Five Questions for the Warriors and Kings


Five Questions for the Warriors and Kings

Feb. 17, 2010

Matt Steinmetz

It might feel like Warriors and Kings dont have much toplay for over the next two months. After all neither team is heading tothe playoffs, and in the Warriors case, much of their team wontreturn from injury.

But there are always things to learn about teams and players, even ifthe postseason is out of the question. With the Warriors playing theKings tonight at Oracle, what better time than now to ask fivequestions about each team?

1. Will the Warriors make a move before Thursdays trading deadline?
Its no secret that the Warriors would love to move Corey Maggette andhis 10 million per year contract, but that is easier said than done.Other than Maggette, there have been rumors out there about Monta Ellisand even Andris Biedrins. We should find out a little more in the nextday what the Warriors have in store for the future.

2. Can Ellis and Stephen Curry play together?
Well, we know they can,the question is to what degree? Over the next couple of months,assuming Ellis isnt traded before Thursdays deadline, Larry Rileywill likely be taking a closer look at his backcourt. Does thebackcourt need to be addressed in the offseason or is it a lesspressing concern?

3. What about Don Nelson?
Its looking more and more like Nelson isntgoing to catch Lenny Wilkens on the all-time wins list by the end ofthe season. Question is, will Nelson be around next season to break it?

4. What will happen with the Larry Ellison rumors?
They dont figure todie down. If the worlds fourth-richest man in the world says he wantsto buy an NBA team, chances are hes going to be able to buy an NBAteam. Might be just a matter of when.

5. Can some of the injured players make progress between now and the endof the season?
OK, so we know Kelenna Azubuike, Anthony Randolph andBrandan Wright arent returning this year. But its important thattheyre able to get back onto the court early in the offseason to workon their games. Azubuike might be a little bit behind the other two,but its important Randolph and Wright heal and then get to work.

1. Will the Tyreke Evans-Kevin Martin backcourt work?
Its not adissimilar issue from the backcourt issue the Warriors have with Curryand Ellis. By the looks of things, Evans will be the man in Sacramento.Can Martin, who has been the teams leading scorer, deal with that. Andeven if he can, is that the best for the Kings?

2. Who are the Kings?
Are the Kings the team that started the season13-14 or are they the team thats gone 5-21 since? The Kings were thesurprise team of the NBA the first six weeks of the season, but itsbeen downhill since. It would be nice if they could use the next twomonths to figure out exactly what they think they have.

3. How best to improve on the interior?
Spencer Hawes, Jason Thompsonand Jon Brockman each bring a little something to the table. Buttogether, they form one of the least intimidating front lines in theNBA. At some point the Kings are going to have to upgrade up front, andthe next two months should go a long way toward figuring out the bestway to do it.

4. Is Omri Casspi a starter or rotation player?
The fact that were evenasking this question is a good thing. When the Kings selected Casspi inlast Junes draft, the school of thought was that he wouldnt be ableto help for a while. But hes made an impact sooner than anyonethought. Hes intense and emotional, but that only takes you so far.Where does he go from here?

5. What about ARCO?
Everyone seems to agree, ARCO Arena isnt long forthe NBA. Question is can the Kings, city of Sacramento and league comeup with an agreeable, affordable replacement. We will learn more aboutthat in coming months.

What's your take? Email Matt and let him know. He may use it in his weekly Mailbag.

Lynch, Shanahan hold 'positive' discussion with Kaepernick

Lynch, Shanahan hold 'positive' discussion with Kaepernick

General manager John Lynch confirmed during a radio interview that he and 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan met with quarterback Colin Kaepernick at his office Wednesday morning at the team headquarters in Santa Clara.

“I would characterize it as just a really positive discussion,” Lynch said during an appearance on KNBR, confirming a report the sides met for the first time since Lynch and Shanahan were hired in their new roles.

Lynch said he and Shanahan have committed to being completely honest with Kaepernick, who can opt out of his contract to become an unrestricted free agent as early as next week.

Lynch did not divulge the topics of conversation. He said a commitment was also made to Kaepernick to not speak publicly about the specifics of their conversations.

“I do think that there are some things that are sacred,” Lynch said. “We did have a great discussion and I think Colin left excited and we left excited.

“And I think as Kyle and I believe, the evaluation process is still very much fluid. We’ve only been on the job a couple of weeks and I can tell you we both very much enjoyed being around Colin, and he seems like he’s in a real good place.”

Giants spring training Day 10: Bochy on board with new rules

Giants spring training Day 10: Bochy on board with new rules

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — During his season managing Barry Bonds, Bruce Bochy watched the slugger get intentionally walked 43 times. 

“There were (managers) who had the (signal) up before he even got to the batter’s box,” Bochy said Wednesday. 

That’s part of the reason Bochy is completely on board with a new rule stating that managers only have to signal for an intentional walk. The elimination of the four pitches has been approved by MLB and the MLBPA, with the caveat that a manager can change his mind in the middle of the plate appearance. 

“I’m fine with it,” Bochy said. “I know a few pitchers are happy because they kind of have a thing about throwing (those pitches), not on our team, but last year it happened to us and we didn’t go. I’m fine with it.”

It’s rare that an intentional ball would go to the backstop, but the Giants experienced it last year against the Yankees. Dellin Betances threw wide as he tried to put Brandon Crawford on and Angel Pagan didn’t react quickly enough to score from third. 

Bochy met with league officials last week to go over some of the new rules and ideas, and he said he wants MLB to keep pushing to cut the time of games. 

“We talk about it so much but we really haven’t done a lot,” Bochy said. “I’m all for (limiting mound visits). I’m all for it, I am. It’s gotten more and more popular in the game. It used to be the catcher, and now it’s the catcher and infielders, and they go to the mound and come back and then the pitching coach goes out there.”

EXHIBITION SCHEDULE: Bochy said Madison Bumgarner is currently slated to start Friday’s Cactus League opener, with Matt Cain also throwing an inning. Ty Blach will start Saturday, Matt Moore and Tyler Beede will pitch Sunday, and Jeff Samardzija will start Monday. It’s possible that 18 or 20 different pitchers will take the mound over the first two days since almost all of them will be scheduled for just three outs. With the exception of Will Smith, every projected Giant should see the field this weekend. Hunter Pence is the only guy who has been held back at all, but his intercostal issue has cleared up. Pence put several on the left-field berm during BP on Wednesday.

“Hunter wants to (play Friday). He's ready to go,” Bochy said. “I’ll make that call tomorrow once I talk to the staff, but Hunter assured me he’s a full go with no limitations, and he really wants to play.”

PROSPECT WATCH: Bochy took the van over to the minor league facility to watch some of the projected Triple-A players take part in live BP. Jae-gyun Hwang hit a homer off Jose Dominguez during his session. 

“He’s a guy that rotates (well) and he’s got good power,” Bochy said. “He can go the other way. He’s got some bat control. He’s got a nice swing.”

Over on the main field, Gorkys Hernandez hit an impressive homer to left-center. 

ICYMI: From this morning, Smith is being held out of workouts. Reporters spoke to him in the afternoon and he said there’s no concern. Also, here’s a podcast with Derek Law and Josh Osich. Subscribe on iTunes if you haven’t … there’s a very popular Giant coming soon.

QUOTABLE: Smith missed time last season because he tore a knee ligament while taking his shoe off, so this spring’s speed bump is somewhat easier to take. He had a message for the trainers: “I said I’m going to sit down every day this spring,” when I take my shoes off.