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The Latest Sports News
I recently added two new links to my "favs" section. The first, www.celticscircuit.com, a comprehensive Celtics blog featuring breaking news, full game previews, re-caps, write ups, with reactions from players and coaches. A very interesting site with a similar style to this site. The blog is authored by Greg Payne. The nice thing about writing is that every author has their own unique style and Greg's and my style are certainly different but no less interesting.The second site, also authored by Payne, really peaked my interest. The site, www.celticsstories.blogpost.com, is an emotional audio tour of Celtics history told by normal Bostonians. It is extremely interesting to hear how every day basketball fans viewed such varied topics as "Growing Up" - a section where Brian Wylie, Athletic Director of Endicott college, discusses how watching Larry Bird and Company battle it out with rivals Los Angeles and Detroit was a "family event" as his entire family would huddle around the TV on a Sunday afternoon.Paul Sullivan discusses Johnny Most and his 40 year reign broadcasting Celtics basketball "live- high above coutside at the Boston Garden". He talks about the entertainment value of Johnny's broadcasts and how most kids went to sleep with their transistor radios to listen to Johnny's animated play by play.Paul Sullivan also discusses John Havlicek, describing him as a marathon runner in constant motion, running thru screens and playing thru pain with a separated shoulder.The two recounts of Dave Cowens by Paul Sullivan and Mike Grenier were my favorite. Both described him as undersized, emotional and (Garnett-like) crazy. Sullivan described Cowens as having a "passion for the purity of the game" (I love that phrase!), playing "100% all of the time". Sounds a lot like Garnett to me.The best Cowen's story told by both Sullivan and Grenier was one of the few that I have never heard. A story of Cowens playing against the Houston Rockets and a notorious "flopper". The player took a charge that was an obvious "flop". This "incensed" Cowen who proceeded to run the player over, stand above him and proclaim to the referee "now thats a charge!". An NBA historian on ESPN could not have told those stories better then Sullivan and Grenier!Classic stories told by the fans who witnessed them!Growing up I listened to my relatives tell me of the great stories of Red Auerbach, Bill Russell, John Havlicek and their Boston Celtics Dynasty. The stories gave me the chills. Hearing these every day people on www.celticsstories.blogspot.com brought back those memories - and the chills! Thanks Greg!
Thursday, 14 May 2009 11:13

DWIGHT HOWARD VS. STAN VAN GUNDY

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Dwight Howard showed a lack of maturity with his comments regarding Coach Van Gundy after game 5's upsetting loss to Boston on Tuesday night. Howard's frustrations have been echoed around the sporting world for the past 48 hours. Yesterday Howard apologized. Criticism of your coach is not always inappropriate. What is inappropriate is broadcasting those criticisms to the world before a series clinching game. It is obvious that dissension is growing for Van Gundy among Magic players. We witnessed it with point guard Anthony Johnson earlier in the series. The star player and obvious leader of the team adding his own dissensions only tears apart the cohesion of his team.The facts regarding Howard show that he is an athletic giants with limitless potential. The facts also show that, at this point in his career, Howard has some obvious holes in his game that can be exploited. Though the Defensive Player of the Year, Howard has limited options in his offensive game. He has no repertoire with his back to the basket. Unless Dwight catches the ball with (at least) one foot in the paint, he repeatedly resorts to his sweeping left handed hook which has looked more awkward then ambidextrous in this series. What's worse is Howard's game facing the basket. Howard cannot shoot the ball 5 feet out. He has absolutely no face up game. He is also averaging 3 turnovers per game in the playoffs.Free throw shooting? 59% in the regular season, 62% in the playoffs.The point is, unless Dwight Howard is directly under the basket or catching a lob for a dunk, he is completely ineffective or turning the ball over. How many lob plays can you run in one game?Dwight is the Defensive Player of the Year and deservedly so with Garnett being injured for much of the season. He is averaging 2.2 blocks per game against Boston. Most of Dwight's blocks are either goal tends or the ball end up in the third row, maybe in spectator Bill Russell's lap. This type of shot blocking can be intimidating and is exciting for television but I am sure every time Bill Russell observes one of Dwight's blocked shots ending up in the stands he snickers and shakes his head. Russell always preached that once the intimidation factor has worn off, the truth is that putting the ball in the stands retains possession for the opposing team (in this case his Celtics) and allows them to reset their offense. Howard complained about not "receiving touches" in game five. A superstar has the ability to command the ball without demanding it. During the 4th quarter of tight games, Dwight Howard seems to fade into the sea of blue jerseys standing around. Again, how many lob plays can a team run in one game? Especially in the final minutes of tight games.Kendrick Perkin has consistently frustrated Dwight keeping him out of the paint in this series. Putting the ball in his hands, late in the game, with a limited offensive repertoire, with two feet out of the paint, and Perkins defending is offensive suicide. Running screen rolls for Dwight in the final minutes of tight games would leave Boston the option to foul and put the poor shooting Howard on the free throw line. Overall, though I do not care for Stan Van Gundy's style of coaching, I would have to say that Dwight Howard is an offensive liability in the 4th Quarter of games. Dwight, stop publicly bashing your coach and start putting film clips together of Tim Duncan, Kevin McHale and your boy Patrick Ewing. Soon you will have a lot of time to review that film and realize your potential.
I recently added two new links to my "favs" section. The first, www.celticscircuit.com, a comprehensive Celtics blog featuring breaking news, full game previews, re-caps, write ups, with reactions from players and coaches. A very interesting site with a similar style to this site. The blog is authored by Greg Payne. The nice thing about writing is that every author has their own unique style and Greg's and my style are certainly different but no less interesting.The second site, also authored by Payne, really peaked my interest. The site, www.celticsstories.blogpost.com, is an emotional audio tour of Celtics history told by normal Bostonians. It is extremely interesting to hear how every day basketball fans viewed such varied topics as "Growing Up" - a section where Brian Wylie, Athletic Director of Endicott college, discusses how watching Larry Bird and Company battle it out with rivals Los Angeles and Detroit was a "family event" as his entire family would huddle around the TV on a Sunday afternoon.Paul Sullivan discusses Johnny Most and his 40 year reign broadcasting Celtics basketball "live- high above coutside at the Boston Garden". He talks about the entertainment value of Johnny's broadcasts and how most kids went to sleep with their transistor radios to listen to Johnny's animated play by play.Paul Sullivan also discusses John Havlicek, describing him as a marathon runner in constant motion, running thru screens and playing thru pain with a separated shoulder.The two recounts of Dave Cowens by Paul Sullivan and Mike Grenier were my favorite. Both described him as undersized, emotional and (Garnett-like) crazy. Sullivan described Cowens as having a "passion for the purity of the game" (I love that phrase!), playing "100% all of the time". Sounds a lot like Garnett to me.The best Cowen's story told by both Sullivan and Grenier was one of the few that I have never heard. A story of Cowens playing against the Houston Rockets and a notorious "flopper". The player took a charge that was an obvious "flop". This "incensed" Cowen who proceeded to run the player over, stand above him and proclaim to the referee "now thats a charge!". An NBA historian on ESPN could not have told those stories better then Sullivan and Grenier!Classic stories told by the fans who witnessed them!Growing up I listened to my relatives tell me of the great stories of Red Auerbach, Bill Russell, John Havlicek and their Boston Celtics Dynasty. The stories gave me the chills. Hearing these every day people on www.celticsstories.blogspot.com brought back those memories - and the chills! Thanks Greg!
Last night's 92-88 fourth quarter comeback victory will be added to the long line of historic Celtics game 5's.Prior to their fourth quarter run the Celtics were playing stagnant and, at times sloppy. The offense did not come together until Stephon Marbury earned his pro-rated veteran's minimum salary with a 7 minute fourth quarter explosion. Marbury was inserted into the line-up midway thru the third quarter when Rajon Rondo (6 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists) picked up his fourth foul. Boston trailed by 14 points with less then nine minutes remaining, the line-up was House, Marbury, Davis, Scalabrine, and (a non factor) Ray Allen. Stephon Marbury then scored 12 points in the next 7 minutes igniting the Celtics offense and the Garden crowd. The second unit could not get consecutive defensive stops however, as the Magic answered every basket. The best run the second unit could provide was 7-0 and the Magic countered every time. This forced Doc Rivers to (begrudgingly) go back to his first unit down 10 point with 5:39 remaining to play. Stephon did what the second unit is supposed to do, excite and rejuvenate the 1st unit as they re-enter the game.Over the final 5:39 the starters returned and so did the Celtics trademark defense. In the last 5 minutes the Celtics defense forced two Turnovers and five missed shots by the Magic. The Celtics offense continued where Marbury left off. Boston went on a 17-3 run in the last 3 minutes. Ray Allen hit the go ahead three (after only shooting 3-11 from the field) with 1:20 left to play - Mr. Clutch does it again.During the fourth quarter Dwight Howard only had three touches and was a complete non-factor. Orlando went back to their outside only offense, scoring -0- in the paint. According to Boston.com, a visibly frustrated Howard commented after the game, "When you're in a situation when guys got it going, everybody's moving the ball, and the energy is up, you've got to stick with it," Howard said. "You've got to stick with it. And when you take out certain guys and some guys have to get into the flow of the game, it's tough. Especially when you play a team like Boston.

Howard continued, "Our coach has to recognize when he has a certain group out there and they're getting the job done, you have to leave those guys on the floor. We're going to make mistakes, but I think the thing is you've got to go with what works."

Their is a lot of talk of Orlando's collapse and deservingly so. However, Bostons championship pedigree and five minutes of flawless basketball also stole the game from Orlando.

In light of all the officiating controversy around the league regarding last second calls (or no calls), Boston committed all the correct fouls down the stretch while going 6 for 6 from the line themselves. Glen Davis (22 points-10 fourth quarter) again performed in the clutch going 2-2 from the line with 4.6 seconds left to clinch the game.

Add this game 5 to the list of great Celtics performances in pivotal playoff games. Boston will try to close out this series at game six on Thursday night in Orlando. A game six victory would be paramount as we can really use the rest.

The cyclone that is the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James are on another vacation while waiting for us to close out this series. LeBron has made it clear that he wants Paul Pierce and a re-match of last years seven game thriller.

The Boston Celtics are 32-0 when leading a seven game series 3 games to 2 so it looks like King James will, as usual, get his royal basketball request - Boston in another seven game battle for the Eastern Conference Crown.

Monday, 11 May 2009 19:53

SAM JONES - BASKETBALL ROYALTY

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Every family has some one who is often taken for granted. Perhaps the brother-in-law that always brings a case of beer to the family cookout. Soon enough we stop bringing our own beer expecting that case to have already been delivered. It's not that we love that relative any less or lack gratitude for their selfless ways, it's just human nature.It was fantastic to see legendary Celtics guard Sam Jones in attendance for game four in Orlando Sunday night. I was surprised this evening when I read on Boston.com that Jones said he has only been back to Boston twice since retiring in 1969. "I came back for Red," said Jones, 75, "I never go any place unless I am invited and I haven't been invited." The current ownership group is especially inclusive with the Celtics legends. They certainly realize that these former champions are the bridge that connects the current players with the Dynasty Years of the 60s, 70s, and 80s. They are the keepers of Celtics Pride and standard bearers for which all future teams have been measured.Sam Jones has been ingrained into our visuals of the old Celtics Dynasty. We all have seen the clips of the "Old Celtics" bruised, battered and taped up, in the line up of the 69' Finals. We have all heard the stories of Jones bringing the Lakers celebration schedule back to Bill Russell- inspiring the Celtics to win that game. Sam Jones, one way or another, has been a part of every aspect of the "Old Celtics" lore and mystique. He is featured in nearly every Celtics Dynasty documentary and he is everything we have come to expect a Celtic to be. He self admittedly "bleeds green" and still roots for the Celtics.Big Baby's game winner last night was nothing new to Sam. True Celtics fans will never forget the highlight of Sam Jones running the picket fence and (of course) banking in the game winner against the Lakers while Johnny Most squelched "it's good!"Sam's number hangs high above the parquet floor that they he helped to make famous. That is why it was so surprising to me that he hadn't been "invited" back to Boston. It was nice to hear that managing partner Bob Epstien and Coach Doc Rivers spent some time with Sam prior to game 4's tip off. Epstein pledged to "bring him back into the teams family."Perhaps we have all taken for granted that Jones would need an invite to attend a game on a court that he helped to make famous, in an arena with 17 Championship Banners. 10 of which he helped to hoist. Sam Jones, Ever the humble man, will never come if "not invited". A rare spotting of KC Jones occurred in Boston for game two. I hope to see more of KC in attendance and maybe the other half of the "Jones Brothers" will be seated by his side from time to time. An invite is certainly not necessary. It would be an honor to have you in attendance Mr. Jones.
In 1987, when the injured and aging Boston Celtics were defending their title in the Eastern Conference Finals, Kevin McHale would tell reporters, "You all know what they say... A wounded bear is the most dangerous"... McHale's 22 year old analogy can definitely be applied to this year's Defending Champion Boston Celtics. They are certainly not scared of adversity. These Celtics always seem to rise to the challenge when their pride is threatened.In the 2009 NBA Playoffs the Celtics have treated fans to their share of overtimes and buzzer beaters. However, Last night's 1 point victory over the Orlando Magic had the most unlikely of endings. We have all seen the play before... The first option is Ray Allen off a fade. Option two would have been Paul Pierce isolated at the top of the key. Option three was always Kevin Garnett fading for an 18 footer. Last night it wasn't the "Big Ticket" coming thru with 1.2 seconds left,it was the (self proclaimed) "Ticket Stub" - Glenn "Big Baby" Davis.From the second quarter until Big Baby's game winning basket the Boston Celtics vaunted Defense returned. Boston forced Orlando into 39% shooting and 18% three point shooting. Hedu Turkoglu, Rafer Alston and Redick were non factors as the Celtics defense hounded their every move.The offense was another story. Though the Celtics shot 52.8% from the field, led by Paul Pierce with 27 point on 9 of 15 shooting, the team only handed out 16 assists . Rajon Rondo scored 21 points and grabbed 14 rebounds but only dished out 4 assists. Rondo is averaging 11.3 assists per game in the playoffs. Boston shot a horrid 10% from three point range. Ray Allen 0-5 from three point land, finishing with 12 points in 46 minutes.Even with a filthy offense, missed free throw and three pointers, the Celtics still managed to pull out the victory. Boston now has homecourt advantage back playing 2 of the next 3 games at the TD Banknorth Garden. I have not seen Coach Doc Rivers display that much emotion since last years championship clinching game six. It seemed as if Doc finally exhaled after holding his breath since losing game one of the 1st round series against Chicago. Notes: Kendrick Perkins re injured his shoulder with 4 minutes remaining in the game. His status for game five has not been determined. Legendary Celtics guard Sam Jones was in attendance. Paul Pierce, in foul trouble, only played 32 minutes.Embedded video from NBA Video
In 1987, when the injured and aging Boston Celtics were defending their title in the Eastern Conference Finals, Kevin McHale would tell reporters, "You all know what they say... A wounded bear is the most dangerous"... McHale's 22 year old analogy can definitely be applied to this year's Defending Champion Boston Celtics. They are certainly not scared of adversity. These Celtics always seem to rise to the challenge when their pride is threatened.In the 2009 NBA Playoffs the Celtics have treated fans to their share of overtimes and buzzer beaters. However, Last night's 1 point victory over the Orlando Magic had the most unlikely of endings. We have all seen the play before... The first option is Ray Allen off a fade. Option two would have been Paul Pierce isolated at the top of the key. Option three was always Kevin Garnett fading for an 18 footer. Last night it wasn't the "Big Ticket" coming thru with 1.2 seconds left,it was the (self proclaimed) "Ticket Stub" - Glenn "Big Baby" Davis.From the second quarter until Big Baby's game winning basket the Boston Celtics vaunted Defense returned. Boston forced Orlando into 39% shooting and 18% three point shooting. Hedu Turkoglu, Rafer Alston and Redick were non factors as the Celtics defense hounded their every move.The offense was another story. Though the Celtics shot 52.8% from the field, led by Paul Pierce with 27 point on 9 of 15 shooting, the team only handed out 16 assists . Rajon Rondo scored 21 points and grabbed 14 rebounds but only dished out 4 assists. Rondo is averaging 11.3 assists per game in the playoffs. Boston shot a horrid 10% from three point range. Ray Allen 0-5 from three point land, finishing with 12 points in 46 minutes.Even with a filthy offense, missed free throw and three pointers, the Celtics still managed to pull out the victory. Boston now has homecourt advantage back playing 2 of the next 3 games at the TD Banknorth Garden. I have not seen Coach Doc Rivers display that much emotion since last years championship clinching game six. It seemed as if Doc finally exhaled after holding his breath since losing game one of the 1st round series against Chicago. Notes: Kendrick Perkins re injured his shoulder with 4 minutes remaining in the game. His status for game five has not been determined. Legendary Celtics guard Sam Jones was in attendance. Paul Pierce, in foul trouble, only played 32 minutes.Embedded video from NBA Video
Below is the latest version of the NBA's "Amazing" commercials. The Celtics will try to find some of this "Celtics Magic" today against Orlando!Embedded video from NBA Video
Below is the latest version of the NBA's "Amazing" commercials. The Celtics will try to find some of this "Celtics Magic" today against Orlando!Embedded video from NBA Video
Sunday, 10 May 2009 01:24

YAO MING OUT FOR THE PLAYOFFS

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The Los Angeles Lakers will dodge a bullet as Yao Ming is expected to miss the remainder of the playoffs. The Houston Rockets announced by official press release today that Ming has suffered a hairline fracture in his left foot.Yao suffered an ankle sprain in Houston's 108-94 loss in game four of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers. Though Yao will not require surgery, he will need 12 weeks recovery time before resuming workouts.This is truly a tragic turn of events for a Houston team that seemed to be in contention to advance past the Lakers.
Saturday, 09 May 2009 20:32

PERK WILL PLAY IN GM 4!

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League officials decided today that Kendrick Perkins will not be suspended from game four action against the Magic.VP of Basketball Operations, Stu Jackson said the Perkins-Pietrus play did not fit the "criteria for a suspendable offense".The Celtics are very fortunate to have Perk for game four. Avoiding a 3-1 series defecit would have been highly unlikely without Perkins guarding Howard.Kevin Garnett will remain on the bench with his strained right knee. Leon Powe underwent knee surgery and is out until some time next season.
Saturday, 09 May 2009 20:24

YAO MING OUT FOR THE PLAYOFFS

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The Los Angeles Lakers will dodge a bullet as Yao Ming is expected to miss the remainder of the playoffs. The Houston Rockets announced by official press release today that Ming has suffered a hairline fracture in his left foot.Yao suffered an ankle sprain in Houston's 108-94 loss in game four of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers. Though Yao will not require surgery, he will need 12 weeks recovery time before resuming workouts.This is truly a tragic turn of events for a Houston team that seemed to be in contention to advance past the Lakers.
Saturday, 09 May 2009 18:14

LONG LIVE CHUCK DALY

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As a basketball pupil of the late 1980's, I can remember comparing and contrasting the coaches during the 1987 Eastern Conference Finals. Celtics Coach KC Jones was everything a Boston Celtic should be, quiet and blue collar, a man who rarely lost his composure. KC would be dressed in corduroy pants and wearing the same blazer for every contest of the heated seven game series.Glancing to the visitors bench I noticed Pistons coach Chuck Daly. I remember thinking "now that guy looks like a senator or president". Moments later Coach Daly, disputing a referee's call, flung his clip board across the bench, messed his hair and threw his hands in the air. Coach Daly, though one of the NBA's original "GQ Coaches", was never afraid to show his emotion or get his hands dirty.As a spectator, and Celtics fan, I was well trained to despise the "Bad Boy Pistons". In my mind, Daly seemed to be the "Bad Boys" father trying to contain them. He never seemed to be the protagonist of this physical, sometimes dirty play. In fact, that series was the Pistons coming of age. Game 5 was an embarrassment to Isiah Thomas and Coach Daly as his team, leading by 1 with seconds left, failed to call time out and advance the ball. Bird stole the pass dished it off to a streaking Dennis Johnson and the rest is history. A heavily undermanned and injured Celtics team beat the more talented Pistons in seven games. Daly and his Pistons would have their revenge the following year. Again meeting the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Pistons would win in six games. Perhaps this would be the first time the vaunted Pistons defense would be fully displayed. They would hold Larry Bird to 10 points per game on 35% shooting. Daly's Pistons would meet the Celtics two more times in the post season winning both series.Though losing to the LA Lakers in the 1988 finals, the following year Daly would add Magic Johnson and the Lakers to his list of "Pistons Casualties".Chuck Daly and his Detroit Pistons would end Larry Bird and Magic Johnson's 1980's Championship runs in 3 seasons.With Boston and LA out of the picture, The Pistons became the new beast of the east. The Chicago Bulls had the Pistons in their sight.The creator of the "Jordan Rules", Daly's Pistons were possibly the only team to slow down and frustrate Michael Jordan. People tend to forget that it took Michael Jordan three attempts before finally dismantling the Pistons in 1991. In 1991, The Bulls began using the "Triangle Offense" to combat the "Jordan Rules". Coach Phil Jackson's "Triangle Offense" finally broke Jordan and his team mates free of the Pistons grasp and effectively putting an end to Daly's "Bad Boy Era".I guess you can say that Daly's "Jordan Rules" were responsible for creating the "Triangle Offense" which is still in use today by Coach Phil Jackson and his Los Angeles Lakers. Years later Daly said of the "Jordan Rules",

"If Michael was at the point, we forced him left and doubled him. If he was on the left wing, we went immediately to a double team from the top. If he was on the right wing, we went to a slow double team. He could hurt you equally from either wing -- hell, he could hurt you from the hot-dog stand -- but we just wanted to vary the look. And if he was on the box, we doubled with a big guy.

The other rule was, any time he went by you, you had to nail him. If he was coming off a screen, nail him. We didn't want to be dirty -- I know some people thought we were -- but we had to make contact and be very physical."

After resigning as Detroit's head coach in 1992 , he went on to coach the New Jersey Nets and the Orlando Magic.

In 1992, Chuck Daly would coach the original Dream Team, arguably the best basketball team ever assembled, to the gold medal. He would be coaching former foes Bird, Johnson and Jordan all at the same time. Daly's Dream Team went on to average victories of 30 points or more never facing defeat.

Daly spent 9 years coaching the Pistons and will always be remembered as a Detroit Piston. He won two consecutive titles from 1988-1990.

Though the Pistons have raised the #2 to the rafters of the Palace of Auburn Hill in his honor, Chuck Daly will always be #1 in our hearts.

Saturday, 09 May 2009 17:40

The REAL Stars Attended the Celtics Victory in Game 2!

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When watching a Lakers broadcast you can often hear the announcers proclaiming "the stars have come out tonight to support their home team". It occurred to me last night, while watching the Lakers game, that Jack Nicholson arguing with Ron Artest while seated in the front row is almost as entertaining as the game itself. The Lakers sure are lucky to have the likes of Justin Timberlake, Adam Sandler, Jackie Moon... I mean Will Farrell, Paula Abdul and the only Lakers Legend never to be involved with a game, Jack Nicholson in attendance. The sea of movie and pop stars sure make the viewing more interesting during game breaks. The Lakers sure are lucky.In Boston we have our share of stars that attend games as well, Bill Belichick is often in attendance. You can also find Donny Wahlberg and some other random (b-list) stars. It always seems, however, that the REAL CELTICS stars show up for the crucial games...Last night's second contest was a pivotal game that may have saved the Celtics post season. During the first quarter the jumbotron flashed to the Celtics legends in attendance while Bruce Springsteen's "Glory Days" rained down on the garden crowd. It was a flashback of last years playoff run when the legends were in attendance almost every home game. High Definition images of Jo Jo White, Tommy Heinsohn, Hondo, Cedric Maxwell, Bill Russell and a rare appearance by K.C. Jones shot out over the jumbotron as the crowd gave them their just due and sang along with Bruce. Maybe it occurred to the faithful that the legends are an amazing starting five (with Maxwell coming off the bench). Maybe they thought the current Cs could have used this line up in the first half of game one!Truth be told, the legends of Celtics past are holding the torch to the Celtics next dynasty for the late Red Auerbach. Seeing K.C. and Russ and the others make us proud to be Celtics. It seems they always show up during crucial games just to remind the current players that they have the advantage solely because of the name on the front of their jersey. It's something Red did for years and now his former students are carrying on that tradition.While watching the Celtics devastate the Magic last night, my friend Tony texted me Rudy Tomjonovich's now legendary sound bite "Never underestimate the heart of a champion". After getting the chills from the text, I got to thinking, no one can ever say this current edition of Celtics Champions has no heart. This team has had adversity no Celtics team has faced defending their title since 1969 (In 69', Bill Russell willed his team to victory (over the Lakers) for the final time before retirement).In 2009,exactly 40 years later, we have a team without injured superstar Kevin Garnett. The bench is even lighter with the injury to Leon Powe. Most teams would've thrown in the towel, but not the Boston Celtics. Every playoff game has highlighted a new unlikely hero. Last night the House was burning! Eddie House lit up the garden for 31 points becoming the first Celtics bench player to score over 30 points since Kevin McHale did it in 1993. Most considered that to be McHale's farewell game as he retired shortly after. House frustrated the Magic so much with his shooting that Rafer Alston took a slap at him and will likely be suspended for game 3.Rajon Rondo posted his third triple double (15 points, 18 assists, 11 rebounds) of the post season tying Larry Legends record and coming one triple double short of tying the league's record. Boston dished out 22 assists (Rondo had 18) on 25 baskets made in the first half. The Celtics shot 51% from the field and 45% from beyond the arc all while Paul Pierce sat on the bench next to (Coach) Kevin Garnett (nice suit) with foul trouble. Pierce only played 15 minutes (3 points).Kendrick Perkins defense on Dwight Howard was remarkable. While playing Howard straight up most of the game, Perk held him to 12 points on 5 of 13 shooting while forcing 5 turnovers.With the re-emergence of Eddie House in the game 7 of the epic first round series and the return of Brian Scalabrine, the Celtics suddenly seem to have some bench relief. Doc seems to have some renewed confidence in the "green team" and his rotations in game 2 were much more crisp.Boston's strategy seems to be in place for game three and four and we can likely come out of Orlando being tied (2-2) going into the pivotal game 5. We can all look forward to seeing our legendary forefathers in the audience for the ever crucial game five, Where they will be quiet, classy and barely noticed by all except the players on the floor. No bickering with the opposing team for these stars, only confidence and the look of basketball wisdom backed up by the presence of 17 Championship Banners hanging next to there retired numbers high above their humble heads. Enough said...Jack Nicholson looking on after a heated exchange with the Rockets Ron Artest in Game 2 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals.KG coaches Big Baby in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference SemiFinalsQuiet confidence... Our Celtics Celebrities in attendance at the Garden for Game Two.
Saturday, 09 May 2009 13:14

LONG LIVE CHUCK DALY

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As a basketball pupil of the late 1980's, I can remember comparing and contrasting the coaches during the 1987 Eastern Conference Finals. Celtics Coach KC Jones was everything a Boston Celtic should be, quiet and blue collar, a man who rarely lost his composure. KC would be dressed in corduroy pants and wearing the same blazer for every contest of the heated seven game series.Glancing to the visitors bench I noticed Pistons coach Chuck Daly. I remember thinking "now that guy looks like a senator or president". Moments later Coach Daly, disputing a referee's call, flung his clip board across the bench, messed his hair and threw his hands in the air. Coach Daly, though one of the NBA's original "GQ Coaches", was never afraid to show his emotion or get his hands dirty.As a spectator, and Celtics fan, I was well trained to despise the "Bad Boy Pistons". In my mind, Daly seemed to be the "Bad Boys" father trying to contain them. He never seemed to be the protagonist of this physical, sometimes dirty play. In fact, that series was the Pistons coming of age. Game 5 was an embarrassment to Isiah Thomas and Coach Daly as his team, leading by 1 with seconds left, failed to call time out and advance the ball. Bird stole the pass dished it off to a streaking Dennis Johnson and the rest is history. A heavily undermanned and injured Celtics team beat the more talented Pistons in seven games. Daly and his Pistons would have their revenge the following year. Again meeting the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Pistons would win in six games. Perhaps this would be the first time the vaunted Pistons defense would be fully displayed. They would hold Larry Bird to 10 points per game on 35% shooting. Daly's Pistons would meet the Celtics two more times in the post season winning both series.Though losing to the LA Lakers in the 1988 finals, the following year Daly would add Magic Johnson and the Lakers to his list of "Pistons Casualties".Chuck Daly and his Detroit Pistons would end Larry Bird and Magic Johnson's 1980's Championship runs in 3 seasons.With Boston and LA out of the picture, The Pistons became the new beast of the east. The Chicago Bulls had the Pistons in their sight.The creator of the "Jordan Rules", Daly's Pistons were possibly the only team to slow down and frustrate Michael Jordan. People tend to forget that it took Michael Jordan three attempts before finally dismantling the Pistons in 1991. In 1991, The Bulls began using the "Triangle Offense" to combat the "Jordan Rules". Coach Phil Jackson's "Triangle Offense" finally broke Jordan and his team mates free of the Pistons grasp and effectively putting an end to Daly's "Bad Boy Era".I guess you can say that Daly's "Jordan Rules" were responsible for creating the "Triangle Offense" which is still in use today by Coach Phil Jackson and his Los Angeles Lakers. Years later Daly said of the "Jordan Rules",

"If Michael was at the point, we forced him left and doubled him. If he was on the left wing, we went immediately to a double team from the top. If he was on the right wing, we went to a slow double team. He could hurt you equally from either wing -- hell, he could hurt you from the hot-dog stand -- but we just wanted to vary the look. And if he was on the box, we doubled with a big guy.

The other rule was, any time he went by you, you had to nail him. If he was coming off a screen, nail him. We didn't want to be dirty -- I know some people thought we were -- but we had to make contact and be very physical."

After resigning as Detroit's head coach in 1992 , he went on to coach the New Jersey Nets and the Orlando Magic.

In 1992, Chuck Daly would coach the original Dream Team, arguably the best basketball team ever assembled, to the gold medal. He would be coaching former foes Bird, Johnson and Jordan all at the same time. Daly's Dream Team went on to average victories of 30 points or more never facing defeat.

Daly spent 9 years coaching the Pistons and will always be remembered as a Detroit Piston. He won two consecutive titles from 1988-1990.

Though the Pistons have raised the #2 to the rafters of the Palace of Auburn Hill in his honor, Chuck Daly will always be #1 in our hearts.

Saturday, 09 May 2009 13:04

Lebron is the 2009 NBA MVP - Leave History Alone

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No one can deny that LeBron James is one of the most talented superstars in the NBA. No one should diminish the milestones he has achieved.

Saturday, 09 May 2009 12:40

The REAL Stars Attended the Celtics Victory in Game 2!

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When watching a Lakers broadcast you can often hear the announcers proclaiming "the stars have come out tonight to support their home team". It occurred to me last night, while watching the Lakers game, that Jack Nicholson arguing with Ron Artest while seated in the front row is almost as entertaining as the game itself. The Lakers sure are lucky to have the likes of Justin Timberlake, Adam Sandler, Jackie Moon... I mean Will Farrell, Paula Abdul and the only Lakers Legend never to be involved with a game, Jack Nicholson in attendance. The sea of movie and pop stars sure make the viewing more interesting during game breaks. The Lakers sure are lucky.In Boston we have our share of stars that attend games as well, Bill Belichick is often in attendance. You can also find Donny Wahlberg and some other random (b-list) stars. It always seems, however, that the REAL CELTICS stars show up for the crucial games...Last night's second contest was a pivotal game that may have saved the Celtics post season. During the first quarter the jumbotron flashed to the Celtics legends in attendance while Bruce Springsteen's "Glory Days" rained down on the garden crowd. It was a flashback of last years playoff run when the legends were in attendance almost every home game. High Definition images of Jo Jo White, Tommy Heinsohn, Hondo, Cedric Maxwell, Bill Russell and a rare appearance by K.C. Jones shot out over the jumbotron as the crowd gave them their just due and sang along with Bruce. Maybe it occurred to the faithful that the legends are an amazing starting five (with Maxwell coming off the bench). Maybe they thought the current Cs could have used this line up in the first half of game one!Truth be told, the legends of Celtics past are holding the torch to the Celtics next dynasty for the late Red Auerbach. Seeing K.C. and Russ and the others make us proud to be Celtics. It seems they always show up during crucial games just to remind the current players that they have the advantage solely because of the name on the front of their jersey. It's something Red did for years and now his former students are carrying on that tradition.While watching the Celtics devastate the Magic last night, my friend Tony texted me Rudy Tomjonovich's now legendary sound bite "Never underestimate the heart of a champion". After getting the chills from the text, I got to thinking, no one can ever say this current edition of Celtics Champions has no heart. This team has had adversity no Celtics team has faced defending their title since 1969 (In 69', Bill Russell willed his team to victory (over the Lakers) for the final time before retirement).In 2009,exactly 40 years later, we have a team without injured superstar Kevin Garnett. The bench is even lighter with the injury to Leon Powe. Most teams would've thrown in the towel, but not the Boston Celtics. Every playoff game has highlighted a new unlikely hero. Last night the House was burning! Eddie House lit up the garden for 31 points becoming the first Celtics bench player to score over 30 points since Kevin McHale did it in 1993. Most considered that to be McHale's farewell game as he retired shortly after. House frustrated the Magic so much with his shooting that Rafer Alston took a slap at him and will likely be suspended for game 3.Rajon Rondo posted his third triple double (15 points, 18 assists, 11 rebounds) of the post season tying Larry Legends record and coming one triple double short of tying the league's record. Boston dished out 22 assists (Rondo had 18) on 25 baskets made in the first half. The Celtics shot 51% from the field and 45% from beyond the arc all while Paul Pierce sat on the bench next to (Coach) Kevin Garnett (nice suit) with foul trouble. Pierce only played 15 minutes (3 points).Kendrick Perkins defense on Dwight Howard was remarkable. While playing Howard straight up most of the game, Perk held him to 12 points on 5 of 13 shooting while forcing 5 turnovers.With the re-emergence of Eddie House in the game 7 of the epic first round series and the return of Brian Scalabrine, the Celtics suddenly seem to have some bench relief. Doc seems to have some renewed confidence in the "green team" and his rotations in game 2 were much more crisp.Boston's strategy seems to be in place for game three and four and we can likely come out of Orlando being tied (2-2) going into the pivotal game 5. We can all look forward to seeing our legendary forefathers in the audience for the ever crucial game five, Where they will be quiet, classy and barely noticed by all except the players on the floor. No bickering with the opposing team for these stars, only confidence and the look of basketball wisdom backed up by the presence of 17 Championship Banners hanging next to there retired numbers high above their humble heads. Enough said...Jack Nicholson looking on after a heated exchange with the Rockets Ron Artest in Game 2 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals.KG coaches Big Baby in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference SemiFinalsQuiet confidence... Our Celtics Celebrities in attendance at the Garden for Game Two.
Friday, 12 April 2013 05:37

Big Papi sparks Pawsox on Opening Night

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Thursday night at McCoy Stadium  couldn’t have end more perfectly for Pawtucket Red Sox fans  as the team defeated the Rochester Red Wings 5-4 on Opening Night and were treated with David Ortiz in the lineup ,while on a rehab assignment.

Ortiz, who went 2 for 3 with two singles with an RBI and a run scored, will be with the Pawsox likely through next week. The goal is to get Ortiz between 30-35 at bats during Pawtucket’s eight game home stand which runs through next Thursday.

Before the game, Ortiz spoke with media regarding about his progress with his ankle injury.

“I can’t wait to get back in there and get going, he said.  “It’s been good lately and I am finally seeing some good results. I went to Fort Myers and played a lot and ran the bases.”

Regarding his approach to this rehab assignment, Ortiz said he looking to get back to his old form and making sure he is comfortable with his game.

“When it comes down to hitting, I haven’t played in awhile so you just want to go back to the zone that everyone knows that you able to dominate in, Ortiz said “ I just want to make sure my foot is doing well. I think I will be able to go back and help the ballclub compete."

When asked about his ankle after the game, he said it felt good and that he is looking forward to playing upon his return to the Red Sox every day.

We will have more Pawsox coverage this weekend from McCoy Stadium. Be sure to follow our coverage on Twitter @CLNSRedSox for live game updates and news. 

Friday, 12 April 2013 01:03

Nascar: Weekend Weather Forecast For Texas

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This weekend, the Nascar Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series compete at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.  Below, is the updated weather forecast for the weekend's events.

 

Friday:  Sunny skies with a high of 74.  Chance of rain is 0%.

Friday night:  Mostly clear skies with a low of 51.  Chance of rain is 0%.

Saturday:  Party Cloudy with a high of 76.  Chance of rain is 10%.

Saturday night:  Mostly clear with a low of 54.  Chance of rain is 10%.

 

The Nationwide Series will race tomorrow night, at 8:30 ET on ESPN2.  The Sprint Cup Series will run the NRA 500 on Saturday night, at 7:45 only on FOX. 

The Yale Bulldogs are keeping their dream season alive after defeating UMass-Lowell, 3-2 in overtime.

Yale, in their first Frozen Four since 1952, won the game in overtime when junior and team captain Andrew Miller scored just 6:59 into the overtime period. Yale came back to win the game after blowing a 2-0 lead in the second period in the span of 14 seconds.

The Buldogs dominated the Hockey East champs in shooting, 47-18, and had all the shots on goal in the overtime session with seven.

Miller said after the game,

"We were obviously outplaying them, and we wanted to stick to our system and hope one would bounce. Get everything to the net and hopefully pop one."

Yale scored their first two goals by way of the power play in a dominant first period by the Bulldogs. Yale outshot the Riverhawks, 11-5. Mitch Witek and Antoine Laganiere scored the power play goals to give the Bulldogs the 2-0 lead.

The Riverhawks answered right back in the second period with goals by Riley Wetmore and Joseph Pedenza, but the good feelings for UMass-Lowell were short lived as Yale dominated the third period and overtime period.

The loss for the UMass-Lowell Riverhawks ends a fairy tale season that had the once hapless program finally reach the top of the Hockey East and knock off giants like Boston College.

Yale was the 16th and final team to be included in the NCAA Tournament and had to get past hockey powerhouses Minnesota and North Dakota just to get to the Frozen Four.

Yale will be making their first ever appearance in the National Championship game and will await the winner of the Quinnipiac-St. Cloud State game to be contested later this evening.