Separation weekend for Pac-12


Separation weekend for Pac-12

PROGRAMING NOTE: Watch Stanford take on Colorado Saturday on VERSUS. Kickoff is set for 4:30 p.m.
All-righty then. Were done with the events in Eugene on Thursday night and now we can focus on the rest of the Pac-12 on a weekend that could begin to sort the wheat from the chaff in this conference.

Stanford continues to cruise through its early season schedule and it would be a shock to see things change this weekend when Colorado comes calling. The Cards still have not been tested and continue to be a work in progress on the defensive side of the ball -- albeit one that still has a chance to be very good.

I dont think the answer to, Can the Cardinal stop a good teams offense? will be forthcoming against a Colorado team that has mustered just one victory this year. Colorado is simply outmanned in its first year of play in the conference.

PREVIEW: Colorado vs. No. 7 Stanford

Andrew Luck is everything expected of him, the Cardinal has three tight ends who will all play on Sundays, and the offensive line is coming together nicely. The question of how much the loss of Shane Skov will affect the defense is still probably weeks away from being known. But for this week, all is well in the land of wishful thinking.

Two games of interest in terms of whats real and whats not in the Pac-12 this year are ASU at Utah, and WSU at UCLA. Arizona State is good -- with a chance to be very good -- but every time you start to think the Sun Devils have it all together, they step on their own body parts. This is a real test for the Sun Devils theyve been much better at home than on the road and they have to travel to Utah. The Utes have a backup quarterback starting and that bodes well for the Devils defense. Like Cal, I think Utah is trying to figure itself out. I think ASU survives -- but dont say I didnt warn you.

PREVIEW: No. 22 ASU vs. Utah
I never thought Id be talking about Washington St. playing a game of any meaning five games into the season but if the Cougars beat UCLA Saturday, theyll be 4-1 -- and its not out of the question.

Dont get me wrong, I dont think WSU is headed for national prominence, but I do think this is a winnable game for them. And, I just cant help rooting for them -- its like cheering for Bambi against Godzilla. Only this Godzilla (UCLA) is bruised and battered and is no threat to Tokyo -- or maybe even to Pullman, Wash.

And finally, the futility bowl: Arizona and Oregon State. The Wildcats are living proof of what happens when good skill position players dont have the big uglies up front to keep them out of harms way. The Cats lost their offensive line and much of their defense and despite a very good quarterback and an all-star receiver they are mired in mediocrity. In fact, mediocrity would be a lofty goal at this juncture.

As to the Beavs -- I dont know what to say. This is a team that has always thrived because of the system, but this year there seems to be a system failure in Corvallis. This game falls into the dreaded must win category for OSU. For Arizona, after this game its either, How bout those Cats, or Whens hoops start?

Thats the good and the bad in the Pac this week. And you can rest assured therell be some of the ugly too.

Barry Tompkins is a regular contributor to Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and Chronicle Live.

NBA fines Curry and Iguodala for incident in Memphis


NBA fines Curry and Iguodala for incident in Memphis

Programming note: Warriors-Mavs coverage starts today at 4:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on NBC Sports Bay Area.

Steph Curry owes the NBA some money.

The two-time MVP was fined $50,000 for throwing his mouthpiece near the end of Saturday night's game in Memphis, the league announced.

He won't be suspended.

Andre Iguodala was fined $15,000 for verbally abusing a game official.

"I want to play tonight. Don't think a suspension is necessary," Curry said following shootaround on Monday. "I'm pretty sure based on the precedent that was set last time I threw my mouthpiece, there'll be a fine.

"The timing is getting a little tight thinking about preparing for tonight, but just gotta wait and see."

Curry was fined $25,000 for throwing his mouthpiece during Game 6 of the 2016 Finals.

He did not need to rewatch the incident from Saturday to know he was in the wrong.

"In the grand scheme of things, it's Game 3, we were playing terrible," Curry explained on Monday. "I was frustrated because I was fouling, I thought I got fouled on the last play and the reaction was definitely a little over the top.

"Stuff happens. Try to continue to be myself, show some fire, but do it in a way that doesn't take away from the team and misrepresent who I am."

Kevin Durant -- who was also ejected from the game -- apparently won't receive any additional punishment.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Gameday: Kings visit imploding Suns


Gameday: Kings visit imploding Suns

The Sacramento Kings finish their three game road trip Monday in Phoenix. Waiting for them is a team in complete disarray. After dropping the first three games of the season, Phoenix dumped head coach Earl Watson Sunday afternoon and are reportedly in trade talks to deal starting point guard Eric Bledsoe. Jay Triano will act as the interim head coach, but he’s taking over a runaway train.

Sacramento lost to the Denver Nuggets on Saturday evening to drop to 1-2 on the season. De’Aaron Fox and Skal Labissiere came to play, but the rest of the roster struggled with their shot as the Kings finished with just 79 points on 36.5 percent shooting.

The Suns have been outscored by more than 30 points per game in their three contests this season. They have lost games by 48 and 42 points already and almost every player on the roster has underperformed.


Kings by 2


Kings: 1-2

Suns: 0-3


Skal Labissiere vs. Marquese Chriss -- Labissiere has been a breath of fresh air early in the season, posting solid numbers across the board as Zach Randolph’s backup. He posted a career-high 32-point, 11-rebound game against Chriss last season, which left a lasting impression. Chriss is off to a slow start, but he has plenty of potential. The Sacramento-native gets up and down the floor and loves the over the top block.


Kings:  SG Bogdan Bogdanovic (right ankle sprain) probable, PF Harry Giles (bi-lateral knee rehab) out.

Suns:  PG Eric Bledsoe (team decision) out, SF Jared Dudley (toe) questionable, PG Brandon Knight (ACL tear) out for the season, G Davon Reed (knee) out, PF Alan Williams (knee) out.


Sacramento dominated the season-series 3-1 last season, including a 129-104 win over the Suns in the finale. Phoenix leads the all-time series 131-90 and they hold an 84-51 advantage during the Sacramento-era.


BOGDAN’S DEBUT -- The Kings have used the cautious approach to Bogdan Bogdanovic’s ankle injury. He’s played a ton of basketball between league play and EuroBasket overseas and there is no reason to rush him into action. He’ll likely suit up to play Monday against the team that drafted him in the 2014 NBA Draft. Expect to see lots of the 25-year-old Serbian over the next few months. Word around the team is that he is one of the best players on the squad.

MORE FOX -- Sacramento hit a homerun with the addition of De’Aaron Fox on draft night. The rookie has put on a show in his first three games and is pushing coach Dave Joerger for more playing time. The Kings have plenty of guards and wings, but there hasn’t been a player that can stay in front of Fox.

REBOUND FROM A STINKER -- The Kings couldn’t hit water if they fell out of a boat against the Nuggets. Playing at elevation is tough, but scoring 79 points is unacceptable. Sacramento has a chance to improve to 2-2 on the season in Phoenix before returning home to face DeMarcus Cousins. A 2-1 road trip would go a long ways towards building the confidence of a young squad.


“Whatever coach wants me to do, that’s what I’m going to do out there. I’m just going to go out there and play hard and help this team get a win.” --Skal Labissiere