(Afternoon Links provided by David Vidinha. Dave can be contacted here)
The Celtics head to Indianapolis tonight to take on the struggling Indiana Pacers. The Pacers who started the season 3-0, have since lost three straight. In the meantime, the Celtics are off to their best start in twenty years, and are looking to remain the 2nd undefeated team in Boston, and the only undefeated team in the NBA.
The “P.G.A” Tour heads into Indy, having combined to average 68.8 of the 107.6 points. They’ve also helped the Celtics post a league-leading 52.4 field-goal percentage. They are not just helping on the offensive side of the ball either, they have also improved things on the defensive end where they are allowing 91.0 points per game, a great improvement over the 99.2 given up last season. The same Celtics who allowed nearly 100 points per game also lost three in a row and five of six from the Pacers last year. But let’s face it, last year was last year, frankly it’s irrelevant.
Tipoff at Conseco Fieldhouse is at 7:00PM, with local coverage on Comcast Sports Net.
Mike Kahn over at Fox Sports says “We knew the Celtics were going to be good, but impressive is an understatement”
Despite their untarnished record, the C’s were not #1 in ESPN’s NBA Power Rankings.
Former Celtics coach Jim O’Brien will be on the bench tonight when the C’s head to Indy. This time O’Brien will be coaching the Pacers. Mark Spears catches up with O’Brien to see what the coach has been up to since leaving the Sixers.
For a look at how the Celtics look in the Indianapolis papers, here’s the preview of the game from the Indianapolis Star.
From the Monday Must-Read Files….
Michael Silver paints a picture of a fragmented locker room in San Diego. After reading this column I believe Tom Jackson was heard saying “they hate their coach”.
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, or as Bill Polian refers to him “biased blogger with an agenda” says that the Packers are taking a page right out of the Patriots playbook with their trouncing of the Vikings on Sunday. Mike also looks at the possibility of Brady Quinn’s holdout ensuring he will be an affordable backup.
Peter King has Ben Roethlisberger channeling John Elway in Sunday’s comeback victory over the Browns. Also, a new team from the AFC East makes it into the “Fine Fifteen”.
Around the Web
Over at Patriots Daily, Christopher Price has “5 Things to Look for on Sunday” when the Pats head up to Buffalo.
John Tomase writing in the Herald’s Point After blog has some insane statistics posted by the Patriots this season.
Ken Rosenthal makes the case that Jorge Posada has the opportunity to become one of the great three Hall of Fame catchers in Yankees’ history, putting Jorge in the company of Dickey and Berra.
Fire Joe Morgan takes Nick Cafardo to task over his Mitchell Report comments from this morning.
Sal Paolantonio tells us that the ’72 Dolphins were not as good as everyone believes they were.
Football Outsiders Aaron Schatz looks at how bad Peyton Manning’s performance was on Sunday. He also ranks some of Peyton’s worst career performances.
Despite SIX interceptions, Dr. Z tells us that Peyton showed us toughness on Sunday. The one thing that caught my attention in this column was the following quote….
“They (Colts) fell behind, 23-0. I thought the result would be like one of those New England Patriot adding machine things, except that Norv Turner doesn’t run up scores.”
That is just mind-boggling, Turner doesn’t run up scores? Maybe he should have, because if it wasn’t for Tony Dungy’s muffled clock management and Adam Vinatieri missing a 29-yard field goal, they would have blown a 23-point lead. As Michael Silver wrote in his “Morning Rush” the dissent amongst the San Diego players with Turner’s playcalling is loud and clear, so to throw that quote out there is just asinine. At the beginning of the season Jerry Rice described what type of coach Turner was in Oakland.
Speaking of Vinatieri’s game-winning miss, Awful Announcing has a major gaffe by Colts radio play-by-play man Bob Lamey, it’s just absolute high comedy.
Mike Reiss looks at all things Patriots in his weekly mailbag.
Keith Law of Scouts, Inc. breaks down the 50 Top Free-Agents.
Tom Curran has a look at what the Colts need to do to get back on track.
Tonight on TV
With the Bruins off until Thursday, the Celtics own the Boston sports spotlight tonight. For the college football fans, there’s a Mid-American clash between Toledo and Ball State on ESPN2 beginning at 7:30PM.