What's On Tap
New Jersey Nets at Detroit Pistons (ESPN, 8 p.m. ET)
What to Watch
Jason Kidd has all the qualifications to join the ranks of the game's all-time greatest players save one.
The seven-time All Star, a member of the All NBA team, All Defensive team, co-rookie of the year, and one of the game's assist leaders is missing one thing.
He has no NBA championship ring. Michael Jordan, Oscar Robertson, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson won championships. Kidd's peers, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal, have three rings apiece. Tim Duncan has two.
Kidd, 31, in 10 seasons has played with three teams, competed in two NBA finals but still his ring finger is bare. He continues his quest tonight when his New Jersey Nets face the Detroit Pistons in the seventh and final game of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.
The odds of Kidd reaching his goal this season are against him.
New Jersey must play the Pistons in Detroit. The Pistons are coming off a 81-75 victory in New Jersey on Sunday. A sore-footed Rasheed Wallace, who this postseason has averaged 13.2 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2 blocked shots per game for Detroit has had four days to heal.
The Nets also have yet to find a way to stop Pistons' guard Richard Hamilton, the former Washington Wizard who during this postseason has averaged 20.4 points. He scored 17.6 points per game during the regular season.
Kidd's regular-season average has dipped in the playoffs from 15.5 to 13.9 points a game. His assists per game have remained at 9.2. The drop off in scoring has led to speculation that the 6-foot-4, 210-pound point guard is ailing.
Tonight all eyes will be on Kidd to see whether he can seize control of a seventh and deciding postseason game, the way a hobbling Willis Reed or an ill Michael Jordan once did. Or the way Minnesota Timberwolves and the league Most Valuable Player Kevin Garnett did last night by scoring 32 points and grabbing 21 rebounds against the Sacramento Kings.
Last Night's Big Winner (Team)
Minnesota Timberwolves. By defeating the Kings 83-80, Timberwolves make first trip to the Western Conference finals. They out-shoot (42.3 percent to 39.5 percent) and out-rebound (50-44) the Kings, and block more shots (8-1).
Last Night's Big Loser (Team)
Sacramento Kings. For third year in a row, the Kings are eliminated from the playoffs after crumbling in a seventh game. They shoot a dismal 47.1 percent from the free-throw line (8 of 17). The fans will want someone to pay and there is speculation that coach Rick Adelman may be out. Others who might not be back are Chris Webber and Vlade Divac.
Last Night's Big Winner (Player)
Kevin Garnett. His 32 points and 21 rebounds are just half the story. In the fourth period, the 6-foot-11, 240 pound Garnett scored 14 points, snagged five rebounds and blocked three shots. Garnett may have a tougher time repeating such a performance against the Lakers' O'Neal.
Last Night's Big Loser (Player)
Peja Stojakovic. He scores eight points, 16 points less than his season average, and fails to draw a foul on a night when his team struggles from the free-throw line.