June 13, 2005
Robert Horry:
Sure, Manu had another MVP-ish game (27 pts, 7 ast), but Big Shot Bob had a stat-stuffer belying his age: 12 pts, 6 reb, 5 ast, 4 stl, 28 min.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

How desperate are things for the Pistons?

So desperate that an Eva Longoria sighting provides more spark. (Hey, where's her Tony Parker jersey?)

That's where a "2-3 Defense" might help the Pistons.

The only thing that might save the Pistons from the humiliation of a sweep is the psychological edge from the NBA's non sequitur switch to a 2-3-2 Finals format (from the usual 2-2-1-1-1).

Three games in Detroit? Even a team playing as poorly as the Pistons right now can stop a team playing as well as the Spurs, given up to three chances at home, right?

Frankly, fans watching are more desperate for a competitive series than the Pistons themselves. (Eva or no Eva.)

Nats Mania
MLB Manager of the Year? If the season ended today, it would be the Nats' Frank Robinson, who has led D.C. to an NL East-leading 37-26 record and 10 straight wins, including yet another one-run thriller.

Why not throw the NL Cy the Nats' way, too? You can have Dontrelle, Clemens, Peavy or Pedro: For now, I'll take innings-eater Livan "Leave-In" Hernandez.

Meanwhile, the Nats passed the 1 million mark in attendance yesterday, setting a new club record. (And it's only June 13!)

Cubs-Sox at Wrigley
Sox salvage the weekend with a win Sunday at Wrigley. It doesn't mask recent problems, which Theo knows: "This is my fault."

Afleet Alex: How about a "Two Firsts and a Third" Crown?
David Lee: Florida PF a big winner at NBA pre-draft camp
Colorado Crush: Wins ArenaBowl XIX with Elway-ish thrills
Yankees: Despite tough talk from Torre, lose 2/3 to Cards
Cal State-Fullerton: Defending CWS champs ousted by AZ St
NBA labor deal: Stern says best/last offer expires on 6/30
Taking responsibility is much appreciated, but some pitching help would be better. Epstein shouldn't be shy about making a deal.

The weekend at Wrigley should remind everyone that it was Theo's Nomar deal with the Cubs last July that sparked the team to its W.S. title.

Laimbeer to Knicks
Well, at least the Knicks would be able to balance all that losing with the most quotable, entertaining coach in the NBA. (But would Isiah get jealous?)

LPGA: Slammika
Sorenstam is halfway to an LPGA Slam, but the buried lead is the hot finishes by 15-y.o. Wie (2nd) and 18-y.o. Creamer (3rd).

The LPGA can do the math:
Stars + playoffs = Viability.

Danica or Dud-ica?
The difference between "sensation" and "novelty" is the difference between finishing 4th at the Indy 500 and 13th (out of 22) at Saturday's Learjet 500.

Put another way: A race-car-driving hottie makes the cover of SI; a hottie who drives a race car earns the cover of FHM. Do her handlers understand that nuance?

Mike Tyson:
What an embarrassment. Even a KO loss would have been a more graceful finish. Let's not have any more talk about him being on the sports radar ever again.
Today on ESPN.com
Quickie live!
Stein on Finals
Gammons on Cubs
Current NL East Standings:
Nats (37-26, --)
Even new guy (Spivey) produces!
Phillies (36-28, 1.5 GB)
Have won 11 of 12 in June
Marlins (31-29, 4.5 GB)
On paper, should be rolling
Braves (32-30, 4.5 GB)
LW, lost 2/3 each to OAK, LAA
Mets (32-31, 5 GB)
Pedro: Best Offseason Pickup

Queens suddenly doesn't seem so bad, now that Mets have committed to be a part of New York City's revised plan to host the 2012 Olympics.

Start of the Day: Dontrelle is always must-see, but I'll take Roy Halladay against that awesome Cards lineup.

NL East: There's no bigger must-see division in baseball, where all five teams are above .500 and two lightweights are leading.

In final tune-up before this week's U.S. Open, Sergio Garcia shot a sick final-round 65 to win the Booz Allen. (Tiger wasn't there, though.)

Carl Edwards wins Pocono 500: But the best detail is that he prepared for the new-to-him track by playing a NASCAR video game.

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