Celtics Work Overtime in Opening Win

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After battling the Knicks in a tight game all night long, the Celtics took control in overtime and cruised to a 114-100 opening night win over their longtime division rivals. Shira Springer notes that the scoring burst in overtime came as a pleasant surprise as the Celtics had squandered a few chances to win the game in regulation. Steve Bulpett says that the Celtics were able to repent from earlier mistakes and make good in OT for the win. Shalise Manza Young reports on the Celtics spoiling the head coaching debut of Larry Brown with the Knicks. Jerry Trecker says that the Celtics were able to sent Red Auerbach home happy after the Celtics patriarch had made the trip up with his doctors for the game. Tim Weisberg says that for one night at least, the Celtics mattered. The BSMW Full Court Press also weighs in with thoughts on the opener.

It was fantastic to see Red at the game and to hear him on the radio in the afternoon. Peter May gets Red’s thoughts on a number of topics, including Phil Jackson, the youth of the Celtics and his own health. Mark Murphy also reports on Red, who has supposedly final had to give up his cigar habit. Delonte West was all over the place last night, coming one assist and one rebound shy of a triple double on opening night. Lenny Megliola has a look at West filling up the stat sheet for the Celtics. Mark Murphy says that West enjoys when people are negative about his abilities, and showed a lot going up against Stephon Marbury. The Celtics also enjoyed a nice night from their starting center. May notes that the Mark Blount of two seasons ago has reemerged for the green here so far in training camp and opening night. Bulpett also looks at Blount paying off last night, with some huge clutch hoops.

Yesterday, Mike Fine threw some cold water on those who hold out playoff hopes for this team. He said those who think the Celtics can win the division are “nuts” and that the playoffs are wishful thinking. Springer’s notebook has Delonte West doing his homework in preparation for facing Marbury last night. Bulpett’s notebook reports on Doc Rivers using his bench early and often last night, as 11 out 12 players saw action in the first half. Young’s notebook has more thoughts from Red on Doc Rivers and this young Celtics squad.

Get the views and stories from New York on the game and Larry Brown’s debut with the Knicks over at the BSMW New York Sports News page.

Yesterday, WEEI was forced by commitments to talk at lot of Celtics, despite the chaos of the Theo Epstein situation going on. They had some good guests, Robert Parish, Red Auerbach, Danny Ainge, Steve Pagliuca and Wyc Grousbeck all made appearances on the show, the guests were good, some of the Big Show crew needs to get reacquainted with basketball. Pete Sheppard asked Parish what improvements Tony Battie can make to his game, while Larry Johnson inquired of Ainge “Have you mind up your mind about Marcus Banks yet? Some say you aren’t going to pick up his option…” Of course, Battie has been gone from the club for almost two years (they tried to make it that Sheppard really meant Blount) and it was announced earlier this week and weekend that the Celtics had declined the option on Banks. Some might say these are minor details, but those guys have no problems going after a guy like Bill Griffith for making a minor oversight, so they should naturally be perfect themselves.

Yes, yes, on to the Theo stuff. Are we burned out from Wall to Wall Theo yet? Actually it’s been Wall to Wall Red Sox really since the beginning of the 2003 season, with scarcely a day off from some major rumor, event or scandal. Yesterday Epstein met with the media, and then John Henry met with the media. Not much was said on either side. Larry Lucchino was not there. Bob Ryan looks at the last words of Theo, and says we still don’t know why he is leaving. I’m glad Ryan did this story for the Globe, although they probably only used him because Shaughnessy was too busy making an appearance on every single media outlet that would have him, trying to repair his image. Michael Silverman says that no matter how much Epstein and Henry try to say that this wasn’t Lucchino’s fault, the fact that he wasn’t there yesterday speaks volumes. Art Martone tries to make sense of Theo’s explanations, and Lenny Megliola notes that while we got no blame yesterday, we got no answers, either. Alex Speier says that the press conference was certainly more notable for what was not said. Bill Reynolds agrees that it is easy to play connect the dots by who was there and who wasn’t there. David Borges also examines the press conference yesterday. Fred Hurlbrink Jr. says no answers wee needed from Theo, we could see it all for ourselves right there.

Chris Snow says that there was a whole trail of missteps during ownerships relationship and negotiations with their young General Manager, and it led to this outcome. Tony Massarotti says that the whole issue obviously comes down to trust. Theo didn’t trust Lucchino and was proven right about that. He says it’s time for everyone involved to just move on now. David Heuschkel and John Tomase look at John Henry falling on his sword for Lucchino, saying that all the blame should go to him. While that is a noble sentiment, I absolutely cannot buy it. As the principal owner, yeah, the buck stops with him. But his relationship, respect and admiration for Theo seem to be genuine. So it was clearly something else. Could he not stand up Lucchino? Obviously I don’t know John Henry. Making observations at a press conference is certainly not a safe indication of someone’s character and personality. But I have a hard time imagining the man behind that microphone yesterday getting in Larry Lucchino’s face and telling him how things are going to be run. We didn’t get any answers yesterday. Martone also looks at John Henry taking the blame, as does Borges, who calls the departure a crushing blow for him personally as well as the team. Sean McAdam says that yesterday took us back to the not-so-good old days for the Boston Red Sox. Gordon Edes says that Theo now has a world of opportunity before him.

Joan Vennochi says that the departure of Theo could take some of the fastball off of the Red Sox real estate development plans. Lucchino is the point man on those issues with the city and state, and the thinking could be among officials that if Epstein couldn’t trust and work with Lucchino, why should they? Margery Eagan (subscription only) in the Herald also has a column on Theo, noting that the Golden boy chose the more difficult path in this decision. I don’t know who Anthony Iarrobino is, but he gets a blurb in the Herald too. Jon Couture says that Theo sees the big picture in life and thus is able to move on. Garry Brown looks at Theo saying goodbye. Silverman says that it is now time for the GM Derby to begin. Kevin Gray looks at the deep NH roots in the Red Sox front office, and whether any of them might be up for promotion this winter. Snow’s notebook looks at Mike Timlin signing on for next season, and has Josh Byrnes shooting down the Manny rumor (as reported by Heuschkel). Silverman also has a brief bit on Timlin returning.

There is a little football game going on in Foxboro next Monday night. Some team called the Colts is coming to town. Jerome Solomon and Michael Felger each trot out the Tom Brady/ Peyton Manning and Joe Montana/Dan Marino comparisons. Tom E Curran says that now is the time for the Colts to beat the Patriots – if they’re ever going to do so. Still reveling in his White Sox winning the World Series, Colts fan Buddy Thomas tries a little reverse psychology and says there is no way the Colts can beat Tom Brady and the Patriots. Albert Breer looks at the job that Tony Dungy has done in revamping his defense into a unit that is statistically one of the best in the game. Karen Guregian looks at rookie tackle Nick Kaczur and the stiff test he’ll face Monday night in going against Dwight Freeney.

Alan Greenberg and Michael Parente each look at Corey Dillon, who has been dealing with injuries and of course age this season, but says he is getting better. Guregian also has a piece on old man Dillon, and the picture with it just cracks me up for some reason. Dan Pires and Christopher Price each look at Chad Brown, who has taken his Sunday night benching in stride and is just looking to help the club however he can. Michael Felger talks to Patrick Pass about dropping the ball on Sunday night after hurting his hamstring. Pass says the pain was worse than anything he’s ever felt on a football field.

Eric Benevides says that the Patriots streak against the Colts will come to an end on Monday night. Greenberg and Guregian each also have very brief reports on Tedy Bruschi being named AFC Defensive player of the week for last week.

Solomon’s notebook has more on Chad Brown’s feelings about sitting out against Buffalo. (The headline writers strike again, as the headline makes it looks like there’s a controversy going on, when the other articles, as well as Solomon’s clear show there isn’t. ) Curran’s notebook says Brown was just the victim of a numbers game. Guregian’s notebook also has Brown not making waves.

Check out the Indy Star for Colts coverage leading up to the game.

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell reports that Brian Leetch will miss at least a month with a knee injury. Stephen Harris and Joe McDonald also report on the injury to the Bruins defenseman. Burrell’s notebook has an update on Andrew Raycroft, while Harris’ notebook updates us on Raycroft and Alex Zhamnov.

Eddie Andelman will have his farewell show on WWZN from 12-3 today. If you missed it yesterday, John Molori had some words from Eddie before the show, and he comes out swinging. Edit: It appears the show will be starting at 2:00.

NESN has Bruins/Panthers at 7:00. TNT has Pacers/Heat at 8:00 and Suns/Lakers at 10:30. ESPN has Pittsburgh/Louisville at 7:30