Daily Sports: Another Champion Gets Tested Tuesday

One of last June’s champions answered the bell with the money on the table, as the Miami Heat won last night’s Game 7 against the Indiana Pacers and reached the NBA Finals. Now the other team that won a title in a June of 2012 that was Fit For A King has to stand up.

The Los Angeles Kings are in a 2-0 series hole against the Chicago Blackhawks and Game 3 of their Western Conference Finals matchup is the highlight of Tuesday’s daily sports menu. The puck drops at the Staples Center at 9 PM ET and will be televised by the NBC Sports Network.

MLB Network has a split telecast on baseball, with a lot of the country getting the Texas Rangers and Boston Red Sox, as the two first-place teams meet in Fenway Park for a 7 PM ET start. Other viewers will see the Indians-Yankees from the Bronx.

For the record, this marks the fifth straight game the Yankees have been on national television in some capacity. Yet we haven’t seen any of the Arizona Diamondbacks, who have merely been steady all year and now are in the lead in the National League West.

I understand that ESPN and Fox are going to cater to the Yankee fan base in their programming choices, because it meets their short-term business needs. But shouldn’t MLB Network have the long-term health of the league in mind? And wouldn’t that long-term health be better served by diffusing interest among more teams, and not making the game so top-heavy dependent on one franchise?

The NBA Finals starts up on Thursday night on ABC, and ESPN will have a preview of the Miami-San Antonio matchup at 7:30 PM ET. TheSportsNotebook will have its own preview coming up tomorrow.

If you want to enjoy sports history a bit tonight, ESPN2 has a half-hour feature on the best NFL coaches of all time, at 8:30 PM ET. And Pittsburgh Penguins fans will surely enjoy watching the NHL Network’s re-telecast of Game 7 of the 2009 Stanley Cup Finals. Not only did the Pens hoist the Cup, but it was a year where they rallied from a 2-0 series deficit, something they’ll have to find inspiration from as they lick their wounds and head to Boston.

Here at TheSportsNotebook, will rehash Miami’s series-clinching win, and then NBA commentary continues tomorrow with the aforementioned Finals preview. There will also be NHL analysis today, looking at how Chicago and Boston got out to two-zip series leads in their conference finals. Please also check our MLB coverage, which yesterday focused in on the lurking Baltimore Orioles in the AL East.