Five Questions for the Warriors and Kings


Five Questions for the Warriors and Kings

Feb. 17, 2010

Matt Steinmetz

It might feel like Warriors and Kings dont have much toplay for over the next two months. After all neither team is heading tothe playoffs, and in the Warriors case, much of their team wontreturn from injury.

But there are always things to learn about teams and players, even ifthe postseason is out of the question. With the Warriors playing theKings tonight at Oracle, what better time than now to ask fivequestions about each team?

1. Will the Warriors make a move before Thursdays trading deadline?
Its no secret that the Warriors would love to move Corey Maggette andhis 10 million per year contract, but that is easier said than done.Other than Maggette, there have been rumors out there about Monta Ellisand even Andris Biedrins. We should find out a little more in the nextday what the Warriors have in store for the future.

2. Can Ellis and Stephen Curry play together?
Well, we know they can,the question is to what degree? Over the next couple of months,assuming Ellis isnt traded before Thursdays deadline, Larry Rileywill likely be taking a closer look at his backcourt. Does thebackcourt need to be addressed in the offseason or is it a lesspressing concern?

3. What about Don Nelson?
Its looking more and more like Nelson isntgoing to catch Lenny Wilkens on the all-time wins list by the end ofthe season. Question is, will Nelson be around next season to break it?

4. What will happen with the Larry Ellison rumors?
They dont figure todie down. If the worlds fourth-richest man in the world says he wantsto buy an NBA team, chances are hes going to be able to buy an NBAteam. Might be just a matter of when.

5. Can some of the injured players make progress between now and the endof the season?
OK, so we know Kelenna Azubuike, Anthony Randolph andBrandan Wright arent returning this year. But its important thattheyre able to get back onto the court early in the offseason to workon their games. Azubuike might be a little bit behind the other two,but its important Randolph and Wright heal and then get to work.

1. Will the Tyreke Evans-Kevin Martin backcourt work?
Its not adissimilar issue from the backcourt issue the Warriors have with Curryand Ellis. By the looks of things, Evans will be the man in Sacramento.Can Martin, who has been the teams leading scorer, deal with that. Andeven if he can, is that the best for the Kings?

2. Who are the Kings?
Are the Kings the team that started the season13-14 or are they the team thats gone 5-21 since? The Kings were thesurprise team of the NBA the first six weeks of the season, but itsbeen downhill since. It would be nice if they could use the next twomonths to figure out exactly what they think they have.

3. How best to improve on the interior?
Spencer Hawes, Jason Thompsonand Jon Brockman each bring a little something to the table. Buttogether, they form one of the least intimidating front lines in theNBA. At some point the Kings are going to have to upgrade up front, andthe next two months should go a long way toward figuring out the bestway to do it.

4. Is Omri Casspi a starter or rotation player?
The fact that were evenasking this question is a good thing. When the Kings selected Casspi inlast Junes draft, the school of thought was that he wouldnt be ableto help for a while. But hes made an impact sooner than anyonethought. Hes intense and emotional, but that only takes you so far.Where does he go from here?

5. What about ARCO?
Everyone seems to agree, ARCO Arena isnt long forthe NBA. Question is can the Kings, city of Sacramento and league comeup with an agreeable, affordable replacement. We will learn more aboutthat in coming months.

What's your take? Email Matt and let him know. He may use it in his weekly Mailbag.

Sharks win second straight, beat Devils to start road trip

Sharks win second straight, beat Devils to start road trip


NEWARK, N.J. — Martin Jones made 28 saves for his first shutout of the season and 16th overall in the San Jose Sharks' 3-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Friday night.

Melker Karlsson, Joe Pavelski and Joonas Donskoi scored and Justin Braun had two assists to help the Sharks open a five-game East Coast trip.

Keith Kinkaid, the top goalie for New Jersey with Cory Schneider on injured reserve, stopped 30 shots as the Devils' three-game winning streak came to an end.

The Devils couldn't muster a strong push in the later stages against the rested Sharks. It was New Jersey's second game two nights following a 5-4 overtime victory in Ottawa. And it showed against the Sharks, who played a solid road game, pressed their advantage and solidly supported Jones.

Karlsson scored the lone goal of the opening period at 14:11 on a close-in shot following a slick behind-the-net setup pass from Tomas Hertl.

The shots were 13 for each team in the evenly played period. The Devils came close on several occasions as former Shark Mirco Mueller and Blake Coleman both hit the crossbar and Jones robbed Drew Stafford on a dead-on drive from the slot.

Pavelski and Donskoi got second-period goals as the Sharks steadily tightened their grip on the game.

Pavelski tipped in Braun's point shot at 5:49. Joe Thornton got the second assist, his 1,395th point, to pass Luc Robitaille for 21st on the career list.

Donskoi backhanded a rebound shot with 1:10 left in the period in which the Sharks outshot the Devils 11-6.

The remaining drama centered on Jones' shutout bid.

NOTES: The Devils placed Schneider on injured reserve Friday with a lower-body injury and recalled Scott Wedgewood from Binghamton of the American Hockey League to serve as Kinkaid's backup. ... Mueller, a healthy scratch in three of the previous four games, returned for the Devils to face the Sharks, the team that drafted him in the first round, for the first time. He was dealt to New Jersey over the summer.


Sharks: At the New York Islanders on Saturday night.

Devils: Host Ottawa on Friday night.

Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch suspended one game


Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch suspended one game

Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch watched most of Thursday night’s game versus Kansas City from the stands after getting ejected for making contact with an official.

He’ll also be a spectator next week.

The NFL suspended him one game for unsportsmanlike conduct stemming from an incident where left the sidelines to join an on-field scuffle and ended up pushing an official.

The league announced the suspension Friday afternoon. Lynch has already appealed the suspension, per multiple reports.

He was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct and automatically ejected by rule.

Punishment after the fact has gotten expensive.

By rule, Lynch will be fined $30,387 for making contact with an official. He could get hit with other penalties, including entering a fight unnecessarily.

Lynch is also suspended without pay, meaning he’ll forfeit a $79,411 game check and a $31,250 per-game roster bonus.

The Cal alum won’t play a Week 8 contest in Buffalo, against a Bills team that drafted him No. 12 overall in 2007.

Lynch was on the sidelines during a third down draw play where quarterback Derek Carr incurred what officials called a late hit from Kansas City cornerback Marcus Peters.

The Raiders offensive line took offense, and came after Peters in a scrum. Lynch and Peters, both Oakland natives, are extremely close. Lynch ran on the field to get between his teammates and his friend, but ended up inadvertently pushing an official. The league has zero tolerance for that, and sent him off the field.

Lynch watched a dramatic 31-30 victory over Kansas City from the stands and screens near the field, and congratulated his teammates after a big win.

Lynch did not explain why he entered the fray, though he seemed to be trying to get Peters out of harm’s way.

“They can say what they want but one thing’s for certain: Family do come first,” Peters told Bay Area News Group’s Logan Murdock.

His Raiders teammates and coaches must carry on without the 31-year old power back. They’ll roll with Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington and fullback Jamize Olawale against the Bills, as they did against the Chiefs.

Lynch had two carries for nine yards before getting tossed. He has just 266 yards and two touchdowns on 72 carries through seven games.

If the suspension is upheld, Lynch will be eligible to return in Week 9 against Miami.