The legacy of LeBron James begins a two-part test tonight in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. If the Miami Heat lose tonight, and the San Antonio Spurs wrap up the NBA title in six games the blame in this series will be placed on LeBron’s shoulders. Unlike a lot of cases, where that blame is woefully misplaced and rooted in absurd expectations, there’s no denying that LeBron’s on-again, off-again play is the biggest reason his team has lost three of the first five games to the Spurs.
Game time is 9 PM ET on ABC. I’ve still got a hard time thinking Miami is really going to lose this NBA crown, especially on their home floor, but as I wrote in yesterday’s NBA commentary following Game 5, there’s no denying this Heat team has lost its claim on historic greatness.
Baseball is the other action on Tuesday’s daily sports schedule. A high-profile interleague game between the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers goes at 7 PM ET on the MLB Network. It’s the return of Dodger manager Don Mattingly to New York, the place where he starred in the 1980s and early 1990s and also served as a batting coach in the Joe Torre years. Mattingly is still revered in the Big Apple—rightly so, for being a class act at a troubled point in franchise history and a loud ovation would seem a certainty.
College baseball’s #1 team begins the first of what would be four straight must-win games. North Carolina lost its first game in the College World Series on Sunday. Now they and LSU play a knockout game this afternoon (3 PM ET, ESPN). The winner would play the loser of tonight’s UCLA-N.C. State game (8 PM ET, ESPN2) in another elimination game. Then the winner of that game would have to beat the Bruins-Wolfpack winner twice in succession to reach the national final, which is best two-of-three.
Speaking of Bruins, TheSportsNotebook’s main feature today will be a focus on the hockey Bruins from Boston and their Stanley Cup Final with the Chicago Blackhawks. NHL analysis will look back on last night’s Game 3 and ahead to the rest of the series. We’ll have NBA commentary tomorrow to either celebrate a champion or look ahead to Game 7. And MLB coverage had a double feature this weekend, with closer looks at the successes of the Oakland A’s and the failures of the Washington Nationals.