The Buzz: Monta, Niemi, Lincecum


The Buzz: Monta, Niemi, Lincecum

1. Pitchers and Catchers.
The Giants P&Cs report tomorrow which means the two biggest names on the team will be arriving in Scottsdale. Buster Poseys recovery from his ankle injury will be the story of the spring. But, as always, Tim Lincecum will be the biggest star. And were not the only ones who have noticed that he has something in common with the globes No. 1 sports story

2. Monta Ellis.
Is it time to trade him? Wait, wait werent we complaining that Monta didnt make the All-Star game just a few days ago? That Bay Area whiplash stems from two factors. One Ellis was on the bench as the Warriors collapsed against Portland and there seems to be some question about how seriously ill he was. The general consensus? Man up. Two and more importantly it all comes back to Jeremy Lin. If Ellis and Curry arent the answers, couldnt Jeremy Lin have been? Were never going to get over this one. Really. Never. Ever.

3. Antti Niemi.
He wasnt any good. I protect him a lot and I talk about the team but he has to be better. He flat out has to be better. Those were as harsh words as Todd McLellan has ever spoken since hes been in San Jose, which is why Niemi is trending higher than Dominic Moore - the forward the Sharks traded for on Thursday. Niemis problems in the 6-5 loss to Tampa and McLellans strong reaction prompts two questions. If McLellan says good things about Niemi in the future, can we believe him? And is McLellan reaching the breaking point with this inconsistent team?

4. Gary Carter
It was weird to see Carter in a Giants uniform, that one season he played at Candlestick in 1990. He was an iconic member of the 86 Mets, the leader of that band of misfits. Yet there he was at 36 ancient back in those days backing up Terry Kennedy on a lousy Giants team. Just one more old guy on an aging team that finished third in the N.L. West that year. That Earthquake World Series hangover lasted a long, long time.

5. John Herrera
The Raiders odd p.r. manenforcerbutler loyalist is out of a job, but he leaves us with one of the all-time great moments in Raiders history, when he lashed out at Tim Kawakami during a Lane Young Lance Kiffin press conference in 2008. Herrera coined the term smoke-pot buddy which truly never gets old. My favorite part? When he says Im not embarrassing myself. Yes, a new day has dawned in Raiders nation (so dont even fantasize about a Randy Moss comeback, people).

THE DAILY BUZZ...NFLMario Williams outlines what he is looking for in his contractA list of 10 defendersunder 30 building Hall of Fame resumes thoughts onPatrick Willis being 1 on the list?Do you agree that VincentJackson would be a perfect fit in SF?Shawntae Spencer has switched agentsWhy did the Raiders bring in a player with so many issues?CBS Sports takes a lookat the ideal free agent for every team in theleaguePro Football Focus ranks the top inside linebackers available infree agencyNBAA nice, clean look at how the NBA is thriving out of the lockout(ratings, social media, ticket sales, merchandise)Well, Seattle announced its arena plans. So what now?Ex-Warrior StephenJackson is a given to be shopped by the Bucks any interest?Allen Iverson in the D-League? Sad more thananything, right?Mark Jackson thinks KlayThompson could be the next Ray Allen or Reggie Miller do you?This columnist thinks Jeremy Lin should be in the All-Star Game anyone agree?Kevin Durants scoring average against the Warriors matcheshis highest against any opponentThe Thunder lead theleague in turnovers is that a key for GS tonight against Westbrook andcompany?Is David Lee starting to turn his season around?
NHLDominic Moore has beentraded 3 straight years for a second-round pickMore than anything, Mooreshould help the Sharks penalty killDo you know about HockeyWeekend Across America this weekend?
If the NHL ends up withan amnesty clause, which player are the Sharks most likely to use it on?Sharks are the focus of The Hockey NewsrumorsPlayoff matchups if the season ended todayThe Hurricanes wont have their leading scorer for tonightsgame vs. San JoseCould the Kings land RickNash? They seem to have all the piecesA pretty solid FAQfor the NHL trade deadline likely a talking point or two in hereWhy does the NHL rarely produce an overnight sensation, alaJeremy Lin?Did McLellan go too far in his ripping ofNiemi yesterday?MLBHardball Talk examines the San Francisco Giants rosterThe 10 best things about being an As fanYour fans can buy a house previously owned by Matt Cainor Pat Burrell, among others?Curt Schilling on Conan:Sosa, Bonds arent Hall of FamersFox Sports: 12 players under heavy scrutiny this season(includes Posey)Fernando Valenzeulas take on Linsanity (he can relate, for sure) has the top 10 defensive teams in baseball thoughtson where the Giants ranked?Also, the Giants only got honorable mention in MLB.comsrankings of the top 10 teams in baseballGary Carter playedexactly 162 games against the Giants in his career how did he fare?Ex-GiantAthletic BrettTomko has signed with Cincinnati on a minor league dealBrandon Webb is throwing pain free any interest from yourteam?

Norton: Raiders 'have the right people,' scheme; execution lacking

Norton: Raiders 'have the right people,' scheme; execution lacking

ALAMEDA – Ken Norton Jr.’s defense hasn’t been good all season. It’s only been a hindrance twice in six weeks, allowing the Raiders to brush it under the rug while compiling a 4-2 record.

The Raiders were exposed in Sunday’s 26-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, leaving many to wonder whether this defense has fatal flaws.

The team’s defensive coordinator believes these problems can be fixed without a radical reconstruction.

Norton trusts his scheme. He believes in his personnel. He has faith there are better times ahead.

“It depends on what you believe in,” Norton said before Thursday’s practice. “If you believe in the players, you believe in the coaches and believe in yourself…

“Obviously you’d like the stats to be better. But we are 4-2, in a good place record-wise. The stats need to be better. We need to continue to understand who we are, what we are and get better at what we’re doing.”

“We have the right people. It’s just a matter of getting it done on game day.”

Coaches have cited eye violations (a.k.a misreads) as communication issues reasons why the Raiders give up chunk yards. Their 6.9 yards per play allowed is the league’s worst.

Edge rusher and team captain Khalil Mack said opponents are challenged the Raiders defensive discipline. Misdirection, bootlegs, wacky formations and the like have given the Raiders fits, and will continue to do so until they repair what’s broken.

“It’s all about discipline,” Norton said. “It’s all about angles. It’s all about leverage and tackling and the fundamentals of the game and getting down to the nitty gritty of playing smart and sharp. It’s the ultimate team game. …Everybody’s connected to a successful play. That play has to be successful consistently over a period of 70 plays. Everybody’s watching every single play, so you need consistency and have guys playing together. It will pick up.”

Communication is the latest buzz word attached to defensive miscues. Norton said it’s been corrected, just not consistently enough.

“It’s been fixed, but it will come up some times, at the worst times,” Norton said. “We are continually practicing. There are 16 games, and you need to be obsessed with improvement, and we are. Guys care a lot. They show up early and stay late. The communication, the playmaking, the coaching, all of it will continue to improve.

“Everybody wants to talk about communication but it’s guys consistently playing well over a duration of a game. You have to be sharp.”

The Raiders have used different coverage schemes at times this season and made two lineup changes – it’s also possible Perry Riley starts at middle linebacker this week – to no avail.

“You see things going wrong with missed tackles or balls going over our head, the little things and details need to get taken care of,” Norton said. “There aren’t a lot of differences between us and the good defenses, but they make a lot of plays they’re supposed to make.

“We have the right people. It’s just a matter of getting it done on game day.”

Report: Hawks release former Warriors point guard

Report: Hawks release former Warriors point guard

Jarrett Jack is reportedly looking for a new team.

The Hawks waived the veteran point guard on Thursday, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Jack signed with Atlanta in July after he was released by the Nets in late June.

The soon-to-be 33-year old appeared in 79 games for the Warriors during the 2012-13 season, averaging 12.9 points and 5.6 assists over 29.7 minutes per contest.

He was even better in the 2013 playoffs, racking up 17.2 points and 4.7 assists in 12 games.

Jack made 32 appearances last year before he tore the ACL in his right knee in early January.

He was the 22nd overall pick in the 2005 draft.