Warriors need a win, semblance of health

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Warriors need a win, semblance of health

Lets take a look.Thats all. I just want to take a look at the Warriors withAndris Biedrins and Ronny Turiaf, which is what is supposed to happen startingSaturday against Phoenix. Off the top of my head, Im figuring to see someimprovement, though not a turnaround.But I want to see it. Hey, this injury thing is so playedright now the only thing anyones arguing about is whos making excuses forthem and whos not. Doesnt matteranymore. Theres no getting around the 7-21 start, and if theWarriors ever were to start winning some games theyre still not getting backinto anything. But first things first: The Warriors got to win a game.Theyve lost seven in a row, and Phoenix, Boston and the Lakers (onroad) are up next. Right now, theWarriors are tied with Philly for the third-worst record in the league behindNew Jersey and Minnesota.In other words, we pretty much know what kind of team theWarriors are without Biedrins and Turiaf, each of whom has played just fourgames this season.In January, the Warriors have 15 games, nine of which are athome. Eight of the games are against playoff teams from last year and seven arenot. In other words, its more than a fair schedule that month so we, at least,should begin getting a better read on the team.Then, once February comes youll have a better sense of whomto try to move along and at what cost. Yes, I think a trade and maybe moreare coming. Only way it shouldnt happen is if the Warriors rip off about 15 oftheir next 20, and I dont see that happening.Lingering from New Orleans OK, its now time for Anthony Randolph to begin buildingsome consistency. Simple as that. Hesgot to start blocking a few shots and rebounding in every game he comes into.That way, Nelson will have no choice but live with thatoutside set shot (not really a jumper, is it?) Randolph seldom makes. If youve ever wondered how getting stronger can make aguy a better player, look no further than Chris Pauls game-clincher Wednesdaynight over Stephen Curry.Curry hung in there the whole move but just wasnt strongenough to hold his position well enough to allow him to contest the shot. Paulwas able to get Curry off him just enough that the little fadeaway, by andlarge, was an open look.If youre a Warriors fan, you hope that in two or threeyears Curry will be strong enough to give up less room on the final piece ofcontact and actually get a hand up so that it actually bothers the shooter. The one thing I keep thinking this year is that if the Warriorshad a player on their roster better than Monta Ellis theyd be a lot better.Ellis could do some really damage as a No. 2 scorer.And I dont think the Warriors have that player on theirroster right now. Randolphis the only one who possibly could be. But thats certainly no guarantee, andby the time that happens, Ellis will be looking at free agency.

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

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USATSI

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.”