Bibby, Hawks No Match For Celtics

The Celtics pushed out to a 2-0 series lead with their 96-77 win over the Atlanta Hawks at the Garden last night.

Bill Doyle has things getting physical at the Garden last night as the Celtics rolled to a game two win. Marc J. Spears has the Celtics and their fans making a loud statement last night. Mark Murphy has Mike Bibby achieving his goal of becoming the lightning rod for his team, though it didn’t seem to help out any. Kevin McNamara has the Celtics sending a loud, painful message to the Hawks towards the end of last night’s game. Scott Souza notes that the way things are going, Bibby not have to worry about facing the Celtics crowd again this season. Jeff Howe wonders if the league has a mercy rule.

On the BSMW Full Court Press, Kevin Henkin says Game 2 had a very familiar feel to it.

Bob Ryan says that the Celtics are like a tide that just keeps coming in and coming in and coming in. Lenny Megliola has the Celtics defense shutting down the Hawks and preventing Atlanta from even being competitive in this series. Peter May examines Kevin Garnett receiving the Defensive Player of the Year award last night and how the pre-game ceremonies might’ve thrown his game off. May says we don’t have to worry about an MVP award distracting Garnett this spring – he believes that race is a Kobe love-fest. Steve Bulpett says that even when KG is off, he’s on.

Mark Murphy has Rajon Rondo completely outplaying Mike Bibby once again, and adds that if Atlanta’s plan is to let Rondo beat them, they’re doing a good job of it. Robert Lee says that Bibby isn’t doing a very good job as a villain in this series. Julian Benbow also reports on the earful that Bibby got from the Boston fans last night. Bulpett also looks at Bibby’s strategic move backfiring on him. Jennifer Toland has more on Bibby taking it from the Garden crowd. Tim Weisberg has the Boston bandwagon jumping fans leaping onto the Bash Bibby Express.

Bill Reynolds says that Paul Pierce is finally realizing his goal of being an elite NBA player on a championship contender. Buckley has a look at the hard foul on Pierce in the first quarter. Mike Fine has Pierce saying he’ll play in game three. Steve Buckley talks to the scalpers outside the Garden last night.

The Globe notebook has a look at the hard foul on Paul Pierce early in the game that led to the Captain having to leave the game for a while to get treatment on his back. Murphy’s notebook has assistant Tom Thibodeau on the hotlist of head coaching candidates around the league. McNamara’s notebook has more on KG being honored prior to the game. Doyle’s notebook reveals Rondo’s hidden side as a video fanatic.

Red Sox

Amalie Benjamin has the Red Sox winning streak coming to an end last night with a 6-4 loss to the Angels. Rob Bradford has germs doing to the Red Sox what the Indians, Yankees and Rangers couldn’t do. Jeff Goldberg has more on the flu bug finally getting the better of the Red Sox. Paul Kenyon has the Red Sox winning streak coming to an end at the hands of injuries and the flu. Bob Stern has Jon Lester and Craig Hansen serviceable, but not quite good enough last night. Garry Brown also has a look at the Dice-K-less Sox falling at Fenway. Bill Ballou has the Sox hoping that things can get much worse.

Alex Speier has a look at Justin Masterson, who will get the call this afternoon to make his major league debut and get a spot start in the Red Sox rotation with the flu bug having knocked out Daisuke Matsuzaka yesterday. Kevin Thomas has more on the Sea Dogs pitchers, who is having a dream come true today. Nick Cafardo has a look a the sick bay that is the Red Sox clubhouse. Steven Krasner wonders if competition is bringing out the best in Julio Lugo. Joe Haggerty has Lugo as a man on a mission as of late. Speier has the Sox mastering the art of late-inning magic in recent games. Carolyn Thornton has a look at the ups and downs that David Pauley has experienced this week.

Benjamin’s notebook has more on Masterson getting the call today. Bradford’s notebook has Craig Hansen coming up to Boston as a different pitcher and person, and rediscovering the nasty slider which made him such a hot prospect. Goldberg’s notebook has Hansen looking pretty good last night. The ProJo notebook has more on Masterson getting the call today. Brown’s notebook has more on Hansen. Ballou’s notebook leads with Masterson’s callup.

Patriots

On Patriots Daily, Scott Benson tries to figure out if the Patriots will be able to make a trade for the 7th pick.

Christopher L. Gasper and John Tomase report on the NFL finally reaching an agreement with Matt Walsh for the former Patriots video man to say what he has to say. David Heuschkel and Glen Farley also report on the Walsh deal. The Patriots issued their own statement on the matter.

Mike Reiss has a look at the offensive linemen at the top of the draft. Michael Vega has a feature on Boston College lineman Gosder Cherilus and a look at Bentley guard Mackenzy Bernadeau, who has attracted some interest.

John Tomase has a look at the cornerbacks, with a focus on Leodis McKelvin.

Mark Farinella examines the defensive linemen and linebackers available in the draft. Dan Pires also has a look at the linebackers.

There are still plenty of Bruins stories out there, check them out at BruinsLinks.com.

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Approval Ratings – Jack Edwards

Jack EdwardsToday we’ll focus on Jack Edwards, who just finished up his first full-time season doing play-by-play game for the Bruins on NESN.

Edward has had a long and varied career, working at places like WMUR-TV in Manchester, NH, WRKO radio, WCVB-TV and WHDH-TV in Boston, as well as doing work for ABC’s Wide World of Sports in the late 1980’s.

In 1991 he joined ESPN and remained there until 2003, where he was a SportsCenter anchor, and did play-by-play for the Little League World Series, NHL games and soccer.

He joined NESN in 2005 and primarily did the Bruins road games for the network. Last summer the network pushed Dale Arnold out and made Edwards the full time announcer for all the games.

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May Days Over at Globe

Just a few quick links this morning…

David Scott reports on Peter May being the latest Boston Globe writer headed out the door at Morrissey Boulevard, and examines the state of things over there. Scott will also be live-blogging Derek Kellogg’s introductory press conference from Amherst in the afternoon.

Dan Snapp on Patriots Daily looks at the Patriots’ quest to land ‘value’ with the number 7 pick in the draft. Check the rest of the Patriots draft stories and news on the signing of TE Marcus Pollard on PatriotsLinks.com.

The Red Sox had yet another comeback last night, erasing a 5-1 deficit at the hands of the Angels to post a 6-5 victory. view the coverage at RedSoxLinks.com.

The Celtics are getting ready for game two of their first round series with the Atlanta Hawks tonight at the Garden. Get the scoop on Mike Bibby mouthing off at Boston fans,and KG being named defensive player of the year on CelticsLinks.com.

Check out Chad Finn’s new home on Boston.com. Congrats, Chad!

Approval Ratings – Kevin Paul Dupont

Kevin Paul DupontWhere’s he been the last two days?

(Edit: Fluto Shinzawa reports that Dupont is dealing with a family illness. We’d certainly like to send best wishes to he and his family.) 

His absence in the paper yesterday and today around the Bruins/Canadiens game 7 seems a bit curious was missed, given his credentials and history as the top hockey writer at the Boston Globe.

Dupont started his writing career with the Boston Herald-American back in 1975 1977. He covered the Red Sox to start out with, and did more Bruins coverage as time went by. In 1983 he joined The New York Times and stayed there for a couple of years before coming on board with the Globe in 1985.

He was honored by the Hockey Hall of Fame as a recipient of the 2002 Elmer Ferguson & Foster Hewitt Award. He has also covered 10 Olympic games for the Globe during his career at the paper.

He makes frequent appearances on NESN and has written for ESPN and MSNBC in his career as well.

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Season Ends In Seven For B’s

The Bruins were unable to complete their first round comeback last night in Montreal, as they fell to the Canadiens 5-0, ending their season.

Fluto Shinzawa has the Bruins able to hold their heads high as they left the Bell Centre last night. Steve Conroy has the Bruins wasting a great effort in the first period when they wasted several very good scoring opportunities. Joe Haggerty has seven as the Bruins unlucky number last night.

Stephen Harris states that “suddenly the future seems very bright for this team that no longer can be dismissed as irrelevant in the Boston sports market.” Mick Colageo says that for the first time in six years, the Bruins can go into the off season with something to build on. Bob Ryan says that losing a game 7 in Montreal is no disgrace. Mike Loftus says that this series could be the start of something good for the Bruins.

Barbara Matson has Zdeno Chara’s thoughts on the end of the season. Steve Buckley says that Tim Thomas has firmly established himself as a No. 1 goaltender with his performance in the postseason. Harris has Cam Neely talking about the season and how far many of the youngsters have come.

Sean Farrell has Montreal goaltender Carey Price getting back into top form last night. Jon Couture has Price flourishing despite the pressures and expectations that come with playing in Montreal.

Shinzawa’s notebook has Glen Murray leaving the game early with injury, his departure might’ve been his last moments in a Bruins uniform. He also reports that “Canadiens fans celebrated in downtown Montreal by setting at least three police cars on fire a few blocks from the Bell Centre.” – this for a first round victory. Conroy’s notebook says that Chara will need corrective surgery on his shoulder this offseason.

Red Sox

David Scott reports that Gordon Edes will be leaving the Boston Globe Red Sox beat to join the baseball staff of Yahoo! Sports. He also reports that NESN has settled on Heidi Watney to replace Tina Cervasio as sideline reporter for the Sox games.

The Red Sox finished off their four game sweep of the Rangers yesterday with a 8-3 win at Fenway Park. Amalie Benjamin has Clay Buchholz baffling the Rangers with a variety of pitches. Jeff Horrigan has the Red Sox waiting out 11 walks from Rangers pitching on a day that Boston is focused on running. Joe McDonald says that the Red Sox already appear to have their blueprint in place for the season. Jeff Goldberg has Clay Buchholz appearing poised and polished on the mound yesterday. Ron Chimelis has Buchholz looking like the pitcher fans think he can be. Phil O’Neill has the Sox getting a variety of contributions in yesterday’s win. Mike Petraglia has more on the Sox win at Fenway.

Tony Massarotti notes that whereas once the Red Sox would’ve used the Japan trip and brutal early schedule as an excuse to lose, with the new culture around Fenway, the opposite has actually been true. Jim Donaldson has the Sox rolling on even with their bench inserted into key spots in the lineup and a rookie pitcher on the mound. Rob Bradford has Dustin Pedroia still seeking to silence the doubters out there. Nick Cafardo has the Red Sox depth proving to be critical early in the season thus far. Side note: do we really think Nick got all those emails from Red Sox fans blasting Terry Francona for giving Manny the day off yesterday? Horrigan has more on Francona following through in giving Ramirez his first full day off of the season yesterday.

Bradford has a look at the progress Julio Lugo has made at the plate and in the field this season. Massarotti has Buchholz keeping command of all four pitches yesterday as the key to his win. Steven Krasner has more on Buchholz’s ability to mix up his pitches and keep the Rangers off balance. Paul Jarvey has Buchholz looking like a seasoned veteran out there yesterday. Bob Stern has Clay just feeling “right” out there on the mound. Alex Speier has the “Joba Rules” sparking debate in the Bronx.

Benjamin’s notebook has Lugo picking up four hits yesterday and raising his average to .314 on the year. In addition to the injury bug that has bitten the Red Sox as of late, Horrigan’s notebook reports that the flu bug is making its way around the clubhouse as well. McDonald’s notebook has more on Buchholz picking up his first win of the season. Goldberg’s notebook has more on the Red Sox reserves coming through again yesterday. Chimelis’ notebook says that Japan is just a distant memory for the Sox. O’Neill’s notebook has more on Lugo finding his stroke.

Celtics

Matt Richardson on the BSMW Full Court Press goes back to the tapes to review some things he said about the team earlier in the season.

Mark Murphy has the Celtics playoff first-timers enjoying the experience of game one, but are ready to move onto business. Bill Reynolds HATES the new style “game presentation” at the Garden for Celtics games. Mike Fine has young Celtics forwards Leon Powe and Glen Davis charged up in the atmosphere of game one. Jeff Howe has the Celtics anticipating a different game from the Hawks tomorrow night.

Marc J. Spears has Rajon Rondo facing his mentor, Mike Bibby in this series. Bibby has worked with Rondo over the last seven years, since his cousin was Rondo’s coach for a period in high school. Steve Bulpett has more on the Rondo/Bibby relationship. Scott Souza has a look at James Posey and the huge contributions he makes to the club, especially with his help defense.

Bulpett adds that youth doesn’t serve the Hawks very well in this series. Monique Walker has rookie center Al Horford as the one young Hawk who spread his wings in game one.

Spears’ notebook has Posey finishing eighth in the Sixth Man of the Year voting. Murphy’s notebook has more on Posey, ending with the Celtics forward comparing Sunday night’s crowd to the playoff crowds he played before in Miami. Kevin McNamara’s notebook has more on the Celtics reserves, who are anything but reserved. Fine’s notebook has Doc Rivers effusive with his praise of Posey.

Patriots

Chris Warner is Acorn Hunting for the Patriots as he looks at potential late round/undrafted players who might be of interest to the team.

Check in with all the draft coverage from newspapers and around the web on PatriotsLinks.com.

Celtics Bring in the Numbers for CSN

Comcast SportsNet’s Celtics-Hawks Game 1 telecast earned a 7.3 rating (175,000 households), the highest rated Celtics game on Comcast SportsNet since the 2002 Celtics-Pistons Round 2, Game 5 game earned a 10.1 (234,000 households).

Despite sharing the telecast with TNT, Celtics-Hawks Game 1 easily surpassed Comcast SportsNet’s ratings high for the past seven seasons which was a 5.7 (136,000 households) for the Celtics-Pistons on March 5, 2008. Combined the Celtics-Hawks Game 1 earned a 10.2 rating (244,000 households).

“It was an amazing sports weekend in Boston and fans chose to end it with the Celtics on Comcast SportsNet. This is a great start to the playoffs and the excitement can only build,” said Bill Bridgen, Comcast SportsNet executive vice president and general manager.

Patriots Day Afternoon Links

Robert Cheruiyot won his fourth Boston marathon today, while the Red Sox finished off a four game sweep of the Rangers with a 8-2 win at Fenway today.

Some links from around the web:

Bill Simmons finds himself watching hockey again with the Bruins’ comeback against Montreal. He still vows not to put a penny into the Jacobs’ pockets though…

Darren Eliot examines what the Bruins can accomplish with a win tonight in Montreal.

Former Bill Belichick colleague Michael Lombardi describes what the Patriots coach is looking for as the draft approaches.

Peter King has his mock draft in Monday Morning Quarterback.

Chris Sheridan has the Celtics celebrating their win last night by playing wack-a-Powe.

Jeff Goodman says Rajon Rondo gives the Celtics yet another weapon.

Arash Markazi talks with Bob Cousy about the Celtics return to glory.

Richard Deitsch checks in with a new edition of Media Circus.

Our own Ken Fang has his collection of Monday media links.