Did I mention I hate the Nets? Even with a lot going on, a pretty bland bunch of links…

Steve Bulpett reports on another Nets blowout of the Celtics. Shira Springer says the most aggression the Celtics might’ve shown all night likely took place in the locker room. Gus Martins says that the Nets have the Celtics number, has the Celtics tendency to talk a lot caught up with them in this matchup? Carolyn Thornton says that turnovers and the resulting fastbreaks were the same ol story in this matchup. Christopher Price agrees that turnovers were killer. Peter May looks at the ticket price increase for next year, and indicates that the owners have plenty of things they can do with extra cash. Martins gets a sampling of fan reaction to the ticket price hike. Price also has a quick sidebar on the simmering rivalry between the Celtics & Nets. Springer’s notebook looks at Eric Williams’ recent early foul trouble, which has him frustrated and wondering. Bulpett’s notebook looks at the effect that the impending war is having on the players. Thornton’s notebook has more on that theme, with Grant Long and Bimbo Coles recalling a game they had when the first gulf war was announced.

Bruins start out the west coast swing with a tough loss in Phoenix. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell looks some lineup changes the Bruins made, and a pretty good effort in goal by Andrew Raycroft, but it wasn’t enough. Craig Morgan says there was no real damage in the loss last night. Bob McManaman looks at the game from the Phoenix perspective. Marrapese-Burrell’s notebook looks at a relaxed Raycroft in his return to the big club. Morgan’s notebook looks at the switch of Bryan Berard to forward.

Michael Silverman looks at another rough outing for Derek Lowe. Gordon Edes looks at Massachusetts native Matt White coming a step closer to staying with the team beyond spring training. Sean McAdam also looks at the Rule 5 draftee White. Edes’ notebook looks at Lowe’s struggles this spring. Silverman’s notebook looks at the trade of another Rule 5 draftee yesterday, while trade talks on Shea Hillenbrand, who was declared by the media to be off the trade market just a few days ago, have intensified and names are being discussed, such as Cubs pitcher Juan Cruz. Among the items in McAdam’s notebook is the bit that John Burkett won’t pitch in an empty stadium because of fear he might hurt himself. Alex Speier looks at Burkett, and his rededication this year, including his participation in the “I want to be a Cy Young” program followed by Pedro and Lowe.

Shane Donaldson reports that the Patriots have talked with the agent for 49er’s restricted free agent receiver Tai Streets. He stands 6-2 and played with Tom Brady at Michigan.

Gerry Callahan has a column about war and the NCAA’s. Saddam is surely disappointed that the tournament will go on, a sarcastic Callahan claims. My subscription hasn’t come through yet, so I don’t have more details. Bob Ryan looks at five Cinderella teams from the history of the NCAA’s. Holy Cross alum Dan Shaughnessy looks at the school’s women’s team as they head into the tournament. Leigh Montville makes his first round picks. Jim Donaldson gives a history lesson.

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