Sports Morning Headlines-Monday, 10/25/10

News from around the Sports Scene for Monday, October 25, 2010.

Butler, Marion likely to play a lot together - The Dallas Mavericks are deep enough that they can rely on plentiful player combinations. As entertaining and useful as the mix-and-match options are for coach Rick Carlisle, one particular combo is worth watching closely. Caron Butler and Shawn Marion are not going to be mutually exclusive when it comes to playing time. Though they ideally play the same position, they are going to be on the court together during games, Carlisle said Sunday.  MORE

On paper, Lakers are again the team to beat - Perhaps you have always wondered where the Dallas Mavericks truly rate in the Western Conference. But maybe you have a life or simply weren't inclined to break it down in a sensible, unbiased fashion. Fear not. We've done the heavy lifting for you before the NBA season gets under way this week. We have taken all 15 teams in the Western Conference and analyzed how they rank at each position on the floor: center, power forward, small forward, shooting guard and point guard. MORE

Mavericks Notes: Terry has championship trophy in place - Jason Terry is one of the most optimistic people around, and it shows in the new tattoo on his right biceps. It's a picture of the NBA championship trophy. There's no date on the ink. "That's the first thing my wife asked me when I got home," he said. "I'm leaving it open for when we get one." That's when. Not if. And that's not all. "I'm leaving the spot open on the other arm, too," Terry said, just in case he needs a place for multiple trophies. MORE

Kevin Martin Had Himself One Heck Of A Preseason - Got the following e-mail from someone who I consider to be, let's say, a "knowledgeable" reader: "Kevin Martin finished an incredible +44 this preseason, never playing in the 4th qtr and playing most of his mins in 1st and 3rd qtrs against other starters. And he is on cusp of 50/50/90 club (fg%/3ptfg%/ft%)."  Spectacular huh? I've said this before, I think, but I'll say it again: I can't think of a better situation for Martin to be in. He's surrounded with flexible talent, and now that he'll finally have a post presence (at least some of the time), he's going to thrive. MORE

Your 2010/11 Houston Rockets (and NBA) Season Preview: brought to you by 25 quotes from "Super Troopers" - Can you believe the NBA season starts on Tuesday?  Even more surprising is that the NBA thought your Houston Rockets would make a good season-opener for the Lakers as the showcase game that night. With all that in mind, and following the realization that I need to start contributing to this site...how 'bout an NBA preview.  And why not blatantly and directly steal an idea from another famous Interwebs writer who also happens to not be writing much anymore either.  Meaning below the jump are 25 quotes from one of the funniest movies ever - Super Troopers - using each as a dedication for a particular aspect of the upcoming NBA season.  Thanks for the idea, Simmons, though I'm sure you stole it from someone else, too, so I do not feel bad in borrowing it for today. the shenanigans begin (yes, with naughty language)... after the jump.  MORE

Spurs' Hill works overtime to end slump - Spurs guard George Hill swears he is not the superstitious type. That's probably a good thing, given the way he shot the ball during the preseason. “If I was superstitious, everything would be changing right now,” Hill said. “I might come in with a mohawk, my eyebrows dyed, something to change it up.” With his third NBA season set to open Wednesday against Indiana, Hill aims to alter his bad preseason mojo the old-fashioned way. Instead of rubbing a rabbit's foot or sacrificing a chicken, he hit the practice gym.  MORE

Popovich leans toward keeping 14 on Spurs roster - For now, it appears all three Spurs with non-guaranteed contracts — guard Garrett Temple and forwards Alonzo Gee and Bobby Simmons — can rest easy. Unless there is a change of heart between the end of Sunday's practice and opening night, the club will carry all 14 players now on the roster into the season. MORE

Spurs Waive Two - The San Antonio Spurs announced today that they have waived center Marcus Cousin. Cousin was signed by San Antonio on September 27 and appeared in five preseason games, averaging 5.2 points and 4.2 rebounds in 15.8 minutes. At the same time the Spurs have placed guard Kevin Palmer on waivers. Palmer was signed by San Antonio on October 20. MORE

Rangers begin to pore over personnel for Series - World Series preparations have begun and the Rangers are mulling several roster and lineup decisions they will have to make before Cliff Lee starts Game 1 on Wednesday. MORE

Get your claws on Rangers AL champions gear - For the first time in the franchise's 50 years, the Rangers are going to the World Series. Buy authentic gear and memorabilia commemorating the club's first AL pennant. MORE

What, Lee worry? Long layoff no big deal to ace - Like he is on the mound, Texas ace Cliff Lee was equally cool on Sunday when discussing an eight-day layoff before Wednesday's Game 1 start. "It's not that big of a deal," he said. MORE

Past, present collide for Molina in fateful Series - Traded by the Giants during the season, catcher Bengie Molina will have a better idea than any of his Rangers teammates about what to expect when the World Series begins.  MORE

Win $10,000 while watching the World Series - You'll be watching the Fall Classic, so why not win some money while you're at it? Play the World Series Scoreboard Challenge, brought to you by CDW, for a chance to win $10,000. MORE

Series matchup a study in underdogs - Ultimate glory awaits one franchise after decades-long wait - This is the what-in-the-World Series. Two teams that had losing records in 2008. Two teams that were last in their divisions in 2007. One goal: That ultimate Tiffany bling-bling, the 2010 Commissioner's Trophy, the prize awaiting the winner of a World Series that will be decidedly refreshing. Also, thrilling, breathtaking and compelling. Confusing, too: America loves the underdog, one way the nation's fans pick sides in marquee events. MORE

Molina guaranteed ring, but for which team? - Catcher spent 3 1/2 seasons with Giants before July deal. For the rest of his life, Bengie Molina will be able to look back on 2010 and say that he played for a World Series championship team. He will have a ring to prove it. He just doesn't know which team it will be. He is hoping it will be the Rangers, but it could be the Giants as well. Molina spent the past 3 1/2 seasons with the Giants before being traded to the Rangers on July 1 for pitchers Chris Ray and Michael Main. "I'm very happy, but it's weird," Molina said. "After playing 3 1/2 years there, to wear another color in that stadium will be weird. But I consider myself a professional. Now I'm a Texas Ranger. MORE

Lee, Lincecum fittingly kick off 2010 World Series - When the 2010 World Series visits the shores of McCovey Cove for Game 1, it will bring a boatload of interesting history with a first-time Fall Classic invitee meeting a longtime unfulfilled suitor of the game's greatest prize. But, even with a half-century of anticipation for each side wafting around AT&T Park like San Francisco fog as it begins, this World Series will have 2010 written all over it from the first pitch of the first game. The Year of the Pitcher, meet the World Series. MORE

For starters, Giants get clutch relief in clinch - Bumgarner, Lincecum join Affeldt, Lopez, Wilson in bullpen effort. Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti was talking about Jeremy Affeldt. But he might as well have been referring to the relief staff San Francisco used as a whole in Saturday night's 3-2 Game 6 victory that clinched the National League Championship Series. "Whatever superlatives you write ... to me, he was the game," Righetti said. With two shutout innings, Affeldt led a five-man effort that blanked Philadelphia on five hits through seven innings. It wasn't all that surprising a performance from the Giants, who posted the NL's second-best relief ERA (2.99) this season. Still, after starter Jonathan Sanchez lasted only two innings, Giants relievers had to work overtime, with starters Madison Bumgarner and Tim Lincecum contributing.  MORE

It's a simple reality for Cowboys: Win tonight or forget the playoffs - No good ever comes from living in denial. Maybe, one day, Jerry Jones and Wade Phillips will figure that out. The truth, even if it hurts, is always better than living a lie. The truth: Beat the streaking Giants on Monday Night Football or say goodbye to the playoffs because a loss would drop the Cowboys three games behind New York in the loss column. MORE

Cowboys' penalties stop in practice - The Cowboys brought in officials to work practice in an effort to cut down on the penalties that have crushed their season. The result: "We've had zero penalties [on offense] the last two days," Phillips said Saturday before the team went through a light workout. "Will that happen in a game? You've got a better chance of it happening in a game if you don't do it in practice, so that's what we've emphasized.  MORE

3 Texans fined $5,000 each for illegal hits - "Three Texans -- strong safety Bernard Pollard, guard Wade Smith and defensive end Adewale Ogunleye -- were fined $5,000 each by the NFL for what the league determined was unnecessary roughness during Sunday's 35-31 victory over Kansas City. Pollard was fined for hitting a player out of bounds. Smith was fined for a leg whip. Ogunleye was fined for a late hit on quarterback Matt Cassel." MORE

Defense the key to unclogging AFC South - "The Texans have been in first place in the AFC South every week of the season, but that may change Sunday when Tennessee could elevate its record to 5-2 with a victory over Philadelphia. In the NFL's most competitive division — the only division that doesn't have a team with a losing record - the Texans, Titans and Indianapolis Colts are tied with 4-2 records. Jacksonville is 3-3. While the Texans and Colts have the weekend off, the Titans will try to win for the 13th time in their last 17 games. The Jaguars, who lost 30-3 at home to the Titans on Monday, try to avoid a second consecutive defeat at Kansas City with rumblings that Jack Del Rio's job is in jeopardy. MORE

Texans unable to run away from issues - "When comparing the Texans' first six games this season to the first six of 2009, two things stand out: They have a 4-2 record, one game better than last season, and their running game has improved so much they average 63.4 more rushing yards per contest. The biggest discrepancy, however, is in pass defense. The Texans allow a league-worst 306.2 yards a game compared to 226.8 at this time last year. The defense has been so bad it's spoiled the winning record for some players. "Yeah, we're 4-2, but I think from a defensive standpoint ... it just really seems like we have a losing record," strong safety Bernard Pollard said. MORE

Texans QB Schaub named offensive player of week - "Quarterback Matt Schaub is the third Texans player to be voted AFC Offensive Player of the Week this season. Schaub was honored for his performance in Sunday's 35-31 victory over Kansas City. He was 25-of-33 for 305 yards and two touchdowns. He didn't throw an interception and had a season-high 123.9 rating. Schaub helped the Texans overcome a 10-point deficit in the last 14 minutes to elevate their record to 4-2 for the first time. On the last of four consecutive touchdown drives, Schaub threw a 11-yard touchdown pass to Andre Johnson with 28 seconds remaining."  MORE

Texans work out three defensive linemen - "After bringing in nine offensive players for tryouts on Tuesday, the Texans brought in three more today — all defensive tackles. Damione Lewis, Louis Leonard and Tank Tyler tried out Wednesday at the Methodist Training Center. None was signed. The players have off this week because Sunday is their open date." MORE

BCS Standings Texas Teams: This week the BCS has ranked TCU at 4 (again) and Baylor at 25. The rest of the Texas teams did not appear in the poll this week. TCU and Auburn have the same 8-0 record but the BCS average has Auburn at 0.9371 while TCU is at 0.8833.  MORE

Surprise! Baylor Bears find themselves atop Big 12 South - Now this is real conference realignment. Forget the potential seismic shifts this summer that threatened the college landscape. Simply look at today's Big 12 football standings. In the South, Baylor (6-2, 3-1) has moved to the top of the division standings. Let that fact sink in. Baylor has never claimed a division title in the Big 12. The conference wins this year equals the combined total from 2007-09. MORE

Eastland's Robinson commits to UNT - Forrest Robinson wasn’t afraid to venture far from his home in the tiny West Texas town of Eastland when it came time to decide where he wanted to continue his basketball career.  MORE

Volleyball: Mean Green holds off Troy - North Texas went up 2-0 in a hurry, and hung on for the win in a five-set thriller over Troy on Friday night, 25-18, 25-19, 24-26, 21-25, 15-8. MORE

SMU comes out strong after delay, but can't stop Cougars - SMU didn't blame any of its troubles in Saturday's loss to Houston on the rain. MORE

Delayed and dismayed: Frustrated SMU falls to Houston, 45-20 - Michael Hayes and Bryce Beall rushed for two touchdowns each as Houston defeated SMU 45-20 on Saturday night. MORE

TCU allows first October TD but rolls on, 38-7 - Ed Wesley had a career-high 209 yards and two touchdowns, and the TCU defense stiffened after giving up its first October touchdown, leading the No. 4 Horned Frogs to a 38-7 victory over Air Force on Saturday night. MORE

Mack Brown on stunning loss to Iowa State: 'I don't think it's talent. I think it's attitude' - At this rate, underdogs are going to love playing at Texas: the bigger the dog, the bigger the win. MORE

A&M QBs split time in Aggies' romp over Kansas - Jerrod Johnson broke Texas A&M's career record for total offense, and backup Ryan Tannehill threw three touchdown passes to help the Aggies roll past hapless Kansas 45-10 Saturday night. MORE

Late FG completes Tech's rally over Colorado - Matt Williams' 36-yard field goal with 2:09 left capped Texas Tech's comeback from a 10-point deficit and gave the Red Raiders a 27-24 win over Colorado on Saturday. MORE

Stars still undecided on how best to utilize Jamie Benn on the ice - As Jamie Benn approaches 90 games in his NHL career, there still is a decision to be made on his future: Is he better as a wing or a center? Jamie Benn (14) may get his most minutes for now at right wing - despite the fact he's a left-handed shot and despite the Stars' desire to make him a center. The answer right now appears to be: Both.  MORE

Nothing doing for Stars in 1-0 loss to Predators - The Stars know all about stealing games because of their goaltender, so maybe it was ironic justice that the tables were turned on them Saturday night. Dallas played one of its best games of the young season but couldn't beat Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne with 30 shots and lost a 1-0 contest at American Airlines Center. The loss drops the Stars to 5-2-0 (10 points) and allows Nashville 4-0-3 (11 points) to move ahead in the Western Conference standings. MORE

Stars could benefit from some of that Rangers magic - Rangers pitcher Derek Holland dropped the puck for Saturday's Stars game, and that's more than just smart marketing. Yes, the Stars can possibly ride a little of the good public relations vibe from the baseball team and sell a few tickets, but the message sent from Arlington could actually mean a lot more to the team. The Rangers have proved this season that no matter how many distractions you have or how low your payroll, you can find a way to win. That's something the Stars can follow as they seek a new owner and ponder problems such as a new contract for Brad Richards. MORE

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