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Sports Morning Headlines-Tuesday, 8/23/11

News from around the Texas Sports Scene for Tuesday, August 23, 2011.

Miss ‘Coach B?’ Check out Bonner’s latest video wackiness - Lockout be damned, “Coach B” is at it again.  That’s Matt Bonner, of course, aka Coach B, wacky purveyor of basketball tips and life lessons.  Bonner’s latest video efforts center around promos for a benefit basketball game in Toronto, scheduled for Sept. 10. Bonner is recruiting teams to play in the event. The idea is to raise money for Athletes for Africa and the St. Albans Boys and Girls Clubs.  Cost to enter a team is $500, but teams are being encouraged to raise additional money. The payoff: The top money-raising teams get the right to draft some celebrity players. These include Bonner and Nick Collison, of the Thunder. The real draw, though, is Arcade Fire front man Win Butler, who is both very tall and a bona fide indie rock star. He also happens to count Bonner a good friend.   READ MORE

Project Spurs: AT&T Center doesn't rank among favorite NBA arenas - The AT&T Center has had plenty of history in it's short time as the of the San Antonio Spurs. From the Spurs winning the NBA crown in 2003, seeing David Robinson sail off into retirement on top of the NBA world, to painful memories such as Derek Fisher's ".4" shot, the AT&T Center has been home to most of the Spurs' dynasty years.  However, all that history didn't impact's ranking of their favorite arenas in the NBA as the AT&T Center received an honorable mention:  “Some of the friendliest fans I’ve ever met. They act like they’ve been there before, which they have a few times. I like walking outside on the patio area to get some pregame fresh air.”   READ MORE

Will long lockout send more Mavs overseas? - NBA training camps open in five weeks, give or take a couple days, yet the list of players agreeing to contracts overseas and others at least thinking about going abroad continues to grow.  That's because there appears to be zero progress in labor negotiations as the lockout creeps up on the two-month mark.  According to's overseas tracker, 33 NBA players have deals to play overseas in a variety of countries from Italy to Israel, from Spain to Slovenia, from Russia to South Korea. New Jersey Nets point guard Deron Williams remains the lone All-Star-caliber player to have a deal in place (Besiktas, Turkey), and most with deals have opt-out clauses that allow them to return to the NBA when the lockout is lifted.   READ MORE

An Ode to Jason Terry - Jason Terry crossed over after driving to the baseline.  He took a dribble back, with Tim Duncan cutting off his route to the rim. As Duncan encroached, Terry took another dibble backward. With the shot clock spiraling down and the Dallas Mavericks leading 121-118, Terry hoisted a shot.  The ball floated from his hands as it arched high above Duncan’s reach. The American Airlines Center seemed to collectively breathe in and hold its breath. Gravity took control as the ball fell from its high point and splashed through the net with 38 seconds left.  Swish.  Dallas prevailed. Terry scored 32 points; the Mavs had a 3-1 series lead against the Spurs in the Western Conference Semifinals.  It was May 15, 2006. And Jason Terry could do no wrong.   READ MORE

Imagining Hakeem Olajuwon on Houston’s Sideline - When asked if he’d be willing to teach his one and only friend the finer arts in constructing a believable lie, a proud George Costanza quickly dismissed the request: “Jerry, I can’t. It’s like saying to Pavorotti, ‘Teach me to sing like you.’”  Just because someone instructs a lesson to another person, it doesn’t necessarily mean things will click; physical abilities don’t permeate from one body to another by a magical touch, and some students simply don’t have the same mental capacity as their teacher. That’s life. But in the NBA, the players we’re discussing here are the best of the best—450 fate controlled lottery winners—and if they were to have someone whose sole job was to teach them the finer arts of, say, footwork in the low post, then we might be on to something.   READ MORE

Donatas Motiejunas Was Cut From The Lithuanian National Team - Donatas Motiejunas could be the forgotten young talent on Houston's roster. His toolset is redundant, he's stuck on a roster full of power forwards and nobody has conjured for him a befitting nickname. (On that note, "The Count of Motiejunas" is a nice play on words, but you won't see me yelling "PLAY THE COUNT!" at Toyota Center.)   READ MORE







Lackey, Lewis picking up steam for AL contenders - The Red Sox and Rangers are major contenders for the American League pennant this year, and they're going to need the best possible performances they can get from every member of their pitching staff down the stretch.  It's a good thing that John Lackey and Colby Lewis are answering the bell when it counts the most.  Lackey, Boston's starter for Tuesday's game between the clubs at the Ballpark in Arlington, and Lewis, the Texas right-hander, suffered through tough stretches earlier this season but have picked up their games lately.  Lewis is 6-1 with a 2.70 ERA in his last 12 starts and threw seven scoreless innings in his last start against the Angels.   READ MORE

Adrian Beltre cleared to keep running bases - Rangers physician Dr. Keith Meister took a look at Adrian Beltre's strained left hamstring and didn't see any issues. He's cleared Beltre to continue to run the bases lightly before ramping up to full speed. There is no timetable for Beltre to go out on a rehab assignment or return to the lineup.  Beltre ran at about 75 percent on Monday, going from home to first and rounding the bag. He's been doing a bunch of stretching and jogging exercises and has taken batting practice. The Rangers would like for him to get a few games in on a rehab assignment, but he can't do that until he can run the bases at full speed. And the club doesn't want him rushing that process.   READ MORE

Astros Outhit Rockies By Four, Still Manage To Lose By Four Runs - Brett Myers, why must you continue to struggle mightily in the first inning?  Colorado only needed one big inning against Myers, and it proved to be plenty of run support for Jhoulys Chacin and the Rockies. Myers was rocked for six runs in the first, and the Rockies didn't look back.  The Astros almost managed to score one run on thirteen total hits, but thank goodness for another Matt Downs' pinch-hit home run.  Brian Bogusevic continued his power surge with a solo shot and a three-hit performance, again falling a triple short of the cycle. J.D. Martinez also recorded three hits, and he's now 8 for his last 14 at the plate. Jordan Schafer made his Astros' debut, going hitless in four trips with a strikeout.   READ MORE

Astros rocked by Colorado 9-5 - Jhoulys Chacin threw seven solid innings and had a two-run double while Carlos Gonzalez homered and drove in three runs to help the Colorado Rockies beat the Houston Astros 9-5 on Monday night.  All nine starters reached base for Colorado, which won its third straight. It's just the second time since June 18 the Rockies have won three in a row.  Brian Bogusevic had three hits, including a homer, Matt Downs also homered for the Astros.   READ MORE






Dallas Cowboys Tidbits: Tyron Smith Protects Romo Well; DeMarco Murray To Make Debut Tuesday - One day removed from the second preseason game, let's round some stories from today's interwebbing.  Rookie right tackle Tyron Smith has been meeting most expectations placed on him. Smith has yet to surrender a sack in the preseason, according to this ESPN article; an intriguing stat despite the perceived vanilla nature of defensive playcalling this time of year.  Smith has faced a variety of pressure, but realizes he still has plenty of room to grow.  "Trying to get my footwork down and keeping my hands back and my head back and not getting beat on the edge as much as I was last time," Smith said of what he was working on.  Regarding the zero sacks allowed in the preseason Smith said, "it's basically the general point: Don't give up the sack. You always got to work for that. I will do it as long as I can... Don't give up a sack."   READ MORE

Cowboys defense talking instead of tackling - After three and a half weeks of training camp that now includes two games, the Dallas Cowboys are still having trouble talking to each other on defense.  Actually, they're talking fine. But the messages aren't getting through like they should.  "Our defense is definitely a communication-driven defense," linebacker Bradie James said after the Cowboys' second preseason game, a 20-7 loss to the San Diego Chargers on Sunday night. "We're still working out some kinks."  One big kink happened on the Chargers' first touchdown, a 7-yard pass in the second quarter from Philip Rivers to tight end Randy McMichael, who ran to the front corner of the end zone without anyone going with him.  "That was me trying to get cute with them and double 83 on a call that should have a safety on 81," defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said, using the uniform numbers for wide receiver Vincent Jackson and McMichael. "So that's completely my fault."   READ MORE

Why Arian Foster Will Be a Fantasy Football Bust in 2011 - Arian Foster came out of nowhere last year to lead the Houston Texans rushing attack. He easily won the fantasy MVP for running backs with 1,616 yards on the ground and 604 through the air. His 4.9 yards-per-carry was beast-like, and he ran with authority throughout the season.  With great vision, good size and excellent cutting ability, Foster has been projected as a top pick for fantasy drafts this year.  There are some clouds on the horizon for Foster, however. This slideshow will break down a few key reasons why Arian Foster will be a fantasy football bust in 2011. Let the buyer beware for Arian Foster this year!   READ MORE

Texans return game not so special - You always hear NFL coaches talk about three phases of the game and if you consistently beat your opponent in two of the three phases, you're likely to win more games than you lose.  Offense isn't a problem for the Texans as long as everyone stays healthy.  Defense was a major issue last season - or has it been every season? - but things might actually be looking up in that department.  It can't get worse.  Special teams?  They're not so special going on a couple of years now.  What's up, Coach Joe?   READ MORE


RING OF HONOR? - I guess in order to stay true to the “Stars” name it should be the ‘Ring of Honor, Orion's Belt’?  Anyway, all this debate, and Charles Haley hate, of late (Should have been a rapper) has me spitballing who might deserve to be included in the Stars version.  A friend of mine, and Stars SSH from day one, Keith Cummiskey furnished me with some dandy ‘Boys Ring of Honor info:  "Some facts: The Cowboys have played about 50 seasons and have 22 inductees (including a coach, a GM and the three players named last week). The Cowboys have won five titles and have five Super Bowl losses. Until Charles Haley was named last week, all inductees had spent all or the vast majority of their careers with the Cowboys. Haley and Chuck Howley are the only members who were not drafted by the Cowboys. Haley played only five of his 15 seasons with the Cowboys but he won three championships with the Cowboys and two more with the 49ers. Only two members of the Cowboys Ring never won a championship (Meredith and Perkins) and most won multiple championships.”  The Stars are always going to be awkward when it comes to discussions like this, due to the Minnesota/Dallas dichotomy. Do you make it just a Dallas thing? Is it a franchise honor? What?  What shouldn’t be as awkward is who deserves the honor. Or is it?   READ MORE

Hockey News ranks Dallas prospects - The Hockey News 2011-12 Yearbook put out an updated list of the top ten prospects for each NHL team. Below is a look at THN’s take on the prospects of the Dallas Stars.  It’s a pretty good list. I might juggle the order a little differently in some cases, but I don’t think the ranking is that big a deal. I think guys like Richard Bachman and Brenden Dillon could be under consideration for the top ten as well, but I don’t know who I’d take off. It would be a tough call. The bottom line is the Stars have some pretty good prospects in the pipeline.   READ MORE

---Staff and Wire Reports contributed to this story



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