Pacers at Knicks
In He Got Game, the new film from Madison Square Garden regular
Spike Lee, the hoops hero is burdened with the name of Jesus.
Then again, in a sport that has given us Moses (Malone), Isiah
(Thomas) and Sampson (Ralph), what's so odd about that?
Biblically speaking, if Knicks center Patrick Ewing appears
on-court at the Garden in today's Game 3 of the Eastern
Conference semis for the first time since breaking his right
wrist last Dec. 20, he should be rechristened Lazarus. Indiana
guard Mark Jackson, a former Knick, is the prodigal son, while
his tongue-flappin' teammate Reggie Miller is--to many New
Yorkers--the Pacers' pompous pilot.
NBC, 1 PM
GAME 4, SUNDAY, 12:30 PM
Iceland at U.S.
Last week Mattel announced that it plans to introduce a soccer
Barbie (appropriately garbed) to coincide with the 1999 Women's
World Cup. Though the prototype Barbie bears a striking
resemblance to U.S. Olympic distance runner Suzy Hamilton, the
soccer Barbie's spokesperson will be sinewy goal scorer Mia
Hamm. The pert star of America's 1996 Olympic championship team,
Hamm celebrated her 26th birthday on March 17 with a hat trick
during a 4-1 defeat of China. Today's tussle in Bethlehem, Pa.,
will be the 11th international match of the year for the
dominant U.S. women, who at week's end were 7-1-1 and had
outscored opponents 27-6.
Sonics at Lakers
Yo, GP (alias Gary Payton), top dog of the Fun Police, before
you take the court at the Forum for Game 4 of your Western
Conference semifinals (the middle game of an NBC playoff
tripleheader), some advice: 1) Deputize Hersey Hawkins (far
left). Your backcourt mate scored 48 points in the Sonics' final
two victories in the first round against the Timberwolves. 2)
Put out an APB on "starting" center Jim McIlvaine, who played
seven minutes in five games against Minnesota. Big Mac, to use
your words, must "come strong or don't come at all" against
L.A.'s Shaqzilla O'Neal.
NBC, 3 PM
CART Rio 400
Although he's only 23, Greg Moore (left) has come a long way
from the 16-year-old who flunked his driving test by making an
illegal left turn. (Left is the only way he can turn today on
the 1.864-mile-oval.) A native of Maple Ridge, B.C., Moore has
second-, third- and fourth-place finishes this year en route to
51 points and the CART series lead at week's end. In March,
Moore became the youngest driver in CART history to earn a pole
position at the Grand Prix of Miami. After falling to last place
during that race because of engine problems in his
Mercedes-Reynard, he roared back to finish second.
ABC, 3:30 PM
Rangers at Yankees
How will the folks at the Field of Beams commemorate tonight's
Seinfeld finale? A few Costanza-inspired suggestions: Dress
players in 100% cotton uniforms; free calzones to the first
thousand fans; ask general manager Brian Cashman to streak in a
flesh-toned bodysuit. The Bronx Bombers' season already has been
flush with Jerry-built plotlines. Shortstop Derek Jeter (left)
is dating Mariah Carey. And heavy objects (remember the episode
in which a pooch is crushed by an air conditioner?) are falling
from above. Through it all, the Yankees (20-6 at week's end)
were masters of their American League East domain. Heavy-hitting
Texas (19-10) was king of the West castle, thanks in part to
outfielder Juan Gonzalez (36 RBIs).
WPIX, 7:30 PM
ALL TIMES EASTERN. SCHEDULES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
COLOR PHOTO: JOHN W. MCDONOUGH [Hersey Hawkins playing basketball]
COLOR PHOTO: ROBERT LABERGE/ALLSPORT [Greg Moore driving race car]
COLOR PHOTO: RAY STUBBLEBINE/REUTERS [Derek Jeter in midair as opposing player slides into base]
THE ! ZAPPER
Networks that telecast the NHL can sing the blues, and we don't
mean St. Louis. With three rounds to go, the Stanley Cup
playoffs are minus any team from New York, Los Angeles or
Chicago, and without clubs from hockey hotbeds such as Boston
and Philadelphia. The MIAs include Wayne Gretzky, Eric Lindros
and Mark Messier. While puckheads drool over the prospect of
another Dominik Hasek shutout, casual viewers--those the NHL
needs--might just as soon watch senators on C-SPAN as the
upstart Senators on Fox or ESPN.