IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: Sharks continue to flounder; Giants off to slow start
SHARKS SWIMMING IN DANGEROUS WATERS: As of Wednesday, the San Jose Sharks were losers in eight of their last nine games. Goaltending has been challenged. Scoring is relatively poor. The defense is unsettling. These are all bad trends as they prepare to face the Vegas Golden Knights in Round 1. It will all start in Wednesday or Thursday. If San Jose does not right the ship, it could be a short series.
WARRIORS READY?: It has been an up-and-down season for Golden State. Yet, they may just be ready for the postseason. It was a playoff atmosphere on Tuesday at Oracle. The Denver Nuggets were in town. However, the Warriors threw a haymaker that sent Denver reeling. Golden State led 59-43 at half. After a Kevin Durant ejection with 8:21 to go in the third quarter, the Warriors kept their foot on the gas pedal. Poor shooting plagued Denver, but it is a comfortable 116-102 win. Steve Kerr claims, “We are as good as we have ever been.”
FINES FOR POOR CITIZENSHIP: The NBA came down on Draymond Green, Stephen Curry and Durant after last Friday’s officiating debacle in Minnesota. The trio got a bit too vocal. Green gets a bill for $35,000 for posting on social media. Curry’s fine was $25,000 for making statements “impugning the integrity of NBA officiating.” Durant merely criticized the officiating and was only hit with $15,000. Yes, the officiating was atrocious, but one must keep his comments to himself even when faced with substandard officiating.
HARDEN CROWNS KINGS: James Harden is certainly a leading candidate for the NBA MVP. On Saturday vs. the Kings, he goes wild again. James Harden goes off for 50 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in the Rockets 119-108 win over Sacramento. It is his 42nd career triple-double and his third 50-point game in the last six. “It’s remarkable what he does, and he does it every night,” quipped Houston’s coach Mike D-Antoni.
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FINAL FOUR: It will be a spectacular today as the four-team field is reduced to a championship match-up. On paper, perhaps Virginia has the best chance of moving to the finals. However, as we have seen, there is no guarantee. Texas Tech, Michigan State, and Auburn will surely have something to say about it. Some grumbled that this year’s tournament was too predictable and drama-free. Ha ha. It has been anything but. Today should be a duo of games to keep us engaged!
GIANTS LAND PILLAR: The Giants are desperate to generate offense. Their disappointment boiled over on Tuesday when they acquired OF Kevin Pillar from Toronto. In 2018, Pillar hit .252/.282/.426. He was Toronto’s most tenured player. Is this a band-aid or partial solution? With the woes at the plate alarming, something had to be done. However, the jury is out as to whether this will make a difference for the G-Men.
TOUGH START: In their first two series, the San Francisco Giants are 2-5. They are 24th in batting at .204 as well as 23rd in runs with 17. San Francisco has been outscored 24-17. It is early, but they need to pick up the pace and bring their bats to Oracle this weekend and beyond.
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE BAY: The Oakland A’s, on the other hand, are hitting the long ball, fielding efficiently, getting good pitching and winning games (a novel concept). Yes, they went to Japan and lost the two-game set to the Seattle Mariners. However, since returning they have a 6-2 mark. Starting pitching is 6-0, giving up six runs through Thursday. They are fourth in runs with 41 and third in home runs with 15. Now it is Houston and a great test for the A’s.
ONE-AND-DONE: The Alliance of American Football is over. The fledging new league, designed to compete with the NFL, is suspending operations after just eight games. It is a financial bloodbath for league owner Tom Dundon who has allegedly invested $70 million in the failed project. The positive ratings after Week 1 have evaporated. They were never able to lure NFL players. It is a failure that exemplifies the NFL’s supremacy when it comes to American Football.
KRAFT NOW DOOMED?: Now there is a video of Patriots owner Robert Kraft engaging in sex acts at the Orchids of Asia massage parlor in Jupiter, Florida twice in January. If the video is deemed admissible in court, Kraft indeed seems doomed. It is a large part of the prosecution’s case. Kraft’s defense is trying to suppress the videos. Kraft may have to deal with authorities, but his punishment from the NFL is certain. His last option is a diversion program. However, he will have to admit guilt. Stay straight in life, my friends.
Jim Adams is a regular contributor to The Union. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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