TSNs Jack Armstrong offers his thoughts on the Spurs being back in the mix, the bench strength of the Raptors, the Pacers and Heat not being ready for prime time, the compete level of Kemba Walker and the Warriors coaching situation. Jordan Staal Jersey . 1. SAN ANTONIO SPURS: Have won 15 straight games and suddenly here they are again in the mix regarding the discussion of what teams can be in the Finals in June. Dont beat you ever with flash but man, oh man lots of substance when you talk about this team. Wednesday night against Denver, they had five players in double figures and had 30 assists on 43 field goals. Thats quite impressive. The commitment to the team and playing the game together is a principle that has served them well over the years and will make them a tough out in the playoffs. The sum is more important than the parts. 2. RAPTORS BENCH: Its pretty evident that in spite of the Raps being 6-5 in the absence of Patrick Patterson, they miss his presence big-time in a variety of ways. Hes a wonderful perimeter defender on screen and roll sequences, gets after it on the glass, defends in the post and can give you both scoring inside/out as well as intelligent team play on offence. He and Greivis Vasquez are the two major contributors off the bench and when you look at the Boston game Wednesday night with less than 10 points coming off the bench, its an area of concern to say the least as you prepare for the playoffs. Pattersons absence has clearly affected the defence as well with teams putting the Raptors in screen and roll scenarios and the nightly battles on the boards without one of your sturdier post guys. John Salmons has struggled of late and is a solid veteran player. When hes going good, this team has another gear. Getting Patterson back and healthy and an on-track Salmons will go a long way towards getting this team ready for the playoffs. Digging themselves early holes that they have to battle back from are an issue that has to be corrected along with tightening the screws again with the defence. They do that and Im confident that they can compete quite well in a first round series. 3. PACERS VS. HEAT: Watched the game Wednesday night and I must say I was underwhelmed with the quality of play. Yes, it had great playoff intensity but it appeared to me that both of these teams have needed a game like this for a while to get that next gear back in their playing style. Both looked like they need to work out some kinks in the final weeks with offensive flow/execution to be ready to roll in mid/late April. A long season combined with injuries, etc. have a way of messing up your chemistry and neither looked as fluid as when theyre at their best. The Raptors see both of them next week with the Houston Rockets sandwiched in between (what a week!) which will be a good test of their playoff readiness as the Heat have been able to knock off the Raptors this season three times while the Pacers are 2-1 and the Rockets won their game in Houston vs the Raps. The good teams start to take that next step here in the final 10 games to get everything humming and in sync. Always fun to watch as teams gear up for the second season. 4. KEMBA WALKER (Bobcats): Al Jefferson (35 and 15) was awesome in the overtime win vs. the Nets Wednesday night. Coach Steve Clifford has done a terrific job with that team. Its about time the folks in Charlotte get behind their team and support them for a change; this is a team you can root for. Love Kemba - what a gamer, scoring 20 points and five rebounds along with 12 assists. There are certain guys that you just throw out the stats some night because they just play so hard and have amazing pride and competitive spirit and do whatever it takes to win. From his days at UConn to now, he personifies what it means to give it his all. Hes been in a tough situation there with a poor roster, shaky coaching and questionable management decisions and Im happy for him that some of the proper decisions have been made around him and things are coming together. This team has become fun to watch and Walker is the heart and soul of that. 5. BRIAN SCALABRINE (Warriors): Assistant coach gets demoted to the D-League by head coach Mark Jackson. This is right out of the book of Jason Kidd/Lawrence Frank differences that took place early in the season. Jackson was adamantly supportive of Kidds move in the fall with Frank and now he does the same thing. Ive been both an sssistant coach and a head coach and I always felt that loyalty to the boss was #1 and if you disagree, you do it behind closed doors and it never gets picked up by the players, media, etc. At the same time, its vital that the assistant coaches cant be Yes Men that have to supress their opinion as opposed to express their opinion. Healthy dialogue is important yet at the end of the day, the head coach makes the call and we all march together in unison. (Hes also got to be open to suggestions and not have all the answers.) Jason Kidd got past this controversy and has done a good job with the Nets and it will be significant for Jackson to get past this as well by the performance of the team. Expectations are high in the Bay Area and results will be needed. Never an easy situation for any coach to be in and I can relate to the feeling of both. Jackson has a healthy ego and high opinion of his coaching acumen which is good to a degree, yet its time to get this team to the next level and the playoffs will be a major stage for him and his team to show that they can do it. Hes got major potential to be an outstanding coach in this league for a long time and this is another of the many tests young coaches go through in their development. Youre paid to make the tough calls and many times you have to be ruthless in this results-oriented business because at the end of the day, it all falls back on you and your record. Jackson is nobodys fool and is as competitive as they come. Its his show - plain and simple. Never easy or fair. In one word, you have to produce. Trevor Van Riemsdyk Jersey . Hamilton signed offensive linemen Mike Filer, Joel Reinders, Landon Rice and Carson Rockhill. Justin Williams Jersey .com) - The surging Montreal Canadiens will try to match their longest winning streak of the season when they visit the Florida Panthers for Saturdays clash at BB&T Center. http://www.hurricanesauthority.com/authentic-lee-stempniak-hurricanes-jersey/ . Trailing 2-1 from the first leg, Fiorentina levelled on aggregate in the 14th minute when Joaquin Sanchez Rodriguez headed back a long ball from David Pizarro and Pasqual smashed home an angled volley.MIAMI -- LeBron James was walking down the hallway that the Miami Heat call "Championship Alley" a few minutes after last seasons NBA Finals, when he decided the time was right to send a message. It wasnt for his fans. It was for his detractors. "Keep giving me motivation! I need it!" James shouted in the crowded corridor, as the champagne for a second straight NBA title started spraying in the nearby locker room. "Keep doubting me! I need it!" James still has his haters, of course. But with the start of this years playoffs looming, the four-time NBA MVP said Friday he doesnt necessarily need to be fueled by them anymore, not with the Heat having a chance to become just the fourth franchise in league history to capture three straight titles. And if doubt exists -- to be clear, it surely does after Miami lost 14 of its last 25 games -- James said hes not noticing. "I sent out a few tweets but I havent been reading anything," James said after Miami ended practice Friday. "Im kind of just gearing toward locking in tomorrow night and go from there. But I dont need any motivation. I dont need extra motivation. Im motivated enough. This is the best part of the season, its the best time of the year and Im happy to be here once again." Miamis path toward what it hopes is a third straight title and fourth straight appearance in the NBA Finals starts on Sunday against the Charlotte Bobcats, a team the Heat swept this season and are 15-0 against since James arrived in South Florida. Still, no one needs to tell him how much more difficult this post-season could be for Miami, since history isnt exactly on his teams side. Only two franchises -- the Lakers and Celtics -- have won as many as four straight conference titles. James got a reminder of that Thursday night when he watched a documentary about the "Bad Boys"-era Detroit Pistons, a group that won back-to-back NBA championships and reached the finals three years in a row, just as the Heat have now. "When they said they went to three straight finals, they won two in a row, now theyre looking to go to a fourth straight final, I looked at my wife and said, Whos that sound like?" Jamess said. Marcus Kruger Jersey. "I know exactly what they were going through." Thing is, those Pistons couldnt get it done. Whether or not Miami does largely hinges on James. He averaged 27.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 6.4 assists in the regular season, shooting nearly 57 per cent -- the seventh straight year in which hes set a career best in that department. He had a career-high 61-point night against Charlotte last month, climbed five more spots to No. 27 on the leagues career scoring list, and is likely to pick up his eighth All-NBA first-team selection. And even if James doesnt wind up getting his fifth MVP award, with Kevin Durant of Oklahoma City appearing to be the favourite this year, the Bobcats know the enormity of the challenge awaiting them. "Obviously he is the best player in the world," Charlotte guard Chris Douglas-Roberts said. "Hes the best player on the planet and we know he is going to make shots that are contested and will have nights he gets 30. But I think we have a pretty good defence. The game he had 61, if he hits 8 3s on anyone that is going to happen. But we like our chances on the defensive end." Fairly or unfairly, everything the Heat and James have done to this point in the season is now irrelevant. Theyll all be judged by what they do in the next two months. James knows and accepts thats the case, as do his star teammates Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. "This is what makes elite players elite players," Wade said. "You dont get the elite name unless youve done it at this level." Over the last two postseasons, James has made the elite look ordinary. The 45-point, season-saving game at Boston in 2012. A triple-double in Game 5 of that seasons Finals against Oklahoma City to wrap up his first championship. A layup at the buzzer to beat Indiana in Game 1 last year. A 32-point game in Game 6 of last years Finals against San Antonio, followed by a 37-point outing in the second straight title-clincher. The Heat can only hope for more of the same this time around. "I think Ive put together some pretty good second seasons in my career," James said. "Hopefully I can continue to do that." Cheap Soccer Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Hockey Jerseys Nike NFL Jerseys China Cheap Nike MLB Jerseys China Wholesale Baseball Jerseys China Wholesale College Jerseys Cheap Jerseys From China Wholesale Jerseys Near Me Cheap Jerseys Online Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys Authentic Cheap Soccer Jerseys China Cheap NCAA Jerseys Authentic Cheap Nike NBA Jerseys Cheap NHL Jerseys Authentic MLB Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Throwback Jerseys Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China ' ' '