The Celtics continue to stagger to the playoffs, last night losing 84-77 to the Miami Heat at home. They don’t exactly appear to the peaking at the right time. Links for the day…and there are plenty…are over at Fox Sports Net. In a link I missed the first time around, Lenny Megliola says that the Celtics have become trivial and the least of Boston’s four pro teams.

Howard Bryant has the first in a four part series looking at the Red Sox and Yankees and their rivalry bot on and off the field. It’s a premium (pay) column, so you’ll have to pick up the paper to read it. today, buy through this link and support BSMW.

Theo thinks the Sox are coming around. David Heuschkel has the view of the GM as he stopped in to visit Terry Francona yesterday. Bob Hohler looks at the stretched out bullpen. Tony Massarotti says that Pedro will need more help from his teammates if he and the Red Sox are to succeed this season. Steven Krasner has a look at Pokey Reese, who revels in playing in the field. Michael Silverman looks at Derek Lowe stepping onto the one place he really feels comfortable – the mound at Fenway. Gerry Callahan has a pay column saying that Francona did the right thing by lifting Pedro in the middle of the inning Saturday, and in so doing established himself as the boss. Jeff Sullivan has a number of thoughts, mostly baseball related. A nice shot at John Dennis, too. Silverman’s notebook looks ahead to a Schilling/Mussina matchup. Hohler’s notebook says that the Sox offense really misses Trot and Nomar.

The Bruins continue their series with Montreal tonight. Stephen Harris says the B’s need Joe Thornton and his line to step things up tonight. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell says that they are ready to do so, especially Thornton. Dan Hickling also says the Bruins are counting on their top line to come through. Kevin Paul Dupont and Karen Guregian look at the injury to Montreal’s Michael Ribeiro, who some accuse of pulling a Willie McGinest and indicating an injury greater than the one he suffered. Guregian also gets reaction from his teammates about the action. Mike Shalin asks the only American player on the Canadiens what he thought of the fans booing the US National Anthem. Marrapese-Burrell’s notebook says that Michael Nylander has a decent shot to play tonight. Harris’ notebook also looks at Nylander.

Tom Curran wonders who will be the running back for the Patriots next season. Mike Reiss looks at the Patriots possibly playing on Christmas, and has one or two other team notes.

Bill Griffith looks at good numbers for the Bruins and other weekend TV notes. John Molori talks with Andy Brickley about the Bruins chances in this week’s edition of Media Blitz. John Habib says that Charlie Sherman wants his old job back at WMUR.

NESN has Bruins/Canadiens at 7:00. (ESPN2 nationally) Check NESN’s Alternative Channels listing for the Red Sox game, If you’re on Comcast, the game will likely be on CN8, also at 7:00. ESPN has Red Wings/Predators at 7:30 followed by Mariners/Angels at 10:00. ESPN2 will also have Canucks/Flames at 10:00.