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Games to Watch
January 7-13, 2002
December 30, 2001-January 6, 2002

By JARED BYRD

Welcome to the latest installment of "Games to Watch," a weekly column profiling the best matchups in professional sports. Without further ado, here are my top selections for the most entertaining games of the week:


NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE

Since the NFL playoffs are now open us, every game is worth watching. San Francisco-Green Bay appears to be the matchup that will be the most fun to watch. However, for fans who prefer defensive battles, then Tampa Bay-Philadelphia is the game to watch ... and this time, the game counts (unlike last week).


NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

San Antonio @ Boston, Jan. 9 > Advantage - Spurs
Boston has Paul Pierce, who has scored more points than any other NBA player this year, and is only 1 game out of first place (as of the time this article is being written). However, the Midwest Division-leading Spurs have the third-best rec

Los Angeles Clippers @ New Jersey, Jan. 10 > Advantage - Nets
Last year at this time, you probably never thought you would see these two teams mentioned in this column. But the Nets find themselves leading the Atlantic Division with a team that has managed to stay healthy, while Alvin Gentry has the Clippers playing above .500 this year, an accomplishment worthy of a gold medal.

Washington @ Milwaukee, Jan. 11 > Advantage - Bucks
Michael Jordanís red-hot Washington Wizards take on the first-place Milwaukee Bucks, who have only lost twice at home this season.

Honorable Mention: Seattle @ Minnesota - Jan. 9, Los Angeles Lakers @ Minnesota - Jan. 11, Phoenix @ Sacramento - Jan. 13


NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

New York Rangers @ Philadelphia, Jan. 12 > Advantage - Flyers
Currently, the Flyers and Rangers are tied for first place in the Atlantic Division ... but Philly has 5 games in hand. This game also marks the return of Eric Lindros to the city of Philadelphia.

Edmonton @ Colorado, Jan. 12 > Advantage - Avalanche
The Oilers and Avalanche continue to battle it out for first place in the Northwest Division.

New York Islanders @ Boston, Jan. 12 > Advantage - Bruins
The Islanders got off to a great start, but have tapered off somewhat in recent weeks. Meanwhile, the Bruins and Maple Leafs are involved in a heated battle for the top spot in the Northeast Division.

Honorable Mention: Toronto @ Ottawa - Jan. 7, St. Louis @ San Jose - Jan. 8, Chicago @ Colorado - Jan. 9

Well, that's all for now. See you next week - same time, same website!

Football players; Actual size=240 pixels wide

Would you like to write a sports commentary for Sports Chat? If so, please e-mail Jared Byrd at jbyrd002@yahoo.com.

E-mail Jared Byrd at jbyrd002@yahoo.com.

This article was written January 7, 2002.

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