Three to Get Ready: December 8-10

Saturday, December 8
Jazz at Mavericks, 8:30 ET on NBA TV
Both of these top Western Conference teams have been slumping of late, for different reasons. The Jazz, playing at a much more high tempo pace this season, are giving up too many points (117 to the Kings Tuesday, 104 to the Duncan-less Spurs on Friday). The Mavs, meanwhile, are losers of 6 of their last 9, and just can’t shoot the ball (28.6% from 3-point range in the last 9 games). One of them has to win, and it could be the game that sparks a turnaround.

Sunday, December 9
Steelers at Patriots, 4:15 ET on CBS
This is easily the NFL game of the week. Hell, at this point, any game involving the Patriots is the game of the week, but this is bigger because the Steelers are actually good, and have a similar defense to the two teams that just put a scare into the Patriots. Is this the week New England falls? Honestly, I doubt it, but I’d love to see that happen.

Monday, December 10
Heat at Suns, 9 ET on NBA TV
Before the season began, people would have been pointing to this game as a potential Finals preview (I actually had the Heat in the Finals). But now, Miami is reeling, and there doesn’t seem to be any turnaround in sight. This could get ugly real fast, especially since Miami’s point guards (Smush Parker, Jason Williams) are terrible and have zero chance of slowing down Steve Nash.