Cavs 'n' Mavs
Cleveland (with LeBron James scoring madly) and Dallas (17 straight behind MVPcandidate Dirk Nowitzki, above, who, among other feats, had sunk 57 of 58 freethrows) had combined to win 23 of 24 games through Sunday—the lone loss whenthe Mavericks nipped the Cavaliers by three on March 1. Hmmm, was that a Finalspreview we got?
Comebacking slugger Sosa (SI, March 5) sure has his whammy so far: He washitting .476 (that's no misprint) including a two-hit day against his formerteam the Cubs: "Sometimes they think you are finished," hephilosophized, "and I am not."
The Raiders snagged their first NCAA berth in 14 years. (Now, says guardDaShaun Wood, right, "We have to keep going.") The baseball teamblasted Air Force 52--11 in a four-game sweep and is feeling proud: Sidearmingalum Joe Smith hadn't allowed a run in his bid to make the Mets as areliever.
Out of the closet, into the sales force: Gay, bald ex-NBAer, got a deal toendorse—no, not Snickers—HeadBlades, makers of fine shaving products for theskull.
After failing to trade Jason Kidd (above) or Vince Carter, New Jersey has beenoff-kilter. With five straight losses through Sunday the Nets may miss theplayoffs—supplanted by the rival Knicks!—for the first time since 2001.N'awlins--Oklahoma City had dropped five straight, too, dimming its chances inthe West.
Soccer star Giovanni, the top scorer in Red Bulls (né Metro-Stars) history, wasreportedly fired as director of the team's youth program. According tobigapplesoccer.com, a glum Savarese said in a letter, "The decision toterminate my employment was theirs alone."
No NCAAs for the 12--20 Eagles men's team. The women will settle for the NITafter their 49-game conference win streak was snapped by Morgan State.("Unfamiliar territory," coach Derek Brown said after the team blew an11-point lead.) No respite on the diamond: Coppin's baseballers started0--14.
Where was it at? Since his anti-gay rant, the ex-NBAer has lostendorsements—most recently with Bald Guyz, makers of grooming products for theshiny domed set.
SI PLAYERS NHL POLL
Who is the most overrated player in the NHL?
Alexei Yashin, Islanders C 7%
Bobby Holik, Thrashers C 7%
Bryan McCabe, Leafs D 6%
Brad Richards, Lightning C 5%
Who is the most underrated?
Jere Lehtinen, Stars RW 5%
Henrik Zetterberg, Wings LW 5%
Mike Fisher, Senators C 4%
Patrick Marleau, Sharks C 3%
Tampa Bay's Dan Boyle tied for fourth most underrated, one of only fourdefensemen in the top 25.... Rangers LW Sean Avery was the fifth most overrated(4%).... More than 20% of Northeast Division players picked Fisher asunderrated.... Yashin is 53rd in NHL scoring (278 points) since signing a10-year, $87.5 million contract with the Islanders in 2001.
[Based on a survey of 366 NHL players] For an expandedversion of the poll, go to SI.com/players.