So before I went on vacation, the Bruins had just taken a commanding 3-0 series lead and appeared headed to the conference finals, and the Celtics were tied with the heavily favored (see below) Cavaliers 1-1 in their second round series.
Did I miss anything?
Whoops. I’m rather glad I was at the “happiest place on Earth” Friday night instead of front of the television for that Bruins debacle.
To try and make things up to you following my absence, I’ve got full links today:
The Celtics took a game one victory from the Magic with a 92-88 win down in Orlando. This game wasn’t really as close as the final score indicates, as the Celtics controlled this one throughout.
Julian Benbow has the Celtics defense strangling Dwight Howard and the Magic right from the start. Mark Murphy has the Celtics defense, not Orlando’s rust from their extended time off, the key factor in the game one Boston win. Robert Lee has the Magic coming up short against their first worthy adversary in six weeks. Peter F. Stringer has the Celtics taking a tag team approach to this one. A. Sherrod Blakely has the Celtics making the Orlando home court edge disappear with their win.
Bob Ryan says that first-half defense allowed the Celtics to build a lead that was too much for the Magic to overcome. Paul Flannery has some thoughts on the Celtics slowly morphing from a team of old broken-down has-beens into a team of rugged junkyard dogs.
Steve Bulpett has Paul Pierce finding his offensive flow after being freed of his mutually abusive relationship with LeBron James in the previous series. Frank Dell’Apa has Pierce (22 points) making the most of his eight field goal attempts. By contrast, Vince Carter needed 18 shots to score 23 points. Marc D’Amico has Pierce getting three foul shots after being hit and tossing up a shot while behind the three-point-line as the play of the game.
Gary Washburn has Rasheed Wallace worthy of his postgame Bud Light for his performance yesterday against Dwight Howard. A. Sherrod Blakely says that the playoffs are here, and the Rasheed Wallace that the Celtics hoped they were getting when they signed him has finally showed up. Kirk Minihane cranks out 10 thoughts following this one. Chris Forsberg has his initial thoughts from the Celtics victory.
Michael Vega has Howard knocked out of his rhythm by the Celtics rotation of Kendrick Perkins, Glen Davis and Wallace. Zach McCann has the Magic learning that they’re not going to be able to steamroll through this series like they did the first two rounds. Evans Clinchy says that this game might be a wake-up call for the Magic. Bulpett has the Celtics Tag-team wrestling technique of defending Howard working very well yesterday.
Gary Dzen has Ray Allen (a game high 25 points) showing flashes of his youth in the game one victory. Ron Borges has Allen’s resolve pointing the way for the Celtics yesterday, and pointing the way towards the guard’s future this summer.
Benbow’s notebook has Rajon Rondo getting the job done without gaudy statistics. Murphy’s notebook has Kevin Garnett earning praise for his defense on Rashard Lewis (6 points). Lee’s Celtics journal has more on Perkins defense on Howard. Forsberg’s Postgame notes has Pierce picking his spots yesterday.
John Lackey gave up five earned runs in the first four innings and the Red Sox bats were silenced by spot starter Armando Galarraga in a 5-1 Detroit Tigers victory over Boston.
Peter Abraham says that the Red Sox played like a team still recovering from their 12-inning loss the night before. John Tomase has the recap in the Herald. Daniel Barbarisi says that Lackey gave them the innings yesterday, but not the results. Richard L. Shook has the Boston bats taking the day off.
Alex Speier says that the Red Sox run prevention blueprint is failing in startling fashion thus far. Michael Silverman has the Red Sox stumbling in mediocrity sitting at 19-19. Nick Cafardo says that the Red Sox players and executives are 10 times more frustrated than the fans about how this season is going. 10 times!
Silverman says that the results have been poor for John Lackey, but the effort is there. Tony Lee has the Red Sox heading for the next stage of their gauntlet in New York. Ian Browne says that starting pitching has got to come through for the Red Sox in New York.
Abraham’s notebook kindly reminds us that the Yankees have dominated the Red Sox as of late. Tomase’s notebook has Mike Lowell clear that he isn’t demanding a trade, but that he wants to play regularly – even if that is somewhere else. The ProJo’s Red Sox journal has the Red Sox inconsistent play continuing to haunt them.
Steve Conroy says that the Bruins must resist the urge to “blow it up” following their historic collapse against the Flyers. Mike Loftus says that looking back at the season, the end result really isn’t all that shocking. Dan Rowinski looks back at the season in detail. Joe Haggerty says that Marc Savard needs to own up to his game seven mistake.
Glen Farley and Peter Martin have Shawn Crable hoping to finally get on the field for the Patriots this season. Jeff Howe has a collection of unsual factoids about Patriots rookie punter Zoltan Mesko. Mike Reiss has all the rookies back in town today.
Ken Powers (yup, Ken Powers) has Bob Lobel learning to walk all over again following a diagnosis of spinal stenosis.
And finally, just because I really enjoy these: