Tuesday, April 6
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The NBA's newest bad boy

The days of the Rick Mahorn and Bill Laimbeer are a thing of the past, and, these days, the title of NBA's Bad Boy, somewhat by default, may fall to Matt Barnes. The Magic signed the journeyman last summer to give them a tattooed toughness, an edge that has been missing from Team Disney. "Mad Matt" has compiled quite a resume this season: Fined for throwing a ball in the stands. Reprimanded by team after using expletives in Twitter posts. Agitated Kobe Bryant and traded elbows in a national TV game. Blew top at coach Stan Van Gundy during and after games. Confronted fans in San Antonio who heckled Dwight Howard and threw beer. (Chicago Tribune) Comment

What to expect from Jermaine O'Neal

The streaking Heat is about to return its No. 1 center, but five regular season games isn't a lot of pre-playoff work. Jermaine O'Neal's hyperextended right knee has healed enough to allow the Heat center to return to practice this week, and depending on how he feels Tuesday, he might take the floor Wednesday night, when Miami plays host to Philadelphia. O'Neal participated in about half of Monday's practice before working on his post game with Heat coaches. "Strength-wise, I'm a lot further ahead than I thought I was. I'm probably at like 90 percent," said O'Neal, who has appeared in 67 games this year, the most he has played since the 2006-07 season. "The swelling is almost completely gone, but we want to get back out there to get some kind of a rhythm." (Miami Herald) Comment

Dodgers fail first test

Using six of 11 available pitchers is no way to start a season, but that's how the Dodgers kicked things off against the lowest payroll in the league Monday. For the Dodgers, the vast promise of a new season was quickly replaced by the sobering truth that they had Vicente Padilla starting for them on opening day. The Pittsburgh Pirates? The downtrodden version of this once-proud franchise was granted a day of relief from the reality that it has been picked for another last-place finish, as its fans stood and clapped in rhythmic unison as James Loney grounded out to finalize the Dodgers' 11-5 loss at PNC Park. The Pirates of Garrett Jones and Ryan Doumit did something Monday that the Pirates of Roberto Clemente and Willie Stargell never did, scoring a record 11 runs in an opening-day game played in Pittsburgh. Taking the brunt of the punishment issued by the lowest-paid team in baseball was Padilla, the reformed bad boy who drew the surprise assignment from Manager Joe Torre to start on opening day. (Los Angeles Times) Comment

Must-See Photo
Must-See Photo

Butler's Matt Howard remains on the court dejected after the Bulldogs lost the NCAA championship to Duke at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Must-See Video

Mark Buehrle makes the play of the year on opening day.

This Day in Sports
SI Vault: More Arnold Palmer
  • 1958 -- Arnold Palmer captures his first major by winning the Masters.
  • 1970 -- Boston's Bobby Orr becomes the first defenseman to win the NHL scoring title.
  • 1992 -- Duke beats Michigan 71-51 to win the NCAA men's basketball championship.

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