May 4, 2004
Pistons super-scorer
Tayshaun Prince:

15 points makes you a super-scorer? When the teams combine to score a record-low 62 in the first half, yes. Prince also had 10 rebounds and five assists.
 
 
 
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
IN.  MEMORY.

"What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance, from the program at Pat Tillman's memorial service Monday.

Those who knew Pat Tillman best -- his loving family, his closest friends -- did the most wonderful service to the man with their heartfelt messages... and the most valuable service for a nation of viewers following along live to get to know him better.

Those family and friends would likely have been disappointed to know that their words were often muted out for swear words. However crass their language might have been, it was real -- and expressed very real grief that any viewer might relate to, rather than find offensive.

This was not some staged obscenity that has the FCC in such an uproar. The eulogies deserved to be heard unfiltered, because it was the way Tillman's family and friends wanted to be heard, what they felt they must do -- to mourn.

Pistons 78, Nets 56
Pick your poison:
Miserably low scoring...
...or a 22-point blowout loss?

The Nets' 56-point "effort" last night foreshadows an ugly series to come. Reading down the list of records set for offensive brutality, it registered that the Nets may have set more marks for futility than they made field goals. It's close.

From a scoring standpoint, the best news for Jersey is that it can't possibly get worse that this. Now, about that blowout ...

T'wolves in Trouble?
Choose your own pop theory
to justify a prediction that Minnesota won't get past the Kings in their Western Conference semifinal series, starting tonight in Minneapolis:

(a) Just Happy to Be Here
Getting out of the first round was the big psychological hurdle; hadn't really given much thought to what comes next.
Ex.: Knicks-Spurs '99 Finals

CHECK OUT THE QUICKIE EVERY WEEKDAY MORNING!
WHO'S GOT THE MOMENTUM ...
Texas Rangers: Won 5th str; next 14 games vs. TB, DET, KC
Indians P Jake Westbrook: Out-dueled Schilling; not bad ...
Michele Tafoya: New MNF sideliner; replaced Lisa Guerrero
... AND WHO'S GOT NO MO'
Ken Griffey Jr: Same old...; sore hammy (he says it's OK)
Neil D'oh!-Donnell: Tells Giants that he plans to retire
William "Halftime" Hung: Memo to NBA -- Stop the madness
 
(b) Haven't Been Here Before
Can't advance in the NBA playoffs until you've lost at least one series in the round you would like to get through.
Ex.: Bulls vs. Bad Boys

NBA P'offs: Game 7!
Let's downplay that it's the Hornets and the Heat, and simply enjoy that we've reached this postseason's first moment where both teams face a win-or-go-home situation.

Flames Bounce Wings
It's a 2-step hop onto the Calgary bandwagon. Dumping Detroit in six games, last night the Flames earned their first trip to the Stanley Cup conference finals since '89:

(1) Bandwagon interest increases in direct proportion to number of years since a team has reached a certain playoffs tier.

(2) Who they beat matters, too; it's easy to love a good spoiler (and the Red Wings were the pre-tournament favorites).

Prep(s)-to-Pro
Sure, it's a shame when prep hoopsters go pro and don't get drafted, but it takes a lot of the hot air out of the "preps-ruining-NBA" argument when they are talented enough to be first-round locks, as Monday's prep-to-pro trio are:

Shaun Livingston, 6-7, PG
As Top 10 pick, no less.

JR Smith, 6-5, SG:
Late lottery, mid-first.

Al Jefferson, 6-9, PF:
Wide-body is late first-ish.

Actually, the most hyped of all the preps -- PG Sebastian Telfair, who is declaring today at ESPN Zone in NYC -- is probably the least worthy. But come on: Would you have turned down a multi-million dollar sneaker deal? Someone will take him in the first round on star appeal alone.

Boston Red Sox:
Lost fourth straight last night. Let's read WAY to much into a fragment of a Johnny Damon quote: "There is something terribly wrong."
 
 
Today on ESPN.com
Ultimate Athlete Showdown
Insider: Detroit over Nets
Fantasy
 
2005 NBA MVP Contenders
Kobe*
* -- If, you know... "not guilty"
 
Tim Duncan
If not MVP, always in Top 2
 
KG
Big Ticket can ride twice
 
LeBron
Anything but All-NBA is soph slump
 
AI
Right: Just not as a Sixer
 

Already over Kevin Garnett as '04 NBA MVP. See Big 5 (above) for a look at Top 5 MVP contenders for '05...

"Yea/nay" or "No way": Celtics dispute report that Doc Rivers has a contract clause for veto power over personnel moves...

Roger Clemens was picked as NL Pitcher of the Month; is it the first step toward the ultimate -- a post-retirement Cy Young?...

Smarty Jones doesn't need to run at Preakness; he wasn't going to be earning the "Win" prediction anyway...

With all the pub for the preps, still waiting on an NBA decision from bonafide NBA-quality PG Devin Harris from Wisconsin...

Given last night, if a third Net (Kenyon Martin) joins the Olympic hoops roster, Team USA might not break 70 points...



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