Celtics Playoff Preview

The Celtics begin their playoff series against the New York Knicks on Saturday at 3 P.M. at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks were real hot at the end of the season, winning 16 out of their last 18 games and clinching the Atlantic Conference for the first time in a long time. The Celtics, however, only won 4 out of their last 10 games. But if last year tells us anything, it’s that this team is built for the playoffs.

The following stats were taken from ESPN.com:

  Knicks Celtics
PPG 100 96.5
RPG 40.6 39.3
APG 19.3 22.8
FG % 0.448 0.465
FT % 0.759 0.776
3P % 0.376 0.358

I do not want to count the Celtics out, even if the Knicks have been playing extremely well, but if the C’s want to take this one, I am willing to bet that it’s going to go 6 or 7 games. Is this team built for that? The Knicks have many dangerous weapons, especially the scoring 1champion of the regular season—Carmelo Anthony. He is averaging nearly 29 PPG. They also have 5 others that average in double-digits, including J.R. Smith who is averaging 18.1 PPG and hasn’t started a game all season. Tyson Chandler is their big defensive presence who can out rebound us consistently, and Amar’e and Felton who can put home 12-18 points on any given night.

The Celtics were led once again by Captain Paul Pierce. Pierce had another great season averaging 18.6 PPG and logging over 33 minutes per contest. Jeff Green has really stepped up ever since he dropped 43 against the Heat. He also put in 34 against the Pistons, and over 20 in many other games. KG is still solid with his mid-range jumper and if he can stay healthy, he should be able to help with his 7.8 Rebounds per game. Avery Bradley has been off for about a month, but still tenacious on defense, and we need him to keep that up. The Knicks can shoot so we need to make sure that we are pressuring the ball enough to make sure they don’t feel comfortable. Let’s go Celtics!I do not want to count the Celtics out, even if the Knicks have been playing extremely well, but if the C’s want to take this one, I am willing to bet that it’s going to go 6 or 7 games. Is this team built for that?

The Knicks have many dangerous weapons, especially the scoring champion of the regular season—Carmelo Anthony. He is averaging nearly 29 PPG. They also have 5 others that average in double-digits, including J.R. Smith who is averaging 18.1 PPG and hasn’t started a game all season. Tyson Chandler is their big defensive presence who can out rebound us consistently, and Amar’e and Felton who can put home 12-18 points on any given night.

NBA: Boston Celtics at New York Knicks

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Class Act

Just one day after the attacks at the Boston Marathon finish line, the country was still hurting—and will be for some time. I do not want to get into details about all of the events that occurred on April 15th, because we all know what happened.  I would like to point out a Class Act last night. The New York Yankees played Fenway’s classic “Sweet Caroline” song in their third inning to honor those in Boston for what they had to go through. They also issued the following statement (ESPN):

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and the families who were affected by the bombings and our respect and admiration go out to the police, medical personnel and first responders who acted so heroically,We stand united with the participants, volunteers, staff and spectators of the Boston Marathon and the people of Boston.”

Also, before the game even started they were showing their support. Instead of just having their trademark logo on the big screens around the stadium, they had both their logo, and the Red Sox emblem on it with the words “United We Stand”. Even if you hate the Yankees, you have to respect this.

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Adios Tim Thomas

The Bruins have traded Goaltender Tim Thomas to the New York Islanders for a 2014 or 2015 second-round pick. That part of it will be decided down the road. Tim Thomas is a imagestwo-time Vezina Trophy winner, which is given to the best Goalie in the league each year. Thomas was also the MVP of the Stanley Cup finals two years ago when we won it.

Since Tim Thomas took the year off to spend more time with his family, the Bruins suspended him. He had no intentions on coming back to play this season, and at 38 years old, who knows if he will ever be back. By completing this trade, the Bruins were able to create a lot more cap room, while the Islanders, were able to use his remaining one year contract towards their cap floor, which they were well below before this. Even if Thomas doesn’t report, they will still be able to have him on the books, but won’t hindexave to pay him. It’s a win for everybody involved.

Thomas is 196-121-45 all-time with a 2.48 Goals Allowed Average and a .921 Save Percentage. His biggest moments coming in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals against the Canucks.

Everyone around here loves Timmy, but at the end of the day, it’s still a business. I would rather have them give up someone who won’t play than a valuable asset that reports day in and day out. Tuuka Rask has taken over between the pipes and is playing great. Rask is 6-1-1 with a 1.97 GAA and a .922 Save Percentage. The Bruins will take on the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday afternoon.

C’s versus Knicks

The Celtics will take on their division rival tonight when they host the New York Knicks. gadThe Celtics topped the Knicks a few weeks ago 102-96, and Melo wasn’t happy after that one. There is footage of him screaming at KG through the locker room door after Garnett supposedly said that Melo’s wife tasted like Honey Nut Cheerios. Classic.

The Knicks are leading the division and are 2 games behind the Heat for first place in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics are currently on a 4 game losing streak after winning 6 straight and are sitting one game below .500.  Below are some stats of how the teams match up. Everything is close except for the points scored and turnovers lost. Celtics are last in the league in rebounding. Knicks are favored by 1.5.

Knicks Celtics
W-L 25-14 20-21
Points Scored 101.1 94.9
Points Allowed 96.3 96
Rebounds 40.5 39.1
Assists 19.9 23
Turnovers lost 11.1 14.5
Turnovers forced 15.4 15.9

C’s Top Knicks

For those of you who decided to look at other channels after the blowout in the National Championship Game last night, may have caught a glimpse of a Celtics team that we have learned to love. The C’s won their third straight, and this one was against the division leader, the Knicks. The Green and White traveled to Madison Square Garden and came out on top 101-96, with 5 players scoring in double digits.avery-bradley3

With Rondo suspended for a game for bumping into a ref, like an idiot, the Celts had to play with Avery Bradley at the point. Bradley, Garnett, Sullinger, Pierce, and Green all scored in double digits. Pierce led the way with 23 points. The Celtics held Carmelo to only 20 points, which was huge.

The scary part for me is that Terry only had 2 points on 1-7 shooting. He has failed to reach double digits in the 4 games that we have played in 2013, after doing it for most of the season prior to the last four games. Although the Celtics were outrebounded as usual, most of our players still finished in the + column. Boston is 3-1 since the return of Avery Bradley

Spogo – The Newest App for Sports Fans

We’re in the heart of football season, which for most means the heart of gambling season as well. I’m all about the pools, fantasy leagues, sports bets, but usually never anything too risky. Once in a while I’ll go out on a limb but for the most part I like the low risk high reward gambling. Now, I don’t know if it’s because I went 3-3 on my bets this week, but I found a new app that fits the bill perfectly. Spogo.

Spogo is like the combination of sports betting and Groupon. You make a free account, are given a certain amount of points to start, and then you wager your points on any NFL game, spread, over/under, etc. Instead of monetary prizes, the rewards come in the form of deals at local bars and restaurants, including freebies, discounts, and specials. After a big weekend betting on the Pats game via Spogo, I’m only a bet away from free all I can eat wings at Jerry Remy’s in Boston. Count it.

But the real Spogo experience comes while you watch the games. Unlike most sites, on Spogo you can wager on the outcomes of events and plays during the game. For example, during yesterday’s Pats game they asked questions like, “What will be the result of the kickoff?” or “Will Brady be wearing his winter hat next time he’s on the sidelines?” Just spices the game up that much more, especially when the Pats are blowing teams out. So if you’re into football, gambling, or just want to try to win some free stuff, I’d advise giving Spogo a try.

Click here to download Free Spogo App for your mobile device.  

Jets Still Talking

Everyone knows that the Jets always talk trash. It’s in their nature. But this time, they are talking trash about one of their own. The New York Daily News polled 12 Jet’s players to see if they agreed with Rex Ryan’s decision to stick with Mark Sanchez after starting 3-6 this season. The media is all over it because they want to see Tebow and have the Tebow-mania frenzy that we saw last season.

An anonymous defensive starter said, “He’s terrible,”. This is true. The guy only completes 52% of his passes and it seems like he gets intercepted every other play when get gets in the Red Zone. Another player said there is “no other viable option”, meaning that Tebow is of little help to the offense.

Let’s hope that this can continue to pile up and eat away at the players so we can watch the Pats demolish them on Thanksgiving night. Go Pats!

Patriots Getting Respect.. Finally

Two people who have been talking trash to the Patriots and Brady for years have come out saying that they respect them. New York Jets’ Head Coach Rex Ryan said that he doesn’t think that the Pats’ Defense gets enough credit.  This is what Ryan said to ESPN:

“The Patriots play complementary football. Obviously, you have the No. 1 offense in all of football — scoring offense, total offense, everything-else offense — so what you try to do is win the turnover battle. Their record when they win the turnover battle is phenomenal. That’s something they do and I think it goes overlooked.”

He also has come out today saying that Bill Belichick is a better head coach than he is, something that he has never admitted to before.

And maybe it’s because he is having the best season of his career, but typical big-mouth safety Antonio Cromartie said he respects the Pats. With Revis out, he is their number 1 defensive back and already has 4 interceptions. He also lines up as a wide receiver occasionally and is also on the field for special teams quite a bit. He told ESPN that they are the new America’s Team. See below:

“They’re always in the playoffs,” Cromartie continued. “Every single year they have a chance to win the Super Bowl. When you have a dynasty team like coach (Bill) Belichick has put together, I mean, they’re always going to be talked about. That’s why I call them the new America’s Team.”

AL East Position Matchup: First Baseman

As a follow up to yesterday’s post ranking AL East catchers, today I will rank the first basemen of the division. As expected, the first base position provides a lot of power for all five of these teams, but no player is as well rounded as the Adrian the Cat.

The rankings are as follows:

1. Adrian Gonzalez
2. Mark Texeira
3. Carlos Pena
4. Adam Lind
5. Chris Davis

Gonzo needs to be number one here. He was a legitamate MVP candidate last year, which is incredible considering his massive HR drought to start the 2011 season (1 HR in all of April). He’s got a great glove and I expect him to increase his HR total (2nd lowest of career), while maintaining similar RBI production. Although I do see a drop from his career best .338 batting average, I see Gonzo being a force in the middle of the Sox lineup and a MVP contender to start the season.

Texeira is one of the most overpaid players in baseball. He was the third highest paid position player last year (fourth overall). He earned $23.125 million, while Adrian was the 14th highest paid first baseman in the MLB and earned every penny of his $6.3 million. The sad part (for the Yankees) is that they have Texeira and his .248 batting average (from last year) signed into a no trade clause until 2016. I’m the first to admit he is a good hitter, and he’s a player every pitcher is afraid can take them yard any pitch, but he has been unwilling to make any adjustments during his struggles as a Yankee. He’s been known to have struggles adapting to the huge shift that opposing teams put on him as a pull hitter (Sox fans- think David Ortiz during his slump of 2010). Don’t get me wrong, Texiera plays great defense and hits 30+ home  runs a year, but any “elite” hitter that earns that much money and then hits .180, .148, and .167 in the last three postseasons, respecitvely, loses all respect in my vote.

I think Pena is starting to decline a bit with his power, which is why I thought about giving Lind the slight edge over him. Despite this, Pena has an uncanny ability to get on base (his OBP is regularly about 130 points better than his BA) and displays underrated defensive skills. Lind hasn’t been consistent enough to warrant the third spot in rankings. Last up is Chris Davis for the Orioles. Davis was a big time prospect a few years ago for the Rangers, and displayed some good power for them in his first two years in the bigs. Since joining the Orioles, Davis struggled with a shoulder injury. He was a good prospect but hasn’t panned out the last few years, so hopefully he can find the power stroke hes been missing lately.

For Catcher rankings: Click Here.