Sports Morning Headlines-Tuesday, 03/15/11

News from around the Texas Sports Scene for Tuesday, March 15, 2011.

ProjectSpurs: Stats of the Game: Spurs at Heat - The first time these two teams met, the San Antonio Spurs (54-13) beat the Miami Heat (46-21) at the AT&T Center in San Antonio.  This time, the Heat returned the favor, beating the league leading Spurs 110-80 at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami.   READ MORE

Notes on a scorcard: Why Spurs’ lack of ball movement doomed them against Heat - It’s a simple basketball tenet since its humble beginnings when players where shooting at peach baskets.  Namely, if a team shares the ball, it usually results in better shots for a team and a better opportunity to win.  The Spurs have been one of the best in the league this season, ranking among the top six in the league in assists and leading the league in effective field goal percentage — a statistic that adjusts for 3-pointers.  Monday’s 110-80 blowout loss at the hands of Miami showed an early surge offensively, followed by three quarters of some of the biggest struggles this season.   READ MORE

Rockets snap seven-game losing skid against Suns - Hayes thrives with career-high 21 points in victory.  Every calculator in Daryl Morey’s math lab could be put to the test.  It would be tough to figure how many times Monday night the Rockets were in position to put away the Phoenix Suns but could not.  There were huge leads the Rockets could not make last, free throws they could not make down the stretch that would have moved them to just out of reach.  The Rockets — leading from the opening minute and never behind — dared the Suns to catch them and tempted fate until finally, a week after the Rockets lost in Phoenix on a missed 3 at the buzzer, they held their breath as Jared Dudley launched a 3-pointer for the win.   READ MORE

Rockets notes: With Nash out, Suns have big shoes to fill - Suns coach Alvin Gentry has not wanted to consider life after Steve Nash, for obvious reasons. Playing the past two games without him might have forced him to think of the days when rebuilding will be inevitable.  "I'm in denial on that," Gentry said.  Rockets coach Rick Adelman, who has had to adjust on the fly, could tell him what to expect.  "It's going to be huge," Adelman said. "They're not the same team without him. He sets the plate for everybody. Everybody's better because of him. He's a special player. Unless you can get the same type of player, it's going to be a big dropoff for them.   READ MORE

Mavs not wrapped up in possible playoff opponent - In a span of 48 hours, the Dallas Mavericks went from having a chance to be three games ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers for the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference to being only .006 percentage points ahead of the Lakers for the two spot.  That’s what the Mavs’ 96-91 loss to the Lakers on Saturday – coupled with the Lakers’ 97-84 victory over Orlando on Monday -- did to shake up the West standings.  Thus, when the Mavs play at Portland on Tuesday night, they’ll be going against a team they could possible face in the opening round of the playoffs. Or will it be the Blazers and Lakers going at it in the opening round?  With so much still unsettled, the Mavs believe it’s too early to start thinking about first-round playoff matchups.   READ MORE

Kobe, Lakers removed a ray of hope for Mavs - The Mavericks are different, right?  For 20 games, as they strung together an insane amount of W's, I was chastised for not believing Dirk and Co. were better, more playoff ready than in seasons past. Watch the games, I was told.  Watch Tyson Chandler. Watch Roddy B.  Get on board before this bus takes off on a long, long playoff run. And mavericky Maverick watchers like myself, and that includes anybody with a healthy dose of skepticism about this team, almost fell for this trap again.  Then came an AAC loss to Memphis and an almost loss to sorry Minny and a loss to a Chris Paul-less New Orleans team that scrounged together a seven-point comeback in the final 73 seconds. This Mavs bus looked to be in frighteningly mid-April form yet again. Worries really began, though, when Mavs coach Rick Carlisle unleashed his version of Charlie Sheen's Violent Torpedo of Truth on his team after that Hornet meltdown.  "Yeah," Carlisle said. "Soft."   READ MORE

 

 

Postcard from Kissimmee: Keeping it in the family - If the Phillies-Astros games usually take on the feel of a family reuinion, then this was the year that the family was squabbling over the will. Not just because of the Bill Hall-Cole Hamels incident, but because many of the family members no-showed.  As Ed Wade has found himself a frequent trade partner with his old team and picking up a few players who used to call Philly home, these games have always included some pretty serious pre-game hug sessions. Not to mention the need for writers to be running around catching the fanbase up with old friends.   READ MORE

Trio of homers not enough to lift Astros to win over Phillies - After splitting Sunday's matchups against the Detroit Tigers and Atlanta Braves, the Houston Astros returned to action Monday afternoon by hosting standout left-hander Cole Hamels and the Philadelphia Phillies at Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee, Fla.  Although it appeared to be a solid pitchers' duel on paper, Houston starter Nelson Figueroa and Hamels struggled to make it through their scheduled innings, but the Phillies managed to escape with a nail-biting 7-6 victory thanks in part to a ninth-inning run off Astros reliever Fernando Rodriguez (0-1).   READ MORE

Beltre solid, healthy in spring debut - Adrian Beltre came through his first exhibition game with the Rangers healthy, and that was all Texas manager Ron Washington cared about.  Beltre, who had been sidelined by a strained calf, went 1 for 3 in five innings Monday and showed no ill effects of the leg injury in the 5-4 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.  "I felt a little bit rusty," Beltre said. "I felt just a little bit off, but I'm not surprised."   READ MORE

Hamilton Homers To Lead Rangers Past Dodgers 5-4 - Neftali Feliz wants to start for the Texas Rangers after all and took a step in that direction Monday.  Feliz threw four strong innings, Adrian Beltre made his Texas debut and Josh Hamilton hit his first home run in the Rangers’ 5-4 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.  A week ago, Feliz said he was more comfortable closing — a role in which he earned AL rookie of the year honors last season — than starting.  After scattering three runs and a hit with five strikeouts, though, Feliz said while he’s comfortable as a closer he never has stopped working to become part of the Rangers’ starting rotation.  “It was only the pitches, not myself,” Feliz said. “I want to start.”   READ MORE

 

 

The Cowboys During Previous NFL Labor Disputes - The prevailing thought is that a long-term lockout of NFL players will hurt the Cowboys more than some other teams, given that head coach Jason Garrett and new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan need time to make meaningful changes leading to the 2011 season.  Not that work stoppages typically help many teams (except perhaps the Redskins, who won Super Bowl titles during the strike seasons of 1982 and 1987), but the Cowboys have had mixed results when it comes to how past labor disputes have affected the team.   READ MORE

NFL.com writer: Five of top six Cowboys draft busts picked during Jerry Jones era - Since 1967, the Cowboys have drafted 93 players in the first two rounds. Some went on to become bona fide superstars, such as Troy Aikman , Tony Dorsett, Larry Allen , Randy White, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin . Others -- including Jim Jeffcoat, Daryl Johnston and Alvin Harper -- pieced together solid, productive careers.  Then there were the guys who seemed to be picked in a fit of irrational exuberance. They never came close to realizing their projected stardom and will continue to live in ignominy as draft busts.  Adam Rank of NFL.com compiled a list of high-round picks by the Cowboys that regrettably transformed into sunk costs. Interestingly enough, five of the six players Rank highlighted were selected after Jerry Jones became the owner in 1989.   READ MORE

Wade talks & I like / am confused by what I hear - By now I’m sure you’ve seen this article. Wade Phillips goes over several topics relating to the 2011 Houston defense, which still holds many mysteries. Mysteries! One thing that’s not a mystery? Wade’s opinion of Frank Bush as a defensive coach, which he doesn’t discuss openly, but you can read between the lines.  Wade, Gary Kubiak, and Rick Smith have given little hints here and there about what to expect personnel-wise for 2011, but I’m still holding out hope that there is a lot of smoke in all of this speculation.   READ MORE

Winston on Texans’ Nontender of Pollard: “Unfortunate Part of the NFL” - In a recent interview with Sports Radio KILT, Texans offensive right tackle Eric Winston said if the team were to re-sign former starting strong safety Bernard Pollard, then they would have tendered him.  However, Winston said the nontender of his good friend is just the nature of the business:   “You know, that’s the unfortunate part of the NFL. No matter if you’re 16-0 or 0-16, you’re going to have a different team every year. There’s going to be different guys, you’re going to have free agency. I think it’s a chance for him to go maybe sign a decent deal with somebody and go get some money.   READ MORE

 

 


Scouting the enemy (San Jose) _ Sharks in a tough place - Well, the Stars are catching their Pacific Division rival in a very interesting place tonight.  The San Jose Sharks are coming off a gut-wrenching 6-3 loss in Chicago on Monday, playing on the second night of back-to-back games and trying to figure out quite a few things.  First, here is the reaction to the loss, via the San Jose Mercury News.  Second, they have not won in their last three games and are 1-2-2 in their last five, including a 3-2 loss to the Stars in San Jose. Dallas is 3-0-1 against the Sharks this season.   READ MORE

Stars-Sharks Preview - The Stars had an eight-game points streak come to an end with a 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings at American Airlines Center Sunday. After the Stars tied the game with 42.1 seconds remaining, the Kings won it with a goal with 20.8 seconds left.  “It was a tough loss the way we battled back,” said Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas. “We’ve got to be able to close it and get it to overtime. It happened and there is nothing we can do now. We’ve got to focus on the next one.”  Stars coach Marc Crawford said he’ll continue to go with goaltender Kari Lehtonen, who has started ten straight and 19 of the last 21 games for Dallas.  Injuries: F Adam Burish (lower body) is out.   READ MORE

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MVPTEXAS RT @RicRenFSSW: Only twice in 87 years...Kansas State beats OU and Texas in the same season
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MVPTEXAS @JustinCondo @AlexKennedyNBA it ain't them...
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MVPTEXAS RT @TechGameday: The last time #TexasTech allowed a 90+ yard reception was in 2008 (Texas WR Malco Williams - 91 yards - from QB Colt McCoy…
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MVPTEXAS RT @TCUFootball: Deante' Gray with an unbelievable catch and run for a 92-yard TOUCHDOWN! TCU leads 54-20. #hesfast #SCtop10 #TECHvsTCU
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MVPTEXAS RT @nfl: Report: Brian Cushing OUT at least one week http://t.co/3SdnsVpFc4 http://t.co/pYrOqa1S49
 

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