May 7, 2003
Armando "The Barber" Benitez:
Sal Maglie has nothing on 'Mando, who the NY Post reports was the reliever called in to give Rey Sanchez his mid-game stylin'.
 
 
 
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
FUN.  RUN.

The second round of the NBA playoffs isn't supposed to be as easy as the Kings made it look last night, whipping passes and gliding past the tired, sorry Mavs (in Dallas!) with style that would make Gisele Bundchen jealous.

Biggest shame of the likely series romp: Fans will only get four (maybe five) games of the kind of electric hoops you only find against a team that plays YMCA Sunday-league D.

Pistons: Lights Out
When is a Game 1 playoff win really a loss?* When your hottest, most dangerous scorer limps off the court with an ankle sprain, like Detroit's Chauncey Billups -- status still uncertain -- did last night.

* Not to be confused with "When is a Game 1 playoff loss really a loss," which is the Lakers' problem with similarly injured Devean George, who's not hot and not really dangerous, but a warm body the depleted champs desperately need. Speaking of which ...

With the Lakers' bench as short as Rey Sanchez's hair after a quick clean-up, the champs are going to get run off the floor tonight. Creaky stop-gap starter Brian Shaw and suddenly "key reserve" Slava Medvedenko couldn't find playing time on the Clippers.

MJ/Pollin Summit
"Let's get down to business: How 'bout those throwback unis!" As scheduled, Jordan and the Wizards owner are going to meet today to discuss MJ's future with the team. Though both guys have spotty records as execs, they should give each other another chance.

"HALFWAY THROUGH WRITING, I GOT A HAIRCUT" EDITION
THE SET-UP: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS WEEKEND
1 Lakers/Spurs 2: No Devean George? BIG problem
2 C's/Nets 2: Extra-motivated NJ last thing Boston needs
3 Canucks/Wild 6: Minny in must-win situation
THE SIT-DOWN: RETIRE THESE CONVERSATION TOPICS
1 Dissing Red Sox' bullpen: The Cards' 'pen MUCH worse
2 Royals dominance at home: Took first loss in 12 games
3 Mavs' playoff sched: If they'd swept Blazers in 4 ...
 
All-NBA teams: For what he was able to do at 40, Michael Jordan deserved at least third-team All-NBA honors.

DL to PH to HR
The Cardinals' bullpen makes the Red Sox mess look like Mariano Rivera in his prime: St. Louis lost its second straight to Cincy on a game-ending HR, last night giving up a two-run shot to pinch-hitter Barry Larkin (a huge threat, seeing how he just came off the DL).

Hornets and Floyd
Logic you can see only after a couple Pat O'Brien hurricanes: The New Orleans Hornets, unsatisfied with Paul Silas' 200-plus wins in five seasons, apparently see enough upside in Tim Floyd's career 49-150 NBA record to give him an interview.

Preakness Watch
Having not taken enough punishment from a gelding (and haven't we all experienced that?), Empire Maker's handlers have entered the Derby favorite into next week's Preakness.

Where Are They Now?
Candidate: Freddy "Boom Boom" Washington. "Kotter" actor Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs arrested Sunday for allegedly pushing his girlfriend down while they were inline skating along Venice Beach. (Best Sweathog? Easy: Juan Epstein.)

Robert Horry:
Think David Robinson will wear a cup tonight, after Big Shot Rob's Game 1 below-the-belt hand-check?
 
 
Most infamous Mets moment? Vote at SportsNation.
Today on ESPN.com
NBA IN: Euro Diaries
NHL Playoffs
NFL: Tip Sheet
 
"Dawson's Creek" Edition
Joey's hot
Maloof thrilled w/ Kings win
 
Setting the Pacey
Pistons nab Game 1 vs. Sixers
 
Up the Creek
Lakers must win tonight
 
Teen angst
GT frosh Chris Bosh going pro?
 
"I don't wanna wait ..."
Will 'Bama name coach this week?
 

Fear Factor: Ben Wallace's motto "Fear the 'Fro" is an even better slogan than Maryland's brilliantly ironic "Fear the Turtle" ...

The Dolphins continue to rack up Pro Bowlers on defense, making an offer to free agent Sammy Knight. Too bad the offense stinks ...

Jeter Watch: Starts at SS for Trenton tonight. Slumping NY could use him now ...

Notre Dame PG Chris Thomas will test the NBA draft waters; swim back to shore, young fella! ...

Admit it: At one point in your life, you needed a "Dawson's Creek" fix ...


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