Sports Morning Headlines - Wednesday, 2/1/12

News from around the Texas Sports Scene for Wednesday, 02/1/12.

Scola’s solution to Rockets’ issues is to work harder - Long after Monday’s game and again after Tuesday’s practice, Rockets forward Luis Scola pushed himself through sets of shooting drills, cutting through imaginary screens to take 18-foot jumpers.  “I try to do it all the time,” Scola said of the extra work. “Sometimes we don’t have time. I don’t like the way I’m playing. I know just one way to get back to what I do — just work hard.”  Rockets coach Kevin McHale described the effort as typical of Scola but not everyone.  “Luis is just a hard worker,” McHale said. “There’s a reason that guy’s a winner. … He’s just a grinder; he’s a worker. He makes it easy to come to work. I can’t say that for everybody.”   READ MORE

Houston Rockets Salary Cap Update - With the January 25th deadline to extend rookie contracts having passed, let’s take a look at the Houston Rockets salary cap situation heading towards the March 15th trade deadline.  The Rockets’ Latest Moves.  Since my last update, the Rockets have made the following roster moves:  There was this whole thing about a trade for Pau Gasol that didn’t end up getting approval from the league office, but I won’t get into that here. Let’s just say that Daryl Morey probably needed a hug after that ordeal.  Fan favorite Chuck Hayes signed a four-year, $21.3 million deal with the Sacramento Kings . . . and then it was voided due to a detected heart defect . . . and then, after receiving a (relatively) clean bill of health, Hayes received a four-year, $22.4 million deal from the Kings.   READ MORE

Spurs’ Bonner on a Red Rocket roll - There were moments in Matt Bonner’s past when his struggles might have crushed him.  As a 20-something, had Bonner started a season missing 30 of his first 47 3-pointers, he might have crawled into a hole and never come out.  “I definitely think I used to let it affect me,” said Bonner, the 31-year-old Spurs sharpshooter. “As I’ve gotten older, I realize you take every shot independent of what happened on the last one.”  Don’t look now, but Bonner is back on a hot streak. After shooting 36.2 percent in his first 15 games, Bonner — the NBA’s leading long-ball artist last season — is averaging 12 points and shooting 50 percent in his last five.  He has drilled multiple 3-pointers in each of those contests, hitting five in two of them. The recent sizzling stretch has pushed Bonner up to 41.8 percent from beyond the arc, still below last season’s NBA-best 45.7 percent but better than his career mark.   READ MORE

Carlisle praises Pop as best hoop coach ever - Gregg Popovich’s place at the Basketball Hall of Fame is a certainty one of these days when he decides to hang up his whistle and retire to his vineyards.  Even though he’s uncomfortable with such shows of admiration, Popovich is even receiving some during his active coaching career.  Dallas coach Rick Carlisle had an unusually strong compliment for Popovich after Dallas’ narrow victory over the Spurs Sunday night.   READ MORE

Nowitzki: We've come a long way this season - Posting a 13-5 record during the month of January has the Dallas Mavericks atop the Southwest Division. Not bad for a team that has played well despite injuries to Vince Carter, Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd.  "If you would have asked me at Christmas and the day after, I would have said we're in trouble," Nowitzki told The Dallas Morning News after the Mavericks' 122-99 victory Monday night in Phoenix. "But I think we've come a long way since the first couple of weeks of the season.  "I think guys got in better shape. I think guys are learning to play off each other. And I've said this almost feels like last year. We've got a bunch of veterans who want to play and are not selfish, like Vince and Lamar (Odom)."   READ MORE

Inexpensive PGs becoming a real luxury - For about $2 million, the Dallas Mavericks have turned a key area of concern into an apparent strength. When J.J. Barea was offered nothing more than a one-year deal to return, sealing his fate to leave, the point guard position was suddenly down to a 38-year-old legend coming off his first championship followed by a string of question marks.  Rodrigue Beaubois was coming back, but any expectation for him to emerge as dependable backup point guard had to be submerged at least until the Mavs knew if the third-year former first-round draft pick could rediscover the level of play he displayed as a rookie mostly at shooting guard.   READ MORE









Astros sign two-time All-Star RHP Livan Hernandez to minor league deal - Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow announced on Tuesday that Houston has agreed to terms on a minor league deal with free agent and two-time NL All-Star right-handed pitcher Livan Hernandez.  The deal includes an invitation to Spring Training.  Hernandez, 36, went 8-13 with a 4.47 ERA and 99 strikeouts over 175 1/3 innings in 29 starts for the Washington Nationals last season.  He was the Nationals' Opening Day starter.  Hernandez has established himself as a consistent workhorse starter, as evident with leading the National League in innings pitched over a three-season span (2003-05) as a member of the Expos/Nats.   READ MORE

Astros invite Livan to Spring Training - Veteran right-hander Livan Hernandez, who has 16 years of Major League experience under his belt and was the Opening Day starter for the Nationals last year, has been added to the mix of pitchers competing for a spot in the Astros' starting rotation.  The Astros announced Tuesday they had signed Hernandez, who will turn 37 on Feb. 20, to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training.  "Any time you get a chance to bring in an experienced Major League veteran, you've got to consider it," Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said. "He brings a lot to us in terms of a veteran presence in the clubhouse and his ability to pitch a lot of innings and give our team a chance to stay in games, and that's really a big part of why we wanted to do it.   READ MORE

Rangers announce bevy of personnel moves - The Rangers have announced a number of changes in their front office and in their amateur scouting department, including the return of Don Kalkstein as the club's sports psychology consultant.  Kalkstein, who has worked for the Mavericks since 2001, was with the Rangers from 1995-2005 as director of performance enhancement. He spent the past seven seasons working for the Red Sox.  "I can't say enough great things about Donnie," Rangers infielder Michael Young said. "He's a fantastic communicator. He understands that all players are wired differently and can reach everybody in the clubhouse on different levels. Players for the Red Sox loved him, and I'm sure the same can be said for the Mavs. He knows me very well and knows what gets me going. He's a great addition."   READ MORE

Nelson Cruz: I'd like to be a Ranger for life - Outfielder Nelson Cruz and the Texas Rangers are actively working on a deal for next season to avoid their scheduled salary arbitration hearing set for Feb. 17.  “We’re exchanging figures, negotiating for a year but leaving the door open for a multiyear deal,” Cruz told ESPNDeportesLosAngeles on Tuesday.  Cruz, who has been working out in Miami since last week, is in the Dominican Republic for an event put on by the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo. He will return to Miami on Wednesday.  The 31-year-old Cruz is eligible for salary arbitration for the second time in his career. He is asking for $7.5 million in 2012; the Rangers are offering $5.5 million. An arbitrator will decide between the two figures, although the parties could reach an agreement and sign a contract at any point before the hearing.   READ MORE









Texans draft watch: WR Mohamed Sanu - One of the Texans primary needs entering the 2012 draft is at wide receiver so we open our draft watch series by taking a look at Rutgers wide receiver Mohamed Sanu.  Sanu is a junior but he'll turn 23 years old in August.  He 'agonized' over the decision to turn pro, according to a report, but he realizes that he has an opportunity that may only come once in a lifetime.   READ MORE

Houston Texans QB Coach Greg Knapp Named Raiders Offensive Coordinator - The Houston Texans QB Coach, Greg Knapp, has been named the new offensive coordinator for the Oakland Raiders.  Knapp was an integral part of the Texans coaching staff and is partly responsible for rookie T.J. Yates’ success this season. Knapp has previous experience as an offensive coordinator with teams in cities such as Oakland and Atlanta.  Coach Gary Kubiak, in preparing for this year’s Pro Bowl, was afraid that other teams might pursue Knapp in light of his success with both Yates and Matt Schaub. It appears that his fears are now realized.   READ MORE

Trying To Guess The Off Season Strategy Of The Dallas Cowboys - KD has made a very good point about how things are kind of slow around here, at least as far as trying to find topics for entertaining and informative articles. It's that time of year when we watch the calendar, waiting for the next key date to see what the Dallas Cowboys are going to do to try and fix their problems for last year and get back into the playoffs where the Good Lord and the laws of the universe intend them to be.  So while we wait for the NFL combine and free agency to roll around, and suffer through having the New York Giants and the New England Patriots play in the Super Bowl, we parse and dissect and analyze and discuss. All of it is at best informed guesswork. But heck, we all love to play GM and/or coach for the team.   READ MORE

Eyes Wide Open - Fresh Perspective Can Help The Secondary.  With the personnel of the Cowboys secondary relatively the same for the last four years, and the unit's overall production trending downward, it was time for a new direction.  Team owner Jerry Jones has promised there will be some new faces back there in 2012, but that won't be the only difference for the secondary, which had been coached by Dave Campo and Brett Maxie since 2008. Incoming defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson has been enlisted to provide new thoughts, a new voice and a new direction on the practice field and in meeting rooms.  More than anything else, his fresh set of eyes could be a positive for the group. After three years in the same position with the Cleveland Browns, Henderson joins the Cowboys without the bias of past history with the depth chart.   READ MORE






Allen's Rejean Beauchemin named CHL Goalie of the Week - The Central Hockey League announced today that Allen Americans goalie Rejean Beauchemin, has been named the Oakley Goalie of the Week, for the period ending January 29th 2012.  Rejean Beauchemin recorded two shutouts in a row last week, leading the Allen Americans to victories over the Arizona Sun Dogs, and Wichita Thunder. Beauchemin had 177 minutes of scoreless hockey coming into last Saturday's game against the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees.  Beauchemin has the best goals against average, and save percentage in the Central Hockey league to date, with a GAA of 2.03, and SV% of .932. He has a record of 10-4-4 and is tied for second in the Central Hockey League in shutouts with two. Beauchemin has given up one goal or less in four of his last five starts.  "Rejean Beauchemin has been playing extremely well," said Americans Head Coach and GM Dwight Mullins,. "He has been the key to us winning five of our last six games."  Beauchemin joins Marco Cousineau, and former Americans netminder Brain Mahoney-Wilson, as Oakley Goalie of the Week winners this season.   READ MORE

Stars-Ducks preview: Stars need to start off second half on a strong note - Key matchup : Kari Lehtonen vs. Corey Perry.  Lehtonen is coming off his first shutout of the season in beating the Ducks, 1-0, in the last game before the All-Star break. Perry had eight goals and two assists and was plus-6 in 11 games in January.   READ MORE
















---Staff and Wire Reports contributed to this story

comments

The Buck Radio Presents 2014 Buckfest

BuckFest is Coming! Tune into KAXA-THE BUCK RADIO-103.7 Kerrville and 93.1 Leaky, TX ...

 

MLB

Matt Garza Takes His Chance
Matt Garza finally got the chance to p...
Yu Darvish for AL Cy Young?
Detroit’s Max Scherzer is the favori...

Most Popular

The Buck Radio Presents 2014 Buckfest
BuckFest is Coming! Tune into KAXA-T...

NFL News

First Pick For Texans
If had looked at the NFL betting last ...
Contact UsTwitterfacebook