With the 2010 NFL season in the books, it is now time for me to turn my attention to my second favorite sport: NBA basketball. With the NFL Draft a few months away, football fans will want another sport to get into as well. Since some people have never really followed the NBA before, it felt appropriate to showcase how even though it is a different sport, some teams are quite similar.
New England Patriots and San Antonio Spurs: No matter how bleak it looks, these teams are in contention each and every year. Both teams have great head coaches in Bill Belicheck and Gregg Popovich who also haven’t mastered the art of the sound bite.
From a player’s angle, you would have to compare Tom Brady to Tim Duncan. While Brady continues to put up huge numbers, Duncan’s are in decline but he turns it on when he needs to. Both teams also manage to get big contributions from the most unlikely sources. This season the Patriots hidden gem was running back Danny Woodhead who was cut by their division rival. For the Spurs, it is 26 year old rookie Gary Neal who after playing ball overseas is now playing 20 minutes a game and shooting 40 percent from three point range.
Indianapolis Colts and Dallas Mavericks: Both teams are similar in that their respective superstars regardless of their supporting cast put up big numbers. For the Colts, Peyton Manning spent most of the year throwing to backups but he still managed to be among the league leaders in passing yards. Most importantly he also led the team to a playoff berth.
Dirk Nowitzki like Manning is incredibly durable and even though he is in his 12th year he is scoring 23 points a game without the All Star supporting cast so many elite players have. With Nowitzki playing, it is almost a given every year that the Mavericks should be good for around 50 wins. Another interesting note: Like the Colts and Patriots, the Mavericks and Spurs is also a big rivalry.
Pittsburgh Steelers and Los Angeles Lakers: Both teams have storied histories, fans all over the country and have won their fair share of titles this past decade. If those parallels didn’t do it, may I add that championship rings isn’t the only thing that Ben Roethlisberger and Kobe Bryant have in common?
New York Jets and Miami Heat: Both teams made lots of noise this offseason for who they signed. But unlike the Jets, the Heat managed to land all of their guys while they were in their prime. Neither team is afraid to stir the pot either which is always entertaining. If you also consider “Hard Knocks” and “The Decision” both teams also had a big impact on the small screen as well.
Detroit Lions and Los Angeles Clippers: Possibly the scariest parallel of them all. The Clippers by many are considered “the best bad team” which is also a title that the Lions were dubbed as well. Both teams have had their fair share of losing as well over the years. The only difference is there is no NFL equivalent to the NBA Lottery so we missed out on the chance to see how Matt Millen’s sweater collection compares to Elgin Baylor’s.
However, the future does look bright for these teams. Both have rookies out of the Big 12 in Ndamukong Suh and Blake Griffin who are not only physical specimen but are already among the top five players at their positions. They also have players in Calvin Johnson and Eric Gordon who are similar in that they are both among the league’s best but are overshadowed by others. With both of these teams that have been losers historically, it will be very interesting to see how it unfolds as they try to turn the page at the same time.