Sports Morning Headlines-Monday, 05/16/11

News from around the Texas Sports Scene for Monday, May 16, 2011.

It's Mavericks-Thunder in Western Conference finals - The Thunder finally finished off Memphis with their 105-90 Game 7 victory Sunday afternoon, in which Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were spectacular.  That’s both the good news and the bad news for the Mavericks.  It’s good that the Thunder’s incomparable duo went off like that against somebody else. The bad news is that they appear to have no fear in them going forward. They handled Game 7 pressure with no problem at all as the Thunder put the game away and didn’t have to sweat it in the fourth quarter.  The Mavericks will open the Western Conference finals at American Airlines Center on Tuesday night. Oklahoma City will be playing on relatively short rest. But really, when your superstars are 22 years old, does it matter?   READ MORE

Fact Checking Rick Carlisle: Is Dirk A Top Ten Player? - Dirk Nowitzki’s performance during this year’s playoffs has drawn wide praise and helped land the team in the Western Conference Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder.  While much attention was paid to Charles Barkley’s statement that Nowitzki was a better player than the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, the highest praise came from Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, who tagged Nowitzki as a top ten all-time player.  While Carlisle’s words were mostly seen as hyperbole, the topic was discussed Sunday on CBS 11’s “The Score.”   READ MORE

Mavs, Thunder begin quest for the finals - So ends The Rest. Now begins The Quest.  Each of the coaches in the upcoming Western Conference finals is trying to reach his first-ever NBA Finals, which means Dallas' Rick Carlisle and Oklahoma City's Scott Brooks have come a long way since rooming together as members of the 1987 Albany Patroons of the Continental Basketball Association.  Also a long time comin': The Thunder's elimination of the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday in Game 7 of a tight, physical series that left the Mavericks watching and waiting . . . and waiting . . . and waiting.   READ MORE

Next up for Dallas Mavericks: Thunder on Tuesday - The Western Conference Finals against the Dallas Mavericks starts at 8 p.m. Tuesday at American Airlines Center in Dallas.  Memphis made the best postseason run in its history — having never even won a playoff game before this year — but couldn’t become the first No. 8 seed to reach the West finals.  Lionel Hollins pulled the Grizzlies’ starters with just over 2 1/2 minutes left, after Durant hung on the rim and yelled after his second dunk of the closing minutes. Scott Brooks followed at his next chance, with Durant calmly raising his right fist as he to the sidelines with the sellout crowd standing and roaring at its loudest.  Fans started chanting “We want Dallas!” in the final minute. The Thunder will start the Western Conference finals Tuesday night against the Mavericks, just down Interstate 35.   READ MORE

Houston Rockets: Lawrence Frank Should Emerge as Next Head Coach - Think of all the times a friend or relative dumped a significant other and moved on to someone, shall we say, less appealing.  The old mate was nice, attractive, fun to be around—the perfect fit. After spending a few hours with the new one, you whisper in the closest ear, "Wait, he/she left her/him for that?"  That's exactly how fans of the Houston Rockets are going to feel when the organization's never-ending search for its next head coach finally reaches a conclusion. Word out of Houston is owner Les Alexander and general manager Daryl Morey have narrowed it down to a list of three finalists: Dwayne Casey, Lawrence Frank and Kevin McHale.  Seriously? Those are your finalists?   READ MORE

Yao Ming files lawsuit against Chinese company - China’s official news agency says Yao Ming has sued a sportswear maker for allegedly using his name and logo to sell its products.  Xinhua News Agency reported Friday that the injured Houston Rockets center had sued Wuhan Yunhe Sharks Sportswear Co. for putting his name and logo “Yao Ming Era” on its shoes. It said the lawsuit was filed in Wuhan, the capital of central Hubei province.   READ MORE

ProjectSpurs:  Pop takes aim at Rondo, irks Celtics fans - It was one of the most memorable moments in this year's NBA playoffs. Boston Celtics' Rajon Rondo suffered a dislocated elbow versus the Miami Heat in the East semifinals. Rondo left the court only to make a return to the court minutes later to help Boston to a win.  San Antonio Spurs' Manu Ginobili suffered a hyperextended right elbow in the Spurs' final game of the season versus the Phoenix Suns but unlike Rondo, he did not return to the game, sat out game one of the series against the Memphis Grizzlies, and came back to the court in game two.  Many compared Rondo's quick return to the court to the infamous Willis Reed moment but don't tell that to Spurs coach Gregg Popovich who thinks otherwise:  “It’s really been hard to watch the playoffs and have them make Rondo out like Willis Reed”.   READ MORE

Pop’s offseason goal: Discover Duncan’s sidekick - As he has for 14 years running, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich expects to be able to chisel Tim Duncan’s name into his starting lineup for the 2011-12 campaign, whenever it begins.  Though Duncan has passed his 35th birthday, he remains under contract for next season, and Popovich sees no reason to doubt the two-time MVP will return for another go-round.  “Timmy’s given me no indication he’s considering retiring, or anything like that,” Popovich said.  In what has seemed to be an annual offseason ritual ever since David Robinson hung up his Nikes, the search is on for someone to be Duncan’s frontcourt running mate.   READ MORE

 

 

 

 

Quick pitch: Against Angels, two out of three ain't bad for the Rangers - The Rangers did what they needed to do most over the weekend: They won a series.  The Rangers' 5-4 win Sunday didn't put them back in first place, but it did give the Rangers their first series win since sweeping Kansas City April 22-24. The Rangers had gone five consecutive series without a win.  Sunday's win, built from a pair of homers from 3B Adrian Beltre and 1B Chris Davis and a soft eighth-inning single from Davis, also drew the Rangers back to within one half game of the Angels in the AL West. That's no small feat considering the Rangers went only 5-7 against the division in a two-plus week stretch of games.   READ MORE

Bullpen redeems itself in Rangers victory - The Texas Rangers' bullpen has been reeling with injury after injury, but Neftali Feliz gives it a much-needed boost at the back end.  It wasn't more evident than on Sunday when Feliz converted his eighth save of the season with a scoreless ninth in the Rangers' 5-4 victory over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.  Feliz wasn't available on Saturday after a weight session made him tired, and downplayed any lingering concerns about the health of his right shoulder.  "It wasn't really up to me if I could pitch [Saturday]," Feliz said. "But I'm OK and I feel fine. I feel I can pitch on back-to-back days, or even three days in a row."  That would be critical for a rag-tag Rangers bullpen that has had to rely on veteran left-hander Darren Oliver late in games more than it'd like. It's not that Oliver has pitched poorly, rather that he is on pace for a career-high in appearances as he already has a team-high 17.   READ MORE

Hamilton could make rehab start Wednesday - Josh Hamilton could be headed on a medical rehabilitation assignment as soon as Wednesday and should return to the Texas Rangers' lineup during their next homestand.  Hamilton took batting practice Sunday with his teammates for a third straight day and got some additional swings after the Rangers had cleared the field.  The reigning American League MVP will be with the Rangers today and Tuesday in Chicago and have a CT scan in Arlington on Wednesday. If the scan is clean and Dr. Keith Meister gives the all-clear, Hamilton could be the designated hitter for Double A Frisco that night.   READ MORE

Washington not worried about struggling Oliver - Darren Oliver is tied for the Major League-lead among relievers with four losses, the latest coming after Maicer Izturis' single in the ninth in the Rangers' 3-2 loss to the Angels on Saturday.  Oliver has a team-high 17 appearances, six more than Arthur Rhodes and Neftali Feliz. Oliver's had to fill in as closer for Feliz, and he's had to take some setup innings that usually would go to injured reliever Darren O'Day, who is on the 60-day disabled list.  It's been a heavy workload.   READ MORE

Aneury's start turns sour in fifth as Astros fall - It started innocently enough, with a popup in the middle of the infield in the fifth inning that the Astros misplayed into an error. That helped to get the Mets going, and they didn't stop until Justin Turner hit a three-run homer an inning later to all but bury the Astros.  A picturesque day at Minute Maid Park and a promising start by Astros right-hander Aneury Rodriguez quickly gave way to two innings of sheer misery that allowed the Mets to pull away with a 7-4 victory Sunday to take the series.  "That fifth inning was a tough inning for us," Astros shortstop Clint Barmes said. "The fly ball on the infield needs to be caught, and they got it rolling from there and took advantage, and they had some clutch hits."    READ MORE

Houston Astros: 5 Possible Midseason Call-Ups - To say the Astros have struggled so far this season would be an understatement.  As of Sunday, they have the second-worst record in the majors at 15-25 and dropped two of three this past weekend to the Mets at home.  When a team struggles this much, there are generally a number of call-ups from the minors to give players experience and allow them to be evaluated by management.  The Astros are in a different situation though as they already experienced that situation last year with midseason promotions of Chris Johnson, Brett Wallace, Angel Sanchez and Mark Melancon.  Add in the fact the Astros have one of the weaker farm systems in the majors, and pickings are slim for Houston.   READ MORE

Houston Astros: Team Sold, Press Conference on Monday - It has been reported by the Houston Chronicle that the Houston Astros will hold a press conference on Monday (May 16) to announce the team has been sold to a group led by Jim Crane.  The transaction would not be official until Major League Baseball officially approves the transaction.  The deal, which is reportedly for $680 million, would be completed later this summer.  Current owner Drayton McLane said the deal was not signed as of yet, as attorneys from both sides were still looking over it.  When all is said and done, this could be a great thing for the Astros and their fans.  Look what happened to the Texas Rangers once Nolan Ryan took over. Things were drastically changed and it led them to a World Series.   READ MORE

Keppinger close to return - The Astros will transfer the rehab assignment of infielder Jeff Keppinger to Triple-A Oklahoma City on Monday, elevating him one rung up the organizational ladder and one step closer to rejoining the Astros' roster.  For a club in search of consistency at the plate, the addition of another veteran hitter should bolster a lineup featuring various combinations. Even if Keppinger, who underwent offseason surgery on his left foot, merely supplements the platoon of Bill Hall and Angel Sanchez at second base, his secondary role as a bench contributor should strengthen a group climbing the National League ranks in pinch-hitting.   READ MORE

Murphy's walk against Astros draws attention - Mets first baseman Daniel Murphy drew an important walk off Astros starter Aneury Rodriguez in the sixth inning of Sunday's 7-4 win over Houston.  Justin Turner followed Murphy's walk, and a single by Jason Bay, with a three-run homer.  Some thought that Murphy actually walked on three balls. But second-base umpire Angel Hernandez, the crew chief, called the third ball in the sequence when Rodriguez touched his fingers to his mouth.   READ MORE

 

 

 

 

How much of an impact can strength coach Mike Woicik make? Former Cowboys Emmitt, 'Moose' explain - The tone could have already been set, the expectations established and the foundation laid. But, alas, the lockout happened and everything was put on hold.  For the Cowboys' management, perhaps the greatest lament caused by the NFL's ongoing labor dispute concerns the team's inability to work out this offseason under the supervision of strength and conditioning coach Mike Woicik.  Woicik, who spent the last 11 seasons serving in a similar capacity with the New England Patriots , was rehired in February by the franchise where he earned three of his six Super Bowl rings.  From 1990-1996, Woicik worked behind the scenes in Dallas, making few headlines. But in the eyes of the players who received all the glory, Woicik deserves some credit for the contributions he made toward the Cowboys' last dynasty.   READ MORE

Why Jerry Jones Has Done More Good Than Harm for the Dallas Cowboys as of Late - If anything, Jerry Jones is a dreamer. He went after wide receiver Roy Williams to bring some extra offensive fire power to his team. Double J drafted the explosiveness that is Desmond "Dez" Bryant and picked Felix Jones over former Arkansas running back Darren McFadden.  Think he wasn't dreaming of a Super Bowl when he made those deals?  Jones has done everything in his power, be it good or bad, to improve his team of Cowboys.  Dallas won its first playoff game since 1996 a couple of seasons ago behind the arm of Tony Romo, a free agent signed by brother Jones.  So while Cowboys fans may pull their Dallas hats over their faces and squint at some of Jerry’s decisions, Jerry has actually done more good for the squad than harm.   READ MORE

Ron Springs Funeral Details Set: Wake Wednesday at Sparkman-Hillcrest, Funeral Thursday at Covenant Church - According to former teamate and organ donor Everson Walls, a wake for former Cowboys running back Ron Springs is set for Wednesday from 5-8 p.m. at the Sparkman-Hillcrest Funeral Home in Dallas. Walls said the funeral will be held at 10 am Thursday at Covenant Church on Trinity Mills in Carrollton.  Springs, 54, passed last Thursday at Medical City Dallas after being in a coma since 2007.   READ MORE

Houston Texans Could Look to Add a 2nd Wide Receiving Option - Wide Receiver may not be a top priority for the Houston Texans this off season but with most of the draft emphasis being lent to Wade Phillips new defense. We figured what better way to spend some off season meandering, thinking about ways to make the Texans offense that much more explosive.  Let’s all face the truth. The Texans are still waiting for Jacoby Jones to turn the corner and make the leap to that true number two receiving option opposite Andre Johnson. And Kevin Walter, although efficient, isn’t that sexy number two that every fan craves. Most of us are already convinced that Andre Johnson is the best wide receiver in the game and doesn’t exactly require a second option to take away the double teams. Johnson seems to be un-phased by the double coverage and quite frankly it doesn’t seem to matter if Johnson is doubled or not…Johnson is still going to come down with the ball!   READ MORE

 

 

 


Dallas Stars Prospects: Notes and Stats - Stars defense prospect Hubert Labrie’s bid to make it to the Memorial Cup ended Sunday night as his Gatineau Olympiques lost 3-2 in double overtime to St. John Sea Dogs, who won the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s President’s Cup final in six games.  Labrie had one assist, six penalty minutes and a minus-one rating in Sunday’s game. He ended the playoffs with 12 points (4 goals, 8 assists) and a league-high plus-17 rating in 24 games.   READ MORE

Despite some difficult circumstances, gritty Segal enjoyed strong season - One of the goals set by the Dallas Stars before the 2010-11 season was to become tougher to play against, and thanks to an impressive stable of gritty forwards that populate their third and fourth lines, they certainly achieved that aim.  One player in particular who helped provide that rugged toughness club management was seeking is 27-year-old winger Brandon Segal, who, despite a money-influenced mid-season assignment to AHL Texas, established himself as a valuable contributor.  In 46 games with the big club, the 6-foot-2, 212-pound native of Richmond, BC produced five goals and 10 points, while totaling 41 penalty minutes.  He believed his performance, which included 91 hits, good for fifth among Stars forwards, was particularly effective after his recall from the farm squad for the final 12 games of the season.   READ MORE

Is Dallas Stars' Karlis Skrastins Considering Move to KHL? - Is Dallas Stars defenseman Karlis Skrastins considering a move to the KHL in Russia for the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl?  The answer might be a resounding no, but there seems to be enough foreign language smoke on the internet to indicate that a fire might be burning...somewhere, or at least someone in Europe has started a rumor about it.  Hockey is a funny sport sometimes in that we rely on Google translations and hearsay when news comes out of foreign countries and this may or may not be one of those times. If your Russian or Latvian is proficient maybe you can help us out. (seriously...).   READ MORE

comments
MVPTEXAS RT @dallasmavs: Coach asking the team to close this game out! #DALvsUTA
17hreplyretweetfavorite
MVPTEXAS RT @BallinWithBryan: The RUN DMC is truly legit. Genius. Wow. Solid job, @TheWellDelivers. http://t.co/yK9bcVtLBI
18hreplyretweetfavorite
MVPTEXAS RT @dallasmavs: Mavs starting line up! Who's ready?? #DALvsUTA https://t.co/gsB2EiTQvi
18hreplyretweetfavorite
MVPTEXAS RT @bustedcoverage: Have no issue with this at all http://t.co/1cpgVSxx27
 

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...

NFL News

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