Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Development, chemistry key to Spurs' recent turnaround 

By Jonathan Feigen, Houston Chronicle Updated 7:00 pm CST, Saturday, December 22, 2018 PHOTOS: Rockets game-by-game Gregg Popovich has some stern coaching words with Bryn Forbes in the second half despite the guard's game high performance as the Spurs host the Timberwolves at the AT&T Center on December 21, 2018. Browse through the photos to see how the Rockets have fared in each game this season. less PHOTOS: Rockets game-by-game Gregg Popovich has some stern coaching words with Bryn Forbes in the second half despite the guard's game high performance as the Spurs host the Timberwolves at the AT&T Center ... more Photo: Tom Reel/Staff Photographer Photo: Tom Reel/Staff Photographer PHOTOS: Rockets game-by-game Gregg Popovich has some stern coaching words with Bryn Forbes in the second half despite the guard's game high performance as the Spurs host the Timberwolves at the AT&T Center on December 21, 2018. Browse through the photos to see how the Rockets have fared in each game this season. less PHOTOS: Rockets game-by-game Gregg Popovich has some stern coaching words with Bryn Forbes in the second half despite the guard's game high performance as the Spurs host the Timberwolves at the AT&T Center ... more Photo: Tom Reel/Staff Photographer Development, chemistry key to Spurs' recent turnaround The Spurs have gone from one of five teams in NBA history to lose three games by 30 or more points in the same week to joining the 1971-72 Bucks as the only teams to win five consecutive games by at least 25. The improvement could be just from having a largely retooled roster – with eight players in their first season with the Spurs – growing more accustomed to one another and the system. "Probably so," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. But he said he also has gotten better contributions from players filling larger roles. "We got a few players we've developed over the last couple years and they stepped up and played well. When Dejounte (Murray) went down, we had to figure out something. Between Patty (Mills) and Bryn (Forbes) and Derrick (White) it's sort of a committee point guard position and they're beginning to feel more accustomed ... familiarity with each other. "New guys are understanding the system better. Hopefully, we're not getting beat by 30 as much. We're probably still capable of it. We're probably more together as a group. They trust each other a little more, they understand what is going on and understand each other more." Popovich said he also chose to show additional patience as a way to develop confidence. "I just thought they deserved a lot of patience with the group two-thirds new," he said. "I can't expect them to catch on right away and understand each other. Patience is like the first step in showing confidence in somebody or in a group. If you expect everything quickly, that's just not going to work and hurt their confidence." SMITH: Can Chris Paul stay healthy long enough for Rockets to hoist trophy?


Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly find their own chemistry in re-creating Laurel and Hardy 

Reilly says his concerns were about legacy-ruining. “Steve is a very natural mimic, but that’s not what I do as an actor,” says Reilly. “I wanted to honor [Laurel & Hardy], not be a liability for them.” “They were so well known that potentially it was a poisoned chalice,” Coogan adds. “But at the end of the day you think, ‘If he [points to Reilly] is onboard, I’ll do it.’ I knew I’d have a good, talented, reliable partner in crime.’ ”


Chemistry major accused of poisoning roommate 

Lehigh University student Juwal Royal thought he had a “cordial” relationship with Yukai Yang, his roommate of four years. But for months, prosecutors say, Yang was trying to kill him. Yang, a chemistry major from China, faces charges including attempted murder and aggravated assault for allegedly putting the chemical thallium, which is used in rat poison, in his roommate’s food and drink, the Morning Call reports. Yang, 22, was first arrested in April on charges including ethnic intimidation after allegedly scrawling racist graffiti, including “(N-word) GET OUT OF HERE” on his black roommate’s desk and trashing his TV and bed. Royal, who graduated from the Pennsylvania university in the spring, became so ill on two occasions in March that police were called to the room twice. On one occasion, he was hospitalized after vomiting for 45 minutes. Tests revealed dangerous amounts of thallium in his blood. Royal, who is still experiencing symptoms from the poisoning, “was as dumbfounded by this as anyone else,” says assistant DA Abraham Kassis. Authorities say Yang admitted buying thallium and other chemicals online and putting them in food and drink in their shared fridge, but said he bought them to harm himself “if he did poorly on future exams.” Yang has been kicked out of Lehigh and will also lose his student visa, WFMZreports. (This Hartford University student was arrested after a sickening campaign against her roommate.

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