Ticketing trends for Celtics/Sixers Game 7

  • 2800+ tickets still available starting at $101.
  • 50+ available for less than $110. 250+ avail for less than $120. All 300 Level seats. Tickets in this price range are between 8% and 44% below market average. 
  • In the 100’s prices start at $173. 35+ for $200 or less. 34% and 56% below market avg.

Click on image for purchasing options.


Celtics Can’t Finish Off Philly, Play Game Seven on Saturday

In as frustrating and disappointing a performance as we’ve seen in some time, the Celtics just could not get things going last night in game six and lost to the 76ers 82-75.

I can be reactionary at times, but I don’t think I’m doing that when I am concerned, not about the Eastern Conference Finals, but about game seven on Saturday night. The Sixers have played the Celtics very tough at the Garden, even though game five ended in a blowout, the Sixers controlled that game for more than a half. Three of the Celtics top six players are injured, whether Felger believes it or not, and it’s a factor. Could the Sixers come in fired up and overwhelm a weary Celtics team? I think they can.

The news yesterday that Avery Bradley is likely done for the season is probably the back-breaker for this team. (Who would’ve thought that in December?) What’s even more depressing is it could take Bradley an entire year to recover from surgery, meaning next season could be completely wiped out for him as well.

Even if the Celtics win on Saturday night, I don’t think the expectations are that they can beat Miami (or even Indiana) any longer. Without Bradley and his defense and energy (and offense?) the Celtics are in trouble. It feels a lot like 2009 right now.

Depressing, I know. Maybe it helps that just a month ago, I was saying that a strong performance in the second round was a reasonable ceiling for this team. That changed with some bounces their way, but has their luck (and health) run out?

Get all the Celtics coverage today at CelticsLinks.com.

The Red Sox concluded a stretch of 20 games in 20 days with a 6-5 win over the Orioles in Baltimore yesterday afternoon. The Sox are back at .500 for the season, and return home for a series with Tampa starting tomorrow night.

For the Red Sox, 20 lessons learned from 20 games in 20 days – Alex Speier looks at what the Sox have learned about themselves the last three weeks.

Adrian Gonzalez has glove, will travel – Chad Finn is probably the best read when it comes to baseball at Boston.com.

Valentine’s honor roll call – Gordon Edes has Bobby Valentine with some praise for his team.

The Patriots will allow media access to an organized team activity today at Gillette, and Jeff Howe gives you 5 things to watch from the session.

The Patriots agreed to a contract with top pick Chandler Jones yesterday, and Mike Reiss and Mike Rodak are Looking closer at Jones signing.

Boston Bruins Named Team Of The Year By Sports Business Journal

From Sports Business Journal:

The Boston Bruins were named Team of the Year at the 2012 Sports Business Awards being held tonight in New York City. Almost 750 are at the event, which is being held at the Marriott Marquis at Times Square.

Mark Hollis of Michigan State University was named the Athletic Director of the Year.

Here’s a list of the winners who have already been revealed tonight:

— Athletic Director of the Year: Mark Hollis, Michigan State University
— Best in Property Consulting, Sales and Client Services: IMG
— Best in Sports Technology: ESPN’s WatchESPN
Sports Team of the Year: Boston Bruins
— Best in Digital Sports Media: ESPN Digital Media
— Best in Sports Event and Experiential Marketing: Major League Baseball/Fan Cave
— Best in Talent Representation and Management: Wasserman Media Group

You can follow the results on their Sports Business Awards blog

Celtics Look to Finish Off Sixers

The Celtics have a chance tonight to close out the Philadelphia 76ers and get themselves at least a couple days of sorely-needed rest. Recent history though, says that when the Celtics have a chance to close out a series early, especially on the road, they don’t always take advantage of it. In all reality, we really don’t know what Celtics team will show up tonight.

A few noteworthy links –

From basketball to brotherhood: Battie always saw it in Pierce – Jessica Camerato talks to Tony Battie, now riding the Sixers bench, about what he saw in Paul Pierce as a rookie in 1999.

Masterful coach at core of Celtics success – Gerry Callahan says that of all the breaks the Celtics have gotten this year, Doc Rivers coming back was the biggest.

KG: “fair-weathered” beats bigoted any day – The Philadelphia Inquirer responds to KG’s postgame comments by playing the “Boston fans are racists” card.

There was outrage on the radio waves yesterday over Kevin Garnett’s “cheap shots” in this series, with Felger and Mazz up in arms over KG tripping Sixers. Hopefully those two clowns saw last night’s Pacers/Heat game for what real cheap shots look like.

The David Ortiz drama continued on, with Mike Felger puffing out his chest and feeling good about getting Ortiz riled up. Nick Cafardo wants to give Ortiz a mulligan for an “out of character” rant.

Ranaudo still playing catch up after spring-training setback – Brian MacPherson has an update on the Sox top pitching prospect, who has had a rough beginning at AA this season.

Eric Kettani pulled strings – Jeff Howe has an interesting story on the former Navy fullback, who has had to to go through an appeal process and prove his legitimacy as an athlete so he can be free to pursue an NFL career with the Patriots. Bill Belichick was among those who called the Navy to vouch for his skills on the field.

Different Approaches on Ortiz

The discussions of David Ortiz and his comments last night about not being recognized as a team leader have brought out some very different perspectives on the longtime Red Sox DH.

If you missed it, Gordon Edes (David Ortiz blasts naysayers) had a column running down Ortiz’s comments, where he calls out the media for how he believes they anoint team leaders:

“Well, let me tell you, I was reading an article [that] talked about the leaders people call ‘leaders’ in this town,” he said. “Basically, it seems like no matter what you do, it’s not good enough.

“And you can only call leaders the guys who are out diving for balls on the field or calling pitches behind the plate?”

To an extent, Ortiz has a point. When the subject of Red Sox team leaders comes up – and it has numerous times over the last eight months or so – the names most commonly brought up have been Jason Varitek and Dustin Pedroia. Even over the years, Ortiz has never really been viewed in that role. He’s been assigned the “chemistry guy” role, where everyone loves him, and he serves as a bridge between the latin players and the American players.

Edes cites Mike Aviles as someone who praised Ortiz as a leader, and John Tomase (David Ortiz leads by example) has Daniel Bard also praising Ortiz, saying:

“He’s a leader, whether he likes it or not,” Bard said. “Everyone listens to him and respects him because of what he’s done. . . . Very few guys like to call team meetings, since it’s not a positive thing. It’s not fun to tell your teammates to pick it up, but sometimes it’s needed. What better guy to do it?”

The Tomase column is completely flattering to Ortiz. Then we come to Kirk Minihane. (Delusional David Ortiz strikes again)

I like Kirk. I think he often makes points that need to be made. Unfortunately, I think more often, he takes a controversial stance just for the challenge of it, and to bring attention to himself.

I think he took things a little to far this time. If you read Edes’ column above, Ortiz had a lot more to say than the follow bit, which is what Minihane choose to focus on and target with laser-like intensity:

To Ortiz, there is a lack of respect for what he has tried to do in his decade here.

“I don’t get no respect,” he said. “Not from the media. Not from the front office. What I do is never the right thing. It’s always hiding, for somebody to find out.”

Minihane blasts Ortiz, saying that he has received nothing but positive press during his time in Boston. (In the plus column for Kirk, this means he hasn’t read any Dan Shaughnessy columns since 2003)

He then goes and makes a few veiled allegations about Ortiz and his late-career resurgence.

The media doesn’t respect him? Really? Again, find me all the critical pieces on Ortiz over the years. The media gave him an absolute free pass on the steroid stuff, closed their eyes and collectively walked away from it. And you know why? They like Ortiz – he’s jokes around with them in the locker room and is always accessible. It’s that simple. And now we are reading stories about Ortiz’s remarkable late-career production that never mention his PED history. I mean, if the media truly didn’t respect Ortiz wouldn’t there be a lot more speculation as to how Ortiz has a 1.019 OPS at age 36?

(Oh, forget it. NESN.com has gone Woodward and Bernstein on me, right when I wasn’t looking. Here’s the headline from this morning: “Mike Aviles, David Ortiz Credit Healthy Diets for Continued Success This Season.” Here’s one highlight — “Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz has taken a cue on adhering to a diet as well. In an attempt to reduce his cholesterol –– and avoid taking medicine –– the 36-year-old trimmed roughly 20 pounds by cutting out alcohol and munching on more vegetables.” Sold. Didn’t we used to read this stuff about guys back in 1998 with no irony?)

The whole bit is very Mike Felger-like, which I assume is what Kirk is aiming for. Maybe it’s just me, but I read this almost as threatening. Listen Ortiz, don’t you turn on the media, or we will unleash a maelström of PED allegations on you so fast your head will spin.

Edes had an updated post this afternoon: What Ortiz was talking about last night where he notes that Ortiz was referring to – shockingly – a summary of a Felger and Mazz show that was posted on the 98.5 website. On that show, the duo – in angry voices, no doubt – demanded to know what took so long to call the meeting which is now being credited with helping to turn things around.

It seems that the real part of Ortiz’s comments that should’ve been focused on, was this line – Basically, it seems like no matter what you do, it’s not good enough.

Ortiz has a gripe there. He called the meeting, and what do the Tony Massarotti’s of the world say? How come he didn’t do it sooner?

Some reporters in town do treat Ortiz with kid gloves. The Tomase piece is a great example. Others play it down the middle, as Edes did. Then you have the Minihanes, Felgers and Massarottis of the world, which unfortunately is where the slant of most sports coverage is right now.

Q&A with Jeff Howe, Boston Herald Patriots beat reporter

Former NESN.com Patriots beat reporter Jeff Howe will begin his new job today as Patriots beat reporter for the Boston Herald. Howe replaces Ian Rapoport who took a position with NFL.com a few months ago. The famous “Rap Sheet” blog that Rapoport was most known for has now been named “The Blitz” where Howe and Herald Patriots reporter Karen Guregian will be posting on multiple times each day.

What has your professional career been like since graduating from UMass in 2006?

My career has been a constant learning experience. I worked at the Boston Metro from 2006-09, and I was also a stringer for the MetroWest Daily News for about six months from 2006-07. One of my favorite jobs ever was covering Hockey East for Inside College Hockey from 2005-10.

Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald

I did a little of everything at the Metro, as former sports editor Chris Price rounded me out with reporting, editing and design work. We launched Metro GameDay in 2007, which was a free publication that was distributed at every Red Sox home game, and I was the editor in charge. GameDay was successful, but Metro stopped publishing it after the World Series parade, so I was assigned to the Celtics beat. I can’t even begin to list all of the things I learned while covering the Celtics from 2007-09, and it was an experience that helped me grow a ton as a writer and reporter.

But I was looking for a fresh start in 2009, and I hooked on with NESN.com as the Patriots beat reporter. I had some limited experience covering the team for the Metro from 2006-08, but the workload really increased in 2009 and every year after that.

What has it been like being on the Patriots beat since 2006?

I’ve only been on the beat since 2009, but I covered about one practice per week from 2006-08. Chris Price showed me the ropes on how to handle myself in a professional environment, and he brought me along at a very appropriate pace, which is important for young reporters. There were also plenty of days when I’d cover practice in the morning and then work the MetroWest desk at night, and I saw Bert Breer routinely working 16-hour days. That work ethic rubbed off on me, and I got a great look at how to conduct business.I could turn this into a yearbook session and thank dozens of people for the ways they’ve helped me develop, but I’ll just say that everyone I’ve worked with — either alongside or in competition — has made me a better person and reporter. I’m always studying the different ways reporters do things, and I try to learn from it all. I officially joined the beat in 2009 with NESN.com. With limited experience at Gillette Stadium, I spent that first season trying to carve my own niche. I’ve always felt it was important to cover the team and the game the way it needs to be covered, and in addition to that, I’ve looked for ways to do it differently. That’s typically been my goal each day of each season.

Looking back, what was your time at NESN.com like?

I’m truly grateful for my time at NESN.com, and I thought we were a perfect match. I joined NESN.com as the site was in a redevelopment stage, so we had time to learn together. Like I said, I was looking for a fresh start, and NESN.com was looking for young writers. They had patience with me as I grew on the beat, but the expectations increased each year, as I was able to do more and NESN.com continued to expand. Really, it was the perfect opportunity for me because we were able to grow together, and that was important.I can’t thank them enough for taking a chance on me, both on NESN.com and NESN Daily. The Daily producers, photographers, production crew and on-air talent invested a lot of time to help me get comfortable on television, and I’ll be forever indebted to them. There’s so much talent with the Daily staff, and they’re great people, too.

What can people expect from your coverage with the Herald?

Expect that I’ll work hard every day to cover the team the way the readers want it to be covered. I put a lot of emphasis on strategy and X’s and O’s, and I also love to tell the players’ personal stories. In addition to that, I’ll always be looking to find new ways to cover the team because it’s important for us to differentiate our coverage. I also have a ton of fun with my job, and I hope that shows in my writing (I’m sure it does on Twitter). I’m really looking forward to starting a new blog with Karen Guregian and the rest of the staff, and you can expect a steady stream of information on a daily basis.

What is the one thing that people who don’t know you already should know?

It’s tough to pick one, so I’ll share a little more of my personal background. I was born and raised in Lowell, Mass., and I graduated from Lowell High, Middlesex Community College and UMass. I originally went to UNH as a business major, but I realized that wasn’t for me, which led to a new start at MCC. You know what’s a great source of motivation? Moving home and attending the community college that you’ve been able to see out of your bedroom window for 18 years. And I wouldn’t trade a single one of those experiences, because that’s how I developed my work ethic, which is important in every walk of life. I’ve also got a great family, and I married my wife in June 2011, so it’s been an awesome year.

Celtics Prep For Game Four In Philly, Sox Also In Philly

The Celtics look to keep things going in Philadelphia tonight as they take on the 76ers in game four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Tonight’s game is on ESPN at 8:00 p.m.

The Red Sox are also in Philly tonight as they get ready to take on former teammate Jonathan Papelbon for the first time. (NESN, 7:10 p.m.) See all of Friday’s Viewing Picks.

A few of the big stories today:

Wideout says no progress in long-term talks – Karen Guregian had the quotes from Wes Welker yesterday that negotiations with the Patriots are not going well. Mike Reiss attempts to insert some context into the story, and says that Welker’s stance isn’t likely to help him at the negotiating table.

Shame on Curt Schilling – (subscription required) – It’s shocking that Dan Shaughnessy would go after Curt Schilling, I know. One nugget that Shaughnessy drops in this “pieces” column that I hadn’t seen before was that Mike Lombardi’s son Mick, works in the Patriots scouting department.

A Series Matter: Red Sox-Phillies and Ben Franklin – I’m not exactly sure how to describe this piece from Brian MacPherson, other than it has a lot of quote from Ben Franklin.

Kevin Garnett: The unselfish superstar – Paul Flannery says that out of necessity, KG has become unselfishly selfish in this postseason. Jessica Camerato also puts KG’s play in perspective.

Celtics’ local TV team better for viewers – (subscription required) Chad Finn’s media column looks at the dropoff in Celtics broadcasts when Mike and Tommy aren’t calling the games. One tiny item – he gets on Dick Stockton for referring to nine-year veteran Marquis Daniels as a “third year player” – I immediately knew that Stockton meant it was Daniels’ third year with the Celtics, but it was a clumsy reference. Still, as a note at SB Nation, (below) I’d much prefer Dick Stockton than anyone over at ESPN.

Media Roundup: Scal Returns, Mike Felger’s Celtics Bashing And Curt Schilling’s Blunders – My SB Nation Boston media column applauds Brian Scalabrine for calling out Mike Felger, and has me dreading the return of Mike Breen to Celtics games.