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Sports Morning Headlines-Tuesday, 05/17/11

News from around the Texas Sports Scene for Tuesday, May 17, 2011.

Mavericks make the most of their defining moment - The fun begins tonight with an actual rowdy, loud, proud (and, I daresay, on time?) AAC crowd on hand to watch what many believe will be a Western Conference coronation.  Mavericks in five.  Even I of little faith have Mavs in five.  And all of this happy-happy, joy-joy local May basketball fun is brought to you by the Mavs' good friend and frequent companion in recent postseason, sports disappointment. I submit the catalyst for all this happiness was the ugly Game 4 meltdown in Portland on April 23.  "We just felt the tension. After that game, everybody was upset. The locker room was a mess. And then the plane ride was the longest plane ride. We all just wanted to get home," Mavs big man Tyson Chandler said. "I don't think anybody went on any sports channel or any Web because we understood what everybody was saying about us. We just wanted to get back on the court and prove the naysayers wrong."   READ MORE

Preview: Mavs-Thunder - Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan have been through so many playoff series, they would be good sources to discuss the prevailing themes in the Western Conference finals, like how valuable experience is at this stage and whether there's such thing as too much rest between rounds.  Only, Bryant and Duncan aren't around. For just the second time since 1998, neither the Lakers nor the Spurs will represent the West in the NBA finals.  Instead, it'll either be Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd and the aging-but-rested Dallas Mavericks, or Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the rapidly maturing Oklahoma City Thunder.   READ MORE

Best Durant defender? Answer might surprise - The Dallas Mavericks, as they do against most big-time scorers, will send the cavalry to defend Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant.  "We’re going to have three or four guys ready to guard him," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "[Shawn] Marion will guard him for sure."  The 6-foot-7 Marion is considered the closest thing the Mavs have to a defensive stopper, unless you now count Jason Kidd after his work on Kobe Bryant. But let's not be silly, Kidd will not guard the 6-9 Durant, the playoffs' leading scorer at 28.9 points a game on 45.8 percent shooting. Kidd will have his hands full with stints against explosive 6-3 point guard Russell Westbrook.   READ MORE

Old-But-Rested Mavs Await Rapidly Maturing Thunder - The Western Conference finals between the Mavericks and the Thunder is filled with contrasts.  Dallas has Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd and a bunch of other guys in their 30s. Oklahoma City is led by Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and a bunch of other guys in their 20s.  The Mavericks will be playing for the first time in nine days. The Thunder are coming off a seven-game series that included a triple-overtime and another that needed a single overtime.  Game 1 is Tuesday night in Dallas.   READ MORE

Mavs' Kidd laughs off retirement rumors - Don't give a second thought to any talk you might've heard that Mavericks guard Jason Kidd is considering retirement.  Not gonna happen.  "Nope, I'm not retiring. Not only am I having too much fun — I've also got bills to pay," a smiling Kidd told DallasBasketball.com and FOXSportsSouthwest.com. "I think that's a misunderstanding on somebody's part. But I've got a year left on this contract (at $8.5 million for 2011-12). We'll see what happens after that. But, no, no retirement plans."   READ MORE

Rockets seek lightning in a bottle - Rose-colored glasses for teams in draft lottery.  As slim as the Rockets' lottery chances might be, there has been an inescapable reminder through the playoffs of what is possible.  With every Derrick Rose flight to the rim or free throw with the chant of "MVP" echoing through United Center, teams with the smallest lottery chances know another long shot has come through with spectacular results.  It would be the biggest upset in the history of the lottery if the Rockets jump tonight from their slot as the 14th team to pick all the way to the first pick. But the chances of moving to the top three are slightly better than the Bulls' chance to move to first to grab Rose, when they jumped from the ninth pick to No. 1 in the 2008 draft.   READ MORE

Rockets Likely to Hire Casey - Ok, so there is no source. However, a 2nd meeting has been set up between the Rockets and Casey. I think this is a sign that he's our guy. The first meeting was to discuss what Casey would bring to the team and what he would do in general.  I guess Morey liked what he heard from Casey, so he wants to talk to him again to get Casey's more detailed plan about what he plans to do with the team. Or at least that's my interpretation. I think it's a logical one too, considering McHale and Frank aren't likely to have a 2nd meeting like Casey is.   READ MORE

ProjectSpurs:  Warriors were interested in Budenholzer - According to csnbayarea.com, the Golden State warriors were interested in San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Mike Budenholzer to fill their vacant head coaching position:  The Warriors had interest in San Antonio assistant coach Mike Budenholzer, but Budenholzer indicated at the end of the Spurs' playoff series that while he wanted to be a head coach some day, the time was not now. There is a belief among some around the league that Budenholzer is likely to replace Gregg Popovich when Popovich eventually steps down.   READ MORE

ProjectSpurs:  Parker in Jersey for soccer match - San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker was in Harrison, New Jersey over the weekend to watch a soccer match between the New York Red Bulls and Chivas USA. Parker is a close friend to french star Thierry Henry and even sat in his personal suite.  READ MORE

 

 

 

 

Astros complete sale to Crane, pending approval - Deal will end tenure of McLane, who bought team in 1992.  Shortly after being introduced by Astros owner Drayton McLane as his successor, Jim Crane read a brief statement about his love of baseball and his plans for the future of the franchise, then turned to step down from the podium.  "Whoa," McLane said, putting his hand on Crane's shoulder. "This is just starting."  And with that, the torch of ownership of the Astros began to be passed.   READ MORE

Myers, Downs deliver, but Astros fall to Braves - Righty goes six, third baseman hits solo shot, RBI double.  Strong performances by starter Brett Myers and third baseman Matt Downs weren't enough to carry the Astros to a win Monday night, as they fell to the Braves, 3-2, at Turner Field.  Back in Houston earlier in the day, Astros owner Drayton McLane announced an agreement to sell the club to a group headed by Houston businessman Jim Crane. The deal, which must be approved by MLB owners, came hours before the loss to the Braves.   READ MORE

Rangers' Lewis finds holes in White Sox bats - Colby Lewis delivered a sterling performance on the mound as the Rangers, sparked offensively by Endy Chavez's first three Major League hits in nearly two years, beat the White Sox, 4-0, at U.S. Cellular Field on Monday night.  Lewis enjoyed his fourth straight outing of 7 1/3 innings or longer and won for the third time in his last four appearances. He allowed five hits in completing the shutout, striking out seven and walking one.   READ MORE

Danks, Harrison try to navigate back into win column - In the case of White Sox pitcher John Danks, numbers don't tell the whole story.  His 0-6 record may look ugly on the surface, but Danks' winless season stems from factors beyond his control.  "Johnny is strong, he understands it has been a bad stretch," White Sox teammate Jake Peavy said. "But in four or five of those starts, he has pitched well enough to win. Going into that last start, his numbers across the board were very good other than the won-loss. And I know he didn't throw the ball how he wanted to in his last start. I charted that game and he didn't pitch awfully bad."   READ MORE

 

 

 

Appeals court backs NFL, lockout remains in place - The NFL’s lockout remains in place, a federal appeals court ruled Monday. That means the league likely won’t get back to business until at least next month — and maybe much longer than that.  The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the lockout can stay until a full appeal is heard on whether it is legal. That hearing is scheduled for June 3 in St. Louis, before the same panel that issued this 2-1 decision.  The appellate court said it believes the NFL has proven it “likely will suffer some degree of irreparable harm without a stay.” The court also cast doubt on the conclusions of U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson, who ruled April 25 that the lockout should be lifted to save the players from irreversible damage. The 8th Circuit panel put her decision on hold four days later.  “The league has made a strong showing that it is likely to succeed on the merits,” the appellate court majority wrote.   READ MORE

Jason Garrett Honored at Pat Summerall Humble Beginnings Awards Luncheon - Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett was honored at the 11th Annual Pat Summerall Humble Beginnings Luncheon on Monday, May 16 in Dallas. Garrett was selected for the honor for the positive leadership he brings both on and off the football field.  Benefiting the Austin Street Centre, the Humble Beginnings luncheon raises funds for the 28-year-old homeless care center in downtown and the vital outreach work they do with the transitional population of Dallas.  “I’ve come to learn a lot about the Austin Street shelter through this luncheon," said Garrett. "Everyone says the same thing about it: It’s just a rare place. It’s been around close to 30 years now and the impact it’s made on so many people’s lives has been significant."   READ MORE

Romo's OK by Staubach - If you don't think Tony Romo is the right quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, then you don't see eye-to-eye with the man many consider the greatest Cowboy of all-time.  On Monday, Cowboys Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach was asked about the current signal caller in Dallas. And it's evident that the two-time Super Bowl champion has Romo's back.  "He hasn't been the problem," Staubach told Rainer Sabin of The Dallas Morning News. "He's done unbelievable. He's right at the top of the NFL as far as a quarterback -- as far as his statistics and the things he does. He moves around the pocket. He makes great plays."   READ MORE

Texans DC Phillips Attending Dancing With the Stars - Vic Carucci tweeted that Houston Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips will be in attendance to tonights’ Dancing with the Stars episode on ABC.  Phillips will be in his first season as defensive coordinator for the Texans in 2011.   READ MORE

PFW Hears Texans are Possible Suitors for Veteran Panthers WR Steve Smith - Pro Football Weekly reported that current-Carolina Panther wide receiver Steve Smith may be on his way out of Carolina, and possibly on his way to Houston, Texas.  That’s because Steve Smith wants to play for a winning team, something desired by many superstar veterans who never have their shot at a championship.  He has not formally requested a trade, and he said that him putting his house up to sale was to keep his family humble.  The Chargers and Ravens were his other notable interested teams.   READ MORE

 

 


Stars sign prospect John Klingberg - The Dallas Stars have signed defenseman John Klingberg, a fifth-round pick in the 2010 draft. Klingberg is expected to play in Finland's top league next season. You can read a recent profile I did on Klingberg here. And below is the release on the signing from the Stars.  The Dallas Stars announced today that the club has signed defenseman John Klingberg to a three-year entry level contract.   READ MORE

Stargazing: Realignment Talk Increasing as Thrashers' Uncertainty Mounts - As the third round of the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs commences the hockey communities collective attention is as much off the ice as it is on. The Phoenix Coyotes narrowly escaped the clutches of Winnipeg for at least one more season full of Dave Tippett's now famous one-man forecheck and cycle but now the Atlanta Thrashers find themselves in an even worse predicament with rumors of their demise and departure reaching a fever pitch with new reports today.   READ MORE


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