IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: The Cousins conundrum; Warriors hit stride
WHAT TO DO WITH COUSINS: Another poor start for the Kings. Although more competitive, they are laden with challenges. Will DeMarcus Cousins be traded by December when his value is still very high? He is one of the best centers in basketball, but he is also weary of losing and playing for such a dysfunctional franchise. Is this the year for the talented big man to escape basketball’s hell?
KINGS STRUGGLING: With a 4-8 record, they are mired in a three-game losing streak going into Friday. They lose by only five against San Antonio, but it is really not that close. Overtime losses loom large. Too many turnovers. They are 3-7 in the last 10. What will it take to get this team over the hump? Clippers, Raptors, OKC, and Houston on the horizon. Coach Joerger is better, but still searching for that winning formula.
WARRIORS ROLL: Golden State sits at 10-2 for the season. They ride a six-game win streak. Impressive victories against the Suns and Raptors. With Thompson, Durant, and Curry it becomes increasingly difficult to defend the 3-point shot. Golden State is 9-1 in their last 10. Starting to come together as a squad. Waiting for confrontation with the first place LA Clippers.
WALTON AND HIS LAKERS: Surprisingly, Luke Walton has his Lakers in the hunt for the playoffs. No one saw it coming. They did not win their seventh game until Jan. 1 last season. This campaign, it is accomplished on Tuesday night. At that point, they had won three of four. They are playing hard and energetically under Walton. Finally, they are a team to watch. Let’s see where they are on Jan. 1, 2017.
JAMES TRYING TO FIGURE IT OUT: LeBron James offers a hopeful spin to the election of Donald Trump as President. Stunned at the outcome of the Nov. 8 election, he said, “We all have to figure out a way that we can make America as great as it can be.” He stays up until 4 a.m. election night. Although not happy with the result, he appears ready to move on gracefully.
NCAA FOOTBALL IN CHAOS: The No. 2, No. 3, and No. 4 ranked teams find ways to lose last Saturday. USC throttles No. 4 Washington in Seattle. It has been decades since this happens. It is shaping up for a great finish. Watch Tanner Vallejo and his Boise State squad rise. No one would have thought this possible, but it sure adds a new dimension to the National Championship. The Crimson Tide is firmly in the driver’s seat.
GOLD CUP SPECIAL MATCH: Joining you from the island of St. Kitts this week where cricket and football (soccer) are the big events. St. Kitts played a huge match on Sunday. It is a treat to meet the players and attend this very special match. A must-win for the St. Kitts squad, they lose in extra time 2-0 vs. Haiti. The loss puts them in a precarious position in World Cup and Gold Cup qualifying.
IMPROVED EFFORT?: The 49er run defense snapped listless streaks for yardage gained by the opposition as well as rush yardage by a single player. Kaepernick makes another good showing. Four turnovers captured by SF. However, in the end, the loss streak is extended to 9 games in a 23-20 loss against Arizona as time expires. Team on a rise? Don’t count on it as New England comes calling tomorrow.
US MENS SOCCER IN DISARRAY: The 4-0 pasting by Costa Rica is a major setback for the American men. The showing is described as an error-strewn and disheveling performance. Is it time for coach Jürgen Klinsmann to go? Goaltending is a mess. All of this is World Cup qualifying. The Americans may stand on the sidelines as they have gone 0-2 in this final round.
FINAL THOUGHT: The 49ers are bad, but the Cleveland Browns are even worse. Who will win the sprint for the No. 1 draft pick?
Jim Adams is a regular contributor to The Union. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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