|06.15.10 at 7:29 am ET|
Although we normally think of the Celtics in terms of NBA rings and playoff dominance, there have been some great individual performances against the Green in their storied postseason history. From Michael Jordan dropping 63 on the 1986 Celtics, to Jerry West notching a triple double in Game 7 of the 1969 finals, the Celtics have been on the wrong end of some historic performances. On the heels of Kobe Bryant’s impressive 38-point outburst Sunday night in Game 5, here is a list of the top single-game playoff performances against the Celtics.
10. Andrew Toney, 1982 Eastern Conference finals, Game 7
Known for playing some of his best basketball against the top teams in the league, Toney almost singlehandedly knocked the Celtics out of the playoffs with his impressive performance in his team’s 120-106 series-clinching victory. Dubbed the “Boston Strangler” during the 1980s, Toney lead the 76ers with 34 points in Game 7 to send the Celtics packing on their home court. The two-time All-Star lead the Sixers in scoring during the series (22.1), and proved to be one of the best clutch players in the game. Read the rest of this entry »
|06.15.10 at 7:06 am ET|
WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY:
MLB: Diamondbacks at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN, WRKO)
NBA finals: Celtics at Lakers, 9 p.m. (ABC, WEEI)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Gary Myers in the New York Daily News writes about cornerback Darrelle Revis, who sat out a drill at the end of Monday’s minicamp session as a message to management: “Something just to let them know I can play and I can not play,” Revis said. However, he had told coach Rex Ryan he needed to sit because he didn’t feel well. Said Ryan: “Any player we have, when they tell you something is not right, you believe them to be a man of their word.”
♦ Dan Wetzel at Yahoo!Sports.com explains how the Big 12 survived after Texas and others turned down the Pac-10. Kirk Bohls at Texas’ Austin Statesman wonders how long before the Big 12 comes under attack again, and addresses the bad blood between league members.
♦ Lynn Henning at The Detroit News writes that Tom Izzo should take the Cavaliers job, because now it’s too late for him to return to Michigan State.
♦ Choe Sang-Hun in The New York Times writes about a South Korean television network accusing North Korea of pirating signals to show World Cup soccer games to its residents.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On June 15, 1992, which Red Sox reliever recorded his major league-record 342nd save by blanking the Yankees in the ninth inning of a 1-0 win?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I want to be traded. I don’t need to be here any more.” — Offensive lineman Logan Mankins, on his contract impasse with the Patriots
STAT OF THE DAY: 77 — Percent of 100 major leaguers polled by ESPN who said they do not want instant replay on base calls
‘NET RESULTS: England vs. USA World Cup soccer recreated in Legos.
Adam Sandler and Kevin James launch into a wacky “Start your engines” routine at a weekend NASCAR event.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Jeff Reardon
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Steve Walsh of Kansas is 59 today.
|06.14.10 at 8:22 am ET|
WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY:
No local games scheduled
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ The New York Times reports on allegations that Roger Clemens used money from his nonprofit organization to pay Brian McNamee, the trainer who allegedly injected Clemens with steroids. McNamee made the accusations but hasn’t produced evidence to back up his claims. Clemens’ lawyer denied the charges.
♦ Bob Wojnewski in The Detroit News writes that Tom Izzo is a better fit for Michigan State, while the coach continues to look into the Cavaliers job.
♦ Mike Lupica in the New York Daily News writes that Alex Rodriguez, who turns 35 next month, is producing solid but unspectacular numbers, and it appears that he is struggling with age and injuries.
♦ Jeff Eisenberg in The Dagger sports blog writes about the Big 12′s Hail Mary proposal to save the conference. Berry Tramel in The Oklahoman writes that the Pac-10 has more to offer Oklahoma than the SEC.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On June 14, 1974, Angels hurler Nolan Ryan struck out 19 Red Sox in 13 innings. However, Ryan did not get the win, because the game went 15 innings before the Angels won it, 4-3. Which Red Sox pitcher pitched the entire game and was the hard-luck loser?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Just man up and play. What the hell is the big deal? If I have to say something to them, then we don’t deserve to be champions. We’re down 3-2: Go home, win one game, go into the next one. Simple as that.” — Kobe Bryant, on whether he needs to say anything to motivate his teammates
STAT OF THE DAY: 23 — Consecutive Lakers points scored by Kobe Bryant in the second and third quarters of Game 5 Sunday night, during which time the Celtics increased their lead from one to 13
‘NET RESULTS: England television station goes to a quick commercial and misses the team’s only goal vs. the United States.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Luis Tiant
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Rod Argent of the Zombies is 65 today.
|06.13.10 at 7:58 pm ET|
Yesterday I along with 2,100 or so raucous U.S. soccer fans attended World Cup Boston 2010′s opening match viewing party at the House of Blues to watch our beloved Red White and Blue tie England.
I have to congratulate and thank this small organization for a great job well done. The atmosphere inside the building was as New England Revolution Vice President Craig Tornberg said to me at half-time of the match, “stadium-like,” and it really was electric and lively throughout the match. The only time the place got quiet was after Steven Gerrard’s fourth minute deflating goal, however, my boy and former New England Revolution star Clint Dempsey came to the rescue as you well know later on – and maybe with a little help from English keeper Robert Green.
Folks brought in vuvuzelas – you know the horns that make that buzzing noise you hear every match. People dressed in crazy costumes, I saw one guy dressed up as a Patriot – very funny, but top marks for going to that length. The entire New England Revolution team was in the building, of course on the VIP level, which is another story but still they made the trek. The people from Channel-5 WCVB TV were there. There were many great auction items up for silent bid before the match. And of the 15 or so of my friends that came out, every one seemed to have a great time.
I think this sort of event and the many like it that have been occurring all over the country really show that soccer has arrived for good in the U.S., and I will have another post up tomorrow including an interview I conducted with Tornberg about this topic.
|06.12.10 at 11:25 am ET|
If you’re in Boston today and are looking for a place to catch the big game this afternoon, come down to the House of Blues on Lands Down Street by Fenway. They are having a giant viewing party and it should be a very entertaining atmosphere.
Enjoy the game wherever you are and go USA – Red White and Blue Army.
|06.11.10 at 10:09 pm ET|
You’re undoubtedly familiar with the names of Boston star athletes, but with the World Cup taking center stage (whether you like it or not), you probably need some tips on players worth watching. In no particular order, here are 10 names to remember as soccer’s best players gather in South Africa.
1. Wayne Rooney, England: This guy will be throwing elbows. Not only does Rooney bring energy, but clearly he will do anything possible to win, including stomping on opponents. He received a red card in 2006 for whining at a referee.
2. Christian Poulsen, Denmark: Similar to Rooney, Poulsen is mean, aggressive and willing to do whatever it takes to lead his country to World Cup glory. Not only does his energy and attacking draw the attention of opposing teams and fans, but he has been involved in multiple controversial incidents on the field as well. The most recent problem was when he punched Swedish striker Markus Rosenberg in the stomach during a qualifying match for the 2008 European Championship. Read the rest of this entry »
|06.11.10 at 1:03 pm ET|
Man, oh, man, what a fabulous way to open up the World Cup.
Siphiwe Tshabalala scored what will go down as one of the greatest goals in World Cup history in the 55th minute after Mexico turned the ball over in its offensive end of the field. Taking a quick counter attack with one-touch passing and great movement off the ball Katlego Mphela unleashed a dagger ball the dreadlock-haired Tshabalala, who took one touch to control the ball into the box and then unleashed a cracking finish in the upper right-90 past Oscar Perez in net for Mexico.
Mexico, which had a goal by Carlos Vela disallowed in the first half for an offsides call that at first glance appeared onsides but by replay was the correct call (on the play the goalkeeper for South Africa became the second-to-last defender not the defender on the back post), frantically searched for the equalizer and nearly was punished on several occasions.
But in the 79th minute off another corner, the Mexicans went short to the substitute Andres Guardado, who then delivered a beautiful ball to the back post where three Mexicans were unmarked by the disorganized South African defense. Just one defender hung back keeping all three players onsides and Rafa Marquez, the Barcelona defender, settled the ball nicely before delivering the game-tying goal.
With three minutes to play Mphela nearly broke the deadlock on a great ball played over the top of the defense by the South African keeper Itumeleng Khune as the forward latched onto the ball, held off his defender, and hit a shot that rattled off the wood work before bouncing away.
Neither team challenged net again.
In case you missed my predictions earlier, I had South Africa coming out of Group A as one of the big surprises of the tournament. South Africa is the lowest FIFA-ranked host nation ever sitting all the way down at No. 83 on the table, but you can’t underestimate the power of what a host nation’s fan base can do to lift a squad to its absolute peak. That’s what happened today and I feel like both South Africa and Mexico will come out ahead of France and Uruguay.
There’s one more match today from Group A: France vs. Uruguay at 2:30 p.m. Enjoy, folks.
|06.11.10 at 9:28 am ET|
Quick predictions because it’s after 3:30 in the morning and I’ve got an incredibly long weekend ahead of me:
I love their crest, it is kingly – and like Euro 2008 Spain does what France did circa 1998 World Cup and 2000 Euros, win the two biggest international tournaments consecutively just in the reverse order of Les Blues.
Final: The Netherlands vs. Spain
I love the clock-work orange and had been thinking about picking them, but Arjen Robben’s most recent injury concerns concern me. He is too important to that team and a complete game-changer when healthy. If he comes back fully fit, a big if, the Netherlands will trouble anyone they face. If not, they lose their most dangerous wing despite their ability to throw other players in.
However, the Dutch still do have Wesley Sneijder, Rafael Van der Vaart, Dirk Kuyt, Robin Van Persie, Eljero Elia, and loads of other attacking options. I’ve said before this Dutch team made concede 2 goals every time they touch the pitch because their defense is so old and suspect, but at the same time they can put 4-5-6 goals up without mercy.
All European semifinals.
England vs. The Netherlands; Spain vs. Germany
Germany take third place again
I probably will be mistaken by this prediction because if you go by history when the World Cup is not in Europe, the South American powers usually dominate and win. Think about it, Brazil won each of the last two cups that were not in Europe – 2002 in South Korea/Japan and 1994 in the United States – and Argentina won the previous World Cup before that not in Europe in the 1986 Mexico tournament.
I know people love the fact that Dunga instilled discipline and his own imprint on the Brazilian roster, but I feel he is denying the fabric of what fundamentally makes Brazil great – they’re Joga Bonito, which translates to play beautifully. Brazil is not a team to play ugly and win, they need to be free-flowing and this team with a fading Kaka as their hopeful star will not perform up to expectations.
In the same respect I think Maradona is one of the biggest bozos waling the face of the earth right now. Check out this picture of him from a few years back. Argentina have plenty of talent al over the pitch and Lionel Messi maybe the best player in the sport today, but Maradona has him out of place at forward when the little Barca man plays best on the right.
The funny thing is he has more than a surplus in forward depth too with Diego Milito and Sergio Aguero likely to sit on the pine, but Maradona refuses to change up his mind on this subject, so I think they will see an early exit in the knockout round.
Group winners and second-place finishers:
A- Mexico wins, South Africa
B- Argentina wins, Greece
C- England wins, US
D- Germany wins, Serbia
E- Netherlands win, Denmark
F- Paraguay wins, Italy
G- Brazil wins, Ivory Coast
H- Spain wins, Chile
South Africa with Steven Pienaar leading the way I think will improbably come out of Group A. I just have a feeling they earn a draw against Mexico in the opening game and play well from there defeating Uruguay and potentially drawing or losing to France in a game that won’t affect their moving onto the knockout round.
The Netherlands I think will be downright explosive and finally live up to the lofty expectations they have every tournament. Again I think they will average over 3 goals a game throughout the tournament even against good defensive squads because they have Sneijder who can unlock defenses with passing, Robben who can do it with his feat, Van Persie that can do it with his deadly shooting as well as Van der Vaart, and Kuyt who is just a dogged competitor getting to every loose ball.
The U.S. I think will turn heads because this team can score goals. Dempsey, Altidore, Donovan, Buddle, Bradley, Findley, Gomez, Bocanegra, Onyewu – these are all guys that can score goals whether it be on the counter or off restarts. Look for them to turn heads and if they win the group have a great shot to make it as far as they have ever made it in the World Cup -the semifinals ala 1950. It would be a great tribute to that team to wear a replica of the shirt of the 1950 team throughout the tournament like they are, and then advance as far.
If you go by Brazil’s standards – winning isn’t everything it’s the only thing – then a quarterfinal exit for a second straight tournament, this time at the hands of the Dutch, is completely unacceptable. However, I think they got a terrible draw all the way around – the Group of Death in Group G and then the potential delicious match with the Netherlands in the quarterfinals if both teams take care of business. Nothing against Brazil I just like the clockwork orange better in that game.
Italy, France, Argentina I think could face a repeat of 2002 when all had early exits. Neither France nor Argentina made it out of the group stages and Italy lost to South Korea in the round of 16. I’m not saying I don’t think any of these teams will advance out of the group stages, as you saw I think Argentina and Italy will, but I think they all have major problems and won’t live up to their generally lofty expectations. Italy is too old, and France and Argentina both have bozo coaches.
|06.11.10 at 8:03 am ET|
WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY:
MLB: Phillies at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN, WEEI)
MLB: Phillies at Red Sox, 4:10 p.m. (NESN, WEEI)
MLB: Phillies at Red Sox, 1:35 p.m. (NESN, WEEI)
NBA finals: Lakers at Celtics, 8 p.m. (ABC, WEEI)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Bob Raissman in the New York Daily News calls Jeremy Roenick’s emotional response to the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup title “selfish teardrops of a phony.” In case you missed it, here’s what happened after Chicago’s overtime Cup-clincher Wednesday night.
♦ Ron Cook in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes that Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has started to take steps in his reformation.
♦ Herb Gould in the Chicago Sun-Times writes that Nebraska is a nice addition to the Big Ten, but Notre Dame remains the true target. Neill Woelk in the Boulder Daily Camera writes that the University of Colorado played things out well in moving to the Pac-10. Sam Mellinger in the Kansas City Star writes that the demise of the Big 12 might be the worst day in Kansas City sports history.
♦ Andy Staples in Sports Illustrated writes that the USC football team can bounce back from the NCAA sanctions announced Thursday. Doug Farrar at Yahoo!Sports wants to know what was Pete Carroll’s role in the scandal.
♦ Jeff Jacobs in the Hartford Courant writes that UConn coach Jim Calhoun’s inability to realize his program made major mistakes and faces deserved scrutiny from the NCAA does not reflect well on the longtime mentor.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On June 11, 1987, the Celtics tied an NBA finals record as five players scored 20 or more points in a 123-108 victory over the Lakers in Game 5. Who led the C’s with 25 points?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “This is what legends are made of, this is where you grasp the moment. Just play in the moment.” — Celtics forward Glen Davis, on his performance in Thursday’s Game 4 win over the Lakers
STAT OF THE DAY: 0.84 — David Ortiz’ batting average in June (3-for-33)
‘NET RESULTS: Dude Perfect cliff jump basketball shot.
Even after winning the Stanley Cup, Blackhawks forward Adam Burish still doesn’t like Philadelphia’s Chris Pronger, and says he wants to punch the Flyers defenseman.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Dennis Johnson
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Graham Russell of Air Supply is 60 today.
|06.10.10 at 7:55 am ET|
As the Celtics continue to battle the Lakers in the NBA finals, news has surfaced that C’s assistant coach Tom Thibodeau will be named the next head coach of the Chicago Bulls. While it will be tough to see Doc Rivers’ right-hand guy depart after three successful years with the team, many may not realize he got his coaching start here in Massachusetts. Although it was years ago and before he became a defensive mastermind in the NBA, Thibodeau was once the head coach at Salem State College, his alma mater. In honor of Thibodeau’s well-deserved opportunity with the Bulls, here is a list of current or former NBA head coaches who once were college head coaches in New England, ranked in order of their success in the NBA.
10. tie, Satch Sanders, John Kuester and Doggie Julian
Sanders won eight NBA championships with the Celtics before he took the head coaching position at Harvard. His four-year stint with the Crimson (1973-77) led him back to the Celtics, where he served as an assistant to Tom Heinsohn, then head coach for parts of two seasons (1977-78 and 1978-79), although he had an uninspiring 23-39 record.
Kuester was an assistant to Rick Pitino at Boston University before he took over for him in 1983 to become the youngest head coach in NCAA Division 1 history. From there he has spent time with eight NBA teams, including the Celtics, Magic and Cavaliers, mainly serving as an assistant coach. He just finished his first season as head coach of the Detroit Pistons with a record of 27-55.
Julian may be most well known for his coaching stint with Holy Cross, where he led the Crusaders to the NCAA title in 1947. One of the members of that team, Bob Cousy, helped Julian come close to winning the title again the following season, but HC lost in the semifinals. He was courted by the Celtics after his time at Holy Cross but found very little success in the NBA, amassing a less-than-stellar 47-81 record before being let go in 1950. He then returned to college, guiding the Dartmouth program from 1950-67. Read the rest of this entry »
- Ty on Steelers coach Mike Tomlin fined $100K; forfeiture of draft picks a possibility
- Geetsolboy on Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Struggling Nets demote top assistant Lawrence Frank after reported rift with Jason Kidd
- Kevin Miller on NFL roundup: Discipline expected for Steelers coach Mike Tomlin; Giants-Redskins ends in controversy
- Mike on Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Alex Rodriguez amends lawsuit, says Bud Selig lacks ‘courage’
- my10sense on Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Seahawks CB Brandon Browner reportedly facing 1-year suspension
- DF on Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Seahawks CB Brandon Browner reportedly facing 1-year suspension
- Mike on Friday’s Morning Mashup: Alex Rodriguez hearing ends, player’s lawyers say they’ll take case to court
- gazzzmann on Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Alex Rodriguez turns up at New York radio station, says Bud Selig ‘hates my guts’
- Mike on Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Alex Rodriguez turns up at New York radio station, says Bud Selig ‘hates my guts’
- TedSox on Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Alex Rodriguez turns up at New York radio station, says Bud Selig ‘hates my guts’