ESPN's Photos of the Week: Feb. 25-28

February, 28, 2013
Dean Bouzanis of Oldham at the FA Cup against EvertonAlex Livesey/Getty Images
Don't look away, or you might miss a diverse selection of amazing sports photos -- featuring Stephen Curry and the NBA, Otto Porter and college hoops, Manti Te'o and the NFL combine, and much more.

Photos of the Weekend: Feb. 25-28 Photo Gallery

ESPN's Photos of the Weekend: Feb. 22-24

February, 25, 2013
The Kyle Larson crash at the NASCAR Nationwide Daytona International Speedway raceKevin Liles/USA TODAY Sports
A horrific wreck marred a historic weekend at Daytona International Speedway, but did not prevent a packed three days in sports from happening. Take a look at the best images we could find -- some fun, some fascinating, some frightening:

Photos of the Weekend: Feb. 22-24 Photo Gallery

ESPN's Photos of the Week: Feb. 18-21

February, 21, 2013
A Staples Center tribute for late Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry BussStephen Dunn/Getty Images
From the loss of Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss to the trial of Oscar Pistorius to snow in Tucson, it's been an unusual week in sports -- one captured compellingly by photographers worldwide.

Take a look:

Photos of the Week: Feb. 18-21 Photo Gallery

ESPN's Photos of the Weekend: Feb. 15-17

February, 18, 2013
2013 NBA All-Star Game in Houston logoGarrett Ellwood/NBAE/Getty Images
Play is done. But the 2013 NBA All-Star Game isn't over. Not until we recap the high-scoring contest -- plus the entire sports weekend -- with photos:

Photos of the Weekend: Feb. 15-17 Photo Gallery

In pictures: The Lakers' turbulent season

February, 15, 2013
Of the 14 NBA teams outside playoff position entering the All-Star break, four reached the postseason last year. But only one of those four held anything better than a 7-seed. Only one added two superstars, one in his prime and one still excelling. And only one entered the season with most observers predicting success -- division title at the least, NBA title at the best.

Yes, that would be the Los Angeles Lakers.

And yes, it's safe to say things have gone awry.

Not that it's over for the Lake Show -- sitting in 10th in the Western Conference, 3½ games out of the playoffs with 28 to go. They also still feature Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash -- even if each player's skills might be a tad (or quite) diminished.

No matter what happens, though, it's been a tumultuous season for the NBA's signature West Coast franchise.

Here's a photographic look, with help from the blog The Agony of Defeat:

Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers against the ClippersAndrew D. Bernstein/Getty ImagesNov. 2: Clippers 105, Lakers 95 -- In-town rival drops Lakers to 0-3.

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Graphic: Stars of the NBA All-Star Game

February, 14, 2013
With the NBA All-Star Game taking center stage this weekend in Houston, we wanted to look back on the history of the game and its most dazzling stars, none of whom shines brighter than the All-Star Game MVP.

The NBA has played 61 All-Star Games and handed out 65 MVP trophies (the honor was shared four times). Which players have won the most MVP awards, and which franchise has the most All-Star Game MVPs to its credit?

Check out the graphic, from SportsData LLC:

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ESPN's Photos of the Week: Feb. 11-14

February, 14, 2013
Oscar Pistorius of South Africa after being accused of murdering his girlfriendGetty Images
A stunning story out of South Africa, with track star Oscar Pistorius being charged in the shooting death of his girlfriend, put an ugly spin on an already dramatic week in sports.

Here are some of the most compelling photos, featuring the expected highs but also some horribly unexpected lows:

Photos of the Week: Feb. 11-14 Photo Gallery

ESPN's Photos of the Weekend: Feb. 8-10

February, 11, 2013
Jack Cooley of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish after beating the Louisville CardinalsBrian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports
This weekend saw an epic game. Now brace for an epic gallery, one that contains the best images from the past few days -- including college basketball, NBA, NHL and ... pond hockey? Oh yeah, it's in there.

Photos of the Week: Feb. 8-10 Photo Gallery

ESPN's Photos of the Week: Feb. 4-7

February, 7, 2013
Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens at Disney World after the Super BowlMatt Stroshane/Disney Parks via Getty Images
Celebrate! The Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl, Joe Flacco went to Disney World, and photographers were there -- and in many other places -- to capture memorable images all around the universe of sports.

Photos of the Week: Feb. 4-7 Photo Gallery

Graphic: How foodies see the Super Bowl

February, 2, 2013
Wing shortage or no, one thing is certain about Super Bowl Sunday: As much as it's a day of football, it's also a day of eating.

But how do eaters feel about Super Bowl takeout? About dough (pizza) and dough (money)? Who is their dream chef?

We've got the answers in this graphic created by Hormel and shared with Playbook. Check it out:

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ESPN's Photos of the Week: Jan. 28-31

January, 31, 2013
Garrett McNamaraTo Mane/Barcroft Media/Landov
Garrett McNamara made waves this week by catching the world's largest. Luckily, photographers were there to catch him and, in other sports venues, all sorts of athletes who made for these amazing images:

Photos of the Week: Jan. 28-31 Photo Gallery

Graphic: Stats & the Super Bowl teams

January, 29, 2013
The adage “defense wins championships” has been spot-on when describing a lot of teams that have made it to -- and in many cases won -- the Super Bowl since the game’s inception. Seven of the first eight teams to appear in the Super Bowl ranked either first or second in total defense (yards allowed). And that was before Pittsburgh’s Steel Curtain dynasty, the 1985 Chicago Bears and, more recently, the dominant Baltimore Ravens (2000) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2002) defenses.

Of course, the same could be said for the other side of the ball. Just look back at all the great offensive juggernauts that have made it to pro football’s biggest stage: the San Francisco 49ers of Joe Montana, Steve Young and Jerry Rice immediately come to mind, as do the St. Louis Rams’ “Greatest Show on Turf” teams, Tom Brady’s New England Patriots and the Saints with Drew Brees.

Actually, it’s rare that a team makes it to the Super Bowl without being elite on either defense or offense -- or both. An examination of the 92 previous Super Bowl teams bears this out and gives us a handy metric by which to compare this year’s two combatants: the 49ers and Ravens.

You’ll see in the infographic below that the 49ers fit the profile of a typical Super Bowl team -- because of their elite defense -- whereas the Ravens do not. That does not mean, however, that Baltimore has no shot of taking home the Lombardi trophy. In Super Bowl history, statistically dominant teams are barely above .500 when facing those that aren’t as impressive on paper.

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ESPN's Photos of the Weekend: Jan. 25-27

January, 28, 2013
Shaun White at X Games Aspen 2013.Eric Bakke/ESPN
A six-peat. A three-peat. A repeat. A double OT. All of them happened on an eventful weekend in sports, which was captured visually by some of the world's best photographers.

Check out the gallery:

Photos of the Weekend: Jan. 25-27 Photo Gallery

ESPN's Photos of the Week: Jan. 21-24

January, 24, 2013
Rion Brown and Kenny Kadji Robert Mayer/USA TODAY Sports
Want to see this week's most memorable images? Just click below. (Warning: There will be Hurricanes.)

Photos of the Week: Jan. 21-24 Photo Gallery

Photos: The other side of the NFL playoffs

January, 22, 2013
It's an aspiration for some, an expectation for others, but in no way a guarantee of joy: making the NFL playoffs.

Because, as we've seen these last three weeks -- and as we'll see on one side in two more weeks -- the pain of losing is even more pronounced when the postseason comes around. It stings. And it shows.

So with 10 of the season's 11 elimination games finished and only the Super Bowl to be contested, Playbook and the aptly named Tumblr "The Agony of Defeat" now bring you a collection of dramatic photos showing the pain of playoff losses.

Check them out:

Wild-Card Round

Baltimore Ravens 24, Indianapolis Colts 9
Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts against the Baltimore RavensRob Carr/Getty ImagesIt's hard to fault rookie QB Andrew Luck and the Colts for losing early, but it still stung for a team that overcame so much -- including coach Chuck Pagano's inspirational fight with leukemia.

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