We’re more than half way through the 2013-14 NBA season, and boy has it been electrifying and full of surprises. We’ve watched Kevin Durant single-handedly take over games with his hot hand, witnessed the Trail Blazers catch elite teams off guard to tally wins, while Roy Hibbert’s tightfisted defense has made the Pacers the best team in the league. With the start of the All-Star break, it’s only right to acknowledge a few individuals whose dominant performances and leadership have made the first half of this season incredible.
Most Valuable Player
Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
Durant, the league’s agile leading scorer (31.2 points per game), can catch and shoot while being double teamed and still knock down clutch shots. And he has carried the Thunder on his back since Russell Westbrook was sidelined in November. Durant scored 41 or more points five times — I repeat, five times! — in January and put up at least 30 points in 12 straight games. Oh, and he’s grabbing boards too, recording nine double-double this season. On defense, he’s got a solid 75 total steals this season. The numbers don’t lie: Durant is the best.
If you're a baseball gamer, circle April 1 on your calendars: That's Opening Day for MLB14 The Show. The title rolls out on PS3 and Vita first, followed by PS4 in May.
The title features enhanced gameplay and graphics (the stadiums are more photorealistic than ever thanks to a big boost in processing power and design), as well as enhancements to the title's play modes. Quick Counts, one of the new features, lets you to play a a full game in half the time by using statistically-generated pitch counts. Another cool development is Year-to-Year Saves, which allows you to move your saves and franchise data from MLB14 to future releases.
Check out a few screenshots from the game, as well as a trailer that shows off how the game looks and feels on a PS3:
The 2014 Olympic men's hockey tournament starts today, and all eyes will be on Canada and the US. Canada is looking to defend its 2010 gold medal, while the Americans want to bring home their first hockey gold since 1980 — and avenge a tough overtime loss to the Canadians four years ago.
But there are more than those two teams playing for the gold medal. Ten other countries want to skate out of Sochi as world champions. And while not every team has an equal shot at glory, there are a few nations who could find themselves on the medal podium.
Here are three teams to watch — not wearing a maple leaf or the stars and stripes and their sweaters — as the 2014 tournament gets underway.
One of baseball's all-time greats has decided it's time to call it a career. Earlier today, New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter announced that he will retire at the end of the 2014 season.
"From the time I was a kid, my dream was always very vivid and it never changed: I was going to be the shortstop for the NY Yankees," the 39-year-old Jeter said in an announcement posted on his Facebook page. "Now it is time for the next chapter.
Luge is one of the most intense events at the Winter Olympics. A rider (or two, if it's a doubles team) lies flat on a light, aerodynamic sled, then propels themselves down a fast, treacherous track, reaching speeds as high as 90 miles per hour. And the only protection lugers have is a helmet.
Watching a luge run on TV can be exciting, but it doesn't compare to seeing it from the point of view of a a rider going down the track. And thanks to US luge doubles Olympian (and Army sergeant) Matthew Mortensen, we can have that experience from the safety of our computers. Mortensen attached a GoPro camera to his helmet during a practice run in Sochi, and the result is pretty intense.
Four years ago Canada beat the U.S. in an epic gold medal game. Now Team USA has revenge — and gold — on its mind as it heads to Sochi
Every four years NHL teammates are transformed into bitter rivals, taking off their pro sweaters in favor of their national colors for two weeks. Teammates like Chicago Blackhawks stars Patrick Kane of the U.S. and Canada's Jonathan Toews, who have celebrated two Stanley Cups together, are suddenly on the opposite ends of the ice, competing for the gold medal. It's what makes the men's hockey tournament one of the most intense and high-profile events of the Winter Games.
"[Your NHL teammates] become teammates with guys you're always competing against," says Sidney Crosby, the Pittsburgh Penguins' captain and Olympic hero for Team Canada. "All of a sudden they're on the same team and you're on a different team. It's a little weird that way."
Any friendships or NHL team spirit must be put aside — at least for the span of the Games. After all, national pride is on the line, and no two countries know that better than the U.S. and Canada.
Can't wait for the All-Star Game Slam Dunk contest? You don't have to — LeBron James held his own dunkstravaganza last night. King James put on a show after a practice in Phoenix (the Heat are in town to play the Suns today), and it was all caught on tape.
LeBron's teammate Dwyane Wade also shot some video of the dunks, which he posted to Instagram: