Most NBA observers will be quick to give last night’s epic three overtime battle between the Bulls and Celtics the moniker of “Instant Classic.” Fans who agonized through the game might feel a little differently. Ray Allen scored 51 points on the night, cementing his own place in Celtics playoff history. But overall, the Celtics squandered several chances to win the game, none bigger than the final two minutes of regulation when Doc Rivers, responding to a small lineup from Chicago, decided to put Tony Allen in the game in favor of Big Baby Davis. It didn’t work out so well. Davis had been a pivotal part of the offense in the fourth quarter, setting up in the high post and either making the correct pass, hitting the jumper or driving his man to the hoop.
The end result through three OTs was a 128-127 Bulls victory, which sets up a deciding game seven at the Garden on Saturday.
Dan Shaughnessy says that if this was an NBA finals, it would be in the conversation as the best series of all time. Paul Flannery says that one of the things we learned last night was that there apparently had to be a game seven.
Marc J. Spears looks at Ray Allen’s incredible night, noting that Allen looks at it as that he just came up two points short of what the team needed. Steve Bulpett has Allen lamenting the points that he didn’t get – and the Celtics needed – last night. Jessica Camerato says Allen was winner even in the loss.
Bulpett has Kendrick Perkins stepping up into a vocal leadership role with the Celtics. Daniel I. Dorfman has a variety of heroes keeping the Bulls alive last night. Murphy has Rajon Rondo established as Public Enemy No. 1 in Chicago.
Kevin Paul Dupont predicts the Bruins in six in his Eastern Conference Semifinal preview. Steve Conroy says that the Bruins cannot wait to get back into action tonight. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell says that the waiting game is finally over for the Bruins. Bill Burt says that GM Peter Chiarelli has made all the right moves this season. Mike Loftus says that the Bruins are impressed by, and wary of, the mysterious Hurricanes.
Stephen Harris cranks through five keys to the series for the Bruins. Ron Borges has Aaron Ward OK with facing his old teammates. Bud Barth has Ward reflecting on his time in Carolina. Mick Colageo says that Ward and the Bruins will be on the lookout for Erik Cole in this series.
Joe Haggerty outlines how the Bruins can and will beat the Hurricanes. Conroy checks the Bruins-Hurricanes matchups for the series. Harris says that this is when the real test begins for the Bruins. Dupont has a few Hurricanes to watch in this series.
Chad Finn is getting into this whole sports media thing, taking a look at NESN announer Jack Edwards.
In his notebook, Fluto Shinzawa says that a key to the series will be Zdeno Chara’s handling of Eric Staal. Conroy’s notebook has more on the Chara/Staal matchup. Barth’s notebook says that the spotlight will be shined between the pipes in this series.
The Patriots intoduced top pick Patrick Chung to the media yesterday.
Karen Guregian says that Chung looks to be a big hit at safety for the Patriots. Mark Farinella has Chung quick to embrace the Patriots past yesterday. Mike Petraglia says that Chung would love the opportunity to learn from Rodney Harrison. Shalise Manza Young has Chung set to go to to work.
Chris Warner on Patriots Daily goes through the undrafted free agents signed by the Patriots. Christopher Price has Tyrone McKenzie getting more and more impressive. Farinella notes that Patriots fans will be seeing red this season.