The Celtics went into Chicago last night hoping to avoid a home and home sweep at the hands of the Bulls. Paul Pierce shook off the Luol Deng blanket to the tune of 24 points, and Al Jefferson added 19, but it wasn’t enough as the green-wearing Bulls beat the Celtics 95-87.
Shira Springer notes that 19 points from Ben Wallace is a pretty steep indictment of the Celtics defense. Steve Bulpett notes that the uniforms made it look like the Celtics were playing themselves out there on the court – and the still lost.
Springer’s notebook has Delonte West getting back on the court last night for the first time since suffering a concussion after taking an elbow from Dikembe Mutombo last Wednesday. Bulpett’s notebook has Pierce doing some scouting and offering his thoughts on Kevin Durant and Greg Oden. Bulpett also notes a few Celtics getting after one another over the matchups their college teams have in the NCAA tournament.
Michael Felger has new Patriot Kelley Washington gushing about the team and the opportunity to play for a winner. Shalise Manza Young says Washington could be a diamond in the rough for the Patriots. Albert Breer looks at the Patriots making the signings of Washington and Donte’ Stallworth official yesterday. Mike Reiss has some more on Washington and some notes on the Patriots putting a few Miami Hurricanes through workouts. Christopher Price has Washington seeking a new start with the Patriots. Mark Farinella has more on the signing of Washington.
Albert Breer examines the situation between Washington and Stallworth in college, and whether there is lingering bad blood between the two of them.
Jim Donaldson is fired up with the Patriots’ free agent moves and ready for the season to begin now. Farinella writes that the Patriots moves prove beyond a doubt that they were not satisfied with their wide receiver corps last season, no matter what they said at the time.
The bullpen, and specifically the closer role continue to be an area of concern for the Red Sox. John Tomase this morning looks at Brendan Donnelly as a potential candidate for the role of closer, noting that he has the mindset and makeup needed for the job. Nick Cafardo has Red Sox new pitching coach John Farrell looking at the closer candidates on the roster and offering an evaluation of each one. Sean McAdam says that the Red Sox might be aiming to help their pitching staff by scoring more runs this season. Jeff Goldberg has Curt Schilling cutting loose near the end of his simulated game yesterday, touching 93 on the gun.
Karen Guregian looks at Craig Hansen possibly getting his slider back, with the help of pitching coach Farrell. Getting that pitch back could make Hansen look more like the pitcher who dominated at St. John’s. Alex Speier has Jon Lester hoping to cause the Red Sox a few tough decisions this spring. Jon Couture has Coco Crisp hoping for better and healthier results this season on the field. Guregian also looks at Kyle Snyder preparing to be used as a reliever. Speier also notes that Matsuzaka Mania has allowed other Red Sox players to fly under the radar this spring. Speier has another piece on Brendan Donnelly as well. Garry Brown doesn’t seem quite sure what to do with his new copy of Baseball Prospectus 2007.
Tomase’s notebook has Curt Schilling trying to incorporate a changeup into his pitching arsenal. Cafardo’s notebook has more on Schilling’s changeup. McAdam’s notebook has Snyder trying to earn a big league job – if not with the Red Sox, with another team. Couture’s notebook has more on Snyder being groomed for a relief role.
Mark Blaudschun says that teams should enjoy their time in the NCAA tournament. Mark Murphy says that Boston College should feel at home at Joel Coliseum tomorrow afternoon, as they’ve had some success there. Rich Thompson has UMass advancing to the second round of the NIT after their OT win over Alabama last night.
Dan Shaughnessy looks at end of the sports seasons at Savio Prep literally being the end of the line for the school.