In light of twin 21 point (and lights-out shooting) performances last night, Bob Ryan decides Tony Delk and Shammond Williams can play a little. This no point guard, run the offense through Antoine deal might even work. Michael Gee is less impressed. The win wasn’t so much based on the Celtics playing well, the Nets just stunk last night. The Celtics got some “magic” and hit a few shots. Big deal. A few other things from Mr. Gee….some good, some head scratching. The good: “Their (the Nets) big trade for Dikembe Mutombo (that’s Swahili for “man turned to stone”) is an obvious disaster.” I know at least one person in Philly who’s gonna read that sentence and smile. The head scratching: “Loyal readers (stop right there..are there any “loyal” Michael Gee readers out there? If so I’d like to hear from you…) know what I think about an offense based on the 3. It’s boring to watch when it works, and sheer torture when it doesn’t.” I beg to differ with the rest of the sentence. When the three is going down, like it was last night, it is very enjoyable to watch. Pure shooting is an art that is diminishing in the NBA. When you can see a performance like last night, or even like Ray Allen’s in Milwaukee last week, you have to admire it. You ever stood behind that NBA three point line? Peter May devotes an entire article to the “calcified” Dikembe Mutombo and even says that his contract makes Vin Baker look like a steal. Steve Bulpett, Shira Springer and Carolyn Thornton have coverage of the game itself. Gus Martins has a further look at Shammond Williams. Brett Mauser examines the importance of the Celtics having more weapons. Martins also has a look at struggling former Celt Rodney Rogers, who is also the lead in Springer’s notebook. In that piece she also uncovers the bad feelings between Mutombo and Baker dating back for many years. In Thornton’s notebook, Byron Scott says these Celtics and Nets don’t yet know what a real rivalry is. Bulpett’s notebook says Paul Pierce wants back in the U.S. qualifying and Olympic teams. Christopher Price sums up the game nicely and quickly.

Nick Cafardo says that Tom Brady and Patriots need to turn things on, and now is the time. Tom Curran looks at the Vikings woes away from their cozy dome. Michael Felger says that no one on the Patriots is going to say anything bad about Randy Moss. Alan Greenberg knows that no one will ever question Joe Andruzzi’s toughness, but that you can question his effectiveness in playing with this injury. He also goes into some amusing examples of how the Patriots publicly address injuries. The Adrian Klemm example is a classic, when he hurt his knee a couple years ago while a rookie, he was asked by a reporter which knee it was. “I don’t know” was the answer. Mike Reiss put Charlie Weiss on trial in the court of public opinion for his play calling selection this season. Christopher Price notes the Patriots struggles from playing from behind. Curran’s notebook has some encouraging news on lost man Donald Hayes. Cafardo has a lengthy notebook in which he examines Cam Cleeland’s role and touches on Andruzzi and Hayes as well. Felger’s notebook has Charlie Weiss lighting into his offense at practice yesterday.

Just a couple of baseball notes….Gordon Edes files a story on former Expos GM Jim Beattie, in to interview for a variety of positions with the team. Edes also gives the Red Sox 2003 spring training schedule. Meanwhile Tony Massarotti notes that Charlie Manuel still wants to come to Boston and be a part of Grady Little’s staff. Massarotti also mentions that the Sox are interested in former Met Edgardo Alfonzo.

Jim McCabe has a nice feature article on the inspiring story of Bruins defenseman Bryan Berard

I’ve included some stories from the Boston Metro the last couple days. They have brought their paper on-line, and though at present the stories are the same short ones that you will find in the print edition, they tell me that they are planning “a ton of web-only stuff”, as well as “meatier” versions of the stories that appear in the paper.

NESN has Bruins/Hurricanes at 7:00. FSNE follows B.U./UMass-Lowell college Hockey (7:00) with NE Tailgate (9:30) TNT has Rockets/Mavs at 7:30 and Sonics/Blazers at 10:00. ESPN has Pittsburgh/Miami College football at 7:30 and ESPN2 has Sharks/Flyers at 7:30.ESPN Classic runs a Pete Maravich SportsCentury at 8:00 & 11:00