribution method reaching most of the popular stores, they should be obtainable. Also, call your nearest Niketown as they might get/have them sooner than everyone else. What you should not miss, a pair of the latest LeBron James Shoes.

How to Get Hold of The Best Omaha Central Basketball?

You can try to excel in the field of basketball if you manage to get the best training in YMCA basketball Omaha. You can try to make a good online search for the best school where it would be possible to get the perfect training. You need to make sure that you always have a deep look at their experiences that would help you to ensure that you have made the right decision. You can try to enroll yourself so that it helps in increasing your fitness and you get functional strength.

Get in touch with them

If you are able to get hold of the best one for you then it would help you to prepare yourself for the perfect Omaha central basketball. You can try to contact their office so that you can have more information about the training. It would also make you stay in a more advantageous position when you get yourself the right time to make an appointment with them. You have to make sure that you try to choose the right time that would choose you which would not make you face any sort of problem in getting the perfect training.

Get membership services

You have to ensure that you are able to get hold of the perfect Nebraska Omaha basketball that would make you get ready to learn some defensive skills as well as sweet moves. Unless you make good efforts to research for the best site online you would not be able to get the right training that would only make you lose your money. You can try to go for membership services. If it makes difficult for you to know whether the particular one would help you provide the best basketball instruction Omaha, then you should definitely try to look at their testimonials. The feedbacks left by the clients would make you get the right knowledge whether you can get the maximum services suiting all your purposes.

Get the right training

You need to know that if you wish to master the sport of basketball then you require different physical attributes. This would only be possible for you when you get the best coach who can train you in a perfect way. So you need to decide well how you can get the right basketball training that would truly help you to excel in this sport. You would be able to get maximum benefits as well as tricks on how to play the game well. So decide very well so that you do not end up getting the wrong one for you.

TNTs NBA Thursday Coverage Features Exclusive Doubleheader With Heat a Bulls

TNT's NBA Thursday coverage with a special one-hour trade deadline edition of NBA Tip-Off presented by on Thursday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. ET.

Ernie Johnson (host), Charles Barkley (analyst), Kevin McHale (analyst) and Kenny Smith (analyst) will preview the night's action and will be joined by TNT NBA Insider David Aldridge to break down all the moves made at Thursday's NBA trade deadline.

Following the pre-game show, the network will present an exclusive doubleheader beginning at 8 p.m. (ET). The first game will feature LeBron James and the Miami Heat in the Windy City to take on Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls. Play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan will call the game alongside analyst Reggie Miller with Craig Sager reporting. In the second game of the night, Kevin Garnett and the Boston Celtics visit Nene and the new-look Denver Nuggets at 10:30 p.m. (ET).

Marv Albert (play-by-play) and Steve Kerr (analyst) will be courtside with Cheryl Miller reporting. The Emmy award-winning studio show Inside the NBA with Johnson, Barkley and Smith will recap the games.

Through 38 games, the NBA on TNT is averaging a 1.5 U.S. rating (+26%, 1.2 U.S. rating), 2,377,000 total viewers (+30%, 1,832,000 total viewers) and 1,770,000 households (+27%, 1,390,000 households) over last year's corresponding coverage. In addition, this season is +26% on total viewers compared to Turner's next best regular season audience from the 1995-96 season (total viewer average 2,377,000 vs. 1,885,000).

Exclusive content, analysis from TNT announcers and replays of Inside the NBA are available on TNT OverTime on . The broadband channel gives fans the inside scoop on players, coaches and storylines taking place around the league seven days a week.

Deron Williams Dominates Game 1 of Nets vs Bulls

With 22 points and 7 assists, Deron Williams led the Brooklyn Nets in smashing the Chicago Bulls with a 106-89 figure in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals last April 20 at Barclays Center.

Deron Williams has erased all doubts that his ankle injuries from a month ago would hinder him from showing off an impressive performance with this year's Playoffs. With a suave two-handed reverse jam that made the crowd roar with delight, anyone would no doubt accept a handful of "I told you so's".

When asked about the dunk after the game, Williams said, "It just happened. I was just trying to show the guys at the NBA that I might be able to compete in the dunk contest next year." Then he added about his injury, "My leg feels good, my ankles feel good right now. I'm excited to be back in the playoffs."

No pressure, Williams, but it's not just the dunk you'll be competing in for sure with that kind of performance. After missing two seasons of playoffs and bypassing painkillers, he will definitely up his games more this season. So basketball junkies, watch out for this point guard.

It was an unfortunate day for the defenses of the Bulls to play without much assistance from Joakim Noah due to sore foot and be up against the power offense of Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace. If Derek Rose were only there, the Bulls could have caught up.

As Williams delivered 15 points and 4 assists in the first half, Lopez contributed 12 points in the 1st quarter until the Nets garnered a 60-35 lead into the break. It was considered an early win for the Nets.

From start to finish, all you could hear was the crowd chanting "Brooklynnnnn." Now, who wouldn't be inspired with such fighting spirit? Hopefully, the Bulls could reclaim their barely holding motivation once the second game rolls in.

The game earned the Nets hopefuls for a potential second-round series against Miami Heat. But before that, do you think the Brooklyn Nets could still show such dynamic game performance? Let's stay tuned!

The Harlem Globetrotters Magicians of Basketball

Since 1926 the Harlem Globetrotters have thrilled audiences around the world as the premier exhibition basketball team. Combining their talented athleticism with comedy and theater, the Globetrotters have played over 25,000 games entertaining young and old and becoming ambassadors of goodwill.

The team originated in the 1920s where all the original players grew up on the south side of Chicago, Illinois. Most of the players attended Chicago's first predominately black Wendell Phillips High School. Although they were from Chicago, owner Abe Saperstein decided to name them the Harlem Globetrotters to point out that the players were African-Americans and that they had traveled the globe. They did not play in Harlem until 1968.

The Globetrotters started out as a serious competitive team and won admiration when the all-black team beat the all-white Lakers 61-59 in February 1948. Even though they had talented players, the team also had a flair for entertainment, often clowning around for the audience only after gaining a safe lead in the game. As more black players were drafted by the NBA during the 1950s, it became harder for the Globetrotters to attract and retain top talent.

Eventually the Globetrotters became known more for entertaining audiences with their comic routines than a competitive sports team. The team's act was to amaze the spectators in their skillful handling of several basketballs in the way they passed, juggled balls between players, and used their incredible coordination to make difficult shots. Many NBA greats have played for the Globetrotters. Players like Wilt "The Stilt" Chamberlain, Connie "The Hawk" Hawkins, Nat "Sweetwater" Clifton, as well as baseball Hall of Famers Bob Gibson and Ferguson Jenkins. During the 1970s and 80s they had a popular team member, Fred "Curly" Neal remembered as the best dribbler of that era of the team's history. Their first female player was Olympic gold medalist Lynette Woodard who was signed in 1985.

Although beloved by audiences globally, the Globetrotters have not been free of scrutiny and criticism. During the civil rights era they were accused of "Tomming for Abe", a reference to Uncle Tom and white owner Abe Saperstein. This accusation stemmed from the fact that the players were all African American and their skits involved so much buffoonery. Despite the critics, many prominent civil rights activists maintained that the Globetrotters were indeed a positive influence and did not portray blacks as stupid.

In 1993 under new owner and former player, Mannie Jackson, the Globetrotters began playing competitive basketball after having played hundreds of exhibition games. The team had a run of 8,829 straight victories since 1971 until they lost in 1995 to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's All Star Team in Vienna, Austria. They have played over 20,000 exhibition games in 118 countries and have achieved a winning percentage of 98.4%.

The Harlem Globetrotters have been featured in several of their own films and television series over the years and continue to entertain audiences around the world. Their new generation of star players will continue the tradition of playing exhibition games and providing audiences with entertainment and the thrill of watching these magicians of basketball perform their magic.