Nice win by the Celtics. Tommy Heinsohn was in rare form on FSNE last night, not just getting on the officials, but his energy level was just very high….more so than usual, he sounded like he had a few cans of Red Bull in him. exhorting the C’s the run, lamenting bad shots, it was an entertaining package with Tommy, and a pretty good game. McGrady went on one of his scary runs in the third and the C’s still managed to pull it out in OT. Shira Springer writes that big stops and big shots got the win. Steve Bulpett simply states that the Celtics were better late. Carolyn Thornton looks at the team’s comfort in OT. Mark Murphy looks at the unorthodox Antoine Walker. I like the Miles Davis comparison. Peter May gets the story on Grant Hill and his health. Looked pretty healthy last night. Gus Martins looks at Paul Pierce as a complete player, and even McGrady praises Pierce. Springer’s notebook consists of Pierce trying to shed the unfair “selfish” label placed on him. Bulpett’s notebook has word that Rich Pond will be stepping down. For many fans, that’s perceived as just more good news. I still recall the day clearly when Jim O’Brien was named as coach before last season – removing the interim tag from his title – and Pond misspoke saying that O’Brien was the 4th coach in franchise history, (he meant 14th) and Glen Ordway and the boys went on a huge tangent and spent the whole afternoon stating as fact that these guys only saw the Celtics franchise as the Gaston era…as O’Brien would be the 4th coach of that period and that they were ignoring purposely the entire storied history of the Boston Celtics like it didn’t exist. They really spent an entire Big Show on that premise. It’s clear Ordway doesn’t like Pond…and he’s not the only one. Thornton’s notebook has Paul Pierce receiving player of the week honors.
Kevin Mannix hands out to the Patriots some pretty average grades this week, but concedes that this team could be on its way. Nick Cafardo says the Patriots still have plenty to work on. Tom Curran notes that one huge improvement has been red zone defense. Michael Felger agrees, and adds the coaching and return of the “old guard” as keys to the turnaround as well. Ron Borges pulls his head out of the sand just long enough for a look ahead to the Titans and Steve McNair. Not a single word about the Bills, Bledsoe, none of it. How can this happen? When the team was struggling, his columns were full of mocking “genius” references and the like, and now he won’t write about the Patriots at all. Bill Reynolds thinks things are looking good down the stretch and looks at the things that could’ve tripped this team up this year, but so far they’re getting past them all. Michael Gee tries to figure out playoff tiebreakers. Alan Greenberg closes the book on Brady/Bledsoe…for this year. Christopher Price writes that the Red Sox would do well to copy the Patriots…defense wins championships. Curran’s notebook hones in on what the Patriots were able to fix during their time off. Felger’s notebook looks at Richard Seymour, while Carfardo focuses on Terrell Buckley in his notebook.
Michael Silverman has some hot stove talk, with the focus on Edgardo Alfonzo, and other possible player moves. Bob Hohler writes about Grady Little talking of putting Tim Wakefield in the # 2 slot in the rotation, along with other rumblings. Sean McAdam also has a notebook full of Red Sox items. David Heuschkel also writes about Wakefield being put into the rotation and other wishes of Grady Little. Gordon Edes profiles World Series champ David Eckstein. Alex Speier also chronicles the holiday wishes of Grady Little. No word locally on the foiled attempt to kidnap the father of Pedro Martinez. Despite needing the money badly, the new Red Sox owners are not considered suspects.
Jim Baker reports on Patriots broadcast numbers and the team of Gil Santos and Gino Cappelletti. Bill Griffith has a long media notes column with Sean McDonough, Gil Santos and Phil Simms among the subjects. John Molori also looks at the Sean McDonough situaton and how it could effect WWZN and the rest of the media scene.
NESN has Bruins/Canadiens at 7:00. ESPN has Boston College/Iowa State college hoops at 7:00, as well as Kentucky/Tulane at 9:00. ESPN Classic has a Bill Russell SportsCentury at 8:00 and 11:00.