NBA Playoffs: 10 Things That Make Us Grumpy

NBA Playoffs: 10 Things That Make Us Grumpy


Nothing beats the NBA postseason: Games virtually every night, intensity from tip-off to buzzer and the kind of pressure that separates the men from the boys.

Still, as great as the playoffs are, they could be better with just a little bit of tinkering. So, playing the role of hoops curmudgeon, here are 10 things I dont like about the 2009-10 playoffs:

Injuries: There are too many of them. Andrew Bogut, Andrei Kirilenko, Greg Oden, Mehmet Okur, Brandon Roy, etc. Yes, its the cost of an 82-game schedule, but it just stinks that some teams are playing their most meaningful game without their key players.

Real life: Bottom line is that, unfortunately, life gets in the way of the postseason. Too many games to watch with things like a job and family.

Stoppages: There are too many timeouts, and theyre too long to begin with.

Missing teams: The 16 best teams arent in the tourney. After watching some of Miami, Chicago and Charlotte, its obvious the league needs to change the format. Houston, Memphis and New Orleans should be in there.

Not enough Van Gundy: Former Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy is terrific, absolutely terrific as an analyst. Too bad he can only do one game per day.

No George Karl: Its just not the same seeing the Denver Nuggets without George Karl on the sidelines. Get well soon.

First-round formality: Theres just not enough opening-round intrigue, what with teams such as Chicago, Miami and Milwaukee, just to name a few, having no chance to win.

Enduring Kobe Bryant hate: Look you dont have to like him, but at least appreciate him as a player. Hes one of the greatest of all-time, no matter how many times you say he stinks.

No Steve Javie: Hes one of the NBAs best officials, and hes been out since December with a leg injury. This time of year, the league needs the best refs it can get.

The charge: Doesnt matter if its preseason, regular season or playoffs, too many charges are being called and it detracts from athleticism and quality. Lets quit rewarding non-athletes who slide under.

-- Matt Steinmetz

Instant Analysis: Raiders overwhelmed, stunned by Washington in season's first loss


Instant Analysis: Raiders overwhelmed, stunned by Washington in season's first loss


LANDOVER, Md. – The first two Raiders games went according to plan. They established an early lead, played solid defense and cruised to victory. The offense proved a dynamic and defenders exceeded expectation.

That streak snapped on Sunday night, when nothing went right.

The Raiders fell off the rails early and never recovered, losing a 27-10 decision to Washington at FedEx Field.

They made an average Washington squad look like a juggernaut. A prolific Raiders offense wilted under Washington pressure. Their mighty offensive line had its worst day in a while and typically reliable quarterback Derek Carr was off target.

The Silver and Black had just 128 yards of total offense, and gave up explosive plays on defense. They were beat soundly on both lines, and were never able to dig out of a early rut.

The Raiders were uninspired in most instances, but Marquette King gave his team some life. He forced a muffed punt late in the third quarter that James Cower recovered. Carr found Jared Cook on a 21-yard touchdown that ended the shutout.

The defense didn’t allow a comeback to take shape, giving up a 74-yard reception to running back Chris Thompson – he had 188 yards of total offense – that set up a field goal that put the Raiders down three scores.

Cory James forced a fumble deep in Washington territory, but the Raiders only mustered a field goal

The Raiders laid an egg in the first half. They got manhandled on both sides of the ball, committed silly turnovers and gave Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins far too much time to work.

He picked the Raiders secondary apart on two touchdown drives that established a two-score halftime lead. Former 49ers tight end Vernon Davis, seeing more time with Jordan Reed hurt, had five catches for 58 yards and a touchdown.

The Raiders have long struggled covering tight ends, and made the veteran look like his old self, when he was dominant as a 49er.

The whole team seemed flat early in this game. Marshawn Lynch struggled to get the ground game going, Carr threw too many to the other team and the Raiders fell in an early hole.

Carr’s rough start: Derek Carr’s first pass was an interception. It wasn’t the only one. The typically reliable Raiders quarterback was out of sync to start this nationally televised contest, and the offense sputtered as a result. He was sacked on consecutive plays, as the offensive line struggled to maintain a pocket.

Washington scored after both Carr interceptions, and he finished the first half with just 32 passing yards.

Marquette strikes again: Raiders punter Marquette King puts some English on his punts. They’re tough to catch when he does that.

He forced a muffed punt for the second time in as many games, Sunday night, which helped the Raiders get on the scoreboard. James Cower recovered the muffed punt, and Carr found Jared Cook a few plays later to score the team’s first touchdown.

Kings owner Ranadivé releases statement on Trump's 'deeply disappointing' comments


Kings owner Ranadivé releases statement on Trump's 'deeply disappointing' comments

Sacramento — Sacramento Kings Owner and Chairman Vivek Ranadivé released the following statement.

“I have a deep respect for our nation’s unwavering commitment to free speech and support all Americans’ right to freely express themselves. The President's recent comments are deeply disappointing, because our focus should be on fostering a culture of sensitivity and inclusion. Our mission at the Sacramento Kings has always been to unite our community and use our platform to create positive change, so we continue to stand with our players, and all people, who use their platform to raise awareness and make Sacramento and our country proud.”

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