The Bruins and Celtics both played at the Garden yesterday, with the Bruins falling to the Blues, 5-4 and the Celtics routing the Suns 104-87. The events allowed the classic time-lapse photography of the bull gang changing out the Garden between the game.

Bill Doyle has the Suns setting early last night in the Celtics blowout win. Frank Dell’Apa has the Celtics defeating a real opponent, in contrast to the last two blowout wins over the Nets. Steve Bulpett has Rajon Rondo leading the charge with a big game against the team that drafted him and traded him to the Celtics. Robert Lee has the Celtics using this game to avenge a loss to the Suns last season.

Mike Fine has Glen Davis getting a chance to show his mentor, Shaquille O’Neal, the tricks he’s picked up in the league. Lenny Megliola has a look at a reflective Shaq as his career winds down. Steve Buckley has Shaq applauding the Celtics for their championship last season. Paul Flannery has the Celtics cutting Shaq down to size last night. Marc J. Spears has a look at the impact Steve Nash has had on Rajon Rondo, and has the two time league MVP with some kind words for the youngster. Jessica Camerato has Rondo making the Suns pay for trading him.

Dan Shaughnessy says that Barack Obama’s love of basketball makes him OK in his book. Jim Fenton has Ray Allen heading to D.C. for today’s inauguration ceremonies. Tim Weisberg produces a midseason report card for the Celtics. Steve Buckley praises Kevin Garnett for speaking to reporters in everyday terms rather than clichés.  Jeff Howe looks at what Brian Scalabrine brings to the lineup for the Celtics.

Howe points out that many members of Team USA are having career years this season.

Doyle’s notebook  has Shaq giving props to the champs. Fenton’s notebook has the Celtics picking up their first win against a team with a winning record since December 17th. Dell’Apa’s notebook has more on Allen’s trip to Washington. Bulpett’s notebook has more on Allen, but also recounts a funny exchange during the game between Doc Rivers, Sam Cassell, Reggie Miller and Cheryl Miller. Lee’s notebook has Shaq praising the Celtics for putting the right pieces in place.

Bruins

Mike Loftus has the Bruins lamenting a “needless” shootout loss to the Blues. Bud Barth says that yesterday was a game that the Bruins didn’t deserve to win, but nearly did. Fluto Shinzawa has the Bruins losing to the worst team in the Western conference. Stephen Harris points out that the Bruins were out-worked most of the day by the lowly Blues.

Barbara Matson has rookie Blake Wheeler putting blame for the loss on himself. Rich Thompson has more on Wheeler taking the blame.

Loftus’ notebook has coach Claude Julien continuing to juggle his lines in hopes of finding offense. Barth’s notebook has more on Julien’s lineup shuffles. Shinzawa’s notebook says that the injuries are finally taking their toll on the Bruins. Thompson’s notebook has Shane Hnidy with perhaps the best view of the tying goal by St Louis with one second left.

Patriots

Chris Warner kicks off the Patriots Daily draft coverage with a round-by-round look at how the Patriots have done in the draft during the Bill Belichick era. In the Metro, I’ve got a quick piece pointing out that the raiding of the Patriots front office and coaching staff this offseason is a  a clear signal that SpyGate was a media creation.

Mike Reiss and John Tomase have the Cardinals pointing to the 47-7 loss in Foxboro to the Patriots as the turning point to their season.

In the wake of the Ryan Clark hit on Willis McGahee on Sunday, John Molori looks at the history of Pittsburgh Steelers cheapshots in the postseason: Pittsburgh Cheap Shots Reign Supreme.

Bill Burt has Adam Vinatieri singing the praises of Tony Dungy.

Red Sox

Sean McAdam has the Red Sox and Jonathan Papelbon getting closer to having to go to an arbitration hearing. Rob Bradford says that Papelbon’s case could get tricky.

Curt Schilling makes the case for Jason Varitek. Amalie Benjamin reports on a minor trade by the Red Sox. Dan Duggan talks to Jonathan Keane, who was the four-year-old boy that Jim Rice pulled out the crowd after the boy was struck by a foul ball back in 1982.

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