|LEEInks List: Devastating injuries to Boston athletes in past decade||02.12.13 at 11:51 am ET|
It’s been a rough few weeks for the Celtics. First it was Rajon Rondo going down with a season-ending ACL tear. Then Jared Sullinger was lost for the season with a back issue that will require surgery. Now, Leandro Barbosa appears to have suffered a serious knee injury in Monday night’s loss to the Bobcats that ended Boston’s seven-game winning streak.
Where do the C’s go from here? The team can take one of two paths. President of basketball operations Danny Ainge could stick with the team he has minus Rondo, Sullinger and Barbosa, maybe make a couple of small upgrades before the trade deadline, and hope for an unlikely long playoff run. Some are pushing for Ainge to “blow up” the team, make a significant trade or two (possibly involving career-long Celtic Paul Pierce or the emotional team leader Kevin Garnett) and look toward the organization’s future. This might lead to the team missing out on the postseason for the first time since the 2006-07 season (the year before the C’s acquired Garnett and Ray Allen).
Whatever Ainge, Doc Rivers and the organization decide to do, it seems that these injuries — especially to the All-Star Rondo — are a crushing blow to the team’s already slim chances at a deep playoff run.
This certainly isn’t the only time a Boston team has been bitten bad by the injury bug. With that in mind, here are 10 of the most devastating injuries affecting Boston sports teams in the last 10 years.
10. Patriots, 2005 — Rodney Harrison suffers season-ending knee injury
By 2005, Harrison was a 12-year NFL veteran, slightly old and injury-prone. In a Week 3 matchup vs. the Steelers, the safety tore his ACL, MCL and PCL and was done for the season. To add to that, offensive lineman Matt Light also was lost for the season during the same game. Harrison was the team’s veteran leader in the secondary and his absence was costly. The Patriots lost to the Broncos in the AFC divisional round that postseason.
9. Red Sox, 2010 — Jacoby Ellsbury misses majority of season with multiple issues
Injuries decimated the Red Sox at a historic pace in 2010, as 19 players combined for 24 stints on the disabled list, and many of them were key players on the roster. Ellsbury had three of those 24 stints. In April, Ellsbury was placed on the 15-day DL after colliding with third baseman Adrian Beltre and injuring his ribs. Ellsbury came back at the end of May but re-injured the ribs and went back on the disabled list. Again, Ellsbury rejoined the Red Sox in the beginning of August, but after a week and a half, Ellsbury was done for the season.
|Top Stories of 2012, No. 5: Celtics burned by Heat in Eastern Conference finals||12.29.12 at 7:55 pm ET|
Over the final week of 2012, WEEI.com will count down the top 10 stories of the year in Boston sports. This entry in the countdown is No. 5: the Celtics’ loss to the Heat in the Eastern Conference finals.
Check out our previous entries:
No. 10: NHL lockout
No. 9: Wes Welker’s up-and-down year
No. 8: Bruins’ early playoff elimination
No. 7: Ray Allen’s departure from Celtics
No. 6: Tim Thomas’ political controversy and sabbatical
The Celtics were one victory away from advancing to the NBA finals. But what stood in the way, LeBron James and the Miami Heat, turned out to be more than the Big Three and the rest of the Celtics could handle.
A 101-88 defeat in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals put an abrupt end to a playoff run that looked like it had legs after a comeback season from the Celtics, who were under .500 at the All-Star break of a lockout-shortened season.
The C’s battled injury issues all season. Jeff Green and Chris Wilcox had season-ending heart ailments. Jermaine O’Neal had his season end early, and Avery Bradley missed the Heat series. Even as the playoffs began, a sprained MCL slowed down Paul Pierce and bone spurs kept Ray Allen off the floor.
After finishing first in the Atlantic Division at 39-27, the Celtics took down the Hawks in six games in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. They went on to get by the 76ers in a seven-game series and line things up for a big series with the Heat.
|Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Kevin McHale set to make emotional return to Minnesota||12.26.12 at 7:58 am ET|
WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Knicks at Suns, 9 p.m. (NBATV)
College football: Little Caesars Bowl, Western Kentucky vs. Central Michigan, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Rockets coach (and Celtics legend) Kevin McHale is set to make an emotional return to Minneapolis on Wednesday night. McHale, a Minnesota native who spent 16 years working for the Timberwolves as a TV analyst, executive and coach, raised his children in the area. This is his first visit to Target Center since the Nov. 24 death of his 23-year-old daughter, Sasha, from lupus. McHale’s wife and four remaining children will attend the game as well.
Following Tuesday night’s victory over the Bulls, the Rockets are 6-3 since McHale returned to the team for a Dec. 8 game against the Mavericks. That includes a Dec. 14 victory over the Celtics, after which former Timberwolves star Kevin Garnett gave McHale a long embrace.
“Everywhere we go, somebody comes up to him to give him a big hug,” Rockets assistant coach J.B. Bickerstaff told the Pioneer Press newspaper in Minnesota. “Over the last 33 years or so, his touch has been felt all over the NBA. It’s hard to find people who don’t like Kevin McHale, who weren’t touched by him in some way.”
♦ Former Patriots receiver Chad Johnson admitted that a sex tape making its way around the Internet is of him with two women, but he denies that he wanted it to go public. Johnson, released by the Dolphins before the season, said the tape was shot in a Florida hotel room about three years ago. He said he’s exploring legal options to have the tape removed.
Johnson, 34, had an unimpressive 2011 season with the Patriots (when he was known as Chad Ochocinco) after 10 productive seasons with the Bengals. He has said he wants to return to the NFL.
♦ Former Braves and Yankees outfielder Andruw Jones was arrested in suburban Atlanta early Tuesday morning on a battery charge following a domestic dispute with his wife. He released on bond later in the day.
Jones, a 10-time Gold Glove-winner for the Braves who has 434 home runs in 17 major league seasons, played last season for the Yankees. He signed a one-year contract with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japan’s Pacific League earlier this month.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Dec. 26, 1976, Bruins forward John Bucyk scored in a 6-3 victory over the visiting Cleveland Barons, giving him 545 career goals and moving him past which Canadiens legend for fourth place on the all-time list?
|Friday’s Morning Mashup: Spurs face NBA sanctions after sitting stars vs. Heat||11.30.12 at 8:06 am ET|
FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Trail Blazers at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Wizards at Knicks, 7:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
NBA: Nuggets at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Tennessee at Georgetown, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Georgia at South Florida, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Syracuse at Arkansas, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: DePaul at Auburn, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: Northern Illinois vs. Kent State, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College football: UCLA at Stanford, 8 p.m. (Fox)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Spurs coach Greg Popovich sent home four of the team’s top players before Thursday’s night’s game against the Heat in Miami. Popovich acknowledged the decision was so that the players could rest as the team played its sixth road game in nine nights (and fourth in five).
It didn’t sit well with NBA commissioner David Stern.
“I apologize to all NBA fans,” Stern said in a statement. “This was an unacceptable decision by the San Antonio Spurs and substantial sanctions will be forthcoming.”
The short-handed Spurs still played the defending champion Heat tough, leading by five with 2:14 left before Miami closed the game on a 12-2 for a 105-100 victory. And the Spurs players are standing behind their coach’s decision.
“Pop is the coach of the San Antonio Spurs,” guard Gary Neal said. “He did what’s best for us.”
At least Popovich kept his sense of humor during the game. Here is the coach — notorious for his Bill Belichick-like in-game interviews (short and testy) — teasing Charles Barkley for asking one too many questions.
♦ Indians president Mark Shapiro is taking some heat for his response to a fan who e-mailed wanting to know why he should renew his season tickets for 2013. During a television appearance last week, Shapiro told the fan that if the only reason for buying tickets was to see the Indians win, “Don’t come.”
Asked about the comment this week, Shapiro held firm.
“I told him if the sole reason, the only reason, for renewing is predicated on us winning, then they shouldn’t come,” said Shapiro, who recently selected former Red Sox manager Terry Francona to lead the club in 2013. “I stand by that. Baseball has to mean more than just being a fan when you win.
“No where are we spending more of our time, more of our energy or more money in trying to win. We all understand that the single-most important thing in baseball is winning and losing. But we are always going to have cycles to when we can win.”
♦ The zaniness continues with the Jets. Early in the week, a video emerged of Jets fans ripping the players as they walked off the field at halftime of the Thanksgiving humiliation vs. the Patriots. That prompted linebacker Bart Scott to offer this on Wednesday: “The person yelling at you probably was picked last in dodgeball all through high school. So do you care about the opinion of them? No.”
On Thursday, Scott was quiet following a meeting with coach Rex Ryan.
“I had a conversation with Bart,” Ryan told reporters. “The thing that makes this game so great is the players and the fans. And that’s the truth.”
Ryan, who swore at a heckling fan when leaving the MetLife Stadium field following last year’s loss to the Patriots, said he told Scott that the players need to “appreciate our fans.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Nov. 30, 1976, the Bruins’ 31-game home unbeaten streak ended with a 6-2 loss to which team?
|Report: Tim Duncan to sign three-year extension with Spurs||07.10.12 at 12:31 pm ET|
According to Yahoo! Sports’ Johnny Ludden, Spurs center Tim Duncan is set to sign a three-year deal with the team this week.
The report says that the deal is “expected to be in the trange of the three-year, $34 million deal Kevin Garnett reached with the Boston Celtics” prior to free agency.
Duncan was chosen by the Spurs first overall in the 1997 draft. The 36-year-old averaged 15.4 points and nine rebounds per game last season.
|Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Wally Szczerbiak questions Kevin Garnett in the clutch||05.31.12 at 7:58 am ET|
THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Tigers at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)
MLB: Brewers at Dodgers, 10 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA playoffs: Spurs at Thunder, 9 p.m. (TNT)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Wally Szczerbiak, who played six-plus seasons with Kevin Garnett on the Timberwolves and briefly played for the Celtics as part of his 10-year career, did not pull any punches in his criticism of the Big Ticket on Wednesday night. Despite Garnett’s stellar performance this postseason — including 18 points and eight rebounds in Wednesday night’s Game 2 loss — Szczerbiak, now a CBS Sports analyst, pointed to Garnett’s late-game struggles in a series of tweets.
Wrote Szczerbiak as Garnett was missing five of his last six shots: KG is another one who lacks the #clutchgene always has!
Late in the game he added: KG never takes big shot for #Celtics now he’s fourth in line behind Pierce Allen and Rondo to take clutch shot. Warrior all game though!!
And following the game: KG was a warrior all game but in OT he was horrible on both ends of the floor tonight!!
♦ Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy is on the disabled list after breaking his hand when his wife moved a suitcase that fell on him. Since the circumstances behind the bizarre injury were revealed, Lucroy said his wife has been the target of hate messages.
“It’s tough for me, because this is already a freak thing as it is,” Lucroy told Milwaukee radio station WSSP-AM. “My wife has been getting hate mail on her Facebook, like, messages and stuff. It’s really sad that these kinds of things happen from a freak thing. I mean, she didn’t do it on purpose. It was an accident. Stranger things have happened.
“It’s been a battle for me, personally, because there’s no one to blame, and my wife is getting killed by this. It’s not like she’s not hurt enough already, not feeling guilty enough already. I really wish people would just leave her alone, leave us alone, just let us try to move forward, and get this behind us, because this has been a brutal couple of days.”
Lucroy, batting a league-best .514 with runners in scoring position, is scheduled for surgery Thursday and is expected to miss six weeks.
♦ Former Blue Jays catcher Charlie O’Brien bolstered Roger Clemens‘ case in his perjury trial when he took the stand Wednesday and said he remembered seeing preloaded syringes of vitamin B12 in the clubhouse.
The prosecution challenged O’Brien’s assertion that he knew what was in the syringes, and also questioned how he prepared for his appearance on the stand.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On May 31, 1984, Celtics guard Gerald Henderson stole a crosscourt pass and hit a layup with 13 seconds remaining to tie Game 2 of the NBA finals against the Lakers. The Celtics went on to win the game in overtime and win the series in seven games. Which Laker threw the fateful pass?
|The year in Boston sports: Most memorable games of 2011||12.29.11 at 10:03 am ET|
Even though 2011 wasn’t the most successful year for all of Boston’s teams, it certainly was a memorable one. Playoff rivalries were renewed for the Celtics, Bruins and Patriots, while the Red Sox added another chapter to their legacy of heartbreak.
Picking out the 10 most memorable games of the year was not an easy task. The Bruins easily could have dominated this list, with all of their dramatic playoff victories en route to winning the Stanley Cup. But we’ve attempted to include fair representation from all four of Boston’s major pro sports squads, featuring games that were memorable for the local teams’ success or failure.
10. April 8: Red Sox 9, Yankees 6
The Red Sox’ season started much the way it ended, with a sense of impending doom around the corner. After the Sox started the season 0-6, swept by both Cleveland and Texas, the offense finally clicked when the Yankees paid a visit to Fenway for the home opener. Dustin Pedroia hit his first home run of the season and the Red Sox erupted for 12 hits, giving them — and John Lackey – their first win of the season.
9. April 17, Eastern Conference quarterfinals, Game 1: Celtics 87, Knicks 85
Ray Allen’s 3-pointer with 12 seconds left in the game made sure the Knicks’ return to the playoffs (their first appearance in seven years) was a painful one. The Knicks led for almost the entire game, but the Celtics came up big down the stretch (and yes, a questionable call went their way). “Down the stretch we found a way to win,” Paul Pierce said. “And that was because of our experience.” The Celtics went on to win the series in four straight.
|Top Stories of 2011, No. 8: Celtics’ playoff loss to Heat||12.24.11 at 12:00 pm ET|
For the final 10 days of 2011, WEEI.com will count down the top 10 stories of the year in Boston sports. Our next entry in the countdown is No. 8: The Celtics’ playoff loss to the Heat.
Even before the start of the 2010-11 NBA season, Doc Rivers knew that there was one team the Celtics were going to have to face if they were to put together another championship run. When the Heat formed their own Big Three with Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh, it was evident that Boston and the new superteam on South Beach would end up in a postseason showdown at some point.
So it was no surprise that after sweeping the Knicks in the first round of the playoffs, the Celtics were preparing to face the Heat win what many called the most anticipated second-round matchup in NBA history.
“We assumed when they put this team together, at some point if we want to put another banner up then we’ll probably have to go through them,” Rivers said of the Heat days before the series began.
The Celtics were 3-1 against Miami in the regular season, but all three wins came before the All-Star break, when Boston was 40-14, tied with the Heat atop the Eastern conference standings. After the All-Star break, the Celtics were just 16-12, dropping to third in the Eastern conference, while the Bulls and Heat rose to the top to secure the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds, respectively.
Many attributed Boston’s poor play in the second half the season to the trade of Kendrick Perkins. The menacing center was traded to the Thunder along with guard Nate Robinson on Feb. 24 in exchange for center Nenad Kristic, young forward Jeff Green and a 2012 first-round pick.
|LEEInks List: Most hyped teams since 2000||08.10.11 at 2:38 pm ET|
The recent frenzy of NFL free agency has yielded a bevy of high-profile signings, with a good portion of the spoils going to the Eagles. Some are calling them the “all-hype team,” and with several big-name players being added to the Eagles roster, the name certainly fits. Since 2000, many teams have gone all-in during the offseason and attracted a fair amount of attention in the process. With that in mind, we’ll take a look at some of the most hyped teams in recent years, including some that lived up to expectations and others that didn’t.
10. 2010 Cincinnati Bengals
Looking back on last season’s Bengals, it’s hard to believe there was any hype at all over this 4-12, self-destructive Cincinnati squad. However, following a 2009 season in which the Bengals won the AFC North with a 10-6 record, the team paired Terrell Owens with Chad Ochocinco to create one of the most outspoken and talented receiving corps in the NFL. Unfortunately for Bengals fans, the receivers’ full potential was never realized, due in small part to Carson Palmer‘s 20 interceptions and 82.4 passer rating. Ochocinco started the season by asking, “How in the world are you going to stop this duo?” Cornerbacks around the league answered, “Easily.”
9. 2005-06 Miami Heat
The Heat have been the subject of significant hype in the past, even before LeBron James took his talents to South Beach. Amidst the ongoing drama between Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal in the 2004 offseason, the big man was traded to Miami for Caron Butler, Lamar Odom, Brian Grant and a first-round draft pick. Dwyane Wade had already dazzled NBA fans as a rookie, and the Heat dreamed of creating a Lakers-like dynasty on the East Coast. Miami fell short in the Eastern Conference finals that year but added more talent (and hype) in 2005-06 with Antoine Walker, Jason Williams, James Posey and Gary Payton. The Heat, under Pat Riley, took down the Mavericks in six games for the title.
|Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Yankee Stadium waiters sue park concessionaire||05.10.11 at 7:41 am ET|
WHAT’S HAPPENING LOCALLY MONDAY:
MLB: Red Sox at Blue Jays, 7:07 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Three seat-side servers at Yankee Stadium are suing the park’s concessionaire, Legends Hospitality, because they claim they are not getting a share of the 20 percent delivery charge listed on customer’s bills. “They wonder where it’s going if it’s not going to you,” server Evelyn Ryan said of customer’s inquiries. Legends Hospitality is owned in part by the Yankees.
♦ According to documents released Monday by the FBI, George Steinbrenner assisted the organization so that he could receive a pardon for his 1972 conviction for illegal campaign contributions. Steinbrenner also blamed bad legal advice for that conviction.
♦ The NBA’s All-Defensive team was announced Monday, and Celtics Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo are on the first team. So is Kobe Bryant, although Zach Lowe at The Point Forward writes that Bryant does not deserve that accolade, one of a few problems Lowe has with the selections.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On May 10, 1970, Bobby Orr scored 40 seconds into overtime of Game 4 to give the Bruins the Stanley Cup with a sweep of the Blues. Who served as captain of that Blues team before embarking on a Hall of Fame coaching career the following season?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “These are those moments. I look forward to it. Everybody on this team, we know what to do. We can’t talk about it; we just have to put our best foot forward. It’s not easy. It just makes it that much more special if we’re able to do it.” — Ray Allen, after the Celtics lost to the Heat Monday night to fall behind 3-1 in the Eastern Conference semifinals
STAT OF THE DAY: 2 — Games this season in which the Twins have been held to three or fewer runs, including Monday night’s 2-1 loss to the Red Sox
‘NET RESULTS: Georgia high school basketball player Shaquille Johnson shows off his leaping ability with a thundering slam dunk.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Al Arbour, who led the Islanders to four straight titles from 1980-83
SOOTHING SOUNDS: U2 lead singer Bono turns 52 Tuesday.
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