Praise whatever higher power helped Marcus Smart convert an "and one" to help the Celtics to a win over the Grizzlies and get the Boston faithful riled up for a potential playoff push. (Jessica Rinaldi, Boston Globe)

Wednesday night’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies seemed to be following the classic Boston Celtics script this season: an early lead and solid play that evaporated and left the Celtics in a tight back and forth contest late in the fourth quarter. And with Isaiah Thomas out after falling hard on his back and right arm, Boston didn’t even have its newly anointed closer on the floor to provide some much needed scoring punch.

But then a brilliant Brad Stevens inbounds play happened. Marcus Smart alley-oop-and-one happened. Avery Bradley “Onions!” happened. And somehow, someway, the Celtics walked off the parquet floor with a 95-92 win over the #2 seed in the Western (Bestern) Conference, and inched closer to the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Revis who?

Continue reading Revis Who? Smart, Celtics Tame Grizzlies to Edge Closer to Playoffs »

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Current Personnel: Rob Gronkowski, Tim Wright, Michael Hoomanawanui

Need Level: Moderate-low

Possible Fits: Devin Funchess (Michigan), Clive Walford (Miami), Ben Koyack (Notre Dame), Tyler Kroft (Rutgers)

The tight end position has the Patriots position with the best player in the league at the position and then not much else behind him. Gronkowski is a dominant force with legitimate Hall of Fame potential at the position. The one knack against him has been injuries but he was able to play a full season in 2014 and was a major piece in the Patriots’ championship team. Continue reading Patriots 2014-2015 Position Review: Tight End »

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As the AFC East tries to catch up to Tom Brady and Bill Belichick (c.) the Dolphins add Ndamukong Suh (bottom l.), the Jets trade for Brandon Marshall (top l.) while the Bills bring in Rex Ryan (top r.) and LeSean McCoy. (nydailynews.com)

The Patriots captured that elusive fourth championship, which did all it could to elude New England again, but New England still reaffirmed their spot as a dominant team in the NFL, and certainly over the AFC East. Long considered pretenders to New England fighting for second place in the division, the Bills, Dolphins and Jets are getting really sick of playing second fiddle, and all three are hoping major moves just recently made major moves hoping to gain a leg up on the might Patriots.

We all know by know how coach Rex Ryan was fired by the Jets and wound up in Buffalo, but in the past week, all three of the aforementioned teams have made significant moves, either by trade or by free agency, in an effort to bolster their roster to better compete. The question now becomes, “How will these moves affect the Patriots and division as a whole?” It’s a question that can’t be fully answered until free agency and the draft finish up, and a freak injury is always a possibility in the NFL, but for now, let’s take a quick look at the moves, which I have ranked, as I see them, from least worrying to most worrying relative to New England’s divisional dominance: Continue reading All Three Patriots’ Divisional Rivals Make Huge Impact With Free Agency and Trades »

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Rusney Castillo

Rusney Castillo is back on the sidelines due a strained oblique, leaving one less competitor (for now) vying for a chance to play centerfield.

It was almost as if I saw Jeff Probst, host of Survivor, put out Castillo’s torch, and say “the tribe has spoken,” when I heard the news. Jackie Bradley Jr. may be the only one happy about the strained oblique. Everyone thought Bradley would be headed to Pawtucket. Now he could be on his way to Fenway to play centerfield, or at least in the Boston dugout. It reminds me of 2013, but I think it’s a bit too early to say he will be playing in the opening game.

Continue reading Castillo Sidelined with Strained Oblique, Door Opens For Betts, Bradley »

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Brett Connolly (USATSI)

Brett Connolly Injured

In a year that’s been riddled by injuries and under-performance, the trade deadline brought really only one player to the Bruins with any offensive upside. Wednesday morning, that player got hurt and will miss the next 6 weeks. Brett Connolly joined the Bruins for his first practice as a member of the team, but he took a Dennis Seidenberg slapshot off the hand and broke his finger.

Of course this happens. The little beacon of hope we had coming in never got his chance to dress as a member of the team and now the outlook is shaky. He’s basically out for the remainder of the regular season, giving him no chance to develop any kind of chemistry with his new teammates and hurting the Bruins’ chances of postseason in the first place. They’re already without center David Krejci for month or so as well.

Bergeron to be the next Captain

Continue reading Connolly Injury and Bruins Weekly Roundup »

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Mookie Betts could find himself the starter in center when spring training ends. (AP)

The Boston Red Sox had trouble with health as well as a lack of power and average in the outfield in 2014, but the additions of Hanley Ramirez, a healthy Shane Victorino and even the Cuban Rusney Castillo should be an upgrade of the minor leaguers and bench players the Red Sox had for most of last season. Sure, the trade of Yoenis Cespedes hurts the pop a bit, but it should should be an intriguing outfield to watch in spring training.

Left Field: Hanley Ramirez, Daniel Nava

Ramirez will see the bulk of the playing time in left, but Nava should be able to sneak a start here and there against a tough right-handed starter. Continue reading Red Sox 2015 Preview: Ramirez, Victorino, Betts, Castillo, Nava »

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Isaiah Thomas

The Boston Celtics have made an NBA high of 11 trades this season, which included two trades on the day of the NBA trade deadline. The trades involved sending Marcus Thornton and a future first round pick (2016 from the Cleveland Cavilers) to the Phoenix Suns, and in return the Celts received Isaiah Thomas. The other deal involved the C’s trading away Tayshaun Prince to the Detroit Pistons for Jonas Jerebko and Luigi Datome. The trade deadline was 12 days ago, but it appeared that Danny Ainge and the Celtics hit a home run.

WHAT DEADLINE GRADE SHOULD THE C’S RECEIVE?

Thomas was the big acquisition on February 19th, and he is a player that Ainge has coveted for over a year. It was reported after last season that Ainge was working on a deal with the Sacramento Kings, to acquire Thomas and other assets for Rajon Rondo. That proposed deal never gained any traction, as Rondo made it apparent that he would not sign a long-term deal with the Kings. Ainge found a way to get the player he so coveted for a very reasonable haul. Continue reading Looking Back: Grading the Celtics at the Trade Deadline »

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