Your morning roundup for June 1, the day we sold our novels. Screenshot via. We cracked the La Russa case. Can any dermatologists out there explain this one?


What we watched: The moral of the playoffs thus far, other than that LeBron James is better than the second-best player on the floor by a margin that beggars belief, is that the allegedly feckless Erik Spoelstra kinda-sorta knows what he's doing. He coached Tom Thibodeau into a box in the Bulls series, and then last night, as Sebastian Pruiti notes, he and LeBron put away the Mavericks with a clever sequence that unfolded a little like a 1-2-3 sitcom joke, culminating in this:

The play doesn't happen without LeBron's smart read, but it was Spoelstra who put him in a position to make it, which is all a good coach is supposed to do. (Tommy Craggs)

What we're watching: NBC, right at 8 p.m., in search of Mark Donnelly, Vancouver's resident chanteur and Silent Bob impersonator. Cup finals start tonight. (Jack Dickey)



We need you, Dirk: "The impact of Miami's size on the perimeter was also evident in the way the Heat defended Nowitzki. Miami did not adjust much to Nowitzki's presence as a pick-and-pop threat, preferring to stop the ballhandler and trusting the rotations to keep Nowitzki from getting clean looks. The results were about as good as Spoelstra could have hoped. No other Mavericks got going, while Nowitzki hardly dominated. He shot just 7-of-18 from the field, though he maintained his efficiency thanks to 12 free throws. As expected, the time Nowitzki spent on the bench proved crucial. During the seven and a half minutes he sat, the Heat outscored Dallas 14-8. When Nowitzki was resting during the third quarter, Miami grabbed the lead for good, forcing Carlisle to spend a timeout to get Nowitzki back in the game. The only way the Mavericks can survive without Nowitzki is to get scoring from Terry and Stojakovic, so on nights like this Dallas is doomed whenever Nowitzki sits." [Basketball Prospectus]

Guess who got a whole column out of JJ Barea's height and girlfriend?: "I've got your new lifetime role model. J.J. Barea. Why? A. He's only 5-foot-9, yet he plays for the Dallas Mavericks, who are in the NBA Finals. B. He is about to become a very rich man. C. He dates Miss Universe. Any other questions?" [Rick Reilly]


Phil Ivey will skip WSOP in protest: "For many years, I have been proud to call myself a poker player. This great sport has taken me to places I only imagined going and I have been blessed with much success. It is therefore with deep regret that I believe I am compelled to release the following statement. I am deeply disappointed and embarrassed that Full Tilt players have not been paid money they are owed. I am equally embarrassed that as a result many players cannot compete in tournaments and have suffered economic harm. I am not playing in the World Series of Poker as I do not believe it is fair that I compete when others cannot. I am doing everything I can to seek a solution to the problem as quickly as possible." [Bluff Magazine]

We Are All Dave McKenna CXVII: Here's your daily link to Dave McKenna's brilliant "Cranky Redskins Fan's Guide to Dan Snyder," which we'll be posting until Snyder's dumbass libel suit gets thrown to the mastiffs. Supplemental reading for today: U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen on Snyder and strategic lawsuits against public participation, or SLAPPs.


Rex Ryan's book has a number of revelations: "Then I said to Roger Goodell, ‘I'd like for you to try to bring Santonio Holmes closer to me.' Goodell said okay, but he wanted to know what I had in mind. I said, ‘When the three of us sit down, I want you to take the first 10 minutes of the conversation to rip my ass in front of Santonio - about what I've done off the field, how I've embarrassed the league. That is all true about me. Then I asked if he would turn and give both barrels to Holmes. I wanted the commissioner to let Santonio know he hadn't done what he should, either, in being a good employee of the NFL. ... Anyway, Goodell made that trip to my office and he chewed us out, and I think it actually brought Holmes and me closer..." [Boston Globe]

Fred Wilpon thinks Mike Pelfrey is a funny guy: "On May 23, the day word broke that Wilpon had been critical of his team as a whole and some of his players specifically in an article in The New Yorker, Pelfrey joked that Wilpon would benefit from the media training that the team mandates its players go through each spring training. 'He said, "I loved your comment,"' Pelfrey said. 'He told me, "Next year in spring training I am going to sit down right next to you." He was great about it.'" [NYT]


They also played Brian Wilson's birthday party: "But the home run of the evening had to be the Romo wedding band choice, none other than Steel Panther who sports such classics as Eatin Ain't Cheatin', Asian Hooker, Party All Day (#$%# All Night) and our all-time favorite Thar She Blows. How do we know Panther played the wedding? There was a very small mention on Twitter that flew right over the heads at TMZ, Dallas Morning News and all the blogs out there spending their weekend tracking all things Romo wedding. It seems that, after Romo's 2010 on-stage appearance with Steel Panther, a bond was formed between the Cowboys' QB and the foul-mouthed Los Angeles faux rockers." [Busted Coverage]

This is very sad news:"Gary Carter was diagnosed on Tuesday as having glioblastoma, an aggressive, fast-moving brain cancer that that will be treated with radiation and chemotherapy, but not with surgery, according to a statement from the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Cancer Center at Duke University Medical Center, where biopsies of the cancer were tested." [NYT]


Astonishingly, 700-page book has dull moments: "Since the most interesting and salacious passages have been bandied about already, and since Sports Show just got their review copy, we'll be highlighting mundane passages from the book, to both be flippant as well as give readers an idea of what it's really like working for a huge media company. For every instance of Sean Salisbury misusing a camera phone, there are hundreds more of PAs and research assistants teaching the talent how to pronounce 'Roland Garros.'" [Sports Show Blog]

If only Jeremy Giambi had taken similar advice: "Beane told A's catcher Kurt Suzuki he wanted him to avoid putting himself in harm's way. "I said to him, 'I don't want you planting yourself in front of the plate waiting to get creamed. You're an Athletic catcher — be athletic,' " Beane told ESPN."" [ESPN]