Archive for October, 2009

We’re On Twitter
October 29, 2009

Follow us @SportsCenter5 for breaking news and analysis. Our first tweet included Saturday’s college football schedule:

College Football Saturday on WCVB: Noon: Rutgers @ UCONN 3:30: Miami at Wake Forest (HD) 8:00: USC at Oregon (HD)

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Celtics Stop Losing Streak in Cleveland
October 28, 2009

It didn’t take long to see which team made the better off-season acquisitions. Advantage Celtics, and those additions helped the Celtics halt an 11 game losing streak in Cleveland lasting nearly 5 years

Even tho Shaq played more minutes than Rasheed Wallace (and new Cleveland guard Anthony Parker played more than new Celtics guard Marquis Daniels) Rasheed’s three 3 pointers and Daniels overall play helped the Celtics bench overcome an early 14 point deficit that the Celtics starters had dug themselves into and propel the Celtics to their 1st win in Cleveland since December of 2004.

Garnett, in his 1st regular season game after off-season knee surgery, looked pretty good playing 33 minutes. It will be very interesting to see how he feels tonight and how many minutes he will (is able to) play tonight. Fortunately tonight’s opponent is the less than stellar Charlotte Bobcats.

Last Friday I asked Danny Ainge who was the most indispensable player on his team and his response was Paul Pierce. Last night Pierce proved Ainge correct by leading the Celtics in scoring and rebounding with 23 and 11. More importantly he hit 2 huge baskets down the stretch to clinch the win over LeBron and company.

I use that last phrase to describe the Cavaliers because last night that is exactly what it looked like. Despite Shaq’s 10 rebounds and 10 points, LeBron just didn’t get a lot of help. After James’s 38 points, guard Mo Williams was next with 12. For the Celtics, Pierce got help from Ray Allen who had 16 and both Garnett and Wallace who had 13 pts apiece. Therein lies the difference between these 2 teams, The Celtics have 4 legitimate veteran scorers not to mention point guard Rajon Rondo who seems to always gives them what they need-last night it was 10 assists and good defense on the Cavs all-star guard Mo Williams (12 pts).

-MD

Big Baby has surgery
October 27, 2009

This statement released by the Boston Celtics just minutes ago

GLEN DAVIS SURGERY UPDATE BOSTON – The Boston Celtics announced today that forward Glen Davis underwent successful surgery to reduce and fix a right thumb fracture. The surgery was performed by Celtics Team Physician, Dr. Brian McKeon and was assisted by Dr. Hervey Kimball and Dr. Drew Terrono at New England Baptist Hospital. Davis is expected to miss the next six weeks. “I would first like to apologize to my fans, teammates, coaches and the entire Celtics organization. I am extremely disappointed that this incident occurred and that it will prevent me from starting the season with the rest of my teammates. My teammates and the entire Celtics organization are extremely important to me and I will do my best to expedite the healing process and be back on the court as soon as possible,” said Davis.

-MD

Big Baby Out
October 27, 2009

A General Manager expects injuries- that’s why he build’s depth to a team. And  GM Danny Ainge has seen all kinds of missteps that have kept players out of games from with the likes of Rickey Davis (whose car was once found in a river) to Sebastian Telfair, who was arrested with a gun and questioned about a shooting after Telfair was robbed. So this past weekends “misstep” by Big Baby is not shocking Ainge, just disappointing because he tried to get rid of all the knuckleheads who used to dominate his roster (think Mark Blount).

Now I’m not saying that Glen Davis is a knucklehead, but he was certainly involved in a knucklehead action over the weekend when he got in an altercation with an acquaintance that will keep Davis out of the Celtics lineup for at least the 1st month of the season. This past off-season Davis signed a 2 year contract extension worth 3 million dollars a year, a fact that you would think would add some maturity and responsibility. But Davis is just 23 years old. Remembering back to when we were just 23, we were not the most mature individuals and we all made some ill advised decisions (tho I never got in a fight injuring myself, then again I was never 6-7 and 285 pounds).

So Ainge takes this setback in stride (Celtics owners don’t – they are livid) and moves on. Ainge realizes it could be so much worse like any setback Kevin Garnett might suffer. Davis will be back in a month, maybe 2. He’ll learn something from this that should make him a better and more responsible individual. In the meantime he will have to watch his teammates play, and jell together, and win, and win alot. And Big Baby will be on the sideline with plenty of time to think about this knucklehead move.

-MD

Can Patriots possibly be this good?
October 19, 2009

Or is Tennessee that bad? As usual, the answer is somewhere in between. But The Titans are not a good team, no matter what Bill Belichick says, still.

For some of the concerned (ok, panicked is more like it) Patriots fans, it was a relief to see Tom Brady complete a couple of long passes, something he had a little problem doing the 1st 5 games of this year. I was most impressed with the way Brady played in the inclement weather.

I know that Brady and many team members should be used to playing in New England weather, but still, dealing successfully with the unexpected snow and cold in the middle of October was impressive to me.

But most importantly, in my eyes, to the long term success of this team was the play of the Patriots defense. I know Tennessee’s offense  was not good but the Patriots defense did have a little to do with that. 6 fumbles (again, a few of them the Titans need to take full credit/blame for ) and 2 interceptions. Titans quarterback Kerry Collins (2-14 minus 7 yards) was bad but his receivers were maybe worse dropping at least 6 passes. But, the Patriots did intercept 2 passes (by rookies Darius Butler and Pat Chung) and Brandon Merriweather directly caused one of their 6 fumbles.

It appears that their are now (finally) a couple of Patriots defensive players auditioning for the critical role of a defensive playmaker. I would put Jerod Mayo and Brandon Merriweather at the top of that list

For the diehard fans who braved yesterdays elements, yesterdays 2nd quarter NFL record breaking offensive output was unforgettable as the Patriots looked like the offensive juggernaut of 2007. 5 TD passes in one quarter? 45-0 at halftime. It was like watching men play boys. Patriots fans just hope that the Patriots can continue to play like men the rest of the season. And that thru the rest of this season the Pats run into even more boys playing this game meant for men only

-MD

Goooooooooooooal!
October 16, 2009

We’ve been getting a lot of e-mails and calls about the ridiculous goal scored by 9-year-old Oliver Wahlstrom Monday in the Bruins famous “Mini 1-on-1” shootouts that entertain fans at halftime.

Oliver playes for the Portland Junior Pirates in Maine. The competition won’t start airing until October 29, but the Bruins have posted the video online.

Click here to check it out!

Payback is a …well, painful thing
October 12, 2009

It may have taken the Angels 23 years to get payback, but they did it. It may not be as painful as it was 23 years ago but you can’t convince Red Sox fans of that, nor Jonathon Papelbon who, after todays game, sat in front of his locker room with his uniform still on for abut 20 minutes, wondering what had just happened and how it happened.

In the 1986 ALCS the Angels led the Red Sox 3 games to one and had a lead in the 9th inning of game 5 before losing that game in extra innings and then losing the next 2 games and the series. Since then the Angels had lost 3 more playoff series to the Red Sox. Today the Red Sox brought back 1986 hero  Dave Henderson back to try and bring back some of the magic. Instead the Angels turned the tables.

In Sundays game 3, the Red Sox led 6-4 in the 9th inning with Jonathan Papelbon on the mound. Papelbon retired the 1st 2 Angels and then had an 0-2 count on #9 hitter Eric Aybar. Aybar singled. Papelbon had 2 strikes on the Angels next batter Chone Figgins, then walked him. Then, again, Papelbon got 2 strikes on Bobby Abreau before Abreau doubled in a run. Tori hunter was intentionally walked and Vlad Guererro singled home the winning run.

3 times the Red Sox and Jonathan Papelbon were 1 strike away from a win. If that sounds familiar, it should. The Angels were one strike away from closing out the Red Sox in ’86. Then in the World Series against the Mets the Red Sox, were, of course, one strike away from winning it all. That demon has been exorcised. The Angels demon had not been exorcised, until today. And now Jonathan Papelbon and Red Sox nation have an entire off season to think about it.

You probably don’t want to hear that the Angels are a fun and very professional team with a fine manager. They are also playing this season with a very heavy heart since the tragic and untimely death of one of their young pitchers, Nick Adenhart, in a traffic accident the 1st week of the season. If you can’t root for the Red Sox, this is a good team to follow. Add to that the fact that they play the Yankees next and that alone is reason enough to root for the Angels.

Meanwhile, Red Sox fans are having a tough time realizing that their season is over. Feel for Jonathan Papelbon who has not had to deal with many setbacks in his professional life. He did in this game and, as he said, it will serve as motivation this off season to make him work harder. The image of him sitting in front of his locker for a long long time, and just staring is an image that I will not forget.

-MD

Get Ready for Red Sox late Night
October 5, 2009

The Red Sox Playoff schedule has been set  and you’d better start taking your No-Doze.

Red Sox-Angels game #1 is Thursday night at 9:37 pm ET followed by the identical start time on Friday night. Both games are in Anaheim. Jon Lester will pitch game #1  while Josh Beckett will pitch game #2.

Games #3, and 4 will take place Sunday and Monday at Fenway park. No starting times have been announced. All games will be on TBS.

And if you care the Yankees begin their playoffs on Wednesday evening at 6:07 (game #2 same time on Friday) against the winner of tomorrows Tigers@Twins playoff game. …How is that for an advantage for the Yankees-not only do they begin at home but their opponent plays an emotionally charged playoff game the afternoon before and then hops on a plane in Minnesota to fly to New York late the night before the series starts?

C’mon Major League Baseball. They should have made an adjustment that says if you are involved in a playoff game (much less a playoff game 2 days after the season ends) then your playoff series will begin on thursday.

-MD