Lakers remain hopeful LeBron will come back
As LeBron James contemplates his future, the Lakers are hopeful he will return to a core group that advanced to the West Finals.
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1. Lakers remain hopeful LeBron will come back
As LeBron James contemplates his future, the Lakers are hopeful he will return to a core group that advanced to the West Finals, writes The Sporting Tribune’s Mark Medina.
The news understandably could have hit the Lakers harder than even the Denver Nuggets sweeping them in the Western Conference Finals following a 113-111 Game 4 loss on Monday. Afterwards, Lakers star LeBron James hinted in a press conference that he may retire before telling ESPN outright that he may consider it following a 20th NBA season that showcased both his dominance and struggle with Father Time.
“Coming off a tough loss like that and the work we put in this season, I think I was ready to retire after last night, too,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham quipped on Tuesday morning at the Lakers’ practice facility.
Ham clearly isn’t retiring following his first season as head coach. After the Lakers advanced to the Western Conference Finals a year after missing the playoffs, Ham sounded eager to build off that next season toward overseeing the franchise’s possible 18th NBA championship. So did Lakers vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka, who opened his exit interview praising Ham for empowering and motivating the team both through a 2-10 start and a post trade-deadline resurgence.
But what about James? Will he really forego the final two years of his contract that will pay him $97.1 million? Will he really pass up the chance to collect more than four NBA championships? Will he really forfeit his publicly stated dream to play in the NBA with his son, Bronny, who just committed to play at USC next season? Will he really walk away after posting 40 points on 15-for-25 shooting overall and 4-for-7 from 3-point range along with 10 rebounds and nine assists in the Lakers’ Game 4 loss to Denver?
2. Knights ride wave of confidence to 3-0 series lead
The Vegas Golden Knights took a 3-0 series lead after beating the Dallas Stars 4-0 on Tuesday. They are one win away from the Stanley Cup Final, writes The Sporting Tribune’s W.G. Ramirez.
The Vegas Golden Knights inched their way closer to a second trip to the Stanley Cup Final in their first six years in the NHL when they blanked the Dallas Stars 4-0 on Tuesday.
With the win, Vegas took a commanding 3-0 series lead.
Adin Hill had his first career playoff shutout and became the second Golden Knights goaltender with a five-game winning streak this postseason, joining Laurent Brossoit. Since Game 5 of the second round, Hill has a 1.98 goals-against average and .942 save percentage.
Jonathan Marchessault scored the first of three Golden Knights goals in the opening 7:10, with additional goals coming from Ivan Barbashev and William Carrier. Alex Pietrangelo scored in the second period to provide the final margin.
And there are some who might point to the early 1-0 lead the Knights took just 1:11 into the game on Marchessault's goal, while others may say the game was won when Stars captain Jamie Benn received a five-minute major and a game misconduct for cross-checking Vegas' Mark Stone 42 seconds after that goal.
3. Miller delivers in Dodgers debut
The young right-hander became the first Dodger starter to record a win in his MLB debut since José De León in 2016, writes The Sporting Tribune’s Jake Dicker.
Bobby Miller has arrived, and on Tuesday night, he was as good as advertised. The young right-hander became the first Dodger starter to record a win in his MLB debut since José De León in 2016. After a shaky start to his season in AAA, it was expected that Miller would need some time to work through the kinks before being promoted to the big league club. Things tend to change when you lose two key starting pitchers in a span of four days.
There aren't many tougher places to make your debut than on the road in Atlanta. The Braves are right at the top of the NL with the Dodgers and have one of the best 1-9 lineups in the game. Outside of a two-batter stretch in the first inning, Miller essentially shut their offense down and displayed why his arrival has been anticipated since he was drafted in the first round out of Louisville.
He retired Ronald Acuña Jr. on his first pitch as a big leaguer, a 100 MPH fastball. Austin Riley jumped on an 0-2 fastball later in the inning, driving home Sean Murphy. One major difference between AAA and big league hitters; big league hitters don't miss 0-2 mistakes. Miller wouldn't allow another run over his next four innings. He stranded runners at third base to end both the third and fourth innings. Miller's 95th pitch of the night would be his last, an 87 MPH slider in on Matt Olson's hands, striking him out to end the fifth inning. Miller let out a roar.
4. Galaxy defeats LAFC, 2-0, moves onto Open Cup quarterfinals
In the 19th edition of El Tráfico, LA Galaxy scored 2 goals in the second half to earn a much-needed win over LAFC in the Open Cup round of 16., writes The Sporting Tribune’s Anthony Bautista.
Entering Tuesday night's matchup, the 19th rendition of El Tráfico between the LA Galaxy and LAFC, the tale of the tape could not be any more different between the two clubs involved.
LAFC are in first place in the MLS Western Conference and in the final of the Concacaf Champion's League on top of competing in the US Open Cup. Meanwhile the Galaxy currently sit in last place in the MLS and about 72 hours prior to meeting their rivals they lost to D.C. United, 3-0.
On Tuesday, the Galaxy eliminated their cross-town rivals behind two goals that came 3 minutes apart from each other in the second half to secure a 2-0 victory and a spot in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup.
"This is a hard place to play, they don't lose many games here." LA Galaxy Head Coach Greg Vanney said following the victory. "It doesn't matter who is playing, these types of games are always difficult and I'm proud of our guys."
5. Angels' Canning prioritizes process
On Tuesday night against the Boston Red Sox, Griffin Canning had his best outing of the season, allowing just 2 hits in 7 shutout innings, writes The Sporting Tribune’s Joey Linn.
Major League Baseball is a results-driven business. While that's understandable, given the ultimate result of wins and losses is all that matters, baseball can quickly become a psychologically challenging game for players who are putting in the work but not seeing the results. This is why Los Angeles Angels pitcher Griffin Canning entered this season intent on prioritizing the process.
"I came into this year trying to be more process-oriented and not focusing on the results as much," Canning told reporters following his start on May 10th. Canning said he felt good in this outing, but got through just 3.2 IP, surrendering 5 earned runs. When asked how he's able to keep a process-oriented focus in a results-driven business, Canning said that day, "The results are out of my control, so that's how. I just focus on what I'm doing each day, try to get better each day, and take it one day at a time."
In his next start following those postgame comments, Canning was on the losing end in Baltimore, getting through 5.1 IP and surrendering 9 hits, 2 walks, and 3 earned runs. It again wasn't his best outing, but Canning kept the Angels in a game they had just 4 hits and 1 run. Again met with a frustrating result, Canning continued to keep his focus on the process.
6. Padres set for midweek clash in nation’s capital
Having now lost five consecutive series, the San Diego Padres (21-26) will head to the District of Columbia to face the Washington Nationals (20-27) in a three-game midweek set, writes The Sporting Tribune’s Gabriel Santiago.
The San Diego Padres – now only 1.5 games above last place in the NL West – are desperately looking to put their losing ways behind them as they prepare for a cross-country trip to the nation’s capital.
Fresh off losing two of three games to the Boston Red Sox, the Friars have now dropped their past five series dating back to May 3. Over that span, San Diego has lost seven of eleven contests while sporting a team batting average of .201–they’ll hope their offense can heat up on the East Coast against a mediocre Washington Nationals rotation.
On the other hand, the pitching for the Padres has been solid since that aforementioned May 3 date, showcasing a team ERA of 2.92 in that timeframe. For the opener against the Nationals, San Diego will hand the ball to Yu Darvish, who is a 10-year MLB veteran. Darvish is 2-3 with a 3.56 ERA this season, coming off a loss against the Kansas City Royals. After Tuesday, we should also see starts from lefties Ryan Weathers and Blake Snell in this series.
7. Odds and Ends presented by Circa Sports
Here are some odds at Circa Sports if you’re thinking about placing a wager today:
8. Ticket Time presented by TickPick
Here are the “get in” prices for tickets if you’re thinking about going to a game today.
6:30 p.m. – Boston Red Sox at Los Angeles Angels – $6
9. On the Air presented by The D Las Vegas
Here are the game times and television channels for professional teams in the region today.
4:15 p.m. – Los Angeles Dodgers at Atlanta Braves – SportsNet LA
6:30 p.m. – Boston Red Sox at Los Angeles Angels – Bally Sports West
10. The Arash Markazi Show presented by The Sporting Tribune
The Sporting Tribune’s Arash Markazi is joined by Brandon Deutsch, Jake Dicker and Ji Hae Wiley discuss the Lakers getting swept in the Western Conference Finals to the Denver Nuggets and LeBron James hinting that he is considering retirement this offseason. What does the Lakers' future look like with and without LeBron James this season if he is done playing or simply no longer wants to be with the Lakers?
Listen to The Arash Markazi Show presented by The Sporting Tribune on The Mightier 1090 ESPN Radio in Southern California, 98.5 The Bet in Las Vegas and the Hawaii Sports Radio Network 95.1 FM and 760 AM in Hawaii. You can also listen to the show on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Play and Stitcher.
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