Welcome to Wally and Coco

The Celtics dropped their first game of the Wally Szczerbiak era yesterday in a contest no in the Boston area was able to watch, thanks to ABC blackout restrictions. The 83-79 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks was one in which Shira Springer says that the Celtics spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to best use their new toy, Szczerbiak. Steve Bulpett also reports on the Celtics still trying to get to know their new teammate and incorporate him into the game plan. You can also get a game story from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The game was a sloppy one, and as Bulpett notes, it’s probably just as well there weren’t any TV cameras there. It did however, give WRKO broadcasters Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell an exclusive broadcast which they hope brings some return listeners.

Michael Muldoon talks to a college teammate of Szczerbiak, Anthony Taylor, who spends a lot of his time in Haverhill, and gets his thoughts on what Wally will bring to the Celtics. Tim Weisberg says that the deal can help the Celtics both now and in the future. Kevin Henkin says we shouldn’t be lamenting the loss of Ricky Davis’ defense. He lists out several players who had red hot nights against Davis. The Celtics and Timberwolves will play tonight, just a few days after making that huge trade. The Minneapolis Star Tribune and St Paul Pioneer Press are both already looking forward to the game, and the former paper has a feature on Ricky Davis. Springer’s notebook and Bulpett’s notebook each also preview tonight’s reunion between the ex-teammates.

Jerome Solomon looks at the Seahawks as they attempt to make themselves known the nation this week. John Altavilla and John Tomase each look at Seahawks fullback Mack Strong, the longest tenure member of the Seattle roster. Altavilla’s notebook has more on Seattle relying on veterans to lead the way this week.

Ron Borges has a look at former UMass head coach Mark Whipple, whose work with Ben Roethlisberger as his quarterback coach has drawn raves due to the performance of the second year QB. Michael Felger says that Patriots fans have plenty of reasons to hate the Steelers, which should be enough to make this game worth watching for them. For some reason, I thought a small saving grace to not having the Patriots in the Super Bowl this year would be not having to listen to local media people complain about the city of Detroit. I was wrong. Jim Donaldson leads off the whining…and he’s not even going.

There’s plenty more Super Bowl coverage in the New York Sports Pages and Bay Area Sports Pages.

Michael Parente looks at some of the off-season issues facing the Patriots.

Boston Sports Review published their sports media special this month, and there are some whopper quotes in there, from Globe sports editor Joe Sullivan gushing over how Dan Shaughnessy is the “bravest” columnist he’s ever seen and Larry Johnson lauding the “genius” of Glenn Ordway for keeping moronic callers on the air instead of blowing them up.

Note to Captain Courageous, when your employer starts giving away their product free to all those “unlucky” people who make less than $50,000 a year, then perhaps your premise yesterday might have some merit.

Rob Bradford talks to Johnny Damon, now that the Red Sox have acquired Coco Crisp and word has come out that they were looking at him last season as a possible replacement for Damon. Michael Silverman and Art Davidson each have articles on Crisp, with the latter talking to his former teammate, Lou Merloni. Steve Buckley says that the Red Sox should hang on to David Wells. Alex Speier looks at the 2006 Red Sox as presently constituted, and believes that they could be an upgrade over the team that was swept by the White Sox in the playoffs last October.

Steve Conroy and Nancy Marrapese-Burrell report on Andrew Raycroft making a rehab start in goal for the Providence Bruins. Mick Colageo says that Raycroft could make good bait before the trade deadline. Conroy’s notebook looks at the Bruins prepping for the 20-4-1 Ottawa Senators.

Michael Vega and Jeff Goodman report on Boston Colleges’ 66-64 win over Georgia Tech yesterday. Lenny Megliola says Bring on Duke.

FSN has Celtics/Timberwolves at 8:00. NESN has Bruins/Senators at 7:30. ESPN has Louisville/Villanova at 7:00. ESPN2 has Texas Tech/Kansas at 9:00. OLN has Flyers/Rangers at 7:00.