Steinmetz: Ellis Unhappy With Bench Time in Win Over Pistons


Steinmetz: Ellis Unhappy With Bench Time in Win Over Pistons


Well, it took a little while but Warriors guard Monta Ellis is unhappy about something. And this time, you could hardly blame him. He sure seemed to have a gripe.Despite once again being the best player on the floor for the Warriors, Ellis watched most of the fourth quarter of his teams 101-97 win over the Pistons on Monday night from the bench.Yes, Ellis was in foul trouble. But coach Keith Smart kept him off the floor for almost seven minutes in the fourth quarter -- from the 8:43 mark until the 1:50 mark. Smart took Ellis out after committing his fifth foul early in the fourth quarter, and the Warriors up 92-78.When Ellis returned with under two minutes remaining, the lead was down to four.I dont like it, Ellis responded, when asked about sitting much of the fourth quarter. I dont like it. At all.When Ellis was asked if it was tough for him to watch the Warriors lead dwindle, he said: Cmon, man. It was very hard to watch. Thats what I do. I play basketball. Thats my love for the game. Thats what I do. In that situation, I do want to be in the game. We got a win. Move on.As for Smart, he said afterward he would have handled the situation the same way. Ellis began the fourth quarter with four fouls, then picked up No. 5 when he fouled Ben Gordon with 8:37 left.I tried to buy time, Smart said. Tried to buy that time. If he comes in (earlier), gets a foul then hes out of the game. I would have taken that chance. Even if he came back into the game and we were down he could still make a play to tie the game or win the game.Luckily for Smart and the Warriors, it didnt come down to that.

49ers, McDonald agree to five-year extension

49ers, McDonald agree to five-year extension

The 49ers signed tight end Vance McDonald to a five-year contract extension through the 2021 season, the team announced late Friday.

The deal is worth $35 million, including $16 million in guaranteed money, ESPN reported.

McDonald ranks third on the 49ers with 24 catches for 391 yards and four touchdowns. He has touchdown receptions this season of 75 and 65 yards.

"Vance has shown consistent growth throughout his four-year career and his production this season is the result of his dedication and hard work,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. “We believe he has only scratched the surface of what he will be able to accomplish in his career. Vance is a tremendous ambassador for the 49ers, and his passion for helping others provides a wonderful example for this organization. We look forward to his continued contributions to this organization, both on and off the field.”

McDonald is in the final season of his original four-year, $3.99 million contract he signed as a second-round draft pick in 2013.

In McDonald’s three previous seasons, he caught just 40 passes for 475 yards and three touchdowns.

McDonald spoke last week about the greater chances he's gotten to prove himself since the 49ers traded Vernon Davis last season.

“I just always look back at the opportunity when Vernon went to (Denver),” McDonald said. “Just being able to have the trust and the opportunity to start games and play every down.”

Said 49ers coach Chip Kelly, "He’s one of our weapons on the offensive side of the ball and he runs better than most tight ends in this league. So really depends on week to week what people have available at the safety spot to kind of match up with him. But he’s certainly someone that I think people defensively have to game plan for.”



Sharks' Thornton not concerned with his offensive numbers


Sharks' Thornton not concerned with his offensive numbers

ANAHEIM – When you have a guy on your roster that just broke into the NHL’s top 25 in scoring, it’s probably difficult to tell him how to play the game.

Still, Joe Thornton is not putting up offensive numbers he’s accustomed to. Through 26 games, Thornton has just two goals and 14 assists for 16 points. Somewhat shockingly, both of his goals have come into an empty net, meaning he has yet to beat a single goaltender with a shot with nearly one-third of the schedule already in the books.

Coach Pete DeBoer remarked on Friday morning, “I think every coach that he’s ever played for would like him to shoot more.”

But has DeBoer told Thornton, who has 27 shots, to shoot more?

“I haven’t recently,” he said. “We’ve had conversations like all coaches do about it, but I pretty much let him play his game. I think most of the conversations we have are about other parts of the game.”

"For me, he does so many things so well for us that we’re not piling on that he needs to score or shoot more. He’s got to play his game, and the offense will come. He stirs our offensive drink, so to speak, and he does it well. I’m not worried about the fact that he doesn’t have goals, no.”

There’s reason to believe Thornton will pick up his production. In fact, his start this season is nearly identical to last year, when he had 15 points (3g, 12a) through 26 games. Over the final four months he up 66 points after Dec. 15, tied for Sidney Crosby for the most in the NHL.

The alternate captain indicated the Sharks’ short summer, combined with his playing for Team Canada in the World Cup, might have taken a toll on his 37-year-old body.

“Going deeper in the postseason I think, it just starts a little bit different – plus the World Cup started earlier. You just kind of jam it in,” he said. “I feel good lately, and hopefully [I’ll] continue it.”

Not surprisingly, the famously laid back Thornton isn’t concerned with the fact he doesn’t have any non-empty netters yet.

“They’ll eventually go in. It’s no secret I’m more of a pass-first guy,” he said. “When you don’t expect it, that’s when they usually come. I haven’t been squeezing my stick or anything.”

“It comes at the strangest times. For whatever reason, you get hot for little stretches of time. I’ve never been one to worry too much.”