Celtics Hang On, Take Game 5

The Celtics had to hang on for dear life last night, but they did the job at the free throw line in the final minutes and closed out the Detroit Pistons 106-102 in last night’s game five of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Mark Murphy says it was a night of transformation at the Garden. Marc J. Spears has the Celtics hoping to avoid having to play a game seven on Sunday, while the Pistons are already counting on it. Mike Szostak has the Celtics able to hold off the furious fourth quarter comeback by the Pistons. Paul Doyle has the Celtics pulling out perhaps their most important victory of the season. Scott Souza has the Celtics able to sweat out a close one at the Garden. Bill Doyle has the big three coming up big in game five for the Celtics. Mike Fine has the Celtics one win away from the finals. Jeff Howe has the Celtics remaining flawless in the most important games.

On the BSMW Full Court Press Kevin Henkin says to remember the win and forget everything else.

Dan Shaughnessy calls last night “one of the more exciting playoff games in the New or Old Garden.” Bill Reynolds says that this one harks back to the glory days of the Bird era. Jeff Jacobs has Ray Allen proving to be the difference for the Celtics last night. Lenny Megliola says that these teams deserve each other and the intensity that they put into these games. Bill Burt says that will Ray Allen on track, it changes everything for the Celtics. Tim Weisberg says that the three was the key to game five.

Steve Bulpett has Kendrick Perkins setting the tone for the Celtics and leading the way on the boards. Monique Walker has Perkins taking center stage in the first half. Robert Lee has Perkins putting together an “unforgettable, career night.” Matt Langone has Perkins playing the game of his life last night.

Bob Ryan has Ray Allen looking a lot more like the Ray Allen of old last night. Tony Massarotti has Allen finding his stroke at just the right time for the Celtics. Jennifer Toland has more on Allen finding his stride at just the right time for the Celtics. Dan Ventura has Kevin Garnett coming up big last night for the Celtics. Michael Vega has Garnett hitting the clutch free throws which sealed the game for the Celtics.

Steve Buckley has Paul Pierce disappointed with how the Celtics let the Pistons back into the game in the fourth quarter after leading by as many as 17 points in the second half. Reynolds has the Celtics defending the home court, just as they needed to. Lee says that as Rajon Rondo goes, so go the Celtics. Szostak has the Celtics altering their defense on Antonio McDyess last night.

Buckley reports that Tony Allen injured himself in practice Tuesday afternoon, and his status for the rest of the postseason is up in the air. If the Celtics manage to advance to the finals and if they play the Lakers, the Celtics could be missing a key Kobe Bryant defender. Lee has more on how Allen’s 2008 season could be over right now. Jessica Camerato notes that the injury could be the end of Allen’s Celtics career.

Julian Benbow has Rasheed Wallace going off on the officiating. Massarotti says that Richard Hamilton is underrated. Ventura has Theo Ratliff grateful to be playing in big games once again. Toland look at how Ratliff played a small part in Celtics’ big deal last summer. Vega has a look at how Jason Maxiell, though undersized for a big man, has given the Pistons a huge lift off the bench with his energy.

Murphy’s notebook has Doc Rivers electing to put the Pistons on the line at the end of the game rather than allow them to shoot three pointers. The Globe notebook has more on the injury to Tony Allen. Szostak’s notebook has Ray Allen finding his shooting touch. Doyle’s notebook has the Lakers looking to get well rested for the finals by closing out the Spurs tonight. Burt’s notebook has the Celtics following the game plan.

Over in the Metro, I’ve got a look at why the change in media access to athletes isn’t a big deal to the reader.

Red Sox

Jeff Horrigan has the Red Sox bats silenced by Erik Bedard last night. Amalie Benjamin has the shutout leaving Tim Wakefield with no support on the night. Sean McAdam has more on the Sox bats going south out west. Jeff Goldberg notes that the road remains a tough place for the Sox.

Nick Cafardo says that even though Manny Ramirez is downplaying and even joking about his upcoming 500th home run, you can tell it really means a lot to him. Michael Silverman advises the Red Sox to rest Daisuke Matsuzaka and not let him push on through his fatigue. Horrigan has Daisuke Matsuzaka slated for an MRI tomorrow. McAdam has a more detailed report on Matsuzaka and what the Sox are doing with him. Silverman has Tim Wakefield taking the hard luck loss.

Horrigan’s notebook expects Kevin Youkilis to be back in the lineup tomorrow against the Orioles. Benjamin’s notebook has more on Matsuzaka’s scheduled MRI. McAdam’s notebook also reports that Youkilis should be back in the lineup tomorrow. Goldberg
s notebook
has more on the status of Dice-K.

Patriots

Karen Guregian has tight end David Thomas happy to be back on on the field for the Patriots and looking forward to playing again. David Heuschkel has more on Thomas hoping to bounce back from a lost season last year.

Mark Farinella has Matt Gutierrez doing his best to take advantage of any opportunity he gets. Shalise Manza Young also has Gutierrez hoping his hard work will pay off. Christopher L. Gasper has cornerback Mike Richardson hoping to make an impact this season.

Mike Reiss has new safety Tank Williams getting some work in at linebacker in passing camp yesterday. Christopher Price also has a look at the hard hitting Williams. Douglas Flynn has safety Ray Ventrone getting in work at wide receiver yesterday. Farinella has more on the Ray Ventrone Experiment.

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Manny Hits Number 499 in Sox Loss

Daisuke Matsuzaka left the game after four innings in Seattle last night, for what is being described as “fatigue.” At the time, the Red Sox were trailing 3-0, and they tied it up in the sixth inning on a three run home run from Manny Ramirez, number 499 in his career. With the score tied in the ninth inning, Mike Timlin gave up the winning run to the Mariners in a 4-3 Red Sox defeat.

Amalie Benjamin says that Matsuzaka will be examined further today. Jeff Horrigan has more on an eventful night in Seattle, which also included Terry Francona and Julio Lugo getting ejected. Jeff Goldberg has Ichiro proving to be a thorn in the Red Sox side all night. David Willis has former Sox outfielder Rick Miller taking over the Nashua Pride. Joe Haggerty says that the Red Sox have options available in the starting rotation.

Michael Silverman looks at the Red Sox dominating the All Star voting, and with the game to be held at Yankee Stadium, that fact is getting some notice. Sean McAdam looks at why the Red Sox haven’t followed the current trend in baseball and signed their young stars to long term deals. Nick Cafardo looks at how important Dick-K has been to the Sox this year, and why they need him healthy. Silverman also looks at the shoulder fatigue which got Dice-K pulled last night. McAdam looks at Boston’s issues with umpire Angel Hernandez.

Horrigan’s notebook has Kevin Youkilis resting his hand another night. Benjamin’s notebook has more on the All Star voting. McAdam’s Journal has more on the events last night in Seattle.

Celtics

Steve Bulpett says that the Celtics need to keep it simple and move the ball on the Pistons. Christopher L. Gasper has Paul Pierce delivering a strong message to his teammates at practice yesterday. Bill Burt says that the season will not be tarnished if the Celtics lose this series, or the next. Scott Souza says that the Celtics need to be the aggressors in game five.

Tony Massarotti has the Celtics going into a huge swing game tonight. Dan Shaughnessy says that Kevin Garnett needs to prove he is more than just a “Timberwolf for life.” Lenny Megliola says that the Celtics can’t afford another home loss. Mike Szostak has the Celtics split personality holding them back in the postseason.

Steve Buckley says that Celtics fans should forget game four, be happy the club won game three, and look ahead to gave five. Glen Farley looks at the Celtics going into a third straight game five with the series tied. Mark Murphy has P.J. Brown finally feeling fully a part of the team, and just in time. Jeff Howe looks at Garnett’s manic fervor.

Massarotti’s notebook has the Celtics trying to figure out what to do with Antonio McDyess. Julian Benbow’s notebook has things heating up in game four…literally. Farley’s notebook says that the Celtics need a big performance from the big three. Szostak’s notebook has more on the captain’s message to his team.

Other

Karen Guregian has a piece on new Patriots linebacker Victor Hobson. Mark Farinella does some spring cleaning.

…and yes, I am aware of the post by Mike Florio over the weekend which seemed to lift many elements from my Spygate post. While I’m by no means claiming exclusivity on the material in my post, its clear to me where Floria got HIS material. As someone who has protested in the past about larger sites taking his material, It would have been nice had Florio not done what he complains about and instead just acknolwedged where he got the information from.

Approval Ratings – Dan Shaughnessy

Dan ShaughnessyYes, the day is finally here.

The Boston Globe clearly considers Dan Shaughnessy the star of its sports department, putting the columnist front and center whenever a big sports event is catching the attention of even the most casual of sports fans. Shaughnessy gets the call for all the front page stories during the baseball postseason, and even now with football and basketball. He is used by the paper to be the voice of Boston sports.

Shaughnessy grew up in Groton, and is a graduate of Holy Cross. He started his professional career with the Baltimore Sun in the late 1970’s, serving as Orioles beat writer. He moved on to the Globe in 1981, where he covered the beat for the Red Sox and Celtics before moving to the columnist role. He is a seven time Massachusetts Sportswriter of the Year, and eight times he has been selected as one of Americas top-ten sports columnists by Associated Press Sports Editors.

Shaughnessy’s feud with Curt Schilling has been well documented, and as has his role in the (short lived) resignation of Red Sox GM Theo Epstein following the 2005 season. His formulaic columns, ripjobs and contrarian opinions have earned him the title of The Most Hated Man in Boston, though I have a feeling he’s not as hated by the average fan as we might think he is. His work has inspired his own watchdog blog, the entertaining Dan Shaughnessy Watch.

He is a frequent guest on national sports shows such a Jim Rome, and is a frequent guest on stations all across the country.

Shaughnessy has written at least 11 books, including The Curse of the Bambino, The Legend of the Curse of the Bambino and Reversing the Curse: Inside the 2004 Boston Red Sox. Other credits include Senior Year: A Father, A Son, and High School Baseball and Ever Green The Boston Celtics: A History in the Words of Their Players, Coaches, Fans and Foes, from 1946 to the Present.

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Celtics Look Bad in Game Four, Series Tied 2-2

Well, I had a full post almost ready to go this morning, but darn it, the save button wasn’t my friend this morning.

As an update, today will be the final day of the BSMW Memorial Day Mystery Sale. There’s still plenty of good stuff to fill 15 or so more boxes with stuff. Most of the boxes will contain more than one item. So as a reminder, here’s how it goes – if you donate $50 or more to the site, you will receive a box of stuff…it could have books, videos, shirts, or some other item. Most of the items are Boston sports related, but there is some other stuff in there.

The Celtics dropped game four in ugly fashion last night in Detroit. The Pistons jumped out to a early lead and never looked back, leading wire-to wire in this one. Since I lost my original post with all the links, I’ll try to bring you some of the top stories from the morning papers. Check the full links at CelticsLinks.com

Mike Fine has the Pistons evening the series at 2-2 with a smothering brand of defense right from the start. Rob Duca has the Celtics unable to take advantage of a generous night from the officials.

Antonio McDyess killed the Celtics last night, with 22 points and 16 rebounds. Steve Bulpett says that the Celtics erred not only in leaving his open the entire night, but also by not trying to get him out of the game after he picked up three fouls in the first half. Dan Shaughnessy says that if the Pistons come to play, the Celtics are in trouble.

Bob Ryan says that the Celtics owners did not get their money’s worth out of the big three last night. For NBA history buffs, Ryan also provides 22 things you might not know about the Pistons franchise. Bulpett has a look at the bad boys in the stands in Detroit.

Mark Murphy’s notebook has Kevin Garnett disappointed in the Celtics defense. Kevin McNamara’s notebook looks at the quest for the ring among the players. Bill Doyle’s notebook has Sam Cassell struggling with his role with the Celtics.

The Red Sox finally won a road game, beating the Mariners 5-3 in Seattle. Check the coverage at RedSoxLinks.com.

BSMW Memorial Day Weekend Mystery Sale

Edit: For the latest links on Celtics/Pistons check the post below this one.  For an update on the Mystery Sale, we’ve sold exactly 25 35 of the 50 available slots. We’ll keep this running today and through the weekend…thank you again for your support!

It’s a really busy time here in the BSMW household. We’re getting ready to move sometime in the next couple of weeks, and also preparing for the birth of our first child in just over a month. Things are pretty overwhelming in a number of ways right now.

I’ve found that in the last five years or so, I’ve accumulated a ton of books, videos and even shirts related to sports and specifically Boston sports that various entities have sent me to review or look at. The wife tells me there will be no room for a lot of this stuff at the new residence.

So I’ve come up with the following.. I’m a big fan of the site Woot.com, which occasionally runs a promotion called the “Random Bag of Crap” where you have no idea what you’re buying, and could end up with anything. I’m going to take this idea and use it here, as sort of a combination fund drive/clearinghouse.

The first 50 people to donate $50 or more to the site will receive a box of something. It might be worth more than $50, it might be worth much less. It might be one thing, it might be two things or more. It might be a book, it might be a video or a shirt. It might not even be sports related at all. I can tell you though, there are some real treasures to be found in here!

Items are all new or “like-new.” Books may have been read one time. Shirts never worn.

Use the Paypal donate button below, donate $50 or more and be sure to include your mailing address when donating, so I can ship your mystery box out next week.

Once hit 50 donors or run out of stuff, the drive will be over.

If you’ve enjoyed BSMW and have wanted to contribute or show your appreciation, this is a fun way in which you’ll also receive something in return.

Thank you in advance for your support and for all that you’ve done for me in the last six plus years here.

Celtics Lose Game Two, Homecourt

If the Celtics are going to win banner 17, they’re going to have win on the road.

The Detroit Pistons made that a reality last night as they won game two of the Eastern Conference Finals at the Garden, 103-97. Mark Murphy says that defensive breakdowns was what did in the Celtics last night. Marc J. Spears has the Celtics fully aware of the challenge ahead of them after last night’s home loss. Kevin McNamara has the Garden party coming to an end for the Celtics with the loss last night. Scott Souza has the Pistons serving as homewreckers at the Garden last night. Paul Doyle has relying on home court advantage catching up with the Celtics. Bill Doyle has the Celtics fit to be tied right now. Jim Fenton says that the Celtics have a major problem on their hands after losing the home court edge. Jeff Howe says the loss last night sets the Celtics up for their two biggest games of the season this weekend.

Kevin Henkin on the BSMW Full Court Press says that it is now time to put Ubuntu to the test. Jessica Camerato and Chad Finn have live blogs from the game.

Steve Bulpett has more on the Celtics inability to get stops down the stretch last night. Bob Ryan gushes over the class and professionalism of the Pistons while playing a near-perfect game to beat the Celtics at the Garden. Bill Reynolds though, says there are plenty of moves yet to be made in this series. Lenny Megliola says that now we’ll see what the Celtics are made of. Steve Buckley has the veteran Pistons coolly taking one on the road, something the Celtics have been unable to do thus far in the postseason. Dan Shaughnessy reminds us that these are the Detroit Pistons, not the Atlanta Hawks or Cleveland Cavaliers, and this series was going to be tougher right from the start. Bill Burt says that the pressure is on the Celtics now.

Tony “New England fans are a bunch of yahoos, hero worshipers and gutless suck-ups” Massarotti has Ray Allen finally get on track with 20 points on 8-13 shooting. Christopher L. Gasper has the Celtics bench unable to provide any help, scoring just eight points on the night, while the Pistons got 17 from their bench. Paul Jarvey has the two club knowing that controlling the boards is the key to the series.

Julian Benbow has Kevin Garnett studying the stat sheet after the game and making some observations on the little things that got his team beat last night. Robert Lee says that the matchup between Garnett and Rasheed Wallace could be the key to the series. Bulpett has Big Baby growing up in the postseason. Tim Weisberg has Ray Allen finally coming to life last night.

Barbara Matson has Rip Hamilton leading the way for the Pistons with 25 points on the night. Jeff Jacobs has Hamilton leading the way for the Pistons. Dan Ventura has a look at the Pistons two-headed point guard attack of Chauncey Billups and Rodney Stuckey. Gasper looks at Pistons backup Theo Ratliff and his role in bringing Kevin Garnett to the Celtics. Massarotti has Celtics legend Dave Cowens doing all he can to try and prevent the team from winning another title, as he serves as an assistant with the Pistons.

Murphy’s notebook has Paul Pierce’s respect for the Pistons coming through. Spears’ notebook has the Celtics making preparations for the draft. McNamara’s notebook has the Ray Allen’s scoring slump coming to an end, but it wasn’t enough to beat the Pistons. Doyle’s notebook has C’s owner Wyc Grousbeck hoping that Michigan remains good to him this weekend. The Eagle Tribune notebook has Chauncey Billups appearing to get healthy in a hurry. Fenton’s notebook has Allen coming back to life for the Celtics.

Media

David Scott is headed to China, but before he goes, he has some last thoughts on Tomase, Bill Simmons and a few other items. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell has ESPN/ABC analyst Jeff Van Gundy looking ahead to a very rough series for the Celtics and Pistons.

Red Sox

The Red Sox got grand slams from J.D. Drew and Mike Lowell yesterday and Daisuke Matsuzaka improved to 8-0 on the season as Boston swept the homestand and have won seven in a row. Check all the coverage over at RedSoxLinks.com

Approval Ratings – Greg Dickerson

Greg Dickerson Dickerson has done a little bit of everything in his career.

He’s been a radio host (WWTM, WBZ, WEEI), a television host (FSN/Comcast SportsNet), a PA announcer for two of the local professional sports franchises (Celtics, Patriots) and is currently the sideline reporter for the Celtics broadcasts on CSN.

On the national level, Dickerson has been a Sports Center anchor on ESPN Radio and a studio host on Westwood One’s NHL Radio broadcasts.

On WEEI, he’s recently been added to the Big Show co-host rotation, and last fall he hosted the Sunday morning football show on the program, going up against his CSN colleague Gary Tanguay, who hosts the pregame show for the WBCN Patriots telecasts.

Dickerson is a native of Milford, MA and is a graduate of Emerson College in Boston.

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