First Rajon Rondo, then Jeff Green. What's Danny Ainge going to do next to get the Celtics back on track for contention? (NESN)

If you’re a Celtics fan watching tonight’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans, you really do have to hope the grass is greener on the other side (and I’m not just talking about Memphis).

Danny Ainge continued his collector’s obsession with future assets, shipping Jeff Green to the Memphis Grizzlies for a future first rounder, the corpse of Tayshaun Prince, and whatever Doc Rivers wants to pay to coach his son.

As a result, the home crowd at TD Garden gets the pleasure of watching the starting law firm, I mean lineup of Turner, Bradley, Crowder, Sully, and Zeller.

Continue reading Grass is Greener in Memphis, But What About for the Celtics? »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

amendola ravens

Ever since signing in New England, wide receiver Danny Amendola has faced heavy criticism. Much of it was related to the size of his contract and the lack of production and his missing significant time with injuries. This criticism for the most part was warranted and up until mid-December Amendola looked like another failed receiver investment for the Patriots. His last few weeks have seen an uptick in which production which culminated in a magnificent performance against Baltimore in the divisional playoff game.

On the surface Amendola’s numbers Saturday night speak for themselves. He caught five passes for 81 yards and two touchdowns including one of the biggest plays of the game where Tom Brady lateralled the ball to fellow receiver who then hit Amendola for a 51 yard touchdown pass. The Play tied the game at 28 for the Patriots and was one of the most memorable plays of the Patriots season. But his performance goes beyond the numbers. Continue reading Much Maligned Danny Amendola Comes Through for Patriots »

Tags: , ,

Indianapolis was the only road winner on Divisional Weekend; how long can they keep it going? (http://www.thehulltruth.com/)

After the Divisional Round, the Pats and Pack had to claw for a victory, while the Colts and Hawks had a relatively easy time. Seattle became the first defending champ to win a playoff game the next season in a decade, which sets up two League Championships in dangerous home-field advantage environments.

But for now, we’re halfway through our Pick ‘Em for the postseason. Thanks to most of the winner picks being alike, not too much ground was gained, but TD and yardage totals did shift some things around. With two rounds left, it’s still a very close contest that’s anyone’s game.

So with that, updated results and totals are below. And be sure to come back next Sunday for the League Championship Round. Continue reading 2014-2015 NFL Playoffs Expert Picks: Divisional Round Results »

Tags: , ,

Danny Amendola celebrates with his teammates after catching a 51 yard touchdown pass from Julian Edelman. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

What an incredible game we all witnessed Saturday night. From start to finish, as a fan, you didn’t have a second to catch your breath. Every snap mattered and in the end it was a couple key plays that turned the tide of the game. The Ravens have been one of the few teams that has been able to consistently challenge the Patriots and you knew things were going to be no different Saturday night. Joe Flacco has become a monster in the postseason, and their defense has always had the ability to disrupt Tom Brady. While Flacco did show up to play, with the exception of his two interceptions, the pass rush was almost non-existent. Brady had time which allowed him to have a terrific game, including a classic Tom Brady game-winning, fourth quarter drive. 

- This is the type of game that all the purists who claim “you need to run the football to win in January,” absolutely hate. The Patriots had no running game at all. As a team they had a total of 14 yards on 13 carries. Brady’s touchdown scramble in the first was the most impressive run they had all game, and it didn’t matter. The Ravens strength is in their front seven. Their run defense is terrific, but where they are weak is their secondary. With an incredible game from the Patriots offensive line, Brady was able to pick apart the weak Ravens secondary.

Continue reading Notes and Observations Divisional Playoffs: Patriots Advance to Fourth Straight AFC Championship, Beat Ravens 35-31 »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tom Brady stamped the Patriots' ticket to the AFC Championship game. Should he want to play the Colts or the Broncos? (Photo: Greg M. Cooper, USA TODAY Sports)

After a rousing, back-and-forth, come-from-behind victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday, the New England Patriots will host next week’s AFC Championship for the right to play in Super Bowl XLIV.

With their place in the AFC title game decided, eyes turn westward this afternoon for the other game to decide who will play the Patriots in Foxborough. Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts will play Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos shortly, but which of the two teams do the Patriots want to play?

Continue reading Colts or Broncos: Should the Patriots Care Who They Play in AFC Championship? »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Coach Belichick and the Patriots have had problems with Baltimore in their postseason career; will they exorcise that demon this time around? ("Family Guy," '3 Acts of God,' 3/16/2014)

With the Divisional Round here, it’s time for the top teams of the season to play. New England and Seattle each face hungry teams, Peyton Manning faces his replacement again and Dallas faces Green Bay in an Ice Bowl rematch. All four games should be very hard-fought and competitive.

On our panel, three of the four contests were picked unanimously, while the fourth was much closer in the selections. And while Seattle and Carolina projects to be a tactical, defensive game, the others should see the ball aired out more.

As before:

  • Successfully picking the winner of each game is worth two points.
  • Picking the total number of touchdowns scored by both teams COMBINED in each game is worth one point if guessed to within one, or two points if guessed exactly right.
  • Picking the total number of yards thrown in each game by WHICHEVER quarterback throws the most is worth one point if guessed to within 50, or two points if guessed to within 10, or five points if guessed exactly right.

So with that, picks are below, and check back Sunday night for the results. Continue reading 2014-2015 NFL Playoffs Expert Picks: Divisional Round »

Tags: , ,

In what can be summed up as a disappointing season for the Bruins so far, the team has showed little signs of being a serious Cup contender and are on the cusp of not making the playoffs at all. The media and fans are quick to point fingers in all directions, but most notably the blame is going toward the General Manager, Peter Chiarelli.

Chiarelli, who has been known as more of a passive GM, gets criticized as being too committed to his core group, which limits the Bruins ability to make big deals. While this may be fair, this is for a good reason. The Bruins core is the reason we don’t need to make big deals. Outside of Chara, the core of this team includes Tuukka Rask, Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Milan Lucic, and Dougie Hamilton. All under thirty years old. A lot of teams would kill for a core like that.

When people want to blame Chiarelli for every single thing that goes wrong with the Bruins, I want to cringe. He’s an excellent GM. Is her perfect? Of course not. But he’s put together a great team overt the years with a track record of success. He took a crumbling franchise back in 2007 and slowly, steadily, and patiently built it into the team that won a Stanley Cup and a President’s Trophy.

So I took the time to lay out three of the main criticisms of Chiarelli and thrown in counter-arguments. Truth be told, it seems silly to me that we even have to have this conversation but that that’s the way things go.

1. Chiarelli got lucky when the Bruins won the Cup

This one drives me crazy. It fits right in with the age-old theme that when things are going well, people praise the players, and when things are going poorly, people blame the GM. Did Tim Thomas stand on his head during that Cup run and play out of his mind for a month and a half? Absolutely. He was incredible. A performance for the generations. And who signed Thomas, despite the fact that he was 34 years old and we had a young superstar in Rask waiting in the wings? Peter Chiarelli. Continue reading In Defense of Chiarelli: Debunking 3 Myths about the Controversial GM »

Tags: , , , , ,