Can they get it done tonight?
The Celtics will get their second crack at winning the NBA World Championship tonight, this time at the TD Banknorth Garden.
Steve Bulpett has some simple instructions for the Celtics to follow if they hope to win tonight. Bob Ryan has a number of observations about the series, but would like to see one good game between the clubs that is worthy of the rivalry. Mike Szostak also lists out the reasons why the Celtics will win tonight. Jennifer Toland has the Celtics coming back to the Garden looking to put the series away. Jeff Howe has the Celtics coming home, one win away from their goal.
Um, let just say you probably don’t want to read Dan Shaughnessy today. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. You clicked on it anyway, didn’t you? *sigh* Steve Buckley might not be a good idea either if you don’t like the media talking about and giving away championships before they’ve been earned. Bill Reynolds reminds us that winning an NBA championship is not supposed to be easy. Lenny Megliola says that victory tonight will not come without a fight.
Mark Murphy points out that without Kendrick Perkins, the Celtics failed a physical test in game five. Marc J. Spears has Kevin Garnett determined to bounce back from a poor performance in game five. Jim Fenton says that the Celtics need more from KG tonight. Bill Burt insists that Garnett deserves a pass for his game five performance, and that tonight will be his night.
Paul Doyle has Paul Pierce looking to earn his place in Celtics history among the greats with a win tonight. Ben Larsen has Pierce etching his name among the best with his performance in these finals. John Tomase looks at how the pick and roll has been a big part of the Celtics success. Howe points out that both teams will likely be fighting fatigue tonight. Bob Halloran says that the Celtics have been proving themselves all season long.
Jessica Heslam has ESPN.com Page2 columnist Jemele Hill apologizing for comparing the Celtics to Hitler and nuclear war.
Dennis and Callahan will be proud of the Globe this morning, as Christopher Baxter and Maddie Hanna have a piece on people (and children) who can’t stay up to watch the games because they’re on too late.
To the best of my recollection, all of these games have gotten over close to or before midnight, ET. I don’t hear the same type of uproar for Red Sox playoff games, which many times start at 8:00 or 8:30pm and last past midnight (especially games against the Yankees). Sure, some people complain about those times, but nowhere near the level of what has gone on with the NBA Finals. Many times the baseball games are back-to-back, while the NBA games are spread out a little more. I guess I’m just not seeing why the 9:00pm start times are a huge deal. You stay up and watch the Red Sox, or let your kids watch them…what’s the difference here?
Murphy’s notebook has the Celtics finally getting into Boston at 10:30 last night, and also reports that Ray Allen is expected to play tonight. The Globe notebook has more on Allen’s family situation, reporting that it is Allen’s youngest son who is ill, and was in a Los Angeles hospital. (Not his daughter in South Carolina as purported on WEEI and other outlets yesterday.) The Projo notebook has more on Allen. Fenton’s notebook has Doc Rivers expecting more from Rajon Rondo tonight.
The Red Sox were routed last night by the Phillies, 8-2. Bartolo Colon had to leave the game in the fourth inning, having already given up four runs, due to back stiffness.
Jeff Horrigan has both Colon and the Sox left hurting after last night’s loss. Gordon Edes has the Phillies flaunting the power of their lineup last night. Bill Ballou has the Phillies taking round one of the battle of the beasts of the East. Steven Krasner has Colon and the Sox hurt by the long ball last night. Jeff Goldberg has Colon having to leave after taking an “over-aggressive” swing at the plate.
Rob Bradford has more on Colon’s injury, and what happened the last time he felt something like this. Nick Cafardo looks at the Phillies triple MVP threats in Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley. Bradford also talks to Pat Burrell, who had the same injury that David Ortiz currently has.
Horrigan’s notebook and Edes’ notebook each report on David Ortiz having the hard cast removed from his left wrist yesterday. Ballou’s notebook has Manny Ramirez returning to the outfield last night. Krasner’s notebook has more on Ortiz shedding his cast. Goldberg’s notebook has more on Ortiz and Dice-K.
Jim McCabe and Tony Massarotti report on Tiger Woods holding off Rocco Mediate in sudden death following 18 holes of dead heat playoff action to win the U.S. Open. Jim Donaldson kept a running diary of the afternoon. Massarotti has Woods savoring his latest major win.
Kevin Paul Dupont has the Bruins set to sign free agent winger Blake Wheeler from the University of Minnesota, who was originally drafted No. 5 overall by the Coyotes in 2004.