IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: Draymond drama; 49ers fail to finish; Sharks rise to top of Pacific
THE PROBLEM WITH DRAYMOND: When will the mercurial Draymond Green get it straight? It was a noticeably tough decision as the Warriors suspend him for one game without pay. He tangles with Kevin Durant at the end of regulation in Monday night’s game. It follows the team into the locker room. This tirade includes him calling Durant the “B” word multiple times while calling into question Durant’s pending free agency. Most infer that the injured Steph Curry would have nipped it in the bud. Ray Ratto of NBC Sport Bay Area quips, “Bob Myers and Steve Kerr are doing a delicate dance to keep it all together.” It has become a dynasty in decline.
KINGS 3RD IN PACIFIC: Few would have predicted the surge of the Sacramento Kings. At 8-6 going into Friday night’s game, they have remarkably found ways to get it done. Monday’s conquest of the San Antonio Spurs is a great example. They had lost 14 straight to the Spurs prior to Monday’s 104-99 win. They are in the playoff hunt as the youngsters are getting it done. A week from today it is a big tilt vs. the disheveled Warriors at Oracle.
THE FINISH: The San Francisco 49ers simply did not finish on Monday night. It is a recurring theme as evidenced by the 27-23 loss to the New York Giants. The bright side? Brilliant games by Matt Breida, George Kittle and Nick Mullen. Another snake bit performance by San Francisco. Eli Manning’s final drive and positive performance spells the 49ers. This season is lost for San Francisco, but there is promise for the years ahead.
QUITTERS?: Have the Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders packed it in? As the spiral to 1-8 with five consecutive losses, is there any reason to think otherwise? Are they the worst team in the NFL this season? After their 20-6 loss at home to the Los Angeles Chargers, they have become an embarrassment.
COLFAX IN THE CARDS?: If the Bear River Bruins can go on the road and best Ripon, it is likely they might get a second chance vs. Colfax. It has already been a brilliant and noteworthy season. However, having a second shot at their local rival would be the perfect end to the sectional season. We will have to wait until next Friday to see how this all plays out.
CAL IN A THRILLER: The Bears go into the Coliseum to face USC having lost to the Trojans the last 15 years. The Trojans surge to a 14-0 halftime lead. However, Cal owns the third quarter on both sides of the ball. A fourth quarter shutout wins it for Cal. Patrick Laird who sponsors a book reading club for kids, seals it late with a fourth down carry. USC out of Pac-12 contention at 5-5. Cal is very much in the bowl hunt. Brilliant, thrilling contest.
MONDAY NIGHT MATCHUP: The Los Angeles Rams and the Kansas City Chiefs battle in Los Angeles on Monday night! This has potential to be a defining game. Both sit at 9-1. Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes boasts 3,150 pass yards while Jared Goff is at 3,134. Chiefs Tyrek Hill has 17 20-plus yard receptions while LA’s Brandon Cook sits at 16. Karem Hunt is at 1,091 scrimmage yards while Todd Gurley comes in at 1,390. Must see TV in two days.
MELVIN DESERVES ACCOLADE: The Oakland A’s manager orchestrated a 97-win season. He surpassed all expectations. Obviously, the A’s were the surprise of the American League. So it is that Bob Melvin is Manager of the Year. He notes, “We had a good group of guys without a high payroll.” Well deserved, Melvin got the nod for this team effort.
SHARKS CLAIM FIRST: The San Jose Sharks are narrowly in first place in the highly competitive Pacific Division. A comeback win vs. the league’s best Nashville Predators highlights Tuesday night. However, the Toronto Maple Leafs come to SAP Center and win 6-4 on the second return of Patrick Marleau. Brent Burns, Joe Pavelski and Erik Karlsson are all playing steady hockey. However, more goal support from the defense is needed as they score only their fifth goal of the season.
NHL SETTLES: It is a $18.9 million settlement with more than 300 players as the National Hockey League compensates for failing to protect players from head injuries. It highlights the perils of hockey. The league has tightened it down in a similar manner as the NFL. Another case of the need for player protection in violent sports.
Jim Adams is a regular contributor to The Union. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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