(Before we dive into the Celtics and Red Sox links, I encourage you to head over to Patriots Daily and check out the latest offering from Chris Warner for a position-by-position look at how the Patriots can improve this season.)
The Celtics took care of business on their home court yesterday demolishing the Atlanta Hawks by the score of 99-65. The Celtics now move on to play the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round, with game one coming up tomorrow night at the Garden.
Marc J. Spears says that the Celtics can finally sleep well after having finally dispensed of the pesky Hawks. Mark Murphy has the Celtics hoping that the pressure of this series will pay off later. Kevin McNamara has the Celtics putting the hammer down in convincing fashion yesterday. Scott Souza has the Celtics making the Hawks nothing more than a footnote yesterday. Bill Doyle has the Celtics letting the Hawks…and the rest of the NBA…know that they haven’t forgotten how to play defense. Tim Weisberg notes that this was “sporting devastation not seen ’round these parts since late fall.” Jeff Howe has the Celtics vaporizing the Hawks at the Garden yesterday.
On the BSMW Full Court Press, Kevin Henkin has KG and company delivering a message in the series clincher.
Dan Shaughnessy has Paul Pierce leading the way as the Celtics avoid being placed “in the local gulag of all-time chokers.” Jeff Jacobs says that with the win, the Celtics avoided the “the worst gag job in franchise history, the worst gag job in NBA history, the worst gag job in sports history, the worst … well, consult the 2004 American League Championship Series if you still need further clarification.” Tony Massarotti has the Celtics defending themselves and everything they stand for with their performance yesterday. Bill Reynolds says that seeing the big three dive all over the floor told you that this was a game they were not going to lose. Lenny Megliola has the Celtics bringing the intensity to the Garden yesterday.
Michael Vega has the Celtics getting back to what they do best – getting stops when they needed them. Steve Bulpett has Pierce’s silence since game 4 proving deadly for the Hawks. David Brown says that the Hawks really stood no chance on the Celtics home court yesterday. Jeff Horrigan has a look at the flagrant 2 foul committed on Rajon Rondo by Marvin Williams, which resulted in the ejection of Williams from the game. Howe has Kevin Garnett getting it done yesterday.
Horrigan has Kendrick Perkins giving the Celtics a huge spark with a double-double plus five blocked shots. Robert Lee has Perkins saving his best for the series clincher. Jennifer Toland has more on Perkins saving his best for last in this series. Bill Burt says that Perkins certainly was a lot better than he was in his last game 7 appearance.
Massarotti has Doc Rivers finally getting out of the first round of the NBA playoffs. Brown says that the defense didn’t rest yesterday for Boston. Julian Benbow has the Hawks looking to the future after their game 7 loss. Lee has the young Hawks fizzling out in the biggest game of their lives.
Spears’ notebook has more on the William takedown of Rondo in the third quarter. Murphy’s notebook has the Hawks leaving town with the full respect of the Celtics. McNamara’s notebook has the Celtics finally able to get some sleep after having dispatched the Hawks. Weisberg’s notebook has Doc Rivers getting the first round monkey off his back. Doyle’s notebook has the Celtics not making the mistake that Washington did by calling LeBron overrated.
With the Cleveland Cavaliers up next, Steve Bulpett says that the Celtics won’t be taking that team lightly. Mike Fine says that the Cavs present a much more serious challenge for the Celtics than the Hawks did. Christopher L. Gasper takes a look at the Cavaliers, noting that while they’ve made many changes, LeBron is still what makes them go. Bulpett also has the Cavs giving the Celtics respect prior to the series.
Amalie Benjamin has Kevin Youkilis the offensive hero for the Red Sox yesterday, as he stepped into the #3 hole in the lineup to replace David Ortiz who was given the day off to rest his knee. Michael Silverman has the Red Sox bats finally coming back to life this weekend at Fenway. Paul Kenyon focuses on another strong start from Jon Lester. Paul Doyle has Lester finding his groove with the Red Sox. Eric Avidon looks at the Sox finishing off a three game sweep of the Rays. Paul Jarvey has a combination of power and speed propelling the Sox yesterday. Joe Haggerty has Lester and Youkilis leading the way for the Sox yesterday.
McAdam has the Red Sox rotation finally starting to round into shape. With Roger Clemens having fallen from grace, I think Nick Cafardo has a new binky in Jonathan Papelbon, whom he positively gushes over in today’s article. Stephen Harris has Jon Lester putting together another strong start yesterday. Alex Speier says that yesterday’s game shows that the Sox need both Coco Crisp and Jacoby Ellsbury.
Jon Couture explores the struggles of Manny Delcarmen this season. Brendan McGair wonders if Rockies backup catcher Chris Iannetta might be an option for either the Red Sox or Yankees. Rich Thompson has Youkilis fitting into the Big Papi role quite nicely yesterday. Maureen Mullen has more on Youkilis fitting in nicely in the three hole yesterday. Silverman notes that Ortiz’s sore right knee needed some rest yesterday.
Andy Vogt has a piece on WEEI Red Sox host John Rish.
Benjamin’s notebook has Craig Hansen getting recalled by the Sox to replace Brandon Moss on the roster. Silverman’ notebook has more on Hansen’s recall. The Projo notebook also reports on Hansen getting another shot with the big club. Doyle’s notebook has Ortiz seemingly not too concerned about his knee. Avidon’s notebook has more on Ortiz sitting out yesterday. Jarvey’s notebook also reports on Ortiz’s knee.