02.25.19: Five things you should plan for the week ahead based on unscientific evidence of guaranteed importance


1oneThe UK’s Daily Telegraph once noted that an “unsettling silver statue of David Beckham toured the world” in 2012 as part of a promotion for H&M department store.
“Normally, extremely photogenic, the British superstar appeared to wear a concerned look on his face while posing for the artwork. Perhaps he realized that his head-high genitalia would be a target of countless comedy snappers.”
Now, because you don’t get to see a David Beckham statue unveiled in L.A.  every day – and should you? — the Galaxy will do so with dignity as they open the Major League Soccer regular season with a home match at the newly renamed Dignity Health Sports Park against Chicago (Saturday 5 p.m., FS1).
This could be some major erection for MLS lore.
Stop snickering.
You really want to bust out a bust of fame? Start chiseling that Zlatan statue now. When the granite dust settles, he’ll be the one we remember most, no matter how short his stay. Sure, we understand the impact that the former Man U footballer had on the boost for soccer in this region. Thanks for the 98 appearances in a Galaxy kit from 2007-12, and the 18 goals, and the back-to-back MLS Cup wins, and the Teen Choice Awards, and the 50 tattoos, then quitting with a year left on your deal.
We’re good. Go start that team in Miami.
The LAFC waits a day before opening its season at Banc of California Stadium against Kansas City (Sunday, 5:30 p.m., ESPN). No statues will be erected before its game.
Looking ahead for MLS ’19: First “El Trafico” isn’t until July 19 in Carson. Then Aug. 25 in downtown. Playoffs start the second week in October. It’ll be an interesting ride.


1twoAn impressive victory over Houston. A spectacular fail in New Orleans. And LeBron James questioning his teammates’ sense of urgency with a 29-30 record, and 23 games left, aligned with James’ No. 23. And a solid chance at a 41-41 finish, which will likely leave them back in lotto land instead of an eight-seed.
Four more games get checked off the Lakers’ schedule this week, including a rematch with the Pelicans (if you want to call it that) and an appearance by the Greek Freak, so perhaps they can revive that “Team LeBron” vs. “Team Giannis” charade.

The week ahead for the Lakers:
At Memphis. Monday at 5 p.m., Spectrum SportsNet
Vs. New Orleans, at Staples Center, Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., ESPN, Spectrum SportsNet
Vs. Milwaukee, at Staples Center, Friday at 7:30 p.m., ESPN, Spectrum SportsNet
At Phoenix, Saturday at 6 p.m., Spectrum SportsNet

The Clippers (33-28) have 21 left, and also scratch four of them off this week, but only one of them is against a team above them in them Western Conference, and only barely because the Clippers, Spurs, Jazz and Rockets are separated by slivers from Nos. 5 to 8.:

The week ahead for the Clippers:
Vs. Dallas, at Staples Center, Monday at 7:30 p.m., Prime Ticket
At Utah, Wednesday at 6 p.m., Prime Ticket
At Sacramento, Friday at 7 p.m., Prime Ticket
Vs. New York, at Staples Center, Sunday at 12:30 p.m., Prime Ticket


1threeIn this post-Zion college basketball universe – because what freshman Williamson and Duke does factors into everything — just three games remain in the regular Pac-12 schedule for USC and UCLA, who now sport identically unimpressive 15-13 overall records and 8-7 in the Pac-12 when they have their second head-to-head matchup this week (Thursday, 6 p.m., at Pauley Pavilion, ESPN). Note: It’s the last appearance in L.A. for both teams as they go on the road for the final two, then to Las Vegas for the Pac-12 Tournament (March 13-16). The Trojans scampered away with an 80-67 win at the Galen Center against the Bruins on Jan. 19, behind a 21-point, 12-rebound game from 6-11 junior Nick Rakocevic and 21 points from Benny Boatright. The team had a season-best 26 assists on 30 baskets. “We’re the best team in LA, and to come down here and not show that tonight, it hurts,” said UCLA’s Kris Wilkes.

In Southern California:
It’s the final two regular season games in the West Coast Conference before the tournament at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas (March 7-12). If seedings matter:
*Loyola Marymount (18-10, 6-8): vs. Santa Clara, at Gersten Pavilion, Thursday at 8 p.m., Spectrum SportsNet; at San Francisco, Saturday at 1 p.m., Spectrum SportsNet
*Pepperdine (13-16, 6-9): vs. Pacific, at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu, Saturday at 5 p.m.

Two more weeks of games in the Big West before the conference tournament (March 14-16):
*Long Beach State (11-18, 5-8):  At UC Santa Barbara, Thursday at 7 p.m.; vs. Cal Poly, at the Walter Pyramid, Saturday at 7 p.m., ESPN3
*Cal State Northridge (11-17, 5-7): Vs. UC Riverside at the Matadome, Wednesday at 7 p.m.; at Hawaii, Saturday at 9 p.m.

Key games per day of national interest:
Monday: Kansas State at Kansas, 6 p.m., ESPN. Also: Notre Dame at Florida State, 4 p.m., ESPN; Oklahoma at Iowa State, 5 p.m., ESPN2
Tuesday: Duke at Virginia Tech, 4 p.m., ESPN. Also: Iowa at Ohio State, 4 p.m., Big Ten Network; Providence at Butler, 4 p.m., FS1; Wisconsin at Indiana, 6 p.m., ESPN; San Diego State at Utah State, 6:30 p.m., CBSSN
Wednesday: Marquette at Villanova, 6 p.m., FS1. Also: Maryland at Penn State, 3:30 p.m., Big Ten Network; Georgia Tech at Virginia, 4 p.m., ESPN2; Oklahoma State at Texas Tech, 4 p.m., ESPNU; DePaul at Georgetown, 4 p.m., CBSSN; Illinois at Purdue, 5:30 p.m., Big Ten Network; Louisville at Boston College, 6 p.m., ACC Network; Texas at Baylor, 6 p.m., ESPN2; Auburn at Georgia, 6 p.m., ESPNU; UNLV at Nevada, 8 p.m., CBSSN
Thursday: Nebraska at Michigan, 4 p.m., ESPN. Also: Xavier at St. John’s, 3:30 p.m., FS1; Arizona at Oregon State, 6 p.m.; Washington State at Stanford, 6 p.m., Pac-12 Network; Gonzaga at Pacific, 8 p.m., ESPN2; Arizona State at Oregon, 8 p.m., Pac-12 Network; Washington at Cal, 8 p.m.
Friday: Rhode Island at Dayton, 4 p.m., ESPN2. Also: Penn at Harvard, 4 p.m., ESPNU
Saturday: Kentucky at Tennessee, 11 a.m., Channel 2, Miami at Duke, 1 p.m., Channel 2. Also: Gonzaga at St. Mary’s, TBA; Michigan at Indiana, 9 a.m., Channel 11; Kansas at Oklahoma State, 9 a.m., Channel 2; LSU at Alabama, 9 a.m., ESPN; North Carolina State at Florida State, 9 a.m., ESPN2; Penn State at Wisconsin, 10 a.m., Big Ten Network; Pittsburgh at Virginia, 11 a.m., ACC Network; Ohio State at Purdue, 11 a.m., ESPN; Butler at Villanova, 11 a.m., Channel 11; Iowa State at Texas, 11 a.m., ESPN2; Central Florida at Houston, 1 p.m., ESPN2; Texas Tech at TCU, 1 p.m., ESPN; Rutgers at Iowa, 2 p.m., Big Ten Network; Utah at Colorado, 3 p.m., ESPNU; Seton Hall at Georgetown, 3:30 p.m., CBSSN; Baylor at Kansas State, 5 p.m., ESPN; Arizona at Oregon, 7 p.m.
Sunday: Notre Dame at Louisville, 10:30 a.m., Channel 2, Michigan at Maryland, 12:45 p.m., Channel 2. Also: St. John’s at DePaul, 9 a.m., FS1; Creighton at Marquette, noon, FS1; Washington at Stanford, 1 p.m., ESPN2; Arizona State at Oregon State, 5 p.m., ESPNU.


1fourThe NFL is on the radar? Of course, with the combine at Indianapolis.
ABC has a two-hour window of presentation for the first time on Saturday where the quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends get to mess around. It starts Friday on the NFL Network with running backs, offensive linemen and kickers, and continues Sunday with linebackers and defensive linemen (with defensive backs pushed to Monday, March 4).
And if you need a rooting interest, www.BetOnline.ag has some over/under prop bets for any player in the field, such as: Best 40-yard dash time (4.29 seconds), highest vertical jump (43.5 inches) and most bench presses (40).


1fiveNothing really of note for Dodgers and Angels. Unless you’re worried about Clayton Kershaw’s slow start to getting healthy, or the Angels … what are their issues again?
In college baseball:
UCLA: At Cal State Northridge, Tuesday at 2 p.m.; Vs. Sacramento State at Jackie Robinson Stadium, Friday at 6 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m., Sunday at 1 p.m.
USC: vs. UC Santa Barbara, at Dedeaux Field, Tuesday at 6 p.m.; vs. Grand Canyon, at Dedeaux Field, Friday at 6 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m., Sunday at 1 p.m.
Long Beach State: At Mississippi, Friday at 4:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday at 11:30 a.m., SEC Network +
Cal State Northridge: vs. UCLA at Northridge, Tuesday at 2 p.m., CSUN Sports Network; vs. Michigan at Northridge, Friday at 2 p.m., Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m.
Cal State Fullerton:  At Stanford, Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 6 p.m., Sunday at 1 p.m.
Loyola Marymount: vs. UC Irvine, at Page Stadium in Westchester, Tuesday at 6 p.m.; At Oregon, Friday at 3 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m., Sunday at noon.
Pepperdine: At Arizona State, Tuesday at 6 p.m.; At UC Santa Barbara, Friday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.; vs. UC Santa Barbara at Malibu, Saturday at 1 p.m.

The NHL trade deadline is Monday. We can’t wait.
The Kings this week:
*At Tampa Bay, Monday at 4:30 p.m., NBCSN
*At Carolina, Tuesday at 4 p.m., Fox Sports West
*Vs. Dallas, at Staples Center, Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Fox Sports West
*Vs. Chicago, at Staples Center, Saturday at 1 p.m., Fox Sports West
The Ducks this week:
*At Vancouver, Monday at 7 p.m.. Fox Sports West
*Vs. Chicago, at Honda Center, Wednesday at 7 p.m., NBCSN
*Vs. Vegas, at Honda Center, Friday at 7 p.m., Fox Sports West
*Vs. Colorado, at Honda Center, Sunday at 1 p.m., Fox Sports West

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