THIS WEEK’S BEST BET:
NBA PLAYOFFS: WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
CLIPPERS vs. HOUSTON
Details/TV: Game 5 at Houston: Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., TNT:
At this point in the proceedings, the inclination might be to tell Houston Rockets’ fans to just be quiet, close their eyes and this series against the Clippers may all be over soon. Why does that ring a bell? Because that same sort of message, along with some emoticons showing a gun pointed at a horse’s head, is what got the team’s last social media master put out to pasture. In fact, all through this series, we are underwhelmed by the tameness of the @HoustonRockets Twitter account in the wake of Rockets Digital Communications Manager Chad Shanks losing his job over that so-called inflammatory tweet he sent out at the end of the team’s first-round NBA playoff series against Dallas. Just look at what the team account posed prior to Sunday’s Game 4: “Enjoy your day Moms! On Mother’s Day 6 years ago we beat another L.A. team to tie up a series,” with a link to a story about how Houston, without injured star center Yao Ming, evened up their Western Conference semifinal series against the Lakers despite 30 points from Pau Gasol and “a quiet 15” from Kobe Bryant. A response from Johnny Navarrette (@jnavsports), former LakerNation.com senior editor: “you lost that series @HoustonRockets. Bring back the other social media guy.” We should note: The Houston Rockets’ account retweeted Navarrette’s tweet. As for Shanks, who has a masters in journalism and theology from Baylor, he still got his own @chadjshanks personal account. He writes in that bio: “Will probably be tweeting less about basketball now.” We are all the worst for that. Meanwhile, keep an eye on that Memphis-Golden State series. You think the Clippers’ psyche is ready for some sort of playoff rematch against the Grizzles next week? Game 4 of that series, with Memphis up 2-1, is Monday at 6:30 p.m. on TNT.
If needed, this series could go to a Game 6 at Staples Center (Thursday, TBA, ESPN) or a Game 7 at Houston (Sunday, TBA).
ALSO THIS WEEK:
The Ducks await a time for the NHL to schedule their Stanley Cup Playoff Western Conference final against Chicago, so stay tuned … American Pharoah, Firing Line and Dortmund — the top three finishers in the Kentucky Derby — are expected to reappear at the Preakness Stakes on Saturday in Baltimore … The Dodgers have a meet-and-greet with Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton, Dee Gordon and Dan Haren in a three-game series at Dodger Stadium starting Monday …The 10th annual Amgen Tour of California ends on Sunday with the final stage going from L.A. Live to the Rose Bowl … Gennady Golovkin (32-0, 29 KOs) makes his 14th middleweight title defense in a bout at the Forum in Inglewood on Saturday against Willie Monroe, Jr. … More information at this link.