Warriors

'Rust' factor is a myth

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'Rust' factor is a myth

Call this The Myth Of Rust. Or call it, How Justin Verlander Is The Fixit Mans Friend.Or call it one last piece of overthinking before the World Series actually begins. At this point, there are only deeds and words anyway.There is an assumption that the Detroit Tigers are disadvantaged because they beat the New York Yankees in the minimal amount of time allowed by law, while the San Francisco Giants have a leg up in the Series because they squeezed in an extra nine hours and 33 minutes of baseball.Well, okay. Except . . . Verlander evens all odds. Not because he is well rested, although his work load is considerable enough that an extra day here or there is actually useful. No, its because unless he is horrible (and he isnt likely to be), the Giants wont be dropping a nine-spot on the Tigers in Game 1. Theyll have to make do with something closer to three, or even two, perhaps.This allows the Tiger hitters, who may have lost a bit of timing facing batting practice and minor league pitchers, to not have to have score, well, 10. The rust they have can linger a bit. Just not too long. The Giants dont get to set their rotation the way theyd really like. Despite the logic Bruce Bochy and Dave Righetti have applied in starting Matt Cain in Game 4 rather than 3, a perfect world would have Cain in any of the other three games. Even if Cain was getting his pitches up in Game 7 against the Cardinals (who by the way are a good hitting bunch and still did nothing with them), he is still preferable in an extra game to either Madison Bumgarner or Tim Lincecum. Having to go pedal to metal as the Giants have has caught them at sixes and sevens with their rotation, and youll likely see that the second time the Tigers see Bumgarner or Barry Zito.RELATED: San Francisco Giants 2012 World Series page
The difference between Verlander and Zito is pronounced enough that the Tigers have an advantage most Game 1 visitors dont have. This dovetails from Reason 2, in that the difference between Zitos best work and Verlanders best work is that Verlander displays his more often. Even the home plate umpire, Gerry Davis, whose numbers between 2007 and 2010 suggested an extreme hitters umpire, saw his numbers change in 2012; fewer walks, more strikeouts, closer to the mean in runs per game. That helps Zito, but it helps Verlander more. Finally, rust is a one-day stat. After Game 1, nobody is rusty anymore, and baseball reverts to its more normal do-or-be-done state. Rust is not forever, and were talking not about the last seven games anyway, but the 170-some-odd games before it. Weariness and nagging injuries are as important if not more than a few days off. Besides, by the logic of the day, the Giants should have been rusty going into the Cincinnati series, and if they were, they were for only two days.In sum, rust is a myth. If the Tigers lose the World Series, it wont be because they beat the Yankees too quickly. It will be because the Giants were better.And if the Tigers win, they obviously werent rusty at all now, were they?Ray Ratto is a columnist for CSNBayArea.com

LeBron joins 30,000-point club with buzzer-beater vs Spurs

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USATSI

LeBron joins 30,000-point club with buzzer-beater vs Spurs

SAN ANTONIO — LeBron James has joined the NBA's 30,000-point club.

James became the seventh player with 30,000 career points when he hit a jumper with one second left in the first quarter of the Cleveland Cavaliers' game against the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night.

James was recognized by the arena before the second quarter and got a standing ovation from Spurs fans. James patted his heard and said "thank you so much."

James needed seven points Tuesday to get there. He missed his first two midrange jumpers before making two driving layups and a 20-footer. He hit the milestone jumper over Danny Green from 19 feet out.

The 33-year-old James joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387 points), Karl Malone (36,928), Kobe Bryant (33,643), Michael Jordan (32,292), Wilt Chamberlain (31,419) and Dirk Nowitzki (30,808) on the list.

At 33 years and 24 days, James is the youngest to reach the mark. Bryant was 34 years and 104 days when he got there.

The 14-time All-Star has averaged 27.1 points since breaking into the league as an 18-year-old in 2003.

Warriors have four All-Stars for second consecutive season

Warriors have four All-Stars for second consecutive season

OAKLAND -- The Warriors on Tuesday captured their first repeat of the season. For the second consecutive year, they’re sending four players to the All-Star Game.

Forward Draymond Green and guard Klay Thompson were announced as reserves for the game scheduled for Feb. 18 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. They join Warriors teammates Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, who were voted in as starters.

It’s the ninth time four players from one team were selected, but the first time it has happened in consecutive seasons.

The same four players made the team last season, when the Warriors went on to win the NBA Finals, but the format was strictly Western Conference vs. Eastern Conference.

Though reserves are still determined by a vote among coaches, the roster format has been altered this season. The top voting leaders in each conference -- Curry in the West, LeBron James in the East -- choose from the pool of available players, irrespective of conference affiliation. Those voted starters are first off the board.

With so many talented forwards migrating to the West -- including newcomers Paul George and Carmelo Anthony moving to Oklahoma City -- Green on Tuesday morning voiced some trepidation about being selected as reserve.

“It’s something that you want,” he said after shootaround. “It’s something I’d be excited about. But I do know it’s a tough pool.

“I want to be an All Star, one of the top guys in the league. But I’m here to win championships.”

Green is fourth on the Warriors in scoring, averaging 11.3 points, but leads them in rebounds (7.9) and assists (7.6). Despite missing seven of the team’s 47 games, he is making his third consecutive appearance in the All-Star game.

Thompson, who has played in all but one game this season, is making his fourth consecutive appearance in All-Star game. Third on the Warriors in scoring, at 20.6 points per game, he is having his most efficient season, shooting 48.6 percent from the field, including a league-leading 45.3 percent from deep.

Here is the full list of All-Stars:

WESTERN CONFERENCE
Starters: Stephen Curry, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins
Reserves: Jimmy Butler, Russell Westbrook, LaMarcus Aldridge, Draymond Green, Karl-Anthony Towns, Klay Thompson, Damian Lillard

EASTERN CONFERENCE
Starters: Kyrie Irving, DeMar DeRozan, LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid
Reserves: Kyle Lowry, Kristaps Porzingis, Kevin Love, Bradley Beal, John Wall, Al Horford, Victor Oladipo