Its a little over two weeks until Christmas Day -- just let that feeling sink in for a moment. Usually the final weekends leading up to the big holiday are spent shoulder to shoulder with thousands of others, trying to purchase gifts for loved ones.How can a sports fan be expected to go shopping when the action is reaching boiling point?With only four rounds remaining in the NFL season, teams are trying to lock up their playoff spots and nail down their game plans before the action really gets going. The leagues top sides are hoping to lock down their spots in Week 14.In the NBA, every team has played effectively a quarter of their schedule and a gap is beginning to show between the genuine contenders and those just making up the numbers.With so many incredible games on this weekend, which ones can you not afford to miss?Oakland Raiders v Kansas City Chiefs - Friday @ 12.15pm live on ESPN The AFC West is on track to be the best division in NFL history. With a current win/loss record of 32-16 and a win percentage of 66.7, it would beat the previous best of 65 percent held by the 2013 NFC West and the 2007 AFC South.For the second time this season the Raiders and Chiefs will square off. They met during Week 6 in Oakland when what began as a tantalizing game in the first half, turned into a one-sided affair with the Chiefs running away 26-10 winners.Derek Carr has led the Raiders to six come-from-behind victories in the fourth quarter and he will need all of that composure against a rampant Chiefs defense. Starting a three-game home stand, the Chiefs will be looking to take top spot in the AFC West from the Raiders.ESPN Pick: Chiefs defense to suffocate Raiders at home. 23-13Odds: Chiefs $1.57 vs Raiders $2.40Pittsburgh Steelers v Buffalo Bills - Monday @ 5am on ESPN RedZone The playoffs hopes remain within reach of both sides and as the end draws nearer, things are heating up. Buffalo run the ball more than any team in the league, leading all with 23 touchdowns and 1,943 yards. But big Ben Rothelesberger prefers to go the aerial route; his connection with Antonio Brown is something to behold. Brown leads all receivers with 11 touchdowns, one ahead of Jordy Nelson and Mike Evans.The Steelers are on a three-game winning streak which has been fuelled by their pass rush defense. Through the opening 10 weeks, the Steelers had a combined 13 sacks. During their win streak, theyve compiled 13 sacks. Watch out, Tyrod Taylor. The Steelers have you in their sights.Can the Bills slow down the Steelers and halt their push towards the playoffs or will Big Ben pick them apart?ESPN Pick: Steelers to get it down and go top of AFC North. 28-14Odds: Steelers $1.77 vs Bills $2.05?Dallas Cowboys v New York Giants - Monday @ 12.15pm live on ESPN The Cowboys are 11-1 so far this season and are as close to perfection as it gets. The only blip on their radar? A Round 1 loss to, you guessed it, New York Giants.The NFC East rivals meet for the second time this season and you best believe the Cowboys will be seeking redemption. League-leading running back Ezekiel Elliott will take on the competitions fifth best rushing defense owned by the Giants. Elliot hasnt been able to get over the 100 rush yards for the last three weeks; can the Giants keep a lid on him?Eli Manning threw three TDs in that opening round matchup and with Odell Beckham Jr taking on the Cowboys secondary, we could see another repeat of that effort.ESPN Pick: Giants to upset the rolling Cowboys. 24-21Odds: Cowboys $1.53 vs Giants $2.50Minnesota Timberwolves v Toronto Raptors - Friday @ 11am live on ESPN2 The young Wolves travel north of the border for a showdown with the Raptors. Currently sitting second in the Eastern Conference, the Raptors own the third best offense in the league scoring at an average of 110.9 points per game.This will mark the sixth straight home game for the Raptors who have gone 4-1 throughout their home stand. They have been led by their dynamic backcourt in Kyle Lowry (23.6 points per game) and DeMar DeRozan (21.2 points per game) during this run.The Wolves, on the other hand, have only won one of their last six contests and will look to bounce back after losing at home to the Spurs. With their three young stars all averaging 20+ points a game, the Wolves know theyre on the cusp of greatness.ESPN Pick: Wolves are good, just not good enough. 114-101Odds: Raptors $1.30 vs Wolves $3.55San Antonio Spurs v Chicago Bulls - Friday @ 1.30pm live on ESPN2 Chicago will welcome the Spurs into the United Centre for their first matchup of the season. The Spurs are undefeated on the road, amassing a perfect 13-0 record. Since November 12th, the Spurs have only lost one game and theyll go into Chicago full of confidence behind their enigmatic leader Kawhi Leonard.The Bulls are riding a three-game losing streak and have averaged 94.3 points a game, which would rank second last in the league. Jimmy Butler currently ranks as the ninth highest scorer in the league and after a slow start is finally getting into the groove.Can the Bulls get their things together or will the Spurs road dominance continue?ESPN Pick: Bulls offense simply not good enough against this Spurs defense. 104-87Odds: Spurs $1.62 vs Bulls $2.30Houston Rockets v Oklahoma City Thunder - Saturday @ 12pm live on ESPN James Harden travels back to his old stomping ground for an MVP showdown against triple-double machine, Russell Westbrook. Westbrook has been on an absolute tear of late, recording a triple-double in the last six Thunder games, which makes it no surprise then that the Thunder have a perfect 6-0 record during that time.Hardens numbers might not be as staggering as Westbrooks, but theyre not to be sneezed at either.Both teams have 14 wins and have proved a lot of early season doubters wrong. Can Harden and Westbrook continue their early season form or will they come back down to earth?ESPN Pick: Rockets to edge out Thunder behind 3 point barrage. 117-112Odds: Rockets $1.97 vs Thunder $1.82 Cheap Titans Jerseys China . It says Pocklingtons lawyer filed the appeal Friday in a California court. CTV Edmonton also says Pocklington gave a $100,000 cash deposit as part of the conditions of his bail, and that he will be out on bail until his appeal is heard. Titans Jerseys Authentic China . Nathan MacKinnon, Jamie McGinn and Jan Hejda also scored for the Avalanche, who won despite being outshot 38-23. MacKinnons goal, also on the power play, came with just over a minute remaining. http://www.cheaptitansjerseysauthentic.com/ . - Chris Tierney snapped a tie with a power-play goal late in the third period as the London Knights rallied from a 3-0 deficit to beat the Erie Otters 5-3 in Ontario Hockey League action on Wednesday. Authentic Dane Cruikshank Jersey . The Clippers were angry about blowing a big lead; the Kings didnt like being in that kind of hole and nearly digging themselves out only to lose. Wholesale Titans Jerseys . Kiriasis and brakeman Franziska Fritz finished two runs in one minute 55.41 seconds -- a mere 0.01 seconds ahead of Meyers and Lolo Jones, who likely bolstered her Olympic hopes by helping give USA-1 a huge push in the second heat. EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- The Lakers kicked Nick Young out of practice Thursday. He was sick -- probably from traveling across time zones recently, he suspected -- and they didnt want him getting any of his teammates sick.Would he play Friday against the San Antonio Spurs? It wasnt clear at the time, and even if he did play, Lakers coach Luke Walton said, We didnt know how much we were going to be able to get out of him.But Walton and assistant coach Brian Shaw told Young that if Michael Jordan could play well with the flu -- as Jordan famously did by scoring 38 while quite ill in Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals -- then so could Young. It was a message of inspiration, but they were half-kidding, of course. Young took it in stride, then he started against the Spurs.What Young achieved over the ensuing 28 minutes of floor time was stunning on many levels. He scored 22 points, hitting 7 of 12 shots, including 4 of 7 from 3-point range, one of which helped keep the Lakers within striking distance late. He continued to be one of the Lakers best defenders and even blocked a Pau Gasol hook shot, along with grabbing four rebounds. Perhaps his only flaw was that he finally missed a free throw; hes now 28-for-29 for the season.They doped me up real good with some medicine before, so I felt good, Young would later joke. I felt in the beginning, but as the game went on, I started feeling like myself a little bit.The Lakers lost 116-107 despite rallying in the fourth quarter to close a 17-point gap to just four, a comeback both surprising and impressive because they were playing against the stout Spurs without point guard and leading scorer DAngelo Russell, who was out with a sore left knee. Afterward, Walton praised Young, saying he played great and gave us a nice effort.Walton was then asked if he has come to expect such performances from Young, and if he truly grasped how shocking such a concept is considering how tumultuous Youngs past two seasons had been.I dont think its a shock, and, yes, I do expect him to play this way night in and night out, Walton said. Hes our starting shooting guard.Following that business-like, seemingly no-frills response, Walton moved on. But digest this new reality for a moment, if you can. Not only is Young on an NBA roster for the 2016-17 season, but hes starting and playing a key role. And not only that: Hes playing so well that it has become almost commonplace, even when hes playing while sick. And Young is doing all of that with the Lakers, a team that he believed just a few short months ago didnt want him.Factor it all in, and its hard to find a bigger surprise anywhere in the NBA. Indeed, Young has resurrected his career, and he tried to sum up that resurrection in October, just days before Halloween, by offering a ghoulish metaphor. I was like the hand out the grave, Young said with a laugh. Im still here. Im just going to keep fighting, keep going.Publicly, Young laughs and smiles and jokes just about all the time. His personality is often described as cartoonish, but, he admits, that personality also shields what lies beneath. And he put up that shield last season when he faced constant criticism from ex-Lakers coach Byron Scott, saw his minutes and production shrink, dealt with highly publicized off-the-court drama, then endured rumors that the Lakers would cut ties with him and that his career was ultimately in jeopardy.Its tough, Young said after practice at the Lakers facility Saturday. I had to put a facade on to stay believing and have faith.If you could go back in time to last summer and tell Young that after two subpar years hed still remain with the Lakers and be a valuable contributor, a player whom Walton has often said is their best perimeter defender, what would he say?He said hed be shocked, just like most NBA observers are now.I thought for sure come July after the championship game was over, I thought for sure they were going to make some cuts, Young said.And he believed that he would be one of those cuts.It wasnt an unrealistic expectation, after everything that had transpired. First, rewind to July 2014. The Lakers signed Young to a four-year, $21 million deal, rewarding him for averaging a career-high 17.9 points the season before. But that same month, the Lakers also hired Scott as their head coach. And from the start, Scott, with his old-school mentality, and Young, with his light-hearted approach, seemed to clash.Youngs opportunities and scoring fell in 2014-15 annd dropped even more last season, when the Lakers posted a franchise-worst 17-65 record.dddddddddddd Then in March, a video surfaced, recorded by Russell, that showed Young talking about women other than his fiance, Australian rapper Iggy Azalea. (Young and Azaela would call off their engagement a few months later.)The incident created a divide in the locker room, and there were doubts about whether Young and Russell, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 draft, could coexist. To many, the only solution was for the Lakers to part ways with Young.You hear everything, Young said. I wont lie and say I didnt hear all the rumors and all that. It was up in the air. There was so much going on. I didnt know where I was going to be.Many believed Youngs NBA career might well be over and that his only options were to play in China, though even that didnt seem like a guarantee. Young said he wasnt thinking that far ahead, though.I just didnt think I was going to be here, Young said. I knew I was probably going to play somewhere, but I thought for sure Id probably get bought out or traded or just cut, period, and Id have to try out somewhere.As one might expect, Young is about as satisfied by his turnaround as outsiders are surprised.Its great, he said. This is home. I grew up here [in Los Angeles]. I was a little disappointed how everything ended last year, the last two years. [But] Coach has given me the ultimate confidence and [his] believing in me, it makes me want to run through a wall for him.Several Lakers have used that exact same phrase to describe their commitment to Walton.I would run through a wall for Coach right now, Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson said after a practice earlier this month. Hes doing such a good job. We want to get wins for him as well as ourselves.He wants to run through a wall for us, too, Lakers forward Julius Randle added after the same practice. He has our back. And when you have someone who truly cares about you, its a different feeling. Its an open and honest relationship. I can text him, call him, talk to him after practice or whatever. Its just an open relationship. Hes genuine. You can go up to somebody and know if they truly care about you or not.Perhaps no Laker wants to run through that metaphorical wall for Walton more than Young, who credits the 36-year-old coach for helping revive the Lakers as well as his careerIts unbelievable that a coach could come in and just change the whole mindset and the program. Its great, Young said.Young also credits Walton for his individual success, citing the coachs system and ability to relate to players, which is often mentioned as one of Waltons greatest strengths. Luke has been in situations where he knows players, Young said. Hes played against me before. He knows the game.Walton gave Young a chance, a clean slate, but Young also admits that he knew this opportunity might be his last chance in the NBA, and it couldnt be wasted.Yeah, for sure, he said. Unfortunate situations happened last year that made things worse. Once I had a chance to get past all of that, its all about basketball.Young laughed after he was asked to pick which one of those unfortunate situations marked his lowest moment.Its hard to pick one, he said. Ah, man. I had a couple. Coach didnt play me for nine games. It was tough, it was tough. He was bringing people from the D-League up and playing them over me. It was hard, it was hard. It messed up my confidence.So he put up his facade, his shield, joking and smiling and laughing even while his career crumbled around him and his confidence dwindled. He leaned on his family and friends. He didnt visit the Lakers practice facility all summer, only stepping inside in late September, just before training camp began. On the day he walked in, he looked around and noticed the different atmosphere under Walton.It was good, Young said. People were happy to see me.Young played so well in training camp and throughout the preseason, Walton was convinced to start him on opening night. Youngs strong play has only continued, so much so that Walton expects it nightly, even if outsiders are still acclimating.More and more, Youngs metaphor about a hand bursting through a grave seems especially fitting. On Saturday, Young thought about that image.You cant keep me down! he said, his ever-present smile stretching from ear to ear. Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Nike NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys Store Wholesale Jerseys China Jerseys NFL China ' ' '