More March sports takes....
-- The Sharks lost again last night. This time on the road in Vancouver 3-1. Another uninspired effort by San Jose. The floundering squad managed only 29 shots on net (the exact amount they've been averaging over their past 8 games... hmmm...
-- Only Dan Boyle (9), Patrick Marleau (3), and newcomer Travis Moen (3) managed more than 2 shots on goal
-- They may be on a big slide, but it's no fault of Boyle's. The defenseman logged an otherworldly 30 minutes of ice time against the Canucks.
-- Joe Pavelski has been the Sharks' best player over the past month. He does everything you could ask of a player. He scores, backchecks well, kills penalties, blocks shots, and despite his smaller stature, never backs down. Good man, Little Joe.
-- Anyone else flabbergasted that Terrell Owens ended up in Buffalo? Even after knowing about it for 6 hours, seeing him in a Bills hat at that press conference made me do three or four double takes.
-- This is a great move for the Bills. With 90 year-old owner Ralph Wilson eyeing the more lucrative Toronto market, the Bills needed to make a splash somehow. ESPN will now have to pay attention to Buffalo. Good for them. The best things to happen to the city of Buffalo in the last 10 years are the Sabres getting hosed in the '99 Stanley Cup Finals and the movie Bruce Almighty.
-- If Trent Edwards continues where he began last year and their offensive line improves, Buffalo might put up some points. Marshawn Lynch, Lee Evans, and TO ain't bad!
-- Does anyone know exactly where all this Raiders/49ers Owens speculation came from? Is this really what it's come down to? Real sports journalists speculating that Owens would end up with the Raiders because Al Davis is the only one crazy enough to do it? As for the Niners... even the Yorks aren't dumb enough to bring back TO. The guy spit in our faces on his way out of town (just like everywhere else he's been).
-- As of Friday, the San Francisco Giants and Kansas City Royals were leading Spring Training with 17 homers apiece. In case you were wondering if Spring Training is an indication of anything... there's your answer.
-- The Giants made the best move of their offseason by releasing Dave Roberts. His absurd $7M salary is still owed to him, but at least now the Giants can give a more productive player or youngster a roster spot.
-- Interesting moves by the A's this offseason by bringing in Orlando Cabrera and Nomar Garciaparra. Wouldn't it be ironic if this was the season that Bobby Crosby finally broke out? I mean, he was working out and hitting with Mark McGwire all offseason...
That means he's probably stronger and has a better approach at the plate. The A's would love to move him and his $5.25M salary, but won't be able to unless the Yankees make a desperate move. There are rumors that they will try to trade for Crosby or KC's Mark Teahen to play 3rd base until A-Rod gets back. That, or Oakland will have to eat part of his salary, something they don't want to do.
-- The Warriors mess is worse than ever. Don Nelson is positioning himself for a hasty exit. No one knows when it will be, but it will be within the next 6-8 months, I guarantee it. It's his M.O. He did it with the Dubs in the 1990's, did it with the Knicks, and he did it with Dallas.
Look at the things he's been doing lately:
-- Benching one veteran every game to give "the younger guys a chance to play". Hey Nellie, you had every opportunity to get the younger guys in the rotation earlier in the year. Instead you played Stephen Jackson 44 minutes a night.
-- According to the CC Times, he has basically made Jamal Crawford incredibly uncomfortable and angry. Evidently, Nelson has directly told Crawford to opt out of his deal (guaranteed almost $20 million) after the season or that he will be traded. If I'm Crawford, I say, "Alright you motherf---- trade me. I'm not opting out of sh--."
Honestly this was the stupidest thing Nellie has done in awhile. This is like the Knicks-Stephon Marbury thing. If a player is guaranteed a lot of money, the last thing you want to do is tell him to give up that money and try to force him out. Crawford is due the money either way. Now, the Warriors' have no leverage in negotiations with other teams and may have to take back an even worse contract to get rid of Crawford.
-- Monta Ellis is officially a malcontent. He didn't make the Warriors' disatrous 1-3 road trip to attend to family issues in Mississippi. However, there's more to the story. According to the CC Times' Marcus Thompson II, Ellis “has shunned huddles when he’s not in the game, been late to shootaround and practices without reason and–in moments of frustration on the court–has voiced a desire to be traded.”
I don't blame him for being pissed off. Although Crash is the one who ruined his ankle and lied about it, the Warriors should have backed him. Instead, they alienated him, suspended/fined him, and reserved the eternal right to void his $66 million dollar deal. That's not tough love, that's a way to piss off your franchise player.
With Bobby Rowell and Nellie forcing out Chris Mullin, who Monta has a good relationship with, there's no real motivation for Ellis to stay around or to even try to play again this year. He should just pull a T-Mac and shut it down for the year, killing his trade value. I wouldn't blame him at all.
Again, great job Nellie. Trying to bully players into submission doesn't work anymore, especially with guaranteed contracts and salary caps.
-- Oh yeah, the Warriors are totally unwatchable now. I can only view snippets of games and read recaps at this point. It's just too hard to take.