Tuesday 12 December 2017 / 05:57 AM

Woody’s weekend sports guide: Dec 6

With Christmas just around the corner, or if you’re fortunate enough to celebrate a birthday before, I highly recommend you start tossing out hints for a new TV. LED LCD, 45-60 inches, 1920 x 1080 screen resolution, ultra high-definition, with a Clear Motion Rate of 1000 – that should do the trick, right?

Or just grow some coconuts and buy one yourself.

Even though there’s no rugby league or union to watch, there’s still a S#*% LOAD of awesome sport to rub on your face.

Memphis Grizzlies (15-3) vs. San Antonio Spurs (13-5) – Saturday, December 6, 12:00pm

 

Oh man, the two NBA games on this list are juicier than Novak Djokovic’s wife (no disrespect intended).

First, we have the reigning champion San Antonio Spurs travelling to Memphis to take on the league-second Grizzlies.

Two absolute juggernauts that rate third (Spurs 96.3) and fourth (Grizzlies 98.3) in the league for points allowed per 100 possessions – and fourth (Grizzlies 111.2) and ninth (Spurs 107.4) in points scored per 100 possessions – according to NBA.com.

What I’m interested in seeing is the battle down low between the fundamental footwork king Tim Duncan and the Grizzlies’ front man – Marc Gasol, not Zach Randolph.

Timmy will be Timmy; the Grizzlies need Gasol to be a beast.

Throughout Gasol’s time in the Association, his defensive knack has been at the forefront of his stout reputation. In 2013 he was the Defensive Player of the Year, and over the last two seasons, moreover that soft Gasol touch led all centers in assists per game (SBNation.com). Marc is third in the league’s early-season MVP voting after averaging 19.4 points on 50.8 per cent shooting, 8 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.5 blocks a game.

Marc is one of the league’s true professionals – every coach and player in the league dreams of playing with someone who possesses his raw workhorse mentality. He bangs it down low, works the glass, runs the floor, protects the rim and makes the unselfish plays – you might think, “isn’t that what all basketball players do?” – essentially yeah, but very few have the ability like a Gasol or Duncan; it stems from hours of practice.

Both sides also lost their previous outings, so there’s going to be some urgency.

Throw down some money on Grizzlies 1-10.

Chicago Bulls vs. Golden State Warriors – Sunday, December 7, 12:00pm

 

Another fascinating match-up.

The Bulls sit fourth in the Eastern Conference with a 12-7 record, while the league-leading Warriors are a comfortable 15-2.

Honestly, any game that involves Stephen Curry is worth watching. He is just that good.

The barrage of off-the-dribble threes that you’ll be exposed to will inspire you to join the social competition down the road.

On the other side of the ball you’ve got a fully fit, hard-nosed Chicago Bulls outfit that relish in the reputation of being the league’s “Giant Killers”.

So in any sport, if the formula is – Giant Killers (Bulls) + League Giants (Golden State) – what does that equal? You being an idiot if you miss this.

At the moment Golden State are in a better groove – Warriors 1-10.

Billabong Pipe Masters – Sunday December 9-21

 

For the third consecutive year the ASP World Championship Tour will come down to the Billabong Pipe Masters on Hawaii’s North Shore.

Mick Fanning’s recent victory at the Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal – and the various upsets that transpired – rattled the surfing world and slightly opened up the competition.

 

There are just three surfers who can claim the 2014 World Title: Gabriel Medina (56,550), Mick Fanning (53,100) and Kelly Slater (50,050) – there’s not much in it, unlike Kim Kardashian’s butt.

 

Medina and Fanning are yet to taste victory on the North Shore, which is the complete opposite for Slater. Kelly has conquered the event a record seven times, including 2013. Do I have to remind you how he lives for these pressure moments? There’s a select few who have the tenacity and raw talent to flourish in these significant moments: Michael Jordan, Darren Lockyer, Lionel Messi, Steven Larkham, Tom Brady, Steven Gerrard, Kobe Bryant, Johnathan Thurston, Andy Irons, Kevin Durant and so on.

What a wave to decide the title – it’s basically a “who’s got the biggest balls?” clash. The sheer force and water speed makes for some nauseatingly intense, last-second drops which thrusts surfers straight into an immense barrel (that you could drive a bus through!).

Here are the Title race scenarios via ASPWorldTour.com:

 

  • If Medina finishes 2nd or better at the Billabong Pipe Masters, he will clinch the 2014 ASP World Title.
  • If Medina finishes 3rd at the Billabong Pipe Masters, Fanning will need to win the event and Slater will be out of contention.
  • If Medina finishes 5th at the Billabong Pipe Masters, Fanning will need to win the event and Slater will be out of contention.
  • If Medina finishes 9th at the Billabong Pipe Masters, Fanning will need to finish 2nd or better and Slater will be out of contention.
  • If Medina finishes 13th or 25th at the Billabong Pipe Masters, Fanning will need to finish 3rd to win or 5th to send the title race into a one-heat “surf-off” between himself and Medina.
  • If Medina finishes 13th or 25th at the Billabong Pipe Masters, Slater will need to win the event.

The waiting period begins on Tuesday, and there’s a bump in swell Sunday morning.

The brilliant part about an ASP event is that we get three to four days of surfing!

Southampton vs. Manchester United – Tuesday, December 9, 7:00am (AEST)

 

Gobble, gobble, gobble, and some more gobble.

Eat this one up.

Before the season began, Manchester United were labelled as ‘back’, while Southampton were branded as a ‘catastrophe’ waiting to happening after dismissing several players.

Now, Southampton sit third on 26 points, just one ahead of fourth-placed United.

The United haters were in full stride last season as Man United finished seventh (their lowest results since 1990); subsequently they didn’t qualify for the Champions League (first time since the 1989-1990 campaign).

Keep your eye on Man United’s keeper David de Gea – he’s been in ripping form of late. His eight saves against Arsenal was the cornerstone for their most impressive result of the season.

Southampton have used the least amount of players this season at 15, while Manchester’s full injury list has forced them to use the most in the league at 31.

It should be a tight encounter – Manchester United for the win.

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