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The Academy Awards Top This Week's Picks on Stump the Stiffs

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Basketball and movies, the perfect combo

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Academy Awards have long since stood as the premier awards show in America. More esteemed than the Golden Globes, the Oscars are the pinnacle of recognition in cinema. They are of course not without their faults and it seems insane that someone like Leonardo DiCaprio, who has turned in amazing acting performances in movies such as The Aviator, Blood Diamond, Django Unchained and Shutter Island (my favorite movie of all time) has never won the award for Best Actor or even Best Supporting Actor. Luckily, Leo gets another crack at it this year with a nomination for his performance in The Revenant.

This is where Stump the Stiffs comes in! No, we won't put Leo on the docket, but we will take our guess at which film will win Best Picture of the Year. Alongside our Oscars pick we'll take our chances with three eastern conference showdowns and the basketball version of the red river rivalry. For the combatants we have a heavy hitting lineup that features some free analysis. Due to a coordination error on my part we had two Stiffs writers send in picks this week and low and behold, they both picked the exact same winners, though they do differ on their opinion of Mad Max: Fury Road.

From the Stiffs Staff we once again have the Big Stiff, founder of the site and purveyor of Denver's finest chicken wings, Andrew Feinstein. Joining him is the elder statesmen (I mean this in the most endearing way possible) of the Stiffs Staff, incredibly talented writer and Hollywood insider Mike Olson. On the Stiffs Commenter side we have one of our longest tenured commenters in SNURK (aka NurktheSmirk aka TyLawesome). Finally, on the Nuggets Subreddit team we've got their founder as well, the king of the streaming highlight, u/The_NGUYENNER...I also hear he writes for some site called BSN, not sure if they are reputable.

Stump the Stiffs Week 11 Stiffs Staff
AF/MO
Stiffs Commenters
SNURK
r/denvernuggets
/u/The_NGUYENNER
Bulls at Celtics Bulls Celtics Bulls
Heat at Raptors Raptors Raptors Heat
Thunder at Mavericks Thunder Thunder Mavericks
Hornets at Magic Magic Magic Magic

Academy Awards: Winner for Best Picture?

The Revenant The Revenant The Revenant

Mike Olson: Bulls at Celtics - Bulls. Bouncing from a trouncing by Golden State, the Bulls take their anger on the road to Boston. Heat at Raptors - Raptors. Raptors have primarily had the Heat's number this year, and nothing makes me think that will change on Friday. Thunder at Mavericks - Thunder. Hoping it's a close and good game, but OKC has been on a tear of late, and not just running roughshod over the Nuggets. Hornets at Magic - Magic, though both teams seem to be on losing tears. Something has to give, and it may be their fan bases attention. Academy Awards: Who will win Best Picture? Anyone but Mad Max: Fury Road. enjoyed the flick, but... Best Picture? Geeky favorite from the list is The Martian, and think The Revenant has all the right pieces to win big. Will choose the latter, if I'm betting.

Andrew Feinstein: Bulls at Celtics - Bulls win! After being humiliated by the Warriors at home, the Bulls will be seeking revenge and unfortunately the Celtics will be the recipients of said revenge. Heat at Raptors - Raptors win! Remember in the pre-season when I said the Raptors would be the second best team in the East? Well, just sayin' ... Thunder at Mavericks - Thunder win! Sorry Mavericks fans, but you've got nothing on the now hot Thunder. Hornets at Magic - Magic win! The Hornets slow and steady decline into irrelevancy continues in Orlando on Friday night. Academy Awards: Who will win Best Picture? - Even though Mad Max should clearly be the winner, this one's going to The Revenant. The Academy loves long movies that feature Native Americans and very little dialogue (see: Wolves, Dancing With).

SNURK: Bulls at Celtics: Boston takes this one easily. The Bulls are broken. Joakim Noah is injured, and they've won 2 out of their last 5. One of those 2 wins was an overtime win over Philly. Heat at Raptors: In a Vacuum, these teams are pretty even. I'll give it to the home team, Toronto. Thunder at Mavericks: I'll take OKC with no hesitation. The Mavs have a winning record against teams under .500 and a losing record against teams over .500. Hornets at Magic: Hornets are injured, playing iffy lately, and on the road. Give me Evan Fournier and the upstart Magic. Academy Awards: Who will win Best Picture? Straight outta Compton! Wait, what do you mean it wasn't nominated? Fine, I'll go with "The Revenant" because Leonardo DiCaprio slept in animal carcasses to make that movie.

/u/The_NGUYENNER: Brad Stevens has been doing an excellent job, but I still like the talent on Chicago. They'll be coming off a nationally televised game against the Warriors which I suspect will do more motivating than the average game, win or lose. As I'm sure Nuggets fans now know, Hassan Whiteside is a beast. He'll be controlling the paint and forcing DeMar DeRozan, a normally dominant driver, to settle for those fadeaway midrange shots he loves. I don't think the Raptors win that way. OKC/Dallas is a tough one as the Mavericks don't have a single person that can slow down the force that is Russell Westbrook, but OKC will be playing off 2 days of rest -- which I'm never a fan of. Westbrook finds himself shooting a paltry 42.9 FG% and 17.4 3PT% (compared to 51.5% and 44% with 0 days of rest) and Kevin Durant finds his three-point shooting nosediving to a pitiful 30.8% from the normally pristine 40%. Charlotte has absolutely no answer for Nikola Vucevic while the rest of the youth movement continue to make strides. Fournier has come into his own and would have Nuggets fans sorely missing him if the trade didn't eventually net us Will 'The Thrill' Barton. Having Victor Oladipo come off the bench doesn't hurt either. Also, The Revenant.

And there you have it! The Nuggets Subreddit will either completely blow everyone away this week or give up some valuable ground. If you'd like to participate get with Russ Hamilton (@rscotham) or Alec Gwin (/u/IdRatherBeLurking).

If you're keeping score:

Stiffs Staff: 26-34

Stiffs Commenters: 30-30 (Shout out to DomP for a 5-0 performance last week)

Nuggets Subreddit: 35-25


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REMINDER: STIFFS NIGHT OUT WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 3RD

Join us at Jake's Sports & Spirits (3800 Walnut Street, Denver, CO 80205) as our Nuggets take on the Jazz in Utah at 7pm.

Attendees can win Denver Stiffs T-shirts and Nuggets tickets and Jake's will be serving 50-cent wings for us all night long.

We hope to see you there!

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