Highlights of the week ahead in sports, both here and afar:
NHL: Kings at Minnesota, 6 p.m., FSW:
We have a feeling that had the Kings stayed home, they’d have floor seats for the Black-Eyed Peas concert at Staples Center tonight and heard “I Gotta Feeling” played live instead of on someone’s iPod hooked into the arena speakers.
NBA: Lakers at New Orleans, 5 p.m., Channel 9:
The BYOB (Bring Your Own Bynum) roadie continues, with Laker bench candidates stepping up to see who can fill the spot vacated (again) by the injured center.
NHL: Kings at Nashville, 5 p.m., FSW:
Check out the BB Kings’ Blues Club in Nashville, on the corner of Commerce and Second Avenue, downtown in “The District,” one block west of the river and four blocks east of the Nashville Convention Center. Look, I gotta half-off coupon (linked here). Maybe the other Kings can use it if they snap their seven-game losing streak against the Predators.
NBA: Clippers at Milwaukee, 5 p.m., Prime Ticket:
Since Feb. 19, the Bucks have gone 15-3 (with games to play Friday and Sunday afternoon), but one of those losses was by eight points to the Clippers at Staples Center on St. Patrick’s Day.
NBA: Lakers at Atlanta, 4 p.m., Channel 9:
That buzzer-beating dunk thrown down last week by the Hawks’ Josh Smith — aka, J-Smoov — to beat Orlando goes down as one of the all-timers. Even better than most Kobe buzzer-beaters to win a game.
NHL: Kings vs. Vancouver, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., FSW:
Line up early for your Ryan Smith bobblehead, and buy up your “Black in Black” alternate jersey ($79.99, Team LA Store), which the Kings will wear at home during the playoffs (should they get there based on the fact they’ve clinched nothing yet).
MLS: Galaxy vs. Chivas USA, Home Depot Center, 8 p.m., ESPN2:
SuperClasico is the tomato sauce mom used to dump on our Spaghetti-O’s at dinner time. It was runny, without much taste … but we digress.
Golf: PGA Houston Open, first round, 1 p.m., Golf Channel (second round also on Golf Channel, rounds three and four on Channel 4)
Last tuneup before the Masters is actually played in Humble, Tex., actually. Lord, it’s hard to play Humble.
Golf: LPGA Kraft Nabisco Championship, first round, 2 p.m., ESPN2 (round two also on ESPN2 at 2 p.m., round three on ESPN2 at 4 pm., final round Sunday on Channel 2 at noon):
The first ladies major, in Rancho Mirage, at Mission Hills Country Club on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course. Par 72. 6,673 yards. That’s all we got.
College basketball: NIT championship, 4 p.m., ESPN:
Winner gets to pretend they belong in the field of 65 for next year’s (most likely) expanded NCAA tourney. And it could be, egads, North Carolina.
NBA: Lakers vs. Utah, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., FSW, ESPN:
A couple of skulls belonging to a newly discovered dinosaur that they’ve called an Abydosaurus mcintoshi, which that roamed around Utah about 150 million years ago, was documented by a German science group recently. It was found near the Dinosaur National Monument in Utah’s badlands. These creatures were said to be long-necked, plant-eating dinosaurs, a descendant of the brachiosaurus, one of our all-time dino favorites. That, and the thesaurus.
Exhibition baseball: Dodgers at Angels, 7:05 p.m., Channel 13:
With Ronald Belisario back, we’ll see if he has visa problems getting from the Dodgers’ camp in Glendale, Ariz., to Anaheim. We believe he’ll be in Arizona for quite awhile getting that arm, and excuses, in shape.
College basketball: NCAA men’s tournament, Final Four: Butler vs. Michigan, 3 p.m.; Duke vs. West Virginia, 5:30 p.m., Channel 2:
If this is how your bracket played out, you’re lying. At least we have the Butler story. “Hoosiers” and everything. We’ll get behind them and dedicated it Dennis Hopper.
Horse racing: Santa Anita Derby, 2 p.m., Channel 4:
The 73rd running of the important Kentucky Derby prep race, the Santa Anita Derby has produced 15 winners on the first Saturday in May, including 1978 Triple Crown winner Affirmed. Last year’s winner, Pioneerof the Nile, finished second to longshot Mine That Bird in the Kentucky Derby. Bob Baffert’s Lookin At Lucky, right, the West’s leading Kentucky Derby contender, is listed as probable to stay here and race instead of going to the Arkansas Derby on April 10.
NBA: Clippers at Denver, 6 p.m., Prime Ticket:
Sadly, the Nuggets try to forge ahead without coach George Karl on the bench.
NHL: Kings vs. Ducks, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., FSW:
Would the Ducks like to help the Kings sweat out their playoff spot? Definitely.
Exhibition baseball: Angels at Dodgers, Dodger Stadium, 1 p.m. (MLB Network, 8 p.m., delayed):
Attention Dodger Stadium vendors: Make sure you don’t underestimate the crowd and run out of hot dogs, like you did during the USC-UCLA baseball game a few Sunday afternoons ago.
Documentary: “The Guru of Go,” 2 p.m., Channel 7:
ESPN is trying a new idea, carving out a two-hour block on Saturdays on ABC and calling it “ESPN Sports Saturday.” Included in this first two-hour block is the documentary on Paul Westhead’s days coaching basketball at Loyola Marymount and a look back 20 years ago at the passing of Hank Gathers.
MLB: N.Y. Yankees at Boston, 5:05 p.m., ESPN2:
Major League Baseball surprises no one with having the Yankees and Red Sox face off at Fenway Park on Easter evening to start the regular season. The surprise here is that the Red Sox’s Clay Buchholz appeared in an ESPN promo with the Yankees’ Nick Swisher, trying to coax the catcher into singing “Sweet Caroline” … with a little help from actor Adam Scott.
NBA: Lakers vs. San Antonio, Staples Center, 12:30 p.m., Channel 7:
Tim Duncan isn’t always going to shoot 2-for-11, as he did in the Spurs’ nine-point loss to the Lakers last week. He took only four shots in the second half — missed all of them — and had two blocked. One of those was by Pau Gasol, after Duncan took an inbound pass and tried to get a 14-footer off before the 24-second clock expired. Duncan scored 6 and had a +/- of -12; Gasol was just 4-for-11 shooting and ended up with 10 points, but had a +/- of +12.
NBA: Clippers vs. New York, Staples Center, 6:30 p.m., Prime Ticket:
Steve Perrin at Clipsnation.com blog points out: “At least we’ve got the off-season starting in less than three weeks.”
College basketball: NCAA women’s tournament, Final Four in San Antonio, 4 and 6 p.m., ESPN:
UConn, and three others, will be there.