May 21st, 2010
12:05 PM ET

Sports Update: Route to NBA, Champions League finals

Pau Gasol's vow to get stronger has helped put his team ahead two games in the playoffs.

“After the Lakers fell to the Celtics in the NBA Finals two years ago, and Pau Gasol finished his exit interview back at the team's headquarters, he walked down to the weight room that he so often ignored, and told the trainers he was committed to getting stronger,” writes SI.com’s Lee Jenkins. “If he ever saw Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins in a similar situation again, he had to be ready. Gasol will not admit it, but he can see them coming right now.”

It sure looks that way. The Celtics are up 2-0 on the Magic, the Lakers are up 2-0 on the Suns, and this weekend will go a long in determining whether the teams will once again meet in the NBA Finals, as they did in 2008. The NBA playoffs are part of a sports-packed weekend (all times Eastern) that includes first U.S. network telecast of the European Champions League final.

-Champions League Final: Bayern Munich vs. Inter Milan (Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Fox)
Plenty of stars on the field in Madrid including the managers – Inter coach Jose Mourinho and Bayern Munich head man Louis van Gaal. The German squad is led by Dutch winger Arjen Robben, and midfielder Mark van Bommel and German national team stars Philipp Lahm and midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger. The Inter duo of Esteban Cambiasso and Javier Zanetti did not make Argentina’s World Cup squad but are a club force, leading Inter to a fifth consecutive Series A title. Check out SI.com’s Jonathan Wilson's preview.

-Magic at Celtics (Saturday, 8:30 p.m., ESPN)
Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy says his team is not in panic mode but its fans might be after the Magic lost the first two games of this series at home. Key for Boston has been forward Kevin Garnett’s defense on Rashard Lewis, who is 4-for-17 from the field, including 1 of 9 from 3-point range.

-Lakers at Suns (Sunday, 8:30 p.m., TNT)
Through two games, the Lakers are a scoring juggernaut. They have scored 252 points and are shooting 58 percent, in part because the Suns' defense was vastly overrated, and in part because the Lakers can't miss.

BY THE NUMBERS

32-287
Career coaching record for Doug Collins, who reportedly agreed to terms with the Sixers yesterday to become their new coach.

172:05.
Amount of time in minutes that Flyers goaltender Michael Leighton had shut out Montreal before Philadelphia’s Michael Cammalleri scored in the first period last night of Montreal’s 5-1 victory.

8
stitches below his left eye given to Lance Armstrong by doctors after he crashed during the Tour of California on Thursday.

soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. JB

    LAKERS ALL THE WAY.

    May 21, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jesse

    Collins is 332-287.
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/coaches/collido01c.html

    May 21, 2010 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |