Celtics Fall Before King James

The Celtics made a few runs last night, but in the end, LeBron James and the Cavs proved to be too much for Boston as they lost 115-93 in a game that was closer that the final score would indicate. Shira Springer and Mark Murphy have recaps of the game, in which James scored 36 points and teammate Larry Hughes added 26. The Celtics had three players score over 20 points, Ricky Davis leading the way with 27, Paul Pierce had 24 and Mark Blount had 21, but it wasn’t enough, as no other Celtic scored more than 6. The Cleveland Plain Dealer has a few articles on the game, including a look at a mature Ricky Davis, something that wasn’t seen during his Cleveland days. Mike Fine has more on the new Ricky. Murphy also looks at Davis keeping his cool at his old stomping grounds last night. Springer’s notebook and Murphy’s notebook each look at the hip injury Delonte West suffered last night after being undercut while going in for a layout on the fast break. Both articles also look at Doc Rivers’ history with the Cavs, which contains some interesting trivia.

Michael Silverman says only a bad report from the doctor can now derail the Josh Beckett to Boston trade. David Borges talks to Beckett and Mike Lowell’s manager with the Marlins, Jack McKeon, who says that the Red Sox are making out like bandits in this deal. Chris Snow has more on the deal, and looks at who the Red Sox might target next. David Heuschkel also looks at Beckett and addresses the injury concerns surrounding the young power pitcher. Jeff Jacobs also has an in depth look at Beckett and the trade to Boston. Jackie MacMullan is concerned about Beckett’s blisters.

Tony Massarotti has five steps for the Red Sox to follow in order to have success this offseason and for 2006. Number one on the list is keeping Manny. Gordon Edes wonders what to make of the fact that Theo Epstein is still apparently hanging around the Red Sox offices, and about the “book” that agent Scott Boras sent to teams outlining the value of Johnny Damon. Alex Speier says that the Red Sox are back in business. Peter Schworm looks at a Tufts University course on “The Analysis of Baseball: Statistics and Sabermetrics”. The Projo notebook has a few Red Sox related items. Silverman’s notebook reports that Manny has targeted the Angels and Mariners as teams he’d like to play for.

There is also a ton of Red Sox stuff in the New York papers. Go to the New York Sports News page for links.

It was laughable hearing the Big Show crew tear into this trade. Glenn Ordway played both sides of the fence, setting himself up to be right either way in the future. He told us he’s not knocking the trade, but that “there is something missing in this kid’s makeup”. He also told us that the Red Sox didn’t give up anything for 2006, but might have given up an awful lot for 2009, 2010 and 2011, and that if Ramirez and Sanchez become stars, this trade doesn’t look so good. But he would make this deal. But Red Sox fans are lemmings lining up behind this deal right now…my head is still aching from all the back and forth…from one guy. I don’t care if you knock the trade, there are reasons you can question it, but don’t play both sides solely so that in the future you can come back either way and say “As soon as the trade was made, I said….”

In fact, let’s turn to one of our esteemed message board posters who has been doing his online impression of Ordway. This pretty much sums up yesterday’s Big Show:

Alright, BACK HERE on the Box Show, I'm the BOX O, and we're going to get into this Red Sox trade for Josh Beckett right now and obviously on the surface this looks like a great deal for the Red Sox right now. The fact is that there are not alot of premier pitchers out there right now that they were going to get out there, but they did get this guy right now. Here's the question now, here's what you have to ask yourself if your the Red Sox right now, here's the question: if this guy is so good, and all indications are that he is a Very good pitcher, a VERY good pitcher right now, then how come he was available for two prospects? THAT'S what you have to be asking yourself if your the Red Sox right now. If you have a 25 year old pitcher that could potentially be an ace on your team, why are you getting rid of him for prospects out there? Inotherwords, if you are Florida WHY ARE YOU MAKING THIS DEAL? That's what you have to be asking yourself right now and I think I know. First of all, you have to do this deal if you are the Red Sox. You AB-SO-LUTE-LY HAVE TO MAKE THIS DEAL if you are the Boston Red Sox right now. If I am GM, I make this deal in a minute. IN a MIN-UTE I make this deal out there. However, HOW-EVER, you have to wonder if this kid is available because of some fundamental problems in his makeup. We've heard the whispers from our mooooooolllees that this kid is a hothead, that this kid is a hothead that has a habit of losing his temper out there. He's also missed a fair share of games with blisters last year and you know that the fans in this town will not, will NOT tolerate an important piece of the puzzle missing games with blisters out there. Will NOT tolerate it. They won't. This town will NOT tolerate missing games with borderline injuries right now. They AB-SO-LUTE-LY will not tolerate it out there. So I like this deal. I like this deal ON THE SURFACE, but people are telling me that there may be more to the story than we are seeing right now and it will be VERY interesting to watch how this thing unfolds for the Boston Red Sox organization right now.

(thanks, “Box Score”)

Nick Cafardo has a look at Mike Vrabel making the move to inside linebacker and doing so in seamless fashion. His move there is a big reason for hope down the stretch for the Patriots defense. Michael Felger’s Patriots Insider has a look at Deion Branch, who has been a team guy his whole career, but is looking at a huge payday after the season, and hopes that it is with the Patriots. Michael Parente looks at the Patriots preparing to play Kansas City and their improved defense. Eric McHugh talks to 1960 Heisman Trophy winner Joe Bellino who played for Steve Belichick at Navy about the passing of the longtime assistant. Cafardo’s notebook looks at the new, balanced, Kansas City Chiefs.

Stephen Harris looks at the Bruins handling the criticism being sent their way for their dreadful start. Kevin Paul Dupont notes that slump talk is still dominating the Bruins. Tim Bresnahan says that Mike Sullivan shouldn’t be the fall guy for this club. Harris’ notebook has more on the player accepting the blame.

FSN has Celtics/Hawks at 7:00. NESN has Bruins/Maple Leafs at 7:00. ESPN has Suns/Rockets at 7:30.