The Celtics streak of road futility in the playoffs continued last night in Cleveland as they stay close for most of the game before letting the Cavs pull away in the final minutes of a 88-77 game four loss which puts the series even at two games apiece.
Mark Murphy has the Gorilla on the Celtics back getting bigger with each road loss. Bill Doyle seems to think this series could be over in six…and not in the Celtics favor. Marc J. Spears has the Celtics once again unable to solve their road problems. Kevin McNamara says that the Celtics put themselves in a good position to win last night, but couldn’t close things out.
Shirley Coshatt on the BSMW Full Court Press has the Celtics folding again on the road.
Steve Bulpett has the Celtics rating very low in the poise factor in these road losses. Dan Shaughnessy says the conclusions we can draw about the Celtics after 11 playoff games are all ugly. Bill Reynolds tells us why NBA teams can’t win on on the road in the postseason. Tony Massarotti throws in the towel and concedes the series to the Cavs because they have LeBron and the Celtics don’t. Tim Rogers says LeBron got plenty of support from his teammates in this one.
Michael Vega has the Celtics offense vanishing in the fourth quarter, leading to their demise. Massarotti does point out that the Celtics are not alone when it comes to postseason struggles on the road. Sam Amico has PJ Brown giving the Celtics their only life off the bench. Bulpett reports that pregame pyrotechnics may be on their way out, if David Stern has anything to say about the matter. Bob Halloran says Doc Rivers isn’t being given a fair shake by the fans.
Murphy’s notebook has the Celtics offense letting them down as much as the defense last night. Spears’ notebook has Stern’s comments on Paul Pierce’s fine for the “menacing gesture.” Vega’s notebook looks at Cavs assistant Michael Malone, who has some New England ties. McNamara’s notebook has more on Malone’s RI roots. Doyle’s notebook says that a Worcester Academy tie helped Rick Carlisle land the Dallas job.
The Red Sox also fall on the road last night, as Clay Buchholz had another difficult start, giving up seven earned runs in just 4.1 innings in a 7-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins. Manny Ramirez did hit career home run number 498 last night, moving him closer to the 500 mark.
Amalie Benjamin has Buchholz frustrating with himself over his struggles. Rob Bradford says that last night showed that location is more important than stuff when it comes to starting pitching. Steven Krasner has Buchholz discovering that life isn’t always so easy in the majors. Jeff Goldberg notes the large presence of Bartolo Colon on the horizon for Buchholz. Bill Ballou notes that Minnesota has always been a humbling place for the Red Sox.
Nick Cafardo looks at the Red Sox inability to separate themselves thus far from the rest of the pack in the American League. Steve Buckley has Craig Hansen drawing inspiration from an old Arnold Schwarzenegger quote to help him remain in the majors. Joe Haggerty has Manny Ramirez closing in on a career milestone.
Joe McDonald has Jed Lowrie getting back to work and picking up where he left off with the PawSox. Buckley says that fastball command was Buchholz’s biggest problem last night. Bradford has the Julian Tavarez era coming to an end in Boston after the club designated him for assignment.
Benjamin’s notebook has Hansen’s strong performance since his recall making Tavarez expendable. Bradford’s notebook has Kevin Youkilis being named AL Player of the Week. Krasner’s notebook has more on Tavarez being let go in favor of Hansen. Goldberg’s notebook also reports on the transaction. Ballou’s notebook has more on Hansen sticking around.
As I write this, Matt Walsh is meeting with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to discuss what he knows about the Patriots and their video practices. Mike Reiss says that the focus of the meeting will be on the Rams walkthrough prior to Super Bowl XXXVI. John Tomase says this could mark the end of the league’s investigation. Shalise Manza Young says this could be the end of Walsh’s 15 minutes of fame. Jeff Jacobs says that all that matters in this meeting is the truth.
Check in for updates over the course of the day at PatriotsLinks.com.
Mick Colageo offers a final Bruins report card.