Marcus Smart made his debut for the Celtics last night with 6 assists

A Celtics team without Jeff Green and Rajon Rondo would typically get blown out by 20, and not blow out another team by 20. On Monday night the Celtics did in fact win by 20 points, in a game where their starting five had a combined 10 years of NBA experience.  The Celtics were trailing at the half, and by the end of the third period manifested themselves into a fast-paced, offensively formidable yet defensively-capable squad squared against an unsuspecting away team.

Luckily for the Celtics, that team was the unapologetically-tanking Philadelphia 76ers, who were also without perhaps their two best players, Michael Carter-Williams and the third overall pick in this year’s draft, Joel Embiid. Additionally, their best healthy player, Nerlens Noel, has not played a regular season NBA game yet, seeing as he was sidelined for the entire last season with an ACL tear. To provide some perspective into just how pedestrian this Philly squad is, their two leading scorers were Tony Wroten and Hollis Thompson. Continue reading Celtics Show Up in Second Half in First Preseason Game: Player Report Cards »

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Tom Brady had plenty to celebrate as he had his best game of the season Sunday night against the Bengals. (AP Photo/Steven Senne

What a difference a week makes. After all the doom and gloom from the media that the Patriots were meeting their demise, Tom Brady was too old, and Bill Belichick wasn’t the same coach, the Patriots came out in prime time and handled the last remaining undefeated team in the NFL. If it wasn’t for the 12 penalties for 114 yards called on the Patriots, Sunday night’s game wouldn’t be as close as it was. The Patriots came out with fire and intensity and never relinquished the controls. A showing like Sunday night was exactly what the Patriots needed to reassure all the quaking media members, but it was expected from those who have seen what this team has done over the past 13 years after an embarrassing loss the week before.

- Through the early part of the season the offensive line has warranted some concern. Sunday night the Patriots started their third different offensive line combination in as many games. This combination was undoubtedly the best all season. Left to right the starters were Nate Solder, Dan Connolly, Bryan Stork, Ryan Wendell, and Sebastian Vollmer. The veterans of Connolly and Wendell provided the best guard play that the Patriots have seen all year. Solder looked like his old self and kept the pressure away from Brady’s blind-side. The rookie Stork looked good as well, creating holes in the run game and keeping the middle of the pocket clean. Of course this is just one game but Sunday’s game was the first positive sign the offensive line has given us all year so we’ll take it. Continue reading Notes and Observations Week 5: Patriots Return to Form, Blow Out Bengals 43-17 »

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Ryan McDonagh (nypost.com)

Eastern Conference

Boston Bruins
Dougie Hamilton and Torey Krug both have more points than Zdeno Chara. Patrice Bergeron leads the team in points with 78. Loui Eriksson scores 36 goals.

Buffalo Sabres
The Sabres win only 29 games this year, finishing first in the Conor McDavid sweepstakes. Mikhail Grigorenko has a breakout season 31 goals and 64 points. Matt Moulson is traded at the deadline yet again.

Carolina Hurricanes
Anton Khudobin wins 37 games in the process of overtaking Cam Ward’s starting spot. Alex Semin scores just 14 goals. Eric Staal makes a major comeback with81 points.

Columbus Bluejackets
Ryan Johansen finishes 7th over all in scoring with 83 points. Bobrovsky continues to thrive as an elite goaltender and wins the Vezina. The Bluejackets make it to the Stanley Cup Semi-Finals but they’ll be back for more.

Continue reading 30 Teams, 30 Crazy Predictions; Fantasy Hockey Mailbag »

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The New England Patriots get set to take on the Cincinnati Bengals in the Sunday Night Football spotlight, which for once I wish weren't the case. (Patriots.com)

Normally when the New England Patriots play in prime time, I get all revved up for a big game on the national stage.

Living in New York City, it means I get to watch the game in the quiet of my own apartment, which I can shatter with epithets and flying objects or (more ideally) overwrought celebrations. It means I get focused analysis of the Patriots on national television, as if my team, my fandom is important (it’s not).

Tonight, when the Patriots take in the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday Night Football on NBC, will not be one of those games.

Continue reading Patriots Preview: Why I Wish New England Wasn’t Playing the Bengals in Prime Time (Or At All, Really) »

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browner

Brandon Browner could see his first action as a Patriot this weekend after completing a four game suspension for a substance abuse violation.  At 6’4” and 221 pounds, Browner is hands down the biggest cornerback on the Patriots roster. He is also a strong, physical corner who produced at a high level while playing alongside Richard Sherman in Seattle. He is also an intimidating presence on the field which is something the Patriots have not had consistently since Rodney Harrison played his last snaps with the team in 2008.  Browner is presented with a similar situation in New England as he was in Seattle by getting the opportunity to play opposite Darrelle Revis.

There are two potential ways the Patriots could use Browner on defense. The first is to have Revis cover the opponent’s top receiver and Browner the number two. The Patriots could then have Devin McCourty provide help over the top to either one, choosing which corner to help more based on the match up. Revis’ elite skills as a cover corner, especially in press man coverage, would be able to be showcased and Browner’s physicality and intimidation would make the field that much smaller for the quarterback. Continue reading What to Expect From the Return of Brandon Browner »

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2014 NFL Betting Tips: Week 5

October 4, 2014 at 4:49pm in Featured, NFL, Now!, Opinion
Get your free money!

Well my so called “Lock” of last week could not have been any further from the truth, as The New England Patriots were thoroughly embarrassed by the Kansas City Chiefs 41-14 on Monday Night Football. I picked the Pats to win 30-21 on Monday, and my record is 6-7 overall. I am confident in bouncing back this week just like in week two of the NFL, (3-1 record in week 2).

Take the Washington Redskins (+7) over the Seattle Seahawks.

Washington is going to help redeem my debacle of a pick Monday night. The Skins are hosting the Seahawks on Monday Night Football this week, and Washington will be coming off 10 days of rest, (Seattle off a bye). Continue reading 2014 NFL Betting Tips: Week 5 »

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Evan Tuner looks to create a shot

As we learned last week, Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo injured his hand allegedly falling in his shower, leaving him injured for up to 10 weeks, meaning he’ll miss the first few games of the 2014—15 season and the Celtics will now have to find another starter to begin the season. Boston has grown accustomed to finding players to fill in for Rondo, considering the Celtics have been short on point guard depth since his ACL injury on January 27, 2013.

After that injury, Doc Rivers assigned Avery Bradley to PG duties. In reality, it was more of a platoon among the entire Celtics starting roster that year, with Paul Pierce becoming more of a point-forward in compensation for Bradley’s mediocre passing ability. Bradley, a defensive wizard who excels better off-the-ball, was not the answer. Going into 2013—14, Bradley resumed his ball handling duties, only to be moved back to shooting guard after Jordan Crawford displayed surprisingly competent PG skills. Once Rondo returned and Crawford was traded, undrafted rookie Phil Pressey would start for the Celtics while Rondo received the occasional rest day. Continue reading Who Will Start Opening Day at Point Guard? »

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