With a win either tonight (9:00PM ABC) or Thursday, the Celtics can clinch their 18th NBA Championship. It won’t be easy however, as they will need to win in Los Angeles against a determined Lakers squad to do it.

Gerry Callahan is convinced that Doc Rivers will leave the Celtics by the end of this week, and says we need to appreciate what he has done here.

Peter May looks at why the Celtics must end this series tonight. Steve Bulpett writing on his Delta airlines flight to LA, says that the Celtics are focused on getting the job done tonight in game six. Gary Washburn says that that Celtics need to take care of business tonight, and not let things get to a game 7. He’s a bit concerned that Paul Pierce said that the Celtics have two games to get one. Tim Weisberg has the Celtics looking to keep their emotions in control as they try to close things out.

Dan Duggan has Kevin Garnett finally able to match his swagger with his play. Bill Reynolds looks at how far the Celtics have come since February. Chris Forsberg looks at what to watch for tonight. Kirk Minihane looks at whose stock has risen and fallen during these NBA Finals.

Mark Murphy has the Celtics close to their goal, and ready to close out another favored opponent. A. Sherrod Blakely says that it is fitting that the Celtics need to close out on the road. Julian Benbow has the Celtics feeling up to the challenge of winning on the road. Jennifer Toland has the Celtics prepared for the most difficult game of their season, perhaps of their careers. Jim Fenton has the Celtics looks to continue their road success of this season. He also notes that the Celtics have used teamwork to get this far.

Dan Shaughnessy recalls the times that the Celtics have clinched titles on the road, including four times against the Lakers. Steve Buckley has the Celtics poised to be the seventh champion in an eight-year Boston run. (Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, guys.) Robert Lee has the Celtics on a mission to finish the job.

Fenton has Tony Gaffney enjoying his ride with the Celtics.

Monique Walker says that the defending champions are still very confident.

Benbow’s notebook has the Celtics hoping that the Big Three can all be on the same wavelength again. Murphy’s notebook has Rivers wanting his team to keep their composure. Fenton’s notebook has Rivers remembering the last team to lose a 3-2 series lead, the 1994 Knicks, of which Rivers was a member.

Patriots

The Patriots start their mandatory mini-camp today, but Logan Mankins will not be there, and if he has his wish, he will only come to Foxborough as an opponent in the future. The restricted free agent guard hurled some verbals bombs at the Patriots yesterday and demanded a trade. Mike Reiss was the first with the story yesterday. Shalise Manza Young and Albert R. Breer in the Globe report that contrary to Mankins’ statements, the Patriots did make him a sizable offer that would make him among the highest paid at his position in the league, yet Mankins still insists that the team did not make him an offer, and instead did not keep their word and treated him poorly.

It’s hard to work up much furor over a guard, even one as talented and durable as Mankins, even more so when the facts don’t appear to be on his side. Karen Guregian nails it today, saying Mankins crossed the line and should’ve just kept his mouth shut.

Check out PatriotsLinks.com for all the stories on the Patriots today.

A few other links from this morning:

5 questions worth mulling… – Rich Garven has five questions heading into mini camp.

Manny and Papi: The myths and magic of a once dynamic duo – With Manny Ramirez coming back to town this weekend, Rob Bradford talks to David Ortiz about what their relationship was really like.

Is Clay Buchholz really an ace? – Nick Underhill examines whether the young pitcher is as good as his numbers.

Check RedSoxLinks.com for all the Sox coverage today.

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4 thoughts on “Celtics Look To Close Things Out In LA

  1. Good article by Guregian. You really wish Mankins were just "one smarter" and recognized the history of Kraft's/Belichick's Patriots – nothing good happens to the player when you open the can of worms Mankins did yesterday. Love him as a player and the toughness he gives to the OL but he's not indispensable.

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  2. If Mankins were a tackle, especially a left tackle, I'd be concerned. Trading him would be a blow, but a minor one (just move Kaczur into his spot and move on).

    He doesn't even have his facts straight–the uncapped year is THIS year, not 2009. If he was quoted correctly, then he's way off base.

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  3. Always nice to be reminded how sweet a writer Callahan can be when he keeps his dumbass bigotry out of it.

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  4. Mankins is a turnstile in pass protection. He's only a good run blocker, something the Pats don't do. Bye Bye.

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