Sports Morning Headlines-Monday, 03/21/11

News from around the Texas Sports Scene for Monday, March 21, 2011.

Project Spurs:  Number 21 about to move into 21st place - Former NBA and San Antonio Spurs player Dennis Rodman was known for being a rebound-machine on the court. For his career, he averaged 13.1 rebounds per game and in the 1991-1992 season, Rodman averaged a career best 18.7 rebounds per game. He finished with a career total of 11,954 rebounds ranking him 21 on the NBA career rebounding list.  However, another Spur is on the verge of surpassing Rodman -- Tim Duncan.   READ MORE

Novak becomes ninth Spur to lead team in scoring this season - Steve Novak’s big night Saturday against Charlotte added another scoring leader to the Spurs’ swelling list.  Novak’s season-best 19-point effort in the Spurs’ 109-98 victory over the Bobcats enabled him to become the ninth different Spur this season to lead the team in scoring.  Through the first 69 games of the season, 62 times a Spur has led the team in scoring. And in seven other games, two Spurs have shared scoring honors.   READ MORE

Project Spurs:  Video: Popovich liked the Spurs' focus vs. Bobcats - The San Antonio Spurs took care of the Charlotte Bobcats last night, beating Charlotte 109-98 in San Antonio.  Afterwards, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich spoke on the team's focus after the huge win against the Dallas Mavericks on the road. In particular, Popovich felt Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili set the tone for the Spurs early versus Charlotte.   WATCH VIDEO

Mavericks F Marion out with sprained wrist - Forward Shawn Marion(notes) missed the Mavericks’ game against the Golden State Warriors on Sunday with a sprained right wrist.  Marion was hurt Friday against San Antonio when his hand banged into teammate Rodrigue Beaubois’(notes) hand while trying to block a shot by Tony Parker.  Marion has been receiving treatment and is wearing a wrist brace. He was confident he’d be able to return to the next team practice and would be available for Thursday night’s home game against Minnesota.   READ MORE

Rapid reaction: Mavs 101, Warriors 73 - How it happened: Peja Stojakovic made a rousing return to the Mavericks lineup Sunday with 17 points. Nine came in succession on three 3-pointers to open the second quarter that extended Dallas' 11-point lead to 40-23.  From there the Mavs (49-31), who played without Shawn Marion (sprained right wrist), fended off several Golden State rallies and then absolutely shellacked the Warriors in the fourth quarter, 25-10. The Warriors climbed to within 60-56 at the 6:54 mark of the third quarter, but an 8-0 Mavs run extended the lead again. And then, the Mavs did something they don't always do: They stuck a fork in the Warriors.  The 101-73 margin marked the fewest points allowed by the Mavs this season and the largest margin of victory.   READ MORE

Chandler, Smith embody what U.S. national basketball team is all about - It was a quick ceremony, so we feel compelled to give Tyson Chandler and Casey Smith their proper due after they received their world championship rings at halftime of Sunday night's game against the Warriors.  Chandler was a center for the U.S. team that won it all in Turkey last summer. A USA Basketball representative was on hand to give the pair their championship rings.  Smith, the Mavericks' athletic trainer who is one of the most highly regarded in the business, worked in the same capacity for the U.S. team and will be a member of the team that goes to the Olympics in London in 2012.   READ MORE

Lowry gets triple-double, leads Rockets past rival Jazz - The shooting was off, the crowd sleepy. It did not matter.  For weeks, Rick Adelman had been preaching the virtues of keeping it close and triumphing in the end, but he was talking then about the playoff chase.  That had been disaster in recent years for the Rockets against the Utah Jazz, but something has changed in the Rockets this month. They struggled and scrapped, but with the game on the line, they took over, pulling away for a 110-108 win Sunday at Toyota Center.   READ MORE

Former NBA lottery pick Thabeet joins Vipers - It wasn’t too difficult to spot Hasheem Thabeet on Sunday, as the newest addition to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers literally stood out during his first practice after being assigned to the team by the Houston Rockets.  The 7-foot-3 Thabeet towered over his new teammates as they worked out in anticipation of Monday night's game against the Idaho Stampede at State Farm Arena. He’s expected to be in the starting lineup and add much-needed size to a Vipers frontline whose tallest listed player before Thabeet’s arrival was 6-10.   READ MORE

Following the new leaders - Lowry, Hayes step up after trade to exert influence.  The idea — more of a Rick Adelman order than a notion — was to have Kyle Lowry and Chuck Hayes become more vocal.  That job had fallen to Shane Battier. The practice speeches and timeout demands were his. The Rockets heard his voice before they huddled and when they gathered. When Battier was traded, the Rockets knew that more than the starting small forward would change.  But that voice in their ears turned out to be just the start.   READ MORE

 

 

 

Tomko making inspired bid to earn roster spot - Brett Tomko wasn't even on the Rangers' roster coming into Spring Training. But he could be on Opening Day. He has come from nowhere to put in a bid to be the Rangers' long reliever.  The Rangers tested him in that role on Sunday, and he did a nice job in Texas' 5-2 win over Kansas City. Tomko took over in the bottom of the sixth inning with a 3-1 lead and made it stand up. He allowed one run in four innings, and the Rangers snapped a five-game losing streak. Tomko allowed four hits, walked two and struck out two.  "He went out and gave us four good innings," manager Ron Washington said. "He gives us experience and has four pitches he can throw for strikes. He represented himself very well today."   READ MORE

Ogando expresses willingness to close - If the Rangers move Neftali Feliz into the rotation, the Rangers will need a closer to replace him. Alexi Ogando is willing to do it.  "Of course I would love to do it," Ogando said. "I feel I have command of my two main pitches, my fastball and slider. If I have that, I can do it."  The Rangers haven't asked him yet. They still don't know if Feliz is going to the rotation. That decision hasn't been made yet.   READ MORE

Moreland leads Rangers to Surprise title - First baseman homers as Texas wins spring series vs. Kansas City.  The 2010 American League champion Texas Rangers are also 2011 champions of the Surprise Spring Training complex.  The Rangers downed their co-tenants, the Kansas City Royals, 5-2, on Sunday at Surprise Stadium, winning two of the three Cactus League games between the clubs.  Royals starter Vin Mazzaro, competing with Sean O'Sullivan for the job as fifth starter, went five innings and gave up two runs.   READ MORE

Sanchez's back issues concern Mills - Astros manager Brad Mills admitted Sunday he's concerned about the back condition of infielder Angel Sanchez, who's trying to make the club in a reserve role. Sanchez only has 28 at-bats and is hitting .250.  Sanchez has been limited since straining his upper back swinging the bat last week. He took ground balls Saturday and was hoping to be able to swing a bat Sunday, but Mills didn't expect him to play in a game until Wednesday.  "We want to make sure we can get his back straightened out and get going," Mills said. "Right now, I don't have him playing until Wednesday I know he'd like to play before that, but I want to make sure he's 100 percent so we don't have any regress with that.   READ MORE

Wright making transition to sidearmer - Left-hander Wesley Wright has been working closely with Astros pitching coach Brad Arnsberg in the last week to lower his arm slot and make the transition into a sidearm pitcher.  Wright, who had given up eight earned runs in six innings this spring before Sunday, has tinkered with the new arm slot in one Grapefruit League game and will continue to work closely with Arnsberg to complete the transition.  "The results haven't been great the last couple of seasons for Wesley," general manager Ed Wade said. "There was internal discussion, even during the winter, of the possibility of dropping him down. Wes and Arnie got together probably 10 days ago and talked about it, and in one of his relief appearances he dabbled in it and threw a few good pitches.   READ MORE

Astros unlikely to attend workout of LHP Doug Davis - Free-agent left-hander Doug Davis, who has posted double-figure victories five times in his career, will work out in front of a handful of MLB teams Thursday in Tempe, Ariz., as a first-step process in potentially landing a major or minor league contract for 2011.  However, one of those teams is unlikely to be the Houston Astros.  In an email interview with Examiner.com, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com stated it never hurts for teams to take a look at a cost-effective, left-handed starting pitcher with a track record of durability, but at the same time, he doesn't expect the Astros to be interested.   READ MORE

 

 

 

 

Jerry Jones holds court in New Orleans - Cowboys owner Jerry Jones speaks at length with reporters outside the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans, site of the NFL owners' meetings.   WATCH VIDEO

Jerry Jones said he didnt try to intimidate players and didn't walk out - Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was fingered as a symbol of the perceived disrespect of the owners by the players when he was accused of trying to intimidate the players and walking out of a mediation session two weeks ago. Jones talked about the issue for the first time last night at a reception to open the NFL owners meetings in New Orleans. He doesn't deny making gestures with his hands because that's how he talks nor walking away. But Jones said the sources who reported his actions to Sports Illustrated for a story published last week had their timing wrong. He said he didn't up and walk away until at least 15 minutes after he he finished talking. So there was no truth to the report that he challenged the players and then walked out.   READ MORE

Bryan McCann Responds To Arrest - Cowboys cornerback Bryan McCann was charged with public intoxication earlier today, following his arrest. McCann was released at approximately 11 am, and he has since released a statement claiming that he was not drunk.  “I was not intoxicated and did not pose a danger to myself or others,” McCann said in a statement released through his agent John Biggins. “I am very grateful that, due to the Constitution and Americans’ strong and enduring belief in due process, I am presumed innocent of this public intoxication charge because I am innocent.   READ MORE

Texans Owner Disappointed Negotiations Ceased - Texans owner Bob McNair told John McClain of the Houston Chronicle this past week that he was disappointed that owners and NFLPA negotiations ceased. McNair has remained a steady proponent of finding common grounds for a new collective bargaining agreement; however, the players association’s decertification was a dagger in McNair’s optimism.  Yet, McNair’s remaining optimistic.  “I think we’re going to get it resolved before too much damage is done.  We’re (owners) going to do everything we can to negotiate an agreement.”  Furthermore, McNair thinks they players were too quick to leave the negotiating table.   READ MORE

Texans players: Bob McNair could help labor talks - The Houston Texans' players want owner Bob McNair to get in the game.  The labor negotiating game, that is.  McNair is regarded as a reasonable, moderate voice on league issues.  And with the lockout ongoing and no negotiating sessions currently scheduled as they head to federal court for a preliminary hearing on April 6, players told the Houston Chronicle they want to see McNair at the boardroom table.  They're probably not just buttering him up, too. McNair is highly respected by players and owners.   READ MORE

Run-N-Shoot Era Houston Oiler Favorite Drew Hill Dies In Atlanta - Former Houston Oiler wide receiver Drew Hill has died in an Atlanta hospital at the age of 54 after suffering multiple strokes.  Hill was a favorite target of quarterback Warren Moon during the infamous "Run-n-Shoot" era of the Houston Oilers. Hill's career in Houston ran from 1985-1991, but his entire NFL career was a long one beginning in 1979 with the Los Angeles Rams and ending with the Atlanta Falcons in 1993.   READ MORE

 

 


Youngsters win Pros vs. Prospects game, 8-6 - Former Dallas Stars great Jere Lehtinen scored two goals and earned first star honors, but the young guns of the Texas Tornado ended up on the winning side of the fifth annual Pros vs. Prospects Charity Classic with a 8-6 win Sunday afternoon at the Dr Pepper Arena in Frisco. Tornado forward Mike Fleming had two goals and an assist in the win for Texas.  It didn't take the Pros team long to get on the scoreboard as former Dallas Star Greg Adams lit the lamp as he fired a drive through Tornado goaltender Jake Stafford's blocker side. Assisting on the goal was former Dallas Stars goaltender Ed Belfour, who was playing defense during the game.   READ MORE

Grossman, Skrastins possibly out for Wednesday's game - I talked to a couple of people with the Stars today, and this is basically the information I got (although it's not easy to get information right now on injuries with this team).  Nicklas Grossman suffered a knee injury of some sort on Saturday. Grossman missed 11 games with a hip injury and was playing his fifth game since returning on Saturday when he left the game in the first period. However, this new injury had nothing to do with the hip and appears to be a twisted knee. He will not get a full evaluation until Monday, so the Stars will have better information at that time.  Karlis Skrastins was cut by a skate blade on the thigh that may have penetrated some muscle. He had some stitches, but the real concern is about the muscle.  Both will potentially be out when the Stars play host to the Ducks on Wednesday to end this seven-game homestand.   READ MORE

Three Day Break Will Be Good For Stars Health, Hard in the Standings - It was only five games ago when the Stars celebrated their triumphant return to health with a full compliment of players against the Minnesota Wild. That lasted all of about 2 hours before Adam Burish left the game with a leg injury and things have been getting worse since. The list now looks like Burish, Loui Eriksson, Karlis Skrastins and Nick Grossman, or, half of their special teams players.  So one game in six days comes at a good time for their aching heads, legs, hips and whatever else, but it will be extremely tough to watch in the standings.   READ MORE
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