As the BSMW Fall Fund Drive creeps forward, we’re approaching the halfway mark for the goal, a little more than $400 short of that point. Even with the holiday today, it would be outstanding if we could get $400 or so today and get halfway to our goal amount. Again, if you haven’t donated before, please consider doing so. You have the options of PayPal, with which you can use a credit card, where you might already have billing information set up if you’ve ever placed an order there, or you can simply mail a payment to a PO Box. Once I again, I thank you all for your support.

The Celtics once again ran out to a big lead at home, only to see it disappear in the fourth quarter. This time, however, a bruised and battered Paul Pierce hit a 20 foot fallaway jumper at the buzzer to give the C’s the win. Accounts of the game are provided by Shira Springer, Steve Bulpett and Carolyn Thornton. The Celtics improved to 2-2 on the young season, and even <a href="” target=”_blank”>Peter May seems a little impressed with how this squad has looked at times, seeing more good than bad. I confess I did get a chuckle at May’s description of Pierce as “dentally challenged”. Mark Murphy looks at Gary Payton, who reached the 20,000 point mark for his career last night, and even mentions the possibility of moving his family out here. Murphy also looks at the performance of Raef LaFrentz, who registered a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds last night. Springer’s notebook has more on Payton’s accomplishment. Thornton’s notebook looks at how Pierce and Payton have set the example for the younger guys. Bulpett’s notebook looks at Mark Blount stepping up and shutting down Zach Randolph down the stretch.

Jackie MacMullan isn’t quite ready to let go of what the Patriots did Sunday in St Louis. Michael Felger looks ahead to the new and improved Buffalo Bills. Tom E Curran also looks at a Bills, who come into Gillette on Sunday night having won three out of four. Alan Greenberg has more on the Bills and the emergence of Willis McGahee as a key reason for their turnaround. Michael Parente also looks at McGahee. Mike Reiss says the Patriots will be focusing on kick coverages on Sunday night, an area that burned them against the Bills the last time these teams played.

Nick Cafardo gets Mike Vrabel’s thoughts on Maurice Clarett. Buddy Thomas says the Dolphins will likely raid the Patriots and take Charlie Weis and Scott Pioli. Weis could be a possibility, but Pioli isn’t likely to be going anywhere soon. Cafardo’s notebook has more on the McGahee angle. Felger’s notebook looks at the still tight relationship between Tom Brady and Lawyer Milloy. Curran’s notebook and Reiss’ notebook each look at the upgraded status of Deion Branch. Parente’s notebook looks at the addition of Lance Nimmo to the practice squad.

Bob Hohler has the Red Sox ownership taking issue with some of the claims put forth by agent Scott Boras. David Heuschkel also looks at the demands from the agent for Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe. Michael Silverman says all 16 Red Sox free agents will likely hit the market tomorrow. Tony Massarotti looks at Terry Francona’s fifth place finish in the AL Manager of the year. Jeff Horrigan and Hohler’s notebook look at how Curt Schilling will likely be edged out by Johan Santana for the AL Cy Young Award. Matt Kalman looks at Wade Boggs being inducted in the Red Sox Hall of Fame. Silverman’s notebook has Manny home from Japan, resting his hamstrings.

WEEI’s “Big Announcement” yesterday was word that they’ve extended their agreement with the Patriots to continue to carry the “Patriots Monday” programming. Now a bigger announcement would’ve been had they actually said that they were going to talk about the Patriots on that day. The agreement also means more years of New England Revolution soccer on the station…