IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: Jumbo Joe reaches 1,000 assists; Warriors wilt without Durant
THORNTON’S 1,000th: It was his 900th game as a Shark Monday night, and Jumbo Joe Thornton notched his 1,000th NHL assist. Only 13 players in league history have accomplished this feat. More importantly for Jumbo, he accomplished his 1000th on the game-winning goal. Quick to deflect the attention from himself, in the post-game glow he chooses to speak of goalie Aaron Dell as well as other players. Thornton is a total class act. He is a true ambassador of the sport. The NHL Hall of Fame is awaiting him.
DELL SHINES: Someone forgot to tell Sharks goaltender Aaron Dell that he is in the back-up role. Getting a mere 14 games, he is 9-3-1 with a goals against average of 1.88 and a save percentage of .935. Dell saved the day again for San Jose on Monday night in a big 3-2 win versus the Winnipeg Jets. He has played so well this season that general manager Doug Wilson called him into his office before the trade deadline to inform him that the Sharks would not be dealing him. His performance has been brilliant.
WARRIORS LAY ROTTEN EGG: With all the star-power they possess, no one thought the Warriors could lose 3-of-5 after Kevin Durant went down. Yet they have looked like a shell of their former selves. In Wednesday’s ugly loss to the Boston Celtics, they collapse in the fourth quarter, allowing Boston to go on a 15-0 run and the Celtics to hold the ball for 68 seconds late in the game, punctuated by an Avery Bradley two-pointer. It is a discouraging 99-86, double-digit loss at Oracle. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have failed to answer the call. The West is up for grabs.
KINGS DEVASTATING LOSS: Ahead by 12 going into the fourth quarter last Sunday vs. the Phoenix Suns, it is a heartbreaker for the Sacramento Kings. They allow Phoenix to claw their way back and take it to overtime. In the extra session, Willie Cauley-Stein sinks two clutch free throws with less than 4 seconds to play to give the Kings a 109-108 lead. However, Phoenix’s Rudy Gobert taps in an air ball as time expires. It is initially waived off, but upon review, Phoenix is awarded the basket and the game. Heart-breaking, soul-searching loss at Golden 1. Playoff hopes are dashed.
BOGUT DOWN, OUT: Andrew Bogut makes his debut with the Cleveland Cavaliers against the Miami Heat on Monday night. However, it soon turns disastrous as he breaks his right tibia early in the second quarter. He is carried off the court and the news is bad. It is a broken left leg. Bogut, of past Golden State Warriors fame, will miss the rest of the season.
GARCON TO NINERS: Thirty-first in total offense last season, the 49ers look to upgrade their receiving corps with the signing of Pierre Garcon from the Redskins. Their best receiver last season was Jeremy Kerley with a mere 64 catches for 667 yards. San Francisco has over $100 million of cap space. So, they spend some of it on Garcon. Sure to improve the offense, the 49ers come into this season without a clear-cut quarterback candidate.
VENEZUELA A TEAM TO WATCH: If you are into the World Baseball Classic of 2017, watch out for Venezuela. The are deep with talent, including Felix Hernandez, Jose Altuve, Salvador Perez and Carlos Gonzalez. After a disappointing showing in 2013, they could win it all.
PAGAN STILL WAITING: Former Giants infielder Angel Pagan is still awaiting a suitable offer. As he plays for Puerto Rico in the WBC, he says no to the Orioles, Nationals and Braves. Pagan gave a lot to the Giants. Although often injured, he will, at 35, find his new home.
QB EXPLOSION: Most think that quarterback Mike Glennon will get about $15 million in the NFL Free Agency market. Chico’s Aaron Rodgers, currently making $22 million per season, weighs in. When asked if the Glennon situation will result in future salary talks, he responds, “I think it has to.” The market is about to take off.
LOU DUVA DEAD AT 94: Lou Duva was the face of boxing for many generations. He managed greats like Sugar Ray Leonard, Lennox Louis and Evander Holyfield. He was called the Yogi Berra of boxing. A dazzling personality and an avid love for his fighters will forever be his mantra.
Jim Adams is a regular contributor to The Union. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Football roared back into the foothills Friday night at J. David Ramsey Stadium.