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Learning from the Spurs’ consistency

The San Antonio Spurs' Kawhi Leonard (2) makes a steal against the Atlanta Hawks' Jeff Teague during the first half in a preseason game at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, October 14, 2015 (Credit: Icon Sportswire/Curtis Compton)The Golden State Warriors have won an incredible 92% of their 40 games so far. Early in the season, they amassed a 24 game win streak that had them vying for the all-time NBA record before they were beaten by the Milwaukee Bucks. As amazing as the Warriors run has been, led by MVP Steph Curry and sharpshooter Klay Thompson, the San Antonio Spurs are only a few games back in the Western Conference standings and are the real story of the NBA.

Dating back to March of last year, the Spurs have won 32 straight regular-season home games. That’s an incredible feat. While most teams have a certain edge when they play at home, the Spurs almost make teams wish they could forfeit and just skip the trip. This recent success, however, runs parallel to their long-term success. They are the only team in NBA history to have a 10-game win streak in 6 consecutive seasons.

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3 Aphorisms that explain the Clemson Alabama Game

Clemson Tigers wide receiver Charone Peake (19) celebrates with teammates after a touchdown scored by Clemson Tigers running back Wayne Gallman (9) in action during the College Football Playoff Semifinal - Orange Bowl Game between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Clemson Tigers at Sun Life Stadium, in Miami Gardens, FL, December 31. 2015 (Credit: Icon Sportswire/Robin Alam)By now you're probably familiar with most of the major storylines for the college football national championship game Monday between top-ranked Clemson and Alabama. You've no doubt heard all about how Dabo Swinney, Clemson's popular head coach, shared an apartment with his mom while he played for Alabama in college. You are well aware of the proliferation of babies born in Alabama being given the name "Saban", in honor of head coach Nick Saban. You have been inundated with the simplistic storylines of this being the matchup between the traditional power and the rising star, between Nick Saban's "process" and Dabo Swinney's "dabbing".

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Changes loom as the NFL regular season comes to an end

Washington Redskins Linebacker Ryan Kerrigan (91) celebrates his sack during the NFL game between the Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX, January 3, 2016 (Credit: Icon Sportswire/Andrew Dieb)The final Monday before the NFL's postseason begins marks a day of hope for those twelve franchises that have secured a spot in the playoffs and a day of questions for the twenty that didn't. However, Black Monday, as it is often called around the league, is especially daunting for those teams in need of changes in leadership. While a couple of franchises may fire coaches during the regular season, most wait until the year comes to a close. As of Monday afternoon, six teams had decided to make a change with a few more likely to follow suit over the next few days.

However, with each coach that is let go, a new opportunity is created for someone else. And while the Giants and Titans offer perhaps the most intriguing opportunities for prospective head coaches due to the talent each has at quarterback, there are only thirty-two teams in the NFL, so every opening will have more than enough candidates from which to choose. As a result, the primary task for each team now searching for a new coach is discerning what they need most from that person.

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Andy Dalton's injury and how to respond to change

Quarterback Andy Dalton (14) of the Cincinnati Bengals throws against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first quarter of the Bengals 33-20 loss at Paul Brown Stadium, December 13, 2015, Cincinnati, Ohio (Credit: Icon Sportswire/Mark Lyons)More than in almost any other sport, things can change dramatically in the average NFL week. Sports Illustrated writer Peter King highlighted some of the things we thought we knew heading into week 14:

• "Finally, this is the Bengals' year. And Andy Dalton's.
• The Patriots, all beat up, are in real trouble.
• The Packers won't figure it out this year, with the play-calling a mess, Eddie Lacy dog-housed and the receivers slumping.
• Brock Osweiler must be declared Denver's quarterback for the rest of the year.
• The Colts had a blip against Pittsburgh, but they're clearly the best team in a bad AFC South.
•The Saints showed how vulnerable Carolina was in the secondary.
• The Ravens can't get any worse.
• Here come the Bills.
• Here come the Bucs.
• Atlanta's done."

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LeBron signs lifetime deal with Nike

Cleveland Cavaliers Forward LeBron James (23) ties his shoes before the game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio, January 25 2015 (Credit: Icon Sportswire/Mark Alberti)On Monday, Nike announced that they have reached a lifetime agreement with NBA superstar and perennial MVP candidate LeBron James. It is thought to be the first time that Nike has ever come to a lifetime agreement with a player in the company's forty-four year history, though their relationship with Michael Jordan comes close. However, LeBron represents a transcendent talent and one that stands at the center of Nike's brand.

To that end, the most interesting aspect of the deal is that LeBron's previous contract with Nike was not set to end for another 4 or 5 seasons. It seems highly unlikely that he'll still be considered one of the top two or three players in the game at that point. As a result, this new deal demonstrates a desire to continue working with the 30-year-old star for reasons beyond his on-the-court production. Nike seems to believe that he, like Jordan before him, can continue building a brand that is larger than just basketball.

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