With five straight wins under their belt, the Celtics appear to have broken out of the funk that they ended 2008 in.

 While the current streak is modest still, Steve Bulpett has the Celtics starting to trend in the right direction again. Robert Lee says that the Celtics went back to basics in order to break out of their losing ways. Jim Fenton notes that during their struggles, teams tried to guard Rajon Rondo with bigger bodies, and that Rondo appears to have made an adjustment in his game over the last few games. Patrick Gilroy has Doc Rivers approving of the direction his team is going.

Ray Allen was in Washington D.C. yesterday for the inauguration of President Obama. Celtics managing partner Steve Pagliuca was with Allen on the trip, and Julian Benbow has reaction from both on what the experience was like. Mike Fine has Allen awed by the event. Steve Buckley also has reaction from the pair on the emotional ceremony.

Red Sox

The Red Sox avoided an arbitration hearing with All Star closer Jonathan Papelbon yesterday by agreeing to a one-year, $6.25 million deal. Adam Kilgore says that Papelbon’s salary now is commensurate with his accomplishments. Sean McAdam says that the sides have even made some progress on a multi-year deal. Rob Bradford notes that Papelbon told us all that he would set the standard for closers, and he continues to do just that. Daniel Barbarisi says that both sides are relieved to get this done.

Gerry Callahan says that history tells us that fat guys don’t last, so Big Papi is DONE. Joe McDonald has a look at shortstop prospect Argenis Diaz, who is being compared to Alex Gonzalez defensively. The Lowell Sun pits writers Kathy Deschenes and Dennis Whitton against each other in debating what the Red Sox should do about their catching situation. Kirk Minihane has a Hall of Fame mailbag for WEEI.com. Bob Halloran examines Jason Varitek’s foolish decision to become a free agent rather than accepting arbitration.

Patriots

John Tomase looks at which players the Patriots might be checking out at this Saturday’s Senior Bowl. Chris Price talks to Tom Brady’s throwing guru, Tom Martinez, who points to Peyton Manning’s 2008 season as an example of what could happen to Brady – early struggles, and a strong finish.

Mark Farinella has the Cardinals no-show in Foxboro a turning point for their season. Michael Felger says that if only the Patriots could’ve gotten into the playoffs…who would you have taken in an AFC Title game matchup – Bill Belichick or Mike Tomlin? Bill Burt says that the Cardinals have zero chance of beating the Steelers.

Bruins

Stephen Harris has the Bruins hoping to regain their intensity in the final game before the All Star break. Fluto Shinzawa says that the break will be a much-needed one for the Bruins. Joe Haggerty has a midseason report card for the Bruins. Mike Loftus says that the Bruins will need to get back to basics.

Media/Misc

Dom Amore has a look at MLB Network.

Joe Zarbano on a WEEI.com blog reports that FOX Sports Radio has laid off Ben Maller and the rest of The 3rd Shift crew. The program aired locally from 2:00am to 5:30am on WEEI. No word on if this means anything for Maller’s rumors and notes site, which is a staple for many in the sports media biz.

Jeff Howe has a look at the biggest transitions in Boston sports since the start of the decade.

In wake of President Obama’s inauguration yesterday, Steve Krause compares the world of sports to the real world in terms of race.

Bob Ryan checks out BU/Stony Brook, which turns out to be a terrific game.

WEEI.com rolls out blogs from Dan Guttenplan and Cyn Donnelly, winners of their Next Great Sports Blogger contest.

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5 thoughts on “Celtics Getting Back On Track

  1. Also, Maller’s Rumors & Notes is published by Fox Sports. Fox Sports Radio is a Clear Channel division that licenses the Fox Sports name. Therefore, I don’t think there is a connection between his employment at the two positions.

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  2. Best thing about Callahan’s column? The comments calling him a racist. I’m sure Gerry’s having a bad week…a black President AND someone criticizing Trot Nixon? Oh, my.

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    1. Callahan’s not a racist. He’s just a blowhard who thinks the entire world revolves around him and his sports/political opinions. He was going to be unlistenable even if McCain had won.

      Dennis, on the other hand… Stick a gun to my head and I’ll take Callahan – even with his lame Sean Hannity schtick – over Dennis any day of the week.

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