Sports Morning Headlines-Monday, 03/06/11

News from around the Texas Sports Scene for Monday, March 7, 2011.

Blown lead, Grizzlies come back to bite Mavericks - When the Dallas Mavericks laid their heads on their pillows Sunday night, they did so knowing they missed out on some promising opportunities.  Earlier Sunday, the Los Angeles Lakers went into San Antonio and snapped the Spurs' 22-game home winning streak with a 99-83 victory. So with a chance to gain a game on the Spurs, all the Mavs had to do was protect an 18-point lead that they built late in the second quarter against Memphis.  But they couldn't do it.  Zach Randolph hit an improbable, high-arching 17-footer with 0.3 seconds left over the outstretched arm of Brendan Haywood and the Memphis Grizzlies stunned the Mavs 104-103 at American Airlines Center.   READ MORE

Grizzlies own paint with Tyson Chandler out - Maybe Tyson Chandler would have made the difference.  No doubt the Mavs could have used their starting center against the Grizzlies. After all, Memphis scored 66 points in the paint, which is simply a ridiculous number.  But the blame doesn’t all fall on backup big man Brendan Haywood. The Mavs’ team defense was atrocious in the second half. Haywood, who had six blocks, can’t be expected to make up for mistakes every defensive possession.  “We just didn’t do a good job of shutting the paint off,” Haywood said, a subtle way of pointing the finger at his teammates. “This is a team, if you look out there, there’s not a lot of 3-point shooting out there. We allowed them to score in the paint where they felt comfortable.”    READ MORE

Should Roddy B. upset? If he is, he doesn't show it - After scoring 12 first-quarter points and 15 in 10 first-half minutes, Roddy Beaubois went scoreless while playing only 3:56 during the second half.  He didn't play at all in the fourth quarter.  "The way it is, we've got a lot of tough players who can play," Beaubois said. "I just need to be ready when they call my name, that's it."   READ MORE

Trade that never was towers over the Spurs - Not excited?  Kobe Bryant didn’t change expression.  “Why should I be?” he said.  Phil Jackson was equally impassive, albeit with trademark sarcasm.  “I’m bubbling over,” he said, when no bubbles were visible.  This is how the Lakers were after flexing their muscles and, in Ron Artest’s case, kissing them. They acted as if they knew all along they would reposition their stature.  When they didn’t know all along. As recently as last month, for example, Mitch Kupchak talked out loud about making a trade.  Andrew Bynum for Carmelo Anthony?  That one would have changed the Western Conference, as well as Sunday.   READ MORE

Notes on a scorecard: What happened to the Spurs’ starters? - The Lakers jumped on San Antonio early and didn’t let them up in the Spurs’ most resounding loss of the season.  There were several reasons for the Spurs’ 99-83 defeat at the hands of the defending two-time World Champions.  The most noticeable was the lack of much performance by their starters.  The Spurs’ starters combined for 29 points and were nearly outscored by Kobe Bryant alone. As it was, the Lakers’ starters notched a monumental 67-29 edge.   READ MORE

ProjectSpurs:  Spurs news and notes: Neal sums up loss to Lakers, a franchise record, and more - San Antonio Spurs' Gary Neal summed up today's huge loss to the Los Angeles Lakers:  "They hit us in the mouth from the beginning and by the time we realized it, it was the ninth round and we were down on the scorecard," Spurs guard Gary Neal said.   READ MORE

Jackson denies Lakers ran up the score - It wasn’t difficult to tell how much the Lakers enjoyed blowing out the Spurs at the AT&T Center on Sunday.  Ron Artest flexed his biceps on the sidelines after blocking a shot.  Kobe Bryant turned to the Spurs’ bench after making a 3-pointer and called out, “Yeah.”  Los Angeles coach Phil Jackson, however, denied there was any attempt to embarrass the Spurs further by playing his starters in the fourth quarter of a game his team led by 30 through much of the second half.   READ MORE

There's a lotta Motta in Adelman as he nears milestone - Next victory ties Rockets coach for 10th all-time.  As the new coach at Chemeketa (Ore.) Community College, Rick Adelman could not have known where his latest profession would take him. No one could. He knew, however, how he'd get there.  He was going to run Dick Motta's offense and then, like Motta, tweak it to fit the personnel that came through the program. He had run it for Motta with the Chicago Bulls. He had seen Motta take it to an NBA championship with the Washington Bullets. By the time he was through with his 25 years in coaching, Motta had taken it to 935 wins.  More than two decades later, it has helped Adelman go from Chemeketa back to the NBA and now within a win of tying Motta to move into the top 10 in career coaching wins.   READ MORE

Rockets notes: Dragic picking up Adelman's offense - With 12 points and five assists on Saturday, Goran Dragic had his best, most assertive performance since being acquired from the Suns. But he did not pick up his game by getting more accustomed to the Rockets' offense as much as from the Rockets getting to better know him.  "We tried to simplify things for him," coach Rick Adelman said. "We were just running certain things for him. It's going to take him awhile. He's used to the Phoenix style, pushing and pick-and-roll."   READ MORE

Rockets notes: Adelman credits Hayes - The Rockets' defense has improved in recent games for a variety of reasons, but coach Rick Adelman said the most obvious reason is the same as before, citing the play of Chuck Hayes in particularly tough matchups.  Hayes went from facing Brook Lopez, David West, LaMarcus Aldridge and Blake Griffin in a span of five days, to defending 7-2 Roy Hibbert, the tallest center not on the Rockets.  "It takes everyone having an effort and I don't think we can give enough credit to Chuck," Adelman said. "Of all the things that happen in a game defensively and all the things you try to do, the one thing we have not had to worry about is doubling his guy. He takes the guy and he plays him."   READ MORE

 

 

Maddux tells Rangers pitchers to keep it down - The weather has taken a turn toward spectacular after a wet, chilly start to spring training, which means that ground balls will be hopping over infielders' heads and leading to some misleading Cactus League pitching lines.  Mike Maddux calls the dried-out Arizona infields the "Concrete Jungle," and they can conspire against the foundation of his philosophy as Texas Rangers pitching coach.  He stresses each day the need to command the fastball, throw a first-pitch strike and keep the ball low in the zone so that hitters have no choice but to pound the ball into the ground to any of the Rangers' capable infielders.   READ MORE

Given up for sports dead, Davis is looking good for Texas Rangers - For being left for sports dead less than a year ago, Chris Davis looks surprisingly good.  Really good, actually.  I arrived at Texas Rangers spring training to find him absolutely crushing and acquitting himself well defensively at third base. He had a 3-for-4, home-run, multiple-RBI game Sunday against Milwaukee, which is kind of exactly like his start to spring, which has numbers like .421 for punctuation.  And all of this guarantees him a big bag of nothing for 2011.   READ MORE

Ogando is making most of shot in big leagues - Rangers pitcher Alexi Ogando has a problem with the strike zone.  He can't seem to miss it with his pitches.  It's a great problem to have if you are his manager.   READ MORE

Astros revisit catching variables - Club prefers staying in-house but keeps door open on moves.  Astros owner Drayton McLane has a budget he wants to hit.  General manager Ed Wade is $2 million - and counting - over the prescribed $80 million for payroll. That could grow by the time the Astros open the season.  McLane said Sunday that he's willing to revisit the matter in light of the knee injury that will sideline starting catcher Jason Castro until at least September.  "We're reassessing it," McLane said.  McLane and Wade met Sunday to set financial parameters for going outside the organization to fill the void left by Castro, 23, the No. 10 pick of the 2008 draft.   READ MORE

Postcard from Kissimmee: Barmes' sleight of hand - One of the mesmerizing things to watch in spring training — besides Cameron Diaz sitting next to the visitors' dugout - is a polished fielder taking infield practice.  Watch Astros shortstop Clint Barmes field ground balls, and you can't help but wonder how he breaks in a glove. It's almost as if the ball doesn't touch the glove, Barmes makes the transfer so quickly. Barmes is on only his second glove in a pro career that began in 2000. He has been using his current glove since 2007.  "I practice 'hurry,' " Barmes said. "That way, I never feel rushed in game."   READ MORE

Astros outslugged by Yankees in nail-biting loss - After combining for 10 hits -- all singles -- in Saturday's split-squad losses, the Houston Astros were able to bounce back Sunday afternoon with a stellar 10 extra-base hits against the New York Yankees at Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee, Fla.  However, the Astros were outslugged by New York superstar Alex Rodriguez and the Bronx Bombers en route to a 10-8 loss.   READ MORE

 

 

Dallas Cowboys 2011 NFL Draft: Roy Helu Jr., Filling Marion Barber's Roster Spot - While most analysts and fans alike expect the Cowboys to spend the 2011 NFL Draft rebuilding an aging offensive line and a depleted defensive secondary, there are still issues in the offensive backfield that must be addressed for 2011.  Marion Barber's tenure in Dallas has been a bitter disappointment, and the Cowboys cannot afford to continue to feed him the ball if they wish to jump start their offense. Barber's struggles to produce in Dallas hurt the entire team, not just his own stats, and it's time for Jerry Jones to cut his losses and send Barber on his way.   READ MORE

10 Dallas Cowboys That Need To Go? - FOX Sports chimes in with a list of 10 current Dallas Cowboys players who they say need to go. Of course, in the offseason these kinds of lists are fun entertainment, but I doubt the Cowboys are going to turn over this many players, at least this many that receive significant playing time. Still, almost everybody on the list does bear some scrutiny, so I'll play along.   READ MORE

1987 Strike: A Former Dallas Cowboy Warns Of The Dangers In A Work Stoppage - By now, you've probably heard the fact the if the NFL has a work stoppage after next week's deadline, it will be the first one since way back in 1987. That was a long time ago, but not so long ago that voices don't echo from that distant past.  One of our own, Everson Walls, offers a cautionary tale about the unintended consequences of a work stoppage. Now, the one back in 1987 was was a little different. One, the players went on strike instead of being locked out. Two, that one cost games in an actual season, something we haven't gotten near yet in this particular battle.   READ MORE

Tackling concussions can be jarring - Injuries can be iced, taped, braced or stitched back together. Isn't that the first thing we're taught in sports?  Injuries are for the weak. They're a test of desire and character. How many times have we heard that one?  Perhaps that's why concussions are so tough to understand. Concussions don't play by the rules. Concussions confound, frighten and test us. We know so little about them, and what we do know is terrifying.  Injuries should not be so difficult to detect and uncertain to treat. Injuries should not slumber for 20 years before doing their real and lasting damage.   READ MORE

Will The Texans Sign A Free Agent Nose Tackle? - Last week, Rick Smith signed three players who were already on the roster of the Houston Texans to extensions. One of these players was Shaun Cody, who Gary Kubiak, Rick Smith and apparently Wade Phillips believe can play nose tackle in the new 3-4 defense.  I made the hypothesis at the time that signing Cody meant that they preferred Earl Mitchell as the starter and that the Texans would probably not pursue a nose tackle in free agency, and very well might draft a prospect for Wade to mold for the future.   READ MORE

Texans could find that drafting eleventh overall is not a good spot - If you've looked over player rankings and mock drafts you already realize the Texans could find themselves in a very tough spot at #11 overall in the upcoming NFL draft.  This is a draft with good players at the top that fit Texans needs.  But unfortunately most of the top players that fill needs will be gone when the Texans are on the clock in the first round.  Patrick Peterson, Marcell Dareus and Von Miller will certainly be off the board at 11.  Prince Amukamara is probably gone too after a strong performance at the combine.   READ MORE


Brad Richards likely to miss Monday's game - Stars center Brad Richards will likely miss his tenth straight game when the Dallas Stars take on the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center Monday night.  Stars coach Marc Crawford said Richards, who has been out with concussion-like symptoms, received treatment on Sunday and was “most likely out” for Monday’s game.  Richards has not played since February 13, when he was in the head by Blue Jackets forward Samuel Pahlsson in the final minute of a game at American Airlines Center.   READ MORE

Stars-Kings Preview - The Stars improved to 2-0-1 on their current road trip and ran their points streak to five games (4-0-1) with a 3-2 win in San Jose Saturday. The Stars overcame a 2-1 deficit in the third period on goals by Loui Eriksson and Jason Williams.  “It was a gritty effort,” said Stars coach Marc Crawford. “Anytime you’re behind a goal in an opposition building and you find a way to win, you are doing something special.”   READ MORE

Stars are riding a few key players, but it seems worth the gamble - In a huge 3-2 win over San Jose Saturday, there were a few things to note:  Kari Lehtonen played on back-to-back nights and made his 16th appearance in the last 17 games.  Since returning from a shoulder injury, Jamie Benn has played 20:25, 20:56, 23:01, 22:52, 22:57 and 24:40. The 24:40 came Saturday in a regulation game on the second night of back-to-backs.  Since joining the Stars in a trade from Pittsburgh for James Neal and Matt Niskanen, Alex Goligoski has played: 23:34, 23:17, 24:35, 26:24, 27:13 and 27:41. The 27:41 came Saturday in a regulation game on the second night of back-to-backs.   READ MORE

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MVPTEXAS #Baylor Bears Are Now One of the Big Dogs But Are They the Lead? http://t.co/I0Hn4vur7A
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MVPTEXAS Texas #Longhorns WR John #Harris Proves Charlie #Strong Still Has His Work Cut Out For Him http://t.co/WGDIWWXSuT
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MVPTEXAS Is Houston #Texans Defensive Lineman J.J. #Watt 10-Feet Tall and Bulletproof? http://t.co/ceMRk5xh2D
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MVPTEXAS Spirit of 1995 Taking Over the Dallas #Cowboys? http://t.co/6e6wbjlx6D
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