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TABLE OF CONTENTS

October 27, 2008 | Volume 109, Issue 16

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Kobe Bryant Cover - Sports Illustrated October 27, 2008

October 27, 2008
HOW THEY'LL FINISH

October 27, 2008 | Chris Mannix
The Big Three is back, but a playoff hero isn't. Who will fill his role for the reigning champs?

October 27, 2008 | Elizabeth McGarr
LeBron James finally gets a top playmaker, and his team is one step closer to the Finals

October 27, 2008 | Pablo S. Torre
As the window closes on this veteran group, one rising star offers a glimpse of the future

October 27, 2008 | Andrew Lawrence
The smallest man on the team needs to make a bigger impact for his club to go further

October 27, 2008 | Chris Mannix
This scrappy team is no longer hurting in the half-court, thanks to a Brand-name signing

October 27, 2008 | Chris Mannix
The club filled a big hole up front thanks to this point guard's excelente development

October 27, 2008 | Pablo S. Torre
Agent Zero's protégé has a new mission: Score a bunch until his mentor gets healthy

October 27, 2008 | Andrew Lawrence
A talented team that stumbled last season reboots with a new coach and point guard

October 27, 2008 | Terry McDonell
Rays vs. Phillies is a World Series you can bank on

October 27, 2008 | Pablo S. Torre
The housecleaning nearly complete, they can get back to the business of winning games

October 27, 2008 | Elizabeth McGarr
Why would Larry Brown come back to coach this club? Seemingly for all the right reasons

October 27, 2008 | Arash Markazi
A midseason pickup launched them on a surprise run. An encore won't be as easy

October 27, 2008 | Elizabeth McGarr
The new coach wants to make defense the top priority. How soon will his players buy in?

October 27, 2008 | Chris Mannix
They still won't be very good, but at least they'll be more watchable under Mike D'Antoni

October 27, 2008 | Andrew Lawrence
Good health and a gold medal have given the star a boost—but he doesn't have a lot of help

October 27, 2008 | Chris Mannix
In with the new: fresh faces and a dribble-drive offense. Out with the old: success

October 27, 2008 | Marty Burns
With a healthy Andrew Bynum in the lineup, these Finalists think they can go all the way

October 27, 2008 | Gene Menez
They took a one-year lease on a high-risk forward. The potential payoff: a shot at a title

October 27, 2008 | Gene Menez
Go ahead, overlook them now. They know who they are, and where they'll be in June

October 27, 2008 | Jack McCallum
And now, for something different: turning the biggest head case into a super sub

October 27, 2008 | AUSTIN MURPHY
This on-the-cusp team raided the world champs for a veteran with a winning touch

October 27, 2008 | Gene Menez
The players welcome a coaching change, but now they have to find a new way to play

October 27, 2008 | Jack McCallum
The power forward who thrived with Oden out now gets to show what he can really do

October 27, 2008 | Marty Burns
With three of its core players 34 or older, the retooled team gears up for a last playoff run

October 27, 2008
Founder: Henry R. Luce 1898--1967

October 27, 2008 | Chris Mannix
They've vowed to finally get defensive, but without their stopper it's too tall an order

October 27, 2008 | Marty Burns
His best player left, but Don Nelson will still run-and-gun in what is likely his last season

October 27, 2008 | Marty Burns
The return of a native son will make this season more palatable than the last one

October 27, 2008 | Marty Burns
A shooting guard is the one shining light for a franchise in the midst of major rebuilding

October 27, 2008 | Jack McCallum
A top pick with loads of attitude and lofty goals? This team's dull days may be over

October 27, 2008 | Jack McCallum
The franchise player's doing just fine, but wins won't come sweeping down the plain

October 27, 2008 | AUSTIN MURPHY
The perennial cellar dwellers would be happy if this Gasol is half the player his brother is

October 27, 2008 | Phil Taylor
QUIETLY, KEVIN HART tries every day to turn his big lie into the truth. He chooses not to talk about his mistake to the media, which in itself is a sign that he is wiser now, because talking about...

October 27, 2008
O, 'Bama

October 27, 2008 | David Epstein
Concussions can be tough to diagnose—and deadly—in high school athletes

October 27, 2008
WHO'S Hot

October 27, 2008
Who is the most dangerous running back in the NFL?

October 27, 2008
Hospitalized After reportedly having surgery to remove part of his right foot, UNC-Asheville center Kenny George (above), who at 7'7" is the nation's tallest college basketball player. George, 22,...

October 27, 2008
JEREMY SHOCKEY Saints tight end, on being fully recovered from a hernia: "It's the first time I can sneeze without feeling like I'm getting stabbed at a bar."

October 27, 2008
PETA sent a letter to Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino asking him to stop eating Spam.

October 27, 2008 | Joe Posnanski
Presenting the Sports Name of the Year

October 27, 2008 | Joe Posnanski
79 Percentage of NCAA athletes who began school in 2001 who have received degrees within six years, an alltime one-year high.

October 27, 2008 | Joe Lemire
Who had the best first games in sports?

October 27, 2008 | Albert Chen
IT WAS beginning to look like Barry Bonds (right) might quietly fade into retirement—but not so fast. Last week the players' association said it had evidence that team owners acted in concert to...

October 27, 2008 | Albert Chen
Garishly dressed game guy Monty Hall

October 27, 2008 | Sarah Kwak
What to watch and watch for

October 27, 2008
POWERED BY TAKKLE

October 27, 2008
APRIL SEEMS like so long ago: The Dow was above 12,000, the Yankees were in playoff contention, and the market for memorabilia from soon-to-be-closed Yankee and Shea stadiums seemed to be...

October 27, 2008 | Dan Patrick
The Interview Colt McCoy TEXAS QUARTERBACK

October 27, 2008
The NFL Mike Holmgren's farewell season in Seattle isn't going as planned • Dr. Z's pick: the Giants over the Steelers

October 27, 2008 | Paul Zimmerman
It almost seems as if the Giants and the Steelers have been kept apart deliberately through the years. New York never tested Pittsburgh's Steel Curtain Super Bowl champs of the 1970s. Pittsburgh...

October 27, 2008 | Jim Trotter
Injuries at QB and a decimated wideout corps are contributing to a miserable farewell season for Mike Holmgren

October 27, 2008 | David Sabino
This week's touts include some stat lines to believe in, and others you should ignore

October 27, 2008 | Mark Beech
Having lost their coach, their quarterback and some top recruits, Clemson faces a major rebuilding job

October 27, 2008 | Stewart Mandel
1 Pittsburgh (5--1) is shaping up as the favorite to win the Big East. Behind an improved offensive line, sophomore running back LeSean McCoy racked up 298 yards and five touchdowns in wins over...

October 27, 2008 | Chris Mannix
Bernard Hopkins silenced critics by thrashing undefeated middleweight champ Kelly Pavlik, 17 years his junior

October 27, 2008 | Chris Mannix
SI's top-ranked fighters, across classes:

October 27, 2008 | Lars Anderson
It may be hurting his competitive effort this year, but Tony Stewart is building a smokin' team for 2009

October 27, 2008 | Lars Anderson
Jimmie Johnson (right) didn't clinch his third straight Sprint Cup title for Hendrick Motorsports at Martinsville, but it'll be an upset if he isn't hoisting the big trophy again at...

October 27, 2008 | TOM VERDUCCI
Someday soon—in a year, two tops—you won't think twice if you hear the words, "THE RAYS ARE IN THE WORLD SERIES!" In the meantime these young American League champs are worthy of taking on the...

October 27, 2008 | TOM VERDUCCI
BREAKING NEWS, REAL-TIME SCORES AND DAILY ANALYSIS.

October 27, 2008 | Joe Sheehan, Baseball Prospectus
The Rays will be vulnerable to the Phillies' left-leaning rotation, but the AL champs are the more complete team

October 27, 2008
Breaking News • Real-time Scores • Daily Analysis

October 27, 2008 | LEE JENKINS
Many a tree has been felled, many a sonnet delivered in the name of the Cubs fan and his 100 years of suffering—but what of the snakebitten Philadelphia fan, whose own title drought stands at...

October 27, 2008 | LEE JENKINS
BREAKING NEWS, REAL-TIME SCORES AND DAILY ANALYSIS.

October 27, 2008 | SELENA ROBERTS
To cut it as an NFL cornerback requires the ability to read minds, eyes and hips; the tools to match up with wideouts half a foot taller; and above all the ego to bounce back from regular doses of...

October 27, 2008 | SELENA ROBERTS
BREAKING NEWS, REAL-TIME SCORES AND DAILY ANALYSIS.

October 27, 2008 | Andrew Lawrence
In their war with the wideouts, cornerbacks typically turn to one another, trading tips and tricks to gain a tactical edge

October 27, 2008
Discharged

October 27, 2008 | MICHAEL FARBER
New president ... New players ... New coach ... New revenues ... New mind-set ...

October 27, 2008 | AUSTIN MURPHY
Every week brings a new showcase battle as the BCS race heats up. Next up is No. 3 Penn State, thinking title game if it can get by Ohio State at the Horseshoe. And after that...

October 27, 2008 | AUSTIN MURPHY
BREAKING NEWS, REAL-TIME SCORES AND DAILY ANALYSIS.

October 27, 2008 | DEXTER FILKINS
As the growing insurgency spread chaos across Iraq, the author found solace—and fleeting friendships—in daily runs in the streets of the capital

October 27, 2008 | MELISSA SEGURA
Like other high school football teams across northern Mexico, Prepa Tec of Monterrey wondered how it would match up against a top Texas program. Last month it found out

October 27, 2008 | MELISSA SEGURA
BREAKING NEWS, REAL-TIME SCORES AND DAILY ANALYSIS.

October 27, 2008 | JACK McCALLUM
Sixteen months after he was chosen first overall, a healthy Greg Oden has finally taken the court for the Blazers. With the addition of his rebounding and shot blocking—and maybe even his...

October 27, 2008 | JACK McCALLUM
The Trail Blazers will be one of the NBA's most improved teams. Turn the page to see SI's predictions for how many more or less wins each club will have.

October 27, 2008 | Ian Thomsen
The Celtics' instant success gives hope—and clues—to rebuilding teams eager to contend

October 27, 2008 | JACK McCALLUM
The Blazers welcome another '07 pick—who could make nearly as big an impact as Oden

October 27, 2008
A forecast of how many more—or fewer—wins every team will have this season compared to last (and some history too)

October 27, 2008 | IAN THOMSEN
A primer on the players, coaches, teams and issues to keep an eye on as the season begins (plus a little trade talk for when the February deadline nears)

October 27, 2008 | IAN THOMSEN
BREAKING NEWS, REAL-TIME SCORES AND DAILY ANALYSIS.

October 27, 2008 | JIM GORANT
A difficult week on three fronts

October 27, 2008 | JIM GORANT
Judge shuts down the 6th hole at Winged Foot after a neighbor sues

October 27, 2008 | MARK WOOD
WHO Marc Turnesa

October 27, 2008 | MARK WOOD
"Missing the better part of a year won't matter. Tiger Woods will be as great as ever when he comes back next season."

October 27, 2008 | MARK WOOD
Which presidential candidate would be better for golf?

October 27, 2008 | DOTTIE PEPPER
TWO YEARS ago I wrote about Seve Ballesteros's retirement with great sadness; when I was a kid growing up in the game, he was such an inspiration to me. Now Seve's (below) suffering real hardship...

October 27, 2008 | SCOTT GUMMER
A high school team learns a few lessons on the LPGA tour

October 27, 2008 | SCOTT GUMMER
Padraig Harrington wins PGA of America's player of the year award

October 27, 2008 | ALAN SHIPNUCK
Despite a veneer of showbiz glitter and a breakthrough win by Marc Turnesa, everyone in Las Vegas was talking about the harder edge to life on the PGA Tour

October 27, 2008 | ALAN SHIPNUCK
Marc Turnesa's win was his first on Tour but old hat to his famous forebears

October 27, 2008
The World Series can be puzzling

October 27, 2008
Rearrange the letters in the tan squares to answer this question: What would any postseason baseball player like to be called?

October 27, 2008
Spoiler Alert! Turn the page for solutions to the crossword and the descrambler.

October 27, 2008 | Adam Duerson
Sports Night on DVD evokes ESPN in its prime

October 27, 2008 | Arash Markazi
IF THE World Series gets to a Game 6, it will be delayed eight minutes (to 8:35 p.m. Eastern) so Fox, like CBS and NBC, can air a half-hour infomercial by Democratic presidential candidate Barack...