Urban: Giants' Whiteside under the gun


Urban: Giants' Whiteside under the gun

May 30, 2011

It's your gig, Eli Whiteside. Your time to shine. To prove you deserve the faith Giants general manager Brian Sabean says he has in you. Oh, and a little friendly advice: Make it snappy. Faith has a way of dissolving in a steady stream of 0-for-4's -- especially when they're coming amidst steady such streams from elsewhere in the lineup, and the reigning champs are soaking their way around the Midwest in that manner as we speak.Until Sunday, surely the Giants and their fans held out at least feint hopes that if the team were to reach the playoffs this fall, Buster Posey would ride in on a majestic white stallion, tell everybody to climb aboard and gallop, full-steed ahead, toward a successful defense of the world championship. Not even Posey's miniature press conference Friday, when he conceded it was "highly likely" that his season was over, fully extinguished the aforementioned hopes.After all, he's Buster Posey. The Giants' very own Chuck Norris, for crying out loud. Their Most Interesting Man in the Clubhouse. Surely he'd be able to conjure some sort of sorcery should his services be desperately needed come October.But then came Sunday and a big dose of reality in the form of another miniature press conference, this one hosted by a far less interesting but no less important man in the Giants' scheme of things. Head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner made it crystal clear that there will be no channeling Willis Reed for Buster Ballgame. No dramatic return, however short-lived, to the lineup. Not this year, anyway. Opening Day 2012, said the man they call "Gresh." That's probably the best-case scenario.LISTEN: Posey's post-surgery conference call
And so it's officially time for everyone associated with the Orange & Black to think more clearly and objectively than ever about LWB -- life without Buster. For the rest of the season.First up, Whiteside. The pitchers love him, and he gets bonus points for not just taking Prince Fielder's best shot -- and a cheap shot it was, with that forearm coming in way too close to Whiteside's melon -- but for giving Prince a bit of a punching after the fact.Alas, Whiteside is a career minor leaguer and big-league backup for a reason. He's a tad challenged offensively. That's the widely held perception, anyway, and there's only one way Whiteside can change it.If he doesn't, his rope will get shorter in direct correlation with the Giants' spot in the National League West standings.And if he doesn't, who's after Whiteside? It's not going to be Chris Stewart. Same issues as with Whiteside offensively.THE BIG URBCAST: Are the Giants' minor league catchers ready?
It's not going to be Pablo Sandoval, either. He's already said he has zero interest in catching when he gets back from hand surgery.Bengie Molina? It'd be a heck of a story, and Bengie says he's up for it, but there might be some bad blood between him and the organization, particularly Sabean, whom Molina pot-shotted after being traded to Texas last year. Then again, desperation occasionally ends up being the Clorox that cleans up bad blood. Stay tuned.LWB, at the very least, will be fascinating.

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