Sports Morning Headlines-Wednesday, 03/16/11

News from around the Texas Sports Scene for Wednesday, March 16, 2011.

Jalen Rose: Can Mavs beat the Spurs? - ESPN NBA Analyst Jalen Rose breaks down if the Mavericks can beat the Spurs.   WATCH VIDEO

Loss drops Mavs to third in conference - Rick Carlisle has a new four-pack of priorities for the Mavericks.  He wants them to be better at transition defense, work harder at defending one-on-one, help each other when needed and finish off defensive possessions with tough rebounds.  At the worst of times on Tuesday, they were oh-for-four.  That's why they walked out of the Rose Garden with a 104-101 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers in a possible preview of the Mavericks' first-round playoff series opponent. The loss dropped the Mavericks a half-game behind the Los Angeles Lakers and into third place in the Western Conference standings.   READ MORE

Mavericks Lose to Trail Blazers, 104-101 - The Dallas Mavericks might be in the midst of a late-season slump as they suffered a 104-101 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night in the Rose Garden. The Mavericks have now lost four of their last six games. The loss also marked their fourth consecutive defeat to a potential playoff opponent in the last 10 days (Memphis, New Orleans, Los Angeles and Portland). Dirk Nowitzki had a chance to tie the game, but he missed a three-point attempt from the corner on their last possession of the game. LaMarcus Aldridge scored 30 points in the game, but Brandon Roy emerged as the star for Portland by scoring 17 of his 21 points in the second half. The 21 points marked the most points the guard has scored since Dec. 10, 2010. Double-knee surgery forced Roy to miss a significant period of time for the Trail Blazers before returning after the All-Star Break.   READ MORE

Rookie Patterson seeing more time with Scola out - Patrick Patterson did not expect to spend his 22nd birthday starting an NBA game.  He had never started before. He was behind a player, Luis Scola, that until last week had played 311 NBA games without ever missing one. Even when Scola finally went out, Jordan Hill had become the starter.  Patterson imagined the moment long enough to consider himself ready. He wasn't.  He walked with jittery legs. He worried before the Noche Latina celebration that he would not know when to take the floor following his first pregame introduction, forgetting in his state that Spanish for Patrick Patterson is Patrick Patterson.  Finally, he took his place at midcourt for the opening tip of Monday's game against the Suns and realized he really was not prepared for the occasion.   READ MORE

Rockets notes: Jordan Hill productive off the bench - Though Jordan Hill was back to coming off the bench after two games as the Rockets starter, he had his most productive game since mid-January.  Hill made 5 of 7 shots to score 12 points in 23 minutes, adding eight rebounds, three assists and a blocked shot. In his two starts with Luis Scola out, he shot well, making 7 of 11 shots, but had just seven rebounds.  "I thought he played well," Adelman said. "He rebounded well. That's what we need every night from him. He's got to come in and make an impact around the basket every night. He can score. He can make shots, but if he's just standing around, it's not going to happen for him."   READ MORE

Spurs won’t fret about big losses in March - Not long after his championship-contending team had suffered the worst beating of its season, the coach found himself face-to-face with the media charged with dissecting the carnage.  The coach began by praising the team that had administered the whipping, practically thanking his opponent for it.  “The quickest way I’ve found in this league to change habits and collectively grow are through adversity,” Miami’s Erik Spoelstra said March 4, when the Spurs steamrolled his Heat 125-95 at the AT&T Center. “These type of events, as long as they don’t break you, can fast-track what you’re trying to do.”  They are words the Spurs would be wise to heed today, following their own epic smackdown.   READ MORE

ProjectSpurs: Spurs news and notes: Spurs or Lakers in the West, former Spur wins a slam dunk contest and more. - San Antonio Spurs' Manu Ginobili had this to say after the huge loss to the Miami Heat:  "They needed the game more than us."  Express News' Tim Griffin has five takes on the Spurs-Heat game. Though the San Antonio Spurs own the NBA's best record and are tops in the Western Conference, TheSportsJury.com thinks the Los Angeles Lakers are the best in the West and will capture another title:  "In the Western Conference, the San Antonio Spurs started 46-9 this season to pretty much outdistance themselves from the rest of the NBA’s elite.· They have been hailed by most as the team to beat in the Western Conference.· However, the two-time defending Champion Lakers are showing why they are still the prohibitive favorite not only in the west, but for another NBA title."   READ MORE

 

 

Seven pitchers in mix for Rangers' last two spots in rotation - About the only thing that has been cleared up so far this spring regarding the Texas Rangers' starting rotation is that Brandon Webb won't be ready for Opening Day.  He has started saying so himself.  Instead of eight pitchers competing for two available spots behind C.J. Wilson and Colby Lewis, there are three open spots. Tommy Hunter, even though he has struggled some recently, appears to be in based on his track record the past two seasons.  As the days wind down before the regular season begins, seven pitchers have presented strong résumés for the final two spots. If anything, the upcoming decisions have been made more difficult.   READ MORE

Former CEO Greenberg thanks Rangers fans on Facebook - Chuck Greenberg posted this message to Rangers fans on his Facebook page:  "I want to extend a heartfelt thanks to everyone for your unwavering support over the last year and a half -- especially the past few days. I was honored to be a part of the Texas Rangers at a historic time -- and am enormously proud of all we accomplished together. What extraordinary memories. I wish only the best for the franchise and look forward to many memorable Octobers for Rangers fans. You deserve it...chuck"   READ MORE

Wallace, Hall power Astros to stellar win over Baltimore - Astros first baseman Brett Wallace showed off his power bat Tuesday afternoon against the Baltimore Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Fla., and demonstrated the very reason why Houston acquired him via trade from the Toronto Blue Jays in late July.  The 24-year-old Wallace blasted a monstrous grand slam in the fifth inning off Orioles reliever Kevin Gregg en route to a seven-RBI and four-hit performance to lead the Astros to a commanding 14-8 victory.   READ MORE

My breakdown of Lyles - It is the appropriate time in spring where the stats should start to be somewhat meaningful. Or at least the performances can be judged with some credibility. Some cuts have been made and players are honing in on timing or their arms are warming to pitching routinely. This is what I have seen from Lyles and my judgment of what he should do this year.   READ MORE

 

 

Video: NFL Commish Roger Goodell Talks with ESPN - ESPN Insider Adam Schefter has an interview with NFL Commish Roger Goodell.   WATCH VIDEO

Mario Williams staying at defensive end - The Houston Texans intend to keep Mario Williams at defensive end even as defensive coordinator Wade Phillips installs the 3-4 defense in Houston.  There had been some question whether Williams would move to a standup outside linebacker position, but Phillips stamped out that notion in an interview with the Houston Chronicle.  "I think Mario fits in well with what we're going to do," Phillips said. "He's a five-technique, an outside rush guy. That's what he is. I don't see any difference for him. He's going to be outside all the time."  The 6-foot-6, 295-pounder usually fares better out of a three-point stance, Phillips' film analysis showed.   READ MORE

Let’s look at some 2nd round OLB possibilities - Obviously, Texas A&M OLB Von Miller, who we all assume would be the Texans most-coveted pick, is going to be long gone by the time Houston picks at #11.  I know North Carolina OLB Robert Quinn is the projected Texans pick according to my own Texans Mock Draft Tracker, but I think he’s going to be gone as well. I just think there’s too much talent there, and someone is going to snap him up.   READ MORE

Speech By Jerry Jones Led To Breakdown During CBA Talks? - Jim Trotter of SI.com gives a behind the scenes glimpse into one of the reasons why the negotiations between NFL owners and players broke down.  Mediator George Cohen began the session by giving each owner an opportunity to speak so Jerry Jones, never one to pass up center stage, tried to lighten the mood by talking of his upbringing and the business acumen that led to his purchase of the Cowboys 22 years ago. The tenor changed when he began discussing how two years of negotiations had failed to bring the sides closer and reportedly what he said next, with arched eyebrows, helped steer the situation past the point of no return.   READ MORE

NFL Draft 2011: 10 Reasons the Dallas Cowboys Need to Replace Tony Romo - Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo’s left collarbone may be healed, but maybe his ego is a little bruised. Early this offseason reports surfaced that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was interested in drafting former Auburn quarterback Cam Newton and things only snowballed when the Cowboys interviewed Newton at the combine.  Now the rattle on the fence to get rid of Romo has swelled to a steady shake. Is it time for Dallas to finally part ways with the now aging quarterback?  Here are 10 reasons Jerry Jones needs to replace Tony Romo.   READ MORE

 

 


Stars can't hold lead, fall to Sharks - Scoring the first goal wasn’t a formula for success for the Dallas Stars on Tuesday. Neither was scoring the first two goals.  The Stars built a 2-0 lead at American Airlines Center, but couldn’t hold it and fell 6-3 to the San Jose Sharks.  The loss was the second straight for the Stars, who remained in seventh place in the Western Conference with a two-point lead over the ninth place position in the playoff race. The Stars fell to 1-2-1 on their current homestand and to 3-5-2 in their last 10 home games.  “It was a tough game. We obviously didn’t have our best,” said defenseman Stephane Robidas.   READ MORE

Sharks Elbow Past Stars 6-3 - Tough loss for the Dallas Stars as they drop a 6-3 loss to the San Jose Sharks.  The score maybe not being a true indication of ultimately how close this game really was as the Sharks piled on a couple of empty net short handed goals in the last minute of the game that did more to hurt feelings than have any effect on the score.  (We'll have more on the pulling of the goalie after the jump).  The Stars did jump out to a 2-0 lead in the second period after a rather pedestrian first period from both teams.  Mike Ribeiro finished off a fantastic Jamie Benn effort to put the Stars up by one just as the second frame started, and then Toby Petersen about two minutes later did the very same thing with Benn (only with Benn being even more dominating skating around all five Sharks on the ice) while they killed off a penalty to put the lead at two.   READ MORE


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