Warriors with a shot in San Antonio?

416952.jpg

Warriors with a shot in San Antonio?

March 21, 2011

WARRIORS (30-40) vs.
SAN ANTONIO (56-13)

Coverage begins at 5 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- With sizable leads in the Southwest Division and the Western Conference, the San Antonio Spurs have started looking ahead to the postseason by giving their top players some rest.

Given their 25-game home winning streak against the Golden State Warriors heading into Monday night's game between the teams, it may not matter who Spurs coach Gregg Popovich decides to rest.

With a 7 12-game advantage over Dallas, San Antonio (56-13) is closing in on its eighth division title in 11 seasons. The NBA's best team also has a 6 12-game lead over the Los Angeles Lakers for the West's No. 1 seed.
RELATED: NBA conference standings

That helped make it easy for Popovich to give star forward Tim Duncan his first night off this season Saturday as the Spurs defeated visiting Charlotte 109-98. Starting guard Manu Ginobili also played just 19 minutes - far below his season average of nearly 31.

Rookie Tiago Splitter got his first NBA start in place of Duncan, but it was reserve forward Steve Novak who proved more pivotal with a season-high 19 points. Fellow bench players Gary Neal added 15 points and George Hill had 12.

"It was great to have the bench come in, so Manu (Ginobili) wouldn't have to play too many minutes," Popovich said. "I wanted to play Tony (Parker) even less, but he's the youngster of the group. Everyone off the bench came in and did a great job."

Even with his team's large leads in the division and conference, Ginobili said the Spurs starters might get only get one or two nights off over the final 3 12 weeks of the regular season.

"We got to keep in shape and keep playing. Because when you realize the playoffs are here you don't want to lose your conditioning," Ginobili said.

The Spurs' conditioning has rarely been an issue of late against the fast-paced Warriors (30-40). The 25-game run at home is the NBA's longest active streak against one opponent, and San Antonio has won 11 in a row in the series.

Duncan played just 18 minutes in a 111-94 win over Golden State at the AT&T Center on Dec. 8, finishing with eight points and five rebounds. Parker, meanwhile, had 19 points to lead six players in double figures. DeJuan Blair was one of those with 15 points and 13 rebounds.

REWIND: Highlights -- Spurs 111, Warriors 94

Golden State got a career-high eight 3-pointers and 31 points from Reggie Williams in that game, but Stephen Curry sprained his right ankle in the second quarter. Curry was held to 11 points on 4-of-12 shooting Sunday when the Warriors suffered their fourth consecutive defeat and fourth in a row on the road, 101-73 at Dallas.

REWIND: Warriors can't overcome slow start in Dallas

Golden State, averaging 103.1 points, had just 10 in the fourth quarter against the Mavericks and missed 24 of 33 shots in the second half. The 73 points were the team's second lowest-scoring total this season.

"It was just an off night for guys. Guys couldn't find their shot," forward Dorell Wright said. "I feel like shots that we usually make were going in and out, and we were just missing it. It's like that at some times. So, we've just got to let this one go and get ready for tomorrow."

Ginobili has averaged 20.5 points on 54.0 percent shooting in his last four games against Golden State. San Antonio has also limited the Warriors' Monta Ellis to 18.7 points - 5.7 below his team-leading average - on 34.8 percent shooting.

Brian Hoyer not living his life worried about 49ers possibly drafting a QB

Brian Hoyer not living his life worried about 49ers possibly drafting a QB

Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley are the only two quarterbacks currently on the 49ers' roster.

Is Hoyer operating as if he will be the starter in 2017?

"Yeah for sure. I think that's what I was brought in to do at this point," Hoyer said on KNBR 680 on Wednesday morning. "And the thing that I've learned in this profession, and really in life, is not worry about things you can't control. I can't control who they draft with the second pick tomorrow and I'm not gonna live my life worrying about it."

The 49ers own the second overall pick in the draft and are reportedly strongly considering taking a QB with that selection.

Even if they do, it doesn't mean that player will start from Day 1.

Hoyer worked with 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan in Cleveland during the 2014 season -- he started a career-high 13 games with the Browns and threw for a career-best 3,326 yards.

"I'm gonna go out there and do what I think my job is at this point," Hoyer added. "And I'm gonna do that as long as I can until they tell me it's not my job anymore."

 

Marshawn Lynch excellent fit for Raiders scheme, ailing Oakland fan base

Marshawn Lynch excellent fit for Raiders scheme, ailing Oakland fan base

Marshawn Lynch is a Raider. He announced that fact on Twitter in his own unique way Wednesday, completing a month-long process from initial interest to final signature.

The Raiders gave him a new contract and traded Seattle for his rights, allowing the Oakland Tech High grad and Cal alum to come out of retirement and play for his hometown team.

That’s good news for Raiders fans on several fronts. He fills an immediate need at running back created when Latavius Murray left for Minnesota.

It temporarily tempers, though certainly doesn’t extinguish, rage about the Raiders relocating to Las Vegas.

[RATTO: Here's to hoping Marshawn Lynch upstages the NFL Draft]

Owner Mark Davis hopes to move his team when a new stadium is complete in 2020. 

Lynch won't be there. Lynch won’t represent Vegas. He’s an Oakland Raider, playing for the city he champions at every turn. Lynch regularly gives back to this community and might be its most popular native son right now.

Lynch missed playing football, but he wanted to represent his hometown. That was clear in his tweet. He explained it this way: “I’m really from Oakland doe like really really really from Oakland doe…town bizness breath on me.”

He’ll celebrate joining the Raiders on Thursday with a block party and autograph signing in Oakland.

Lynch will give East Bay fans something to cheer for that won’t be shipping off to Vegas in a few years.

Nothing can cure the pain of an NFL team leaving Oakland a second time. Wins are ibuprofen, giving short-term relief to an ailing fan local base. He can certainly help the Raiders provide that.

The Silver and Black needed a big, physical primary rusher to pair with elusive, yet smaller backs Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington.

Lynch is that guy. There’s no question he’s a football fit.

Lynch is a strong interior rusher from several different formations. He could run well behind fullback Jamize Olawale, as a lone shotgun runner or in jumbo packages with quarterback Derek Carr under center and behind a hulking Raiders offensive line.

While new offensive coordinator Todd Downing will add some wrinkles to an existing scheme, the Raiders employ a versatile system that could suit Lynch’s many strengths.

Lynch ranks among the toughest, most aggressive backs of his generation and one of the best resisting tackles.

He averaged 4.3 yards per carry and 2.8 yards after contact per rushing attempt in his career, according to analytics site Pro Football Focus.

Lynch led the NFL with 245 broken tackles between 2013 and 2016 – 56 more than the next guy -- and he didn’t even play last season, per PFF.

He led the league with an unreal 3.1 yards after per contact in 2014, his last year fully healthy. He played just eight times in 2015 due to an abdominal injury that required surgery.

Lynch is completely healthy after his year travelling the world, doing charity work and expanding his clothing line, but effectiveness is always questioned of running backs over 30. Lynch turned 31 last week. He heads into his 10th season without having been hit in a while, and many believe he can produce like few others his age have in the NFL.

He’ll take the lion’s share of carries in a three-man rotation with Richard and Washington. He reportedly gets an extra $2 million if he's just the second Raider since 2010 to reach 1,000 yards. There’s motivation to push for that and other incentives in the deal. If Lynch is in vintage Beast Mode and fans are happy, the Raiders will gladly pay the extra freight.