Five Nights, Four Cities, Four Wins

(This morning’s links are provided by guest blogger Bob Ekstrom. He can be reached at [email protected])

The Celtics’ front office could not have been smiling much last summer when the schedulemakers slotted them for a grueling four-game road trip out west during Christmas week. Yet, their impressive 110-91 victory over a hot Lakers squad last night capped a 4-0 road trip that has become the crowning validation of Danny Ainge’s rebuilding program. Yes, folks. If you didn’t believe it before, the C’s are back.

Coverage so far this morning is thin, with most outlets on AP AutoPilot. However, the Herald and Globe each had their beat writers out west. Mark Murphy starts us off with his account of a nice effort last night, capped by Paul Pierce getting it done on both sides of the court during the third quarter, and the Lakers’ mercifully changing out of their ridiculous shorts at halftime. Marc J. Spears has Phil Jackson needing to wait until the C’s leave town before passing Red Auerbach on the career coaching victories list.

Both Spears’ Celtics Notebook and Murphy’s Celtics Notebook get us updated on Rajon Rondo’s injury Saturday night that caused him to sit out against the Lakers. Over on Full Court Press, Kevin Henkin suggests some New Year’s resolutions for The Green.

Your 16-0 Patriots

It’s a day of reflection around the Boston media in the aftermath of the Patriots’ historic regular season.

Over on Patriots Daily, there is a sampling of reaction from network analysts on the Patriots finishing off a perfect 16-0 regular season with the Saturday night win over the Giants.

In the papers, we’ll start things off with Micheal Felger’s weekly report card. ‘Unflappable’ is Christopher L. Gaspar’s take on the perfect season. Karen Guregian uses the same description in one of her pieces this morning, while John Tomase says it’s all about talent. In Guregian’s Patriots Notebook, Karen scolds the Pats for some breakdowns in composure Saturday evening.

Mike Reiss found delight in the unpredictable courses of the Pats’ regular season. Now that they’ve fulfilled an early season prophesy, Douglas Flynn says there’s no relaxation in Foxborough after the Patriots posted the first undefeated regular season since the 16-game schedule. Jackie MacMullan has more on the Patriots’ unfinished act. Yet, Tony Massarotti has Coach Belichick still taking time to smell the roses. Rich Garvin offers up a little credit to Giants’ head coach, Tom Coughlin. Lenny Megliola reflects on how the planets aligned to make Saturday evening’s victory an ending to remember.

Jim Rome calls it self-glossing. Michael Holley blows that little bicycle horn, while The Big O blares that 18-wheeler horn. Nevertheless, Chris Price and the Boston Metro ran my three-part series on the Giants’ influences in New England last week. Catch the final act, where I give you Zak DeOssie’s account of his first year in the NFL.

Sorry to be so brief this morning, but I’ve been on my sickbed all week. I won’t have any updates for you this afternoon, either, but I do have a sincere wish for the very best New Year for our beloved Boston sports teams and each of you who’ve made this past year so incredible at BSMW.