The NBA playoffs resume tonight, with Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals being the focal point of the daily sports diet for Tuesday. Memphis visits San Antonio in a game that tips at 9 PM ET on ESPN, and I would presume that means you get the entertaining pregame set of Michael Wilbon and Magic Johnson, with Jalen Rose and Bill Simmons along for the ride.
It’s a night off in the NBA playoffs tonight, as Memphis-San Antonio resume their Western Conference Finals matchup on Tuesday, and Miami-Indiana don’t start in the East until Wednesday. That allows the NHL to be the focal point of the daily sports menu on Monday.
The Chicago-Detroit series goes to Motown with the series tied 1-1 and the folks in the Windy City undoubtedly feeling a bit nervous—they are the heavy favorite, but Detroit’s a got a history and it’s not one that makes Chicago fans comfortable. Game time is 7:30 PM ET on the NBC Sports Network.
The conference finals in the NBA playoffs are set, as the Indiana Pacers eliminated the New York Knicks, 106-99 in Game 6 of their second round series. We’ll briefly recap the Pacers-Knicks game, and then dive into previews of the next round—Memphis-San Antonio in the West and Indiana-Miami in the East.
THE KNICKS DON’T MEASURE UP
What other conclusion can you reach when New York does everything they could be reasonably asked to do, and still lose the basketball game? The Knicks had their three-point shooting game going, hitting 13-of-30 from behind the arc. Carmelo Anthony was hot inside the arc, knocking down 39 points on 15-of-29 shooting. New York got a big performance from Iman Shumpert who buried five treys. As a team the Knicks made all 18 of their free throw attempts. And yet they still lost.
Its All-Star Saturday on the NASCAR Sprint Cup series, with a non-points race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway (7:30 PM ET, Fox). This brief break in the chase for the Cup comes as Kevin Harvick is sneaking up the standings, Matt Kenseth has become the de facto leader and Kyle Busch sees danger coming from Kasey Kahne.
HARVICK HAPPIER THESE DAYS
Kevin “Happy” Harvick has been a regular on the Sprint Cup series since 2001, and a very consistent driver over his career. He’s finished in the Top 10 seven times, including back-to-back third-place finishes in 2010-11. When TheSportsNotebook did its season preview back in February, Harvick was the longshot choice recommended by our NASCAR junkie, my brother Bill, at 25-1, to win the championship.
The Los Angeles Kings might have taken a couple games to get started in these playoffs, but last year’s Stanley Cup champs have the look of a freight train right now. After winning four straight against St. Louis to close the first round, the Kings immediately opened the second with two more wins against a good San Jose Sharks team.
Los Angeles took the opener on Tuesday, 2-0. Jonathan Quick was dominant in goal, and even though the Kings were outshot 35-20, the bulk of that margin was built up in the third period when Los Angeles already had a two-goal lead and San Jose had to fire away with desperation.