May 19, 2005
Steve Nash:
34 pts, 13 reb, 12 ast: Delivered the best game of his MVP season when the Suns needed it most; Phoenix tops Dallas 114-108 to take 3-2 lead in series.
 
 
 
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
GAME.  SITH.

Nothing short of the Jedi Mind Trick will convince fans that the Pacers, Sonics and -- now -- Mavs can rebound from Game 5 losses.

Simply surviving Game 6 is going to be a problem, making it more like "Game Sith"; let's not even talk about their actually advancing.

Phoenix has adapted to the roster equivalent of Anakin or Luke's artificial limb (Jim Jackson for Joe Johnson); they looked like the team from Game 1.

Meanwhile, looking ahead to tonight's possible close-out games in Indiana (8 p.m. ET) and Seattle (10:30, ESPN):

The Pistons' ominous D is as close as we have to an actual Empire (cue John Williams music). Frankly, Larry Brown makes a good Emperor.

The Spurs resemble a freak-n-geek group of Star Wars line-waiters. (The difference is athletic skill). An extra few days' rest to scheme for the Suns would be huge.

NBA Playoff Game 7s are fun, but with every Game 5 going to the favorites, you have a better chance of walking up and buying an Episode III ticket than the 'dogs have of moving on.

Wait: Could the new Star Wars movie be opening today? Hadn't heard about that...

Shaq Status
May not be ready for Game 1, he said. Maybe it's a bluff, to make his comeback more dramatic. Heat fans better hope so.

But if he doesn't play, it could cost the Heat the East Finals, considering they could very well lose home-court with one bad night.

Beating the Nets or Wiz without Shaq is one thing; beating the defending champs without him is another. (Yes, presuming Detroit tops Indiana.)

Even if he does come back, how will the player with the bruise problem handle the problem of a bruising series?

Padres Roll On
MLB's hottest team, but you'd never know it, because they're in West Coast exile, even as they wax the best team in the NL East.

CHECK OUT THE QUICKIE EVERY WEEKDAY MORNING!
WHO'S GOT THE MOMENTUM ...
Amare Stoudemire: Rebounds (literally) with 33 pts, 18
reb Mark Buehrle: Wins 6th straight; is he the "new Garland?"
Star Wars fans: The line is moving! The line is moving!
... AND WHO'S GOT NO MO'
Yankees: Finally! 10-game win streak snapped by Mariners
Dan Kolb: Benched as Braves closer (go back to Smoltz!)
David Wells: Tattooed by the A's; what a dud of a signing
 
Latest star: Khalil Greene, who hit two 3-run HRs, powering the Padres past the Braves, who didn't even have a chance to try their new closer-by-committee plan.

NBA Talks Off
Is the NBA the new NHL? Labor talks broke off yesterday (you can stop those age-limit debates now; there are bigger problems).

But don't get too excited, even if they have a lockout following the draft. There is NO way that David Stern doesn't start next season on time.

Congress Watch
It sucks to be Don Fehr: It's easy (even necessary) for Bud Selig to tell Congress what it wants to hear, like he did yesterday.

But Fehr is getting crushed, simply because he passionately defends his constituency, even if it means staring down Congress.

Up next: NBA. And the hilarity of having skinny Juan Dixon testify about NBA steroid use. (Psst: 'Roids are not the NBA's drug problem.)

Bonds Status Iffy
He's off the IV, now getting his antibiotics orally. Questions linger about his condition and his future, but very few questions about whether or not the antibiotics come in a "Cream" or "Clear" form.

Winslow: Not Good
Will miss entire 2005 season: He's got to have surgery to repair a torn ACL suffered in his moron-of-year cycle crash.

His family won't let the Browns discuss his status, but a good ol' anonymous source passed the story along to several media outlets.

All-NBA: Age-ism!
I'm crying ageism! The only reason LeBron didn't make the All-NBA 1st team was because voters held it against him he's only a soph.

Why not LeBron? Voters didn't have a problem putting Tim Duncan on the 1st-team as a rookie or soph (or since; it's his 8th straight 1st-team).

The only problem is that I'm not sure who to knock off: Either AI or Dirk. (Shaq and Nash and TD are untouchable.) Probably AI.

Meanwhile, LeBron made the 2nd team, along with KG, Amare, Wade and Ray Allen. (3rd: T-Mac, Marion, Wallace, Bryant, Arenas).

Brandon Lyon:
Knew it was too good to be true: Arizona's breakout MLB saves leader goes on 15-day DL with tendonitis in his elbow. Keep your eye on that injury.
 
 
Today on ESPN.com
Quickie live!
NBA Daily Dime
Page 2: Episode VII
 
Best Movie Baddies:
Darth Vader
Icon of the industry
 
Hannibal Lecter
So bad he was good
 
Keyzer Soze
Best. Twist. Ever.
 
Norman Bates
A little dated for me
 
Khan Noonien Singh
Khaaaaan! Khaaaaaan!
 

Preakness: Giacomo got the 13th post and 6-1 odds (what kind of odds can I get for GUARANTEEING the horse won't win again?); Alex Afleet 5-2.

Indy 500 Watch: Admit it, you're not interested in seeing anything but the woman driver win. How can you NOT root for Danica Patrick?

Is David Boston an example of Nick Saban's vision of a winner? Or just an example of a coach's win-at-all-costs mentality?

Randy Moss' No. 18 Raiders jersey leads all NFL sales. Get analysis of that (and so much more) in Darren Rovell's new blog for Insider.

Tailgating? Illegal?! In Milwaukee?!?! But why else would anyone go see a Brewers game? It's MILLER Field, for gosh sakes!

Must-Read: Caple's Star Wars parody for Page 2. (See Q It Up)



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