Tourneys under the tree


Tourneys under the tree

Taylor Lambert
Cal-Hi Sports Bay Area

Christmas time is a happy time for many. With the winter air becoming crisper by the second, the thoughts of Saint Nick checking his lists (perhaps twice), and the presents piling up under the tree. But Christmas time also brings gifts of the high school sports variety, and they're not distributed by a huge dude in a chimney soot stained red and white suit. Really, what's that guy's dry cleaning bill look like?  I'm talking about high school basketball tournaments, and nothing brings tourneys around like the holidays.

The early season hoop tournaments in the Bay Area are a perfect way for squads to see where they stack up against the competition -- to see what they need to work on and to find out what they already do pretty well. Adding the tourney format to these games kicks the intensity up a notch or two as well. 

There's countless tournaments around the holiday season, with the huge West Coast Jamboree, the always popular Sand Dune Classic at St. Ignatius, the D.J. Frandsen Memorial, Pioneer Holiday Classic, and the Don Underwood Amador Basketball Classic -- to name a small portion. The high intensity tournament games give teams a good feel for what those late season and playoff matchups will feel like. If you do well in the tournaments, you're probably going to do well at the end of the season when the pressure is on.

So, if you have some time this holiday season, try to catch your local high school hoops team in a tournament. Maybe just go to the championship game, it'll be worth the price of admission. At least the gift of a holiday hoops tourney will be cheaper than most other gifts you buy this Christmas. 

With Zaza out for Game 4, Brown has two options for fifth starter

With Zaza out for Game 4, Brown has two options for fifth starter

SAN ANTONIO -- Warriors center Zaza Pachulia was officially declared out prior to Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals against the Spurs on Monday night.

Pachulia sustained a right heel contusion is the first half of Game 2 last Tuesday night at Oracle Arena. He has since done very little in practice and was listed as doubtful on the morning injury report.

Though acting head coach Mike Brown did not name backup center JaVale McGee to replace Pachulia in the starting lineup, that is the expectation. McGee started Game 3 on Saturday night and played well.

Brown gave himself some wiggle room, saying the Warriors could opt for rookie wing Pat McCaw if the Spurs start with a small lineup.

“For us, it's not that big of a deal,” Brown said in his pregame news conference. “We're either going to start JaVale or Patrick McCaw. We haven't made a decision yet, and I don't know when we're going to make a decision, but we'll go between those two guys.”


Spurs rule Leonard out for Game 4 against Warriors

Spurs rule Leonard out for Game 4 against Warriors

SAN ANTONIO -- Spurs coach Gregg Popovich took a seat at the podium for his pregame news conference and confirmed what had been anticipated for Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals against the Warriors.

All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard will be on the sideline for the third consecutive game.

Leonard twice aggravated his sprained left ankle in the third quarter of Game 1 at Oracle Arena and has not practiced since. Though he was listed as doubtful on the team’s injury report Monday morning -- the Spurs did not have a shootaround -- it was a foregone conclusion he would not play.

Popovich made the announcement by answering a question about Leonard’s status with two words: “Same, same” before confirming he would be out.

The Warriors have outscored the Spurs 302-253 since Leonard left with 7:53 left in the third quarter of Game 1.