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The Latest Sports News
Sunday, 07 April 2013 22:04

Celtics Video: Doc on Garnett & Pierce's Return

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BOSTON – Kevin Garnett makes his long-awaited return to the floor Sunday evening along with Paul Pierce as the Celtics face a revamped Wizards team that has reinvented itself upon the return of John Wall.

Garnett will return to the starting lineup without any official restrictions. “I’ll watch Kevin,” Doc Rivers said. “I mean, I doubt if he plays his normal 30 minutes. So I’ll watch him but there’s no limitation by any of the doctors or anything.”

Both Pierce and Garnett have been out with ankle injuries, but the soreness is gone for the most part and they are ready to return to the starting lineup. “They said they felt good today so that’s a good sign because we worked hard yesterday and neither one felt like he was sore or anything like that,” Rivers said.

While Pierce has only missed a couple games, Garnett has been out for the past two weeks. The first issue when returning from a lower body injury is getting back to peak conditioning. “He looked good. He looked normal,” Doc said. “Really, it’s just his wind was absent. Other than that, basketball wise, he looked great.”

Avery Bradley bruised his left collarbone in Friday night’s loss to the Cavaliers, but he will start Sunday night. It will be a seemingly rare occurrence in the Garden for the Celtics, as they will suit up all of their active players for the first time in weeks.

“It will be nice to look at the bench and see more guys down there,” Doc joked. “But I expect us, you know, to be well rested because of it. Different guys playing now. So it’s nice because you have time to try to get some kind of rhythm back.”

The Celtics get a visit from their old teammate Jason Collins, who was traded for Jordan Crawford on deadline day in February. Considering the Celtics’ struggles with their interior defense over the past month, it comes as no surprise that Doc misses him.

“He literally is one of the best guys, I’ve said it before, but he is one of the best guys I’ve ever had in the locker room. Player or coach,” Doc said.

“It’s funny, I didn’t know him very well until we got him. I literally didn’t. I used to call him, the two twins, I just called them the same name: Jason. Both of them. I didn’t know which one was which. He’s just good. He’s a good guy and what he says is the truth.

Collins’ role was reduced, for the most part, to manning the pivot and pick setting on offense. But he had a notable impact on the locker room that left a void upon his departure. “He’s just honest,” Doc said. “He’s honest with the coaching staff, but he’s honest with payers. A player will complain about something and he’ll tell him the truth when guys don’t want to hear the truth.”

 

Washington Wizards (29-47, 7-30 Away) @ Boston Celtics (39-37, 26-12 Home)

TD Garden, 6:00 PM EST

Officials: Jason Phillips, Scott Twardoski, Leon Wood

Line: Boston -4.5, Over/Under = 199.5

Get Tickets to Tonight’s Game at the TD Garden

 

The Boston Celtics host the Washington Wizards on this Sunday night at 6:00 PM EST. The Celtics enter the game on the heels of a Friday night loss at the hands of Cleveland. The Wizards enter the game after beating Indiana last night. The two teams have met twice this season, with both games ending in favor of the Celtics. Both Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce will be active for tonight's game.

 
PROBABLE STARTERS

 

Washington Wizards

PG: John Wall

SG: Garrett Temple

SF: Martell Webster

PF: Nene

C: Emeka Okafor

 

Boston Celtics

PG: Avery Bradley

SG: Paul Pierce

SF: Jeff Green

PF: Brandon Bass

PF: Kevin Garnett

 
INJURIES

Bradley Beal, OUT (Ankle)

LeAndro Barbosa, OUT (Knee)

 

Rajon Rondo, OUT (Knee)

Jared Sullinger, OUT (Back)

 
WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Kevin Garnett will be returning to line up for the first time since suffering an ankle injury on March 22.

Paul Pierce will also be back in action after missing Friday's contest with an injured ankle.

This will be the first time Jordan Crawford will play against his former team, the Washington Wizards. He was traded in exchange for LeAndro Barbosa and Jason Collins at the trade deadline.

John Wall has played incredibly recently, averaging 27.0 points per game over the last two weeks.

 

NOTES

The Wizards and Celtics have not met since teams have not met since November 7th.

Boston Celtics: Pace: 91.7 (16th), Off Rtg: 102.6 (25th), Def Rtg: 102.9 (7th)

Washington Wizards: Pace: 92.0 (15th), Off Rtg: 100.1 (30th), Def Rtg: 102.3 (4th)

 
PREDICTION

The Celtics should have an easy time winning tonight's contest as both Garnett and Pierce will be back in the line up. The Wizards have struggled on the road all season, and there have no reason that will change tonight.

Boston Celtics 101, Washington Wizards 94

____________________________

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Sunday, 07 April 2013 21:01

Report: Rob Gronkowski will "likely" have surgery

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Photo courtesy of Matt Stone/Boston Herald

 

FOXBOROUGH, Mass.--  According to a report from ESPNBoston.com, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will go under the knife once again. Two sources close to ESPNBoston’s Mike Reiss told him that it is “very likely” that the tight end will have surgery on his left forearm, this time to remove a plate inserted in his arm. The plate acted as a preventive in order to ensure the eradication of an infection located there.

If another surgery is deemed necessary, the recovery period would be “about 10 weeks” according to the report. This could affect Gronkowski’s ability to play at the start of the 2013 campaign. This injury first became noticeable, when according to the report, Gronkowski’s “arm was swollen and he noticed some discharge. “ He then called the Patriots, who arranged for him to come back to Boston in order to resolve the problem.

New England’s spokesperson Stacey Andrews said on Sunday that “the team doesn’t expect to comment.”

This injury occurred when the Patriots played host to the Indianapolis Colts on November 18.  Since then, the 23 year old has undergone various treatments, including a six-week cycle of antibiotics that he is almost done with, according to a report written Sunday from the Boston Herald. However, since doctors are not sure whether the treatments have been effective or not, they will need to take out the forearm plate to check.

He caught 55 passes for 790 yards and 11 touchdowns last season. His best game came when the Patriots traveled overseas to London to face the St. Louis Rams. In that contest, he caught eight passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns. Now, the beginning of his season is in jeopardy as he tries to get back to becoming a dominant tight end in the National Football League. 

 

Take in the dynamic duo of Daniel Baker and Adam "Stats Adam" Lowenstein on today's Celtics Beat from 5-6pm. It's an early start as the guys will preview the Wizards@Celtics game and decide how worried Celtics fans should be with the Kevin Garnett injury.   Daniel and Adam welcome Dave Zirin, host of Edge of Sports, and most recently the author of Game Over; How Politics Has Turned the Sports World Upside Down, to the show at 5:15 to talk about his hometown Wizards. Will John Wall get a max-extension this summer? Does he deserve one? Zirin will take a look at the entire NBA with the guys as well.   With the playoffs on the horizon, Daniel and Adam look into their crystal balls to preview the potential match-ups for the Celtics.   So tune in an hour early from 5-6pm and LISTEN LIVE HERE!
Sunday, 07 April 2013 19:10

Boston Bruins: A Week in Review

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Well, it has been another crazy few weeks in what has become a very crazy shortened season for the black and gold. A lack of consistency in all areas has created this up and down roller coaster that has even the most die-hard fans confused and uncertain about where this team stands.

The whirlwind that has been the last two weeks is really just a microcosm of the team after their relatively hot start. We all knew points would be at a premium with the shortened season, but the boys seem to have this lack of focus and effort which is even more concerning than the lack of points they have been tallying.

We can start by looking at Wednesday March 27th, a night full of frustration. The Habs were in town, first place was on the line, oh, and trade talks were heating up. It was a heated affair and a definite playoff atmosphere. The Bruins again dug themselves a 2-0 hole, but they battled back, netting 4 straight in the second. They would enter the third up two goals, and you would think that killer instinct would take over. Montreal would cut into the lead, but Boston would again add some insurance and take a 5-3 lead. Long story short, Montreal tied the game up with less than 10 seconds remaining, and would take the 2 points in a marathon shootout. Hard to believe, but the news would only get worse.

Jarome Iginla was scratched up in Calgary, and when Boston countered by scratching Bartkowski in Providence, the rumors started swirling that the deal was complete. Iggy was going to be wearing black and gold and Chiarelli had just delivered another great deadline deal, in theory pulling the B’s even with the Penguins and their pickups of Brenden Morrow and Douglas Murray. Reports came out, Aaron Ward confirmed them, and Bruins fans went to sleep still hating the Habs, but wicked excited about Iginla.

Then we woke up Thursday morning to a giant punch in the gut. Confusion and frustration were the two words I could best use to describe myself. Iginla had chosen then Penguins and the chance to play with Sidney Crosby over the 8 spoked B. Reports after the trade had fallen through indicated that the Bruins were in fact told they had won the sweepstakes.

The Bruins would get their last two-day break of the season before traveling to Philadelphia in what was sure to be a physical matchup between two old time hockey clubs. Fans watched the headlines to see how the front office was going to try to piece together some much-needed offensive acquisitions. They picked up Kaspars Daugavans off waivers, but he surely was not going to be the answer.

A rested up, energized team took the ice on Saturday March 30th to play the Broad Street Bullies. Wow is about all I could say about that game. Both clubs should have been embarrassed with the product they put on the ice. Coined a “snooze fest” by the media, the game lacked any emotion or excitement. You could somewhat understand that from Philly, who was sitting dead last in their division and all but mathematically out of a playoff spot. Boston, however, should have been looking to make statement. They once again got behind early, and their lack of offensive production proved costly as they left another two points on the table.

They would play the next night in Buffalo, against a team that has become one of their most exciting and biggest rivals over the last few seasons. Surely now we would get to see the Big Bad Bruins come out with emotion! Well, not exactly. They did not get behind, which was positive, but once again, they looked disinterested. Not that I need to see a fight or extracurricular to say the team is engaged, but let’s be honest, that is how the B’s show their engagement. There was nothing of the sort. There was little offensive flow, and the team looked to be going through the motions, or playing not to lose. That being said, the first line came through in the 3rd and the Bruins were able to take two points out of a divisional game. Biggest news on the night, Anton Khudobin had a nice new mask on. Sum up the game for you?

Tuesday April 2nd, the biggest splash of the year from the folks on Causeway Street. Now, was it a great day or an awful day? I will leave that up to you to decide. (Mostly because I have not decided myself) The Bruins traded for the living legend Jaromir Jagr from the Dallas Stars and would give up Lane Mcdermid, Cody Payne, and a conditional 2nd round pick. Did they give up too much? If Jagr is a 2 month rental, I say yes. Unless of course he helps bring home the hardware this summer. But the bad news was coming.

He would not be joining the B’s on the ice that night in Boston for another divisional tilt with the Senators. The Bruins would again get behind early, this time only by a single goal though. Two straight first period tallies would put the Bruins ahead going into the intermission. Ottawa would tie it up before Nathan Horton would eventually pot the game winner. It was great to take the two points, but it came with a very big price tag. Arguably the B’s best player, and the league’s best defensive forward, Patrice Bergeron left the game and was later diagnosed with a moderate concussion. Given Bergy’s concussion history, this is extremely scary news. All reports have been that he is in good spirits and feeling no real effects yet, but if there’s anything we know about concussion’s, it’s that they are unpredictable and status can change at the drop of a hat. Let’s all hope for a speedy recovery.

The Bruins would make a minor league exchange, trading Maxime Suave to the Blackhawks farm team for a more robust player in Rob Flick.

Jaromir Jagr would don the black and gold for the first time on Thursday night against old pal Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey devils. In typical Boston versus New Jersey fashion, it was tight checking and clogged, both teams willingly playing stellar defense as opposed to high flying offense. Jagr would find his name penciled on a line with young guns Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin. Jagr would score the lone goal of the night when Marchand slipped a pass across the crease and it went off Jagr’s skate and in. Jagr improved to 6-0 in debut games, scoring 6 goals and also having 6 assists, helping keep Brodeur’s all-time wins at 666 (thank you Jack Edwards).

Last night was the all-important last matchup of the regular season with the Habs. The game again lacked emotion and grit, and all three goals were deflections. It was just one of those games where the bounces did not go Boston’s way. If you would have asked the goalies after the game, both would have probably agreed the game should have been 0-0. I think it is safe to say that the Bruins are in need of a wake-up call.

The talk was that this team was tired last year, still too hung over from carrying the cup around. Things would be different this year. The team was focused, ready, and mad that they were no longer considered the club at the top of the NHL mountain.

This team went 13-2-2 in January and February, and looked like the well-oiled machine that Peter Chiarelli and Co. advertised. A lackluster March has proven costly, so to speak. The Bruins went 9-6-2 and gave away too many points. This team has made errors that are not supposed to be in their make-up, and certainly were not made in 2011 when Lord Stanley made his way back home. They have fallen behind early in games and were forced to play catch up, which is losing hockey. When they were able to battle back or gain the lead, they let too many third period leads evaporate. The question being asked now is are they playing down to their competition, or is this team in its current state just not that good?

Now let me reel myself and anyone who may be wanting hit the panic button back in. Even with these struggles, we are talking about a team that is currently 3 points out of the division lead with a game in hand and 11 remaining. It is a team sitting in 4th place in the Eastern Conference, and based on points, 5th in the NHL. This is a tight defensive team that going into the day had given up the least goals in the league. We all know how important team defense and goal tending are come playoff time. I am hoping for Bergeron to come back healthy. Chris Kelly could possibly be back on the ice Monday night against Carolina and Adam McQuaid has been on the ice for the last week.

These last eleven games are going to be extremely telling in what we can expect when the playoffs begin. Seeding is going to be very important this year I believe. There are certain teams that the Bruins have had some issues with that would be a very scary matchup. Regardless, this team needs to show some metal and make a deep push. Another quick exit may force managements hand to move what is now considered a core piece.

Until next time, Let’s Go Black and Gold!!!

On Saturday afternoon, bloggers, fans, and members of the Boston sports media piled into The Harp (located near the TD Garden) for 4-hours worth of sports talk and networking. Boston Sports Blogapalooza is an annual event held in Boston that allows sports enthusiasts to get together and have a great time.

Attending the event itself was free, but donations were encouraged and attendees received one raffle ticket for each dollar donated. Proceeds from the event will go to the Miracle League of Massachusetts in honor of Rich Shertenlieb of 98.5 The Sports Hub and his wife Mary.           

At the end of the event, with over 100 people in attendance, founder Joe Gill announced that over $1500 was raised for the Miracle League of MA. 

Joe Gill spoke with CLNS Radio's Jared Weiss live from the event on Saturday. You can find out more about the event and what it's all about in the video below.     

Sunday, 07 April 2013 16:35

Patriots Draft Preview

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The last time we saw the New England Patriots on the field, it was during a disappointing 28-13 loss in the AFC Championship game to the Baltimore Ravens. The Patriots struggled in the second half, allowing 21 points to the Ravens and not scoring any points themselves. This game was a showcase of some of the major flaws that the Patriots have on offense and defense.

The Patriots have made some moves in free agency however, trying to patch some of their positional holes. Safety Adrian Wilson (Cardinals) and Wide Receiver Danny Amendola (Rams) were the two big names the Patriots signed early on, while also adding Wide Receiver Donald Jones (Bills), Running Back and Kick Return specialist Leon Washington (Seahawks), and Wide Receiver Michael Jenkins (Vikings).

But with signings also come departures, and the major ones the Patriots faced have been Wide Receiver Wes Welker (Broncos), Safety Patrick Chung (Eagles), Running Back Danny Woodhead (Chargers), and Wide Receiver Brandon Lloyd (Released).

It seems like Bill Belichick and the rest of the Patriot front office intend to use the draft as a way to add some talent, but it doesn’t look like they will have a lot to work with. To date, the Patriots currently have 5 selections in the upcoming draft, and if no other picks are acquired, it would be the lowest amount of draft picks the Patriots have ever had in a single draft.

Now we all know that Bill Belichick loves to move around in the draft, which makes it impossible for anyone to predict who or where the Patriots will select. So for the purpose of this draft preview, we will assume the Patriots will keep all of their picks, and select players at each pick.

1st Round, (29th Overall) CB, Johnathan Banks, Mississippi State

The Patriots brought in Cornerback Aqib Talib from Tampa Bay last season to sure up their secondary, and he looked great when he was on the field. However, his off the field and injury problems have become a concern. Banks would bring much needed talent and depth to a secondary that struggled for most of the season. Banks is well known for his quick footwork, and ball hawking skills, two traits the Patriots have been coveting since Asante Samuel left for Philadelphia after the 2007 season. With experience at Safety as well, Banks brings the versatility that Belichick loves in a player.  With Alfonzo Dennard (legal problems), and Ras-I Dowling (injuries) question marks at cornerback, it seems like Johnathan Banks would make the most sense.

* Other Potential Picks: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington and DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson.

 

2nd round, (59th Overall) WR, Justin Hunter, Tennessee

The Patriots signed Brandon Lloyd during free agency last year in hopes of finding the down field threat they lost when they traded Randy Moss during the 2010 season. The Patriots will now have another chance at grabbing a receiver who can “take the top off the defense.” At 6-foot-4, and with an arm length at 33 ¼ feet, Hunter is a tall and long receiver who has a spectacular catching interval. Not only did Hunter have outstanding statistics last season (73 receptions, 1,083 yards, and nine touchdowns) but he also is great at making plays after the catch, something the Patriots will need with the departure of Wes Welker. Hunter would be a great compliment to tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, and would bring much needed depth at the receiver position with the departures of Lloyd and Welker, and the uncertain return of Julian Edelman. At 59th overall, Hunter would be a great addition.

* Other Potential Picks: Kyle Long, OT, Oregon and Sio Moore, OLB, Connecticut.

 

3rd Round (91st Overall) CB, Tyrann Mathieu, LSU

Tyrann Mathieu has been linked to the Patriots by almost every draft analyst, ever since his comments to NFL Network in which he said the Patriots questioned him extensively on his continued use of marijuana. Mathieu was considered a high first round pick after his breakout sophomore season at LSU, but drug problems led to his dismissal from the team, and now he is looked at as a second or third round pick. If Mathieu is available at 91, I would be very surprised if the Patriots passed on him. Mathieu brings something to the Patriots that they need desperately, and that is the ability to cause turnovers. Mathieu was known in college for forcing turnovers, and led the SEC with eight fumble recoveries in his two years on the field. His lack of size (5-foot-9) is one of his biggest question marks, but a late third round pick would be a low risk for a potential high reward.

* Other Potential Picks: Bacarri Rambo, S, Georgia and John Simon, DE, Ohio State.

 

7th Round (226th Overall) DE, Tourek Williams, Florida International University

The Patriots make their first selection since the 3rd round, and grab a player not well known in the country. Bill Belichick has shown he will draft players not known to most people (see Tavon Wilson last season). Williams recorded 6.5 sacks in 12 games last season, with 14.5 tackles for loss. The Patriots already have a defensive lineman they drafted last year in Jake Bequette, and I see Williams bringing some competition into training camp. The Patriots defensive front struggled when rookie Chandler Jones went down with injury, so it is safe to assume the Patriots will want to bolster their defensive line with as many players as they can.

* Other Potential Picks: David King, DE, Oklahoma and Sam Brenner, OG, Utah.

 

7th Round (235th Overall) QB, Jordan Rodgers, Vanderbilt

Everyone knows that Tom Brady is not going to be around forever, and I would say he only has a few seasons left playing at a high level. The Patriots have made it clear that they are fine keeping backup QB Ryan Mallett, but they have also made it known that for the right price he is available. I don’t believe the Patriots have much faith in Mallett as the successor to Tom Brady, which leads to the selection of Jordan Rodgers. The younger brother of Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, Jordan had a very good senior year completing 60% percent of his passes, and throwing for over 2,500 yards. His low interception total, 5, is something coach Belichick will look at strongly, and ultimately lead to his selection. Rodgers also showed dramatic improvement from an awful junior year which showcases his ability to improve.

* Other Potential Picks: Keelan Johnson, S, Arizona State and Matt Stankiwitch, C, Penn State.

 

Obviously, these predictions are based off of the idea that the Patriots make no trades during the draft. I would not be surprised in the least if the Patriots trade that 1st round selection for more picks later in this draft, or for picks in the 2014 draft. With only three weeks until the draft begins, the Patriots will be busy scouting and visiting with potential picks.

 

 John Lackey leaves yesterday's game with a strained right biceps

  In his first start since he had his elbow surgically repaired a year and a half ago, Boston Red Sox starting pitcher John Lackey left yesterday's early season contest against the Toronto Blue Jays with what is being called a biceps strain. 

  Lackey had worked extremely hard to get back on the mound this season including getting into better shape physically, dropping over 40 lbs in the off-season. This was due to be a bounce-back season for Lackey, as he has never lived up to his inflated five year, $82.5 million contract. 

 In the fifth inning, Lackey threw a pitch to Jose Reyes that ended up in the dirt and his right arm awkwardly flailed around to the left side of his back and he immediately hopped around in pain while his arm hung at his side. Red Sox manager John Farrell came rushing out of the dugout with trainer Rick Jameyson. 

 Lackey did speak to the media after the game saying that the injury "scared the crap out of him". His worst fear is having to go through the recovery process that he has endured in the last 18 months. 

 Lackey was pitching well in his first outing, having thrown 76 pitches in his 4 1/3 innings. Fifty of those pitches were for strikes and his velocity was very good at 94 MPH. He gave up two runs on five hits and struck out eight while his only walk was the one that Jose Reyes earned on Lackey's final pitch. 

 Lackey's injury was assessed in the training room in Toronto and it was determined that he did not have a rupture although he did return to Boston to have an MRI to be sure. 

 More on Lackey's injury as it becomes available on CLNSRadio.com as well as on Twitter @CLNSRedSox.

 

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The Celtics continue their home-stand as they face the Washington Wizards tonight at TD Garden...

The Celtics Post Game Show is now live. Your hosts are Sean Bakke, Nick Gelso and Daniel Baker.

As always, the guys will be taking your calls and hanging out in the CelticsBlog chat-room throughout the 120 minute broadcast.

Following the Celtics Post Game Podcast, the Garden Report will go live. Jared Weiss, Jimmy Toscano and Evans Clinchey will bring you the only Celtics post game show filmed on the parquet. 

Boston Globe Kevin Garnett returns to Celtics practice - Kevin Garnett participated in his first full-contact practice since missing eight games due to an inflamed ankle.

ESPN Boston KG returns to practice for C's - Kevin Garnett participated in his first full-contact practice since missing eight games due to an inflamed ankle. Practice: Bradley (collarbone) sits out - Avery Bradley missed practice yesterday because of a bruised collarbone. Bradley is not expected to miss any games because of the injury. W2W4: Celtics vs. Wizards (Game 77 of 82) - Chris Forsberg previews tonight's game against the Washington Wizards. Green on KG: 'I learn everything from him' - KG provides the perfect mentor for Jeff Green in his pursuit to perfect his game.

Boston Herald It's mind over matter for Kevin Garnett - Kevin Garnett describes his ideal condition, coming off of an injury and heading into the playoffs. In Jeff Green's corner - Georgetown University Hoyas coach John Thompson III expresses his fondness for Jeff Green, who has recently flourished in Boston. Celtics lurk as Heat playoff opener - For now, the Milwaukee Bucks are slated to meet the Miami Heat in the first round; however, it is possible for the C's to fall to the eighth seed and have to face Miami instead.

NESN Celtics-Wizards Live: John Wall Heads to Boston Looking to See Just How Much Wiz Have Improved - A preview for the Celtics' game against the Washington Wizards, plus live updates once the game starts.

 
Saturday, 06 April 2013 21:02

Report: Boston College RB Finch to leave program

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CHESTNUT HLL, Mass. --  According to a report from Greg Joyce of the Boston College student-based newspaper The Heights, senior running back Rolandan “Deuce” Finch is leaving the Boston College football team for what has been described by the team as “personal reasons.”

Last season, Finch split time with junior Andre Williams and freshman David Dudeck.  He rushed for 476 yards and a touchdown on 77 attempts. As the report notes , Finch fumbled twice early in the season before he was benched for seven games by the head coach at the time, Frank Spaziani. He returned for the final three games of the 2012 campaign. It was not until the final game of the season that the New Albany, Indiana native made his presence felt for BC, rushing for 144 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries, a bright spot in what was a difficult season for the team.

His best year came in 2011, when he rushed for 705 yards and three touchdowns on 157 carries.  That same year, he had the game of his career rushing for 243 yards and two touchdowns on 39 attempts in the Eagles’ 28-17 victory at Maryland.  In three years Finch rushed 262 times for 1,265 yards and five touchdowns.  Now, it appears he is turning the page on his career at The Heights. Joyce notes however that this situation has not fully played itself out yet.

“It is still too early to tell if Finch will be granted a release by head coach Steve Addazio so that he might be able to play elsewhere next season with his last year of eligibility. Finch is still currently enrolled as an undergraduate student at BC.”

Hopefully , Finch can enter into a situation that works best for him and the potential team he would be playing for. Thanks for three great years Deuce, and best of luck in your future endeavors.

Saturday, 06 April 2013 20:38

Avery Bradley Sits Out of Practice

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While  Kevin Garnett returns to practice, according to ESPN Boston's Chis Forsberg, Avery Bradley sat out of practice because of a collarbone injury.

Bradley's bruised his collarbone in Friday's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, when Bradley was the target of a Kyrie Irving elbow.

Although Bradley missed contact practice, Doc Rivers said that he does not expect Bradley to miss Sunday's game against the Washington Wizards.

"I don’t think Avery will practice, just because of his [collarbone], but I think he’ll be able to play [Sunday]," said Rivers, who later playfully added, "He’s going to do film and walkthrough, but he’s not going to go through any contact. We want to keep him away from [Shavlik Randolph], make sure Shav doesn’t take him out." 

I doubt that Bradley's injury is serious enough for him to miss games; however,  I surely hope that Doc is right that Bradley's collarbone will not prevent him from playing. The Celtics have sustained far too many injuries this season; an injury to a key player such as Bradley would be detrimental to the team as the playoff quickly approach.

Saturday, 06 April 2013 20:38

Kevin Garnett Returns to Practice

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According to Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston, Kevin Garnett attended his first full contact practice in two weeks. KG has missed the last eight games, since March 22nd, due to an inflamed ankle. 

KG explained his injury and his road to recovery:

"I have some issues with my foot," explained Garnett. "More from like the motion, if you’re pushing the gas pedal. It’s an issue. If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t be out. But I am getting better. I’m going to practice today and Doc and I will have a conversation and make some decisions for the future." 

"Everybody is dealing with their different ailments, I’m no different from that. Obviously, as you get older, things tend to linger a little longer. I am getting stronger. I was able to heal up other things that were nagging me. But just my foot is an issue." 

While both he and Doc Rivers expected KG to miss two weeks and aim for a return on Sunday against the Washington Wizards, Garnett said that he is now day-to-day with his injury.

"If I’m able [to play], if I’m strong enough and I feel like I can contribute, then yeah, other than that -- it’s all guts, it’s all grit," said Garnett. "That’s pretty much how my makeup is. I’ve always been able to put mind over matter with certain things and then when I was unable to do common things like walk or get in my car or drive myself, then obviously that’s an issue. But other than that, I’m used to playing through a lot of different things."

When will KG return to the lineup? Whenever he gets into a rhythm and is able to positively contribute to the team he says.

"Obviously, I want to get a rhythm," said Garnett. "I want to come in and be able to contribute. I want to get as close to 100 percent as I can. I’ve never come into postseason 100 percent, so it’s nothing new. But I do want a rhythm. And these last couple games, obviously, we’re playing for something. We’re trying to get things done as we’re out here playing. It’s pretty much what it is. I don’t want to go into the postseason, have no rhythm. I want to be healthy. That’s my first priority." 

Doc Rivers is on the same page as KG regarding his injury. While Rivers hopes for a speedy recovery, he would rather Garnett be completely comfortable with his game and well rested for the postseason, which is quickly approaching.

"It’s important to get him back on the floor, but if he’s not ready, he’s not ready," said Rivers. "I don’t know what the number of games is, everybody has their own thing with that, rhythm-wise, each individual player. And I don’t what Kevin’s would be, but I do know he’s been out a while and the playoffs are soon. So the sooner he gets back on the floor, the better. And I would lean towards him, now, once he’s cleared health-wise, it’s probably better for him, even if he can’t play a lot of minutes, to play in games. Because no matter what we do in practice, practice will never duplicate a game. And it’s never going to be the same intensity." 

 

The New England Patriots have been awfully quiet lately and with a little over $ 11 million left to spend in free agency and the upcoming draft, the team still has some wholes to fill on both sides.

Despite signing former Arizona Cardinals pro bowl safety Adrian Wilson last month to a three year deal, New England should consider signing an additional safety before training camp to create more competition and depth. One name that should be mentioned is former Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars safety Dawan Landry.

Landry has seven years of NFL experience and has appeared in the playoffs before with Baltimore despite playing the past two season on a weak Jaguars team with a below average defense. The Patriots do have some question marks with their safeties going into training camp. It remains to be see if Tavon Wilson can build off his up and down rookie campaign and if veteran Steve Gregory can remain healthy and be consistent on the field as well.

If added, Landry would provide New England with a player who is known to being a good tackler and is solid in coverage. It remains to be seen if the Patriots are serious about adding another veteran secondary player but if they want to improve in 2013 as being one of the better teams against the pass, it wouldn't hurt adding a player of Landry's caliber.

 

Follow our CLNS Patriots coverage on Twitter here :twitter.com/clnspatriots

Saturday, 06 April 2013 16:23

CLNS attends Boston Sports Blogapalooza today

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Saturday is Boston's annual Blogapalooza event. CLNS Radio will be well represented at today's event. All of your favorite personalities will be present to celebrate another successful event that helps to promote the blogging community at large.

Additionally, our locker room crew, Jared Weiss and Lucas Parolin, will also be in attendance and filming some great footage for the CLNS YouTube Channel.

We hope to see you all at today's event.

Here's all the information you need to attend:

Your favorite sports and social media networking event is back! Boston Sports Blogapalooza AKA Palooza Spring 2013 will be held on Saturday, April 6th at the Harp across from TD Garden. This year, we are making a donation to the Miracle League of Boston in honor of Rich Shertenlieb of Toucher & Rich and his wife Mary. For your generosity, you will be entered into a raffle for some WICKED awesome prizes (you get one ticket for every dollar you donate)! Please give what you can and let's show the big dogs what the Boston sports blogging community is all about! Register/Donate At: http://bostonsportsblogpaloozaspring2013.eventbrite.com/ Speaking of community, Fancred is a co-sponsor of this year's event along with our friends at the Harp. Fancred is not just a sports app, but it's a community of sports fans. Be sure to stop by their table for a demo! PALOOZA SPRING 2013 Agenda 200PM-300PM-Registration 200PM-530PM-WICKED Awesome Networking 200PM-4PM-98.5 The Sports Hub Street Team 4PM Food Served & Coors Light Promo 530PM-6PM-Raffle drawing & Closing 6PM-11PM - Bruins Viewing Party What's Up For Grabs - Donate To Enter

Bruins Tix Sox Tix Celtics Tix Worcester Sharks Tix Lowell Spinners 10 person suite + unlimited soda/water Seasom Tix To The Boston Breakers Pats Propaganda Shwag One night stay at the Cranmore Mt. Lodge In N. Conway, NH Basket Of Baked Sweetness From Dancing Deer Baking Company Brockton Rox Suite & Ceremonial Pitch Supah Fans $75 gifty Knuckleball! On DVD Autographed Pix Of Celtics Legends: Sam Jones, Baily Howel & Satch Sanders Deroy Designs Print Of Patrice Bergeron Gifty From The Harp Giftys From Anthem Gifty From City Table

The street teams from 98.5 The Sports Hub & Coors Light will be in the house! Sportsworld USA will be conducting a silent auction on some AWESOME Bruins, Patriots, Red Sox & Celtics memorabilia! And the night won't end there......A Bruins viewing party will follow as the Black & Gold take on the HATED Habs! This is a 21+ event Remember to become a Facebook fan and follow ‘Palooza on Twitter to stay up to date on all the Boston Sports Blogapalooza news.

 

 

Without Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, Jeff Green and Shavlik Randolph tried to shoulder the load and lead the Celtics to victory. To no avail, as they fell to the Cavaliers 97-91.

Randolph had a career-high 16 points to go along with seven rebounds (and six fouls) and Jeff Green continued his hot streak with 23 points on 8-13 shooting, but the Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson proved to be too much for the Celtics as he nailed a career-high 29 points and 17 rebounds.

Jared Weiss, Jimmy Toscano, Evans Clinchy and special guest Nick Gelso break down the Celtics loss.

Saturday, 06 April 2013 00:00

Jeff Green Hits Stride Just in Time

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BOSTON – He takes two steps around the defender in transition and reaches out quickly for a baseline finger roll. He comes off the curl and pulls up for a swish from 20 feet out. The plays Jeff Green has been making the past two weeks would have been out of the ordinary just two months ago.

Green has achieved a recent evolution in flexibility and efficiency since Kevin Garnett has been out with an inflamed ankle. In the seven games since the Celtics returned from Memphis without Garnett in the lineup, Green has been on a tear as a starter, averaging 23.0 PPG, shooting 55.5% from the field and a surprising 57.1% from deep in 38.1 MPG.

Logic implies that with increased output, efficiency will decrease. But in Green’s case, his increased playing time and focus as the go-to scorer for the Celtics has led to a significant bump in his numbers.

The more exposure Green gets, the more he shakes off the shackles of pressure to fit in with the Big Three.

“I just think he’s playing now,” Doc Rivers said. “I don’t think he worries about who’s on the floor with him or anything like that. I do think that takes time though, when you’re playing with Paul and Kevin (Garnett) and (Rajon) Rondo earlier in the year. I think that’s hard. 

“You see those three guys and you tend to think, ‘Do I, should I, be aggressive?’

Green has become more aggressive over the past few months, but in the past two weeks there has been a transition from Green being icing on the cake to him being the focal point of the offense. He has improved dramatically in several areas of his game that he’ll rely on as Paul Pierce’s reign as the go-to scorer draws down over the next 14 months.

At his size and leaping ability, Green should be able to have the advantage in most iso situations, but that wasn’t the case for most of the season. He is shooting 41/100 (41%) on iso shots this season, but in the past seven games he is 12/22 (54.5%) from the field per Synergy.

This notable increase stems from two distinct and crucial improvements to his game.

The first is his left hand.

He still doesn’t finish comfortably with it, but Green is starting to go left. Defenders kept playing him straight up for most of the season, but with his long and explosive first step, he could get around them going right and finish from way above the right lane with his arm fully extended into a pseudo-running hook. So eventually scouts picked up on this and told defenders to shade him left, forcing him to dribble into the corner weakly and get trapped.

But his confidence in his left hand ball handling has opened up half the court for him and allowed him to get pull up shots and layups that have been a rarity for him. So you end up with plays like the one below where Green can recognize the defender’s position and utilize his momentum to explode though the gap.

This play is from the blowout loss in New York in which Green scored 27 points on 10 for 14 shooting. Coming down the middle in transition, Green recognizes the early iso opportunity when Iman Shumpert shades him left.

Earlier in the year, Green would try to force it right or wait until he could get a bailout pass and go post up or get to the corner. With his renewed confidence in his ball handling, Green has the confidence to be aggressive to each side of the floor. With the momentum of attacking a stationary defender off transition, even a defender as good as Shumpert (albeit recovering from a Torn ACL) could not react swiftly enough.

The key here is the finish, as Green recognizes that there is much more room to finish with a lefty layup than to try to hammer it in over Kenyon Martin, a (once) renowned rim protector. It’s a textbook running hook around a straight-up shot blocker. Green can finish in just about every way with his right hand, but just being able to hit a lefty hook is sufficient enough to be effective from the left block in post ups and from the right elbow and top of the key on dribble drives.

The second improvement Green has made is his shooting. The most frequent type of shot Green attempts is the spot up, but he is shooting just 102 for 208 (49%) on the season. In his last seven games, he has found his stroke, shooting 20/33 (60.1%) while drawing four fouls.

This is where the increased minutes and rhythm aspect kick in. After extended layoffs from basketball, your shot and conditioning are the two things that take the longest to recover. Green averaged 33.8 MPG in March, up from 23.9 in January. Consequently, his shots per game have nearly doubled, going from 6.9 FGA to 12.9. But in the past two weeks, Green has made his full recovery, averaging 38.1 MPG and attempting 15.4 shots per game.

With increased shots comes improved confidence and rhythm. Gone is that hesitation off the catch. Gone is that panic while getting trapped after picking up his dribble.

Green has found some sweet spots on the elbows and is looking at the rim instead of the defender as soon as he gets the ball. Rather than lining up his shot and judging the power during the shooting motion, he is more frequently picking his target on the rim as soon as he catches a pass or pulls up from a dribble.

When asked if Green was becoming the player Rivers wants him to be, Doc said, “Yeah, but I also kept things in perspective, that he sat out a year, and I just think it takes time. We’re still working with him to be even more consistent.

“He has these big games sometimes and okay games. We want him – I don’t want to go on any restaurants – he wants to be the McDowell’s. You know what you’re getting every time. Same quality. Every single time.  Fries are always good.”

In the past two weeks, those fries have been looking pretty tasty.

Media

Jeff Green scored 23 points and Shavlik Randolph contributed with a carrer-high 16 points, but it wasn't enough as theCavaliers beat the Boston Celtics 97-91.  Jared Weiss from CLNS Radio recaps the game in tonight's Three at the Buzzer. 

 

 

 

Media

Saturday, 06 April 2013 01:56

Game #76 Recap: Boston Celtics Fall to Cleveland Cavaliers

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BOSTON - The Boston Celtics lost a close one to the Cleveland Cavaliers Friday night at TD Garden 97-91.  The Celtics were without their two leaders; Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.  Garnett is still out with an ankle inflammation, and Pierce has a sore left ankle.  

Chris Wilcox, Brandon Bass, Jeff Green, Courtney Lee, and Avery Bradley started for Boston.  Kyrie Irving, Wayne Ellington, Alonzo Gee, Tristan Thompson, and Tyler Zeller started for Cleveland.

In the first quarter, Thompson led the way for Cleveland.  He scored nine points.  Ellington also chipped in five points.  For Boston, it was Shavlik Randolph and Bass, who both scored six points each in the quarter.  Boston led 28-26 at the end of the quarter.

Thompson continued to score for Cleveland.  He had 12 points in the second quarter, and 21 total in the first half.  Randolph had seven points for Boston, while Green had six.  The game was tied 52-52 at the end of the first half.

The third quarter was all Cleveland.  They outscored Boston 22-16, with a collaboration of players scoring.  Green and Bass scored five and four points respectively for Boston.

In the fourth quarter, the game just got away from Boston.  The entire quarter was dead even, and at the end both teams had scored 23 points each in the quarter.  

Thompson had a huge game for Cleveland, scoring a game high 29 points and grabbing a game high 17 rebounds.  Gee scoring 16 points and 10 rebounds.  Ellington and Irving scored 12 and 11 points respectively.  

Green was the high man for Boston, scoring 23 points and grabbing nine rebounds.  Bass played the most minutes for Boston (39:29) and scored 14 points.  Bradley scored 10 points, but had no rebounds and just three assists.  The other two starters, Wilcox and Lee, combined for just four points in the loss.  Randolph scored a career-high 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds.  He played 13 minutes, which is the longest he's played in his young career thus far.  

Cleveland improves to 23-52, but are 11 games back of the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference playoff standings with just six games left.  

Boston has clinched a playoff berth, but they fall to 39-37, and are just two and a half games ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks, and still two and a half games behind the Atlanta Hawks for the sixth seed.  

Boston will stay at home, and face the Washington Wizards Sunday, April 7th, at TD Garden.  

 

 

Tonight: Celtics Post Game Show - immediately following the game

Call in: 347-215-7771 | Listen Live | Join the Celtics Blog Chat

Saturday, 06 April 2013 00:49

Patriots Will Not Sign Terrell Owens

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Despite working out with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on Wednesday, the New England Patriots are not planning on signing veteran wide reciever Terrell Owens, according to the Boston Globe's Jeff Howe.

Owens was spotted working out with Brady at USC's pratice facilities on Wednesday. Also seen working out with Owens and Brady was former Patriots and current Minnesota Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel.

Owens confirmed the workout between the three on his Twitter, saying,

Bout to get this work out in @ucla w/T Brady, M Cassel ans the fellas

Owens irrenously tweeted that he was at UCLA rather than at USC's practice facility.

The workout with Owens comes just one day after Brady was seen working out with his newest target, Danny Amendola. Amendola, signed from the St. Louis Rams, is expected to fill the void at slot reciever left behind by Wes Welker and perhaps just wanted to get a head start when working with Brady.

Brady lives in southern California during the offseason and typically conducts his workouts there during the offseason and has dealt with controversial receivers in the past. Brady worked very well with Randy Moss before he was shipped out to Minnesota and also played with Chad Ochocinco. Ochocinco, although on his best behavior, was pretty much a non-factor during his only season in Foxboro.

Owens last played a regular season in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals back in 2010. Since leaving the Bengals, Owens has played for an arena league team called the Allen Wranglers and briefly played for the Seattle Seahawks during this past preseason before being released before the start of the regular season.