Pablo Sandoval won't be arrested for sexual assault


Pablo Sandoval won't be arrested for sexual assault

From Comcast SportsNet
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Investigators say there is not enough evidence to arrest San Francisco Giants slugger Pablo Sandoval for an alleged sexual assault at a hotel near Santa Cruz. The Santa Cruz County Sherriff's Office completed its investigation Thursday and forwarded the case to the district attorney's office. No charges are expected. A 21-year-old woman who lives in Santa Cruz County filed a sexual assault complaint against the All-Star third baseman June 1. The woman told investigators she met a small group of people in downtown Santa Cruz and went to a resort in nearby Aptos, where she said she was assaulted. Sandoval was contacted at the resort by detectives and cooperated in the investigation. Sandoval's attorney, Eric Geffon, had previously called the encounter a "consensual, personal relationship of a sexual nature." In a statement released Thursday, Geffon said: "The Sherriff's Department has completed a thorough and professional investigation and we are pleased that they have concluded that there is insufficient evidence to support an arrest. Pablo will continue to focus on helping the Giants towards a playoff run this season." The Giants have a major investment in the player nicknamed "Kung Fu Panda" for his powerful swing and portly presence. The switch-hitter received a 17.15 million, three-year contract last winter. He lost about 40 pounds through a strict workout regimen two offseasons ago to bring him down to around 240 pounds, then batted .315 with 23 home runs and 70 RBIs in 2011. Sandoval missed more than a month this season after he had surgery May 4 to remove a broken hamate bone in his left hand. He is batting .307 with eight home runs and 30 RBIs. Sandoval also made his second straight All-Star appearance and first as a starter this week. He hit the first bases-loaded triple in All-Star history off Detroit ace Justin Verlander to highlight a five-run first inning that propelled the National League to an 8-0 victory over the American League on Tuesday night. San Francisco is a half-game behind the rival Los Angeles Dodgers for first place in the NL West. The Giants return to play Friday at home against the Houston Astros.

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Wizards focus on posting up Wall, Beal against smaller guards

Wizards focus on posting up Wall, Beal against smaller guards

Sporadically, John Wall would post up smaller guards last season. It didn't become a staple of his game, however, and Bradley Beal didn't do much of it either when he was being defended by them. 

Scott Brooks is trying to change that immediately. In seven preseason games, that was one of many focal points for the offense.

Wall is a big point guard at 6-4 and physically strong. Beal isn't exceptionally big for a shooting guard, but he has gotten more size and grown an inch taller than his backcourt mate. When 6-footers such as Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors have to switch onto Beal, the Wizards are getting the ball to him quickly at the rim to force a rotation from a second player to help or clear out for Beal to go to work. 

“As we all evolve we’re going to have to push ourselves to play different spots on the floor. John has great size at his position," Brooks said. "For him to post up and be a playmaker from that spot, defenses are not used to that. There are not a lot of pure point guards who can post up. He has the strength and he has the quickness and obviously he has the passing ability. With Brad, they have to make a decision. Are they going to put a bigger guy on John? We’re going to have that opportunity with Brad also."


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Brooks, Beal impressed with Wizards' passing this preseason

Brooks, Beal impressed with Wizards' passing this preseason

With their regular season opener set for Thursday (6:30 p.m. on CSN), Wizards head coach Scott Brooks was asked after practice this week what has impressed him the most about his new team now that their seven-game exhibition schedule is over. Brooks was quick to point out what has been an established strength for the Wizards in recent years.

"If I had to pick, our offense and our passing has been really, really good," Brooks said. "We're a very good passing team. I thought throughout this exhibition season that has been displayed."

The Wizards have ranked no lower than seventh in assists per game among NBA teams in the last three seasons. It certainly doesn't hurt to have John Wall at the helm of their offense. Wall, 26, has averaged at least 10 assists per game in the past two years. He ranked third in basketball last season with 10.2 per contest.

Wall, in fact, is seventh all-time in career assists per game (9.0) among players with at least 400 NBA games logged. Four of the six ahead of him on the list - Magic Johnson, John Stockton, Oscar Robertson and Isiah Thomas - are Hall of Famers. The other two - Kevin Johnson and Chris Paul - are also good names to be associated with. 

Paul, for one, will likely join the others in the Hall someday. He's the only NBA player with more assists than Wall since the latter entered the league in 2010.

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Brooks spoke glowingly about Wall's abilities and his rare his combination of speed and court vision.

"It's uncanny, his speed with the basketball and that he's able to make good decisions at that speed," Brooks said. "He sees it slow motion as he's going fast and that's very rare."

Wall isn't the only one passing the rock, of course. Brooks hopes shooting guard Bradley Beal can get more involved in the cause. Beal has a 3.0 assists-per-game average in his career, but his new coach thinks Beal can average four or five.

That may come naturally, given Beal's thoughts on the subject. He believes the Wizards' offense reached a new level this preseason.

"That's probably the best we've passed since I've been here," Beal said. "That's just everybody having fun and not caring about who scores, just getting the best shot available. When we play like that, it's fun for everybody. It's fun for coaches, it's fun for the players, fun for guys coming in the game with momentum and energy."

The Wizards as a team notched 33 assists in their preseason finale against the Raptors in Friday night. Beal alone had nine of them and no turnovers, to boot. 

That's exactly what Brooks likes to see and he hopes it carries into the regular season.

"We have to continue to trust the pass," he said. "I think our passing has been impressive. We need to continue that."

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