Celtics Clamp Down on Duncan, Spurs

There are still things to finish up here, such as finding a place for all the links that used to fill the left sidebar, (and they will be on the site somewhere) and tweaking some appearance options, (If you have suggestions for the font in the posts let me know) but the BSMW site redesign and move is just about done.

The Celtics made a statement on national TV yesterday, defeating Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs at the T.D. Banknorth Garden – something that Boston hasn’t been able to do since Duncan came into the league. Marc J. Spears calls this one the most impressive victory of the season for the Celtics. Steve Bulpett says that the Celtics once again showed their ability to play through adversity, playing without both Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins yesterday. Scott Souza has this one as another statement game for the Celtics, with their defense leaving a mark on the Spurs. Bill Doyle says that the Celtics proved once again that the NBA’s best team is in the East. Tim Weisberg says that this one proves that the Celtics are championship material. Jeff Howe has the Celtics getting the job done without Garnett once again.

Peter May says that the Spurs must’ve felt like they were playing against themselves at times yesterday. Jeff Horrigan examines the defense that the Celtics coaching staff cooked up to slow down Tim Duncan. Lenny Megliola says that the Celtics certainly showed resiliency yesterday, but Celtics fans shouldn’t get ahead of themselves and picture yesterday as a preview of the 2008 NBA Finals. Horrigan has Rajon Rondo earning praise from the Spurs, while playing very much like their own Tony Parker. Kevin Gray’ has NH’s Matt Bonner not getting a chance to play in this one for the Spurs. Mike Fine has a look at NBA referee Bob Delaney’s former life as an undercover officer infiltrating the mob.

While it was great to have the Celtics on national television yesterday, ABC’s play-by-play man Mike Breen referred to Brian Scalabrine at least three times as a “fan favorite” here in Boston. If anything, Scalabrine has been a fan whipping boy during this time here with the Celtics, and certainly ranks lower than many of his teammates on the popularity scale in the Garden. Jeff Van Gundy was also highly critical of Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, who then went out and piled up 11 rebounds and 12 assists on the afternoon, which apparently didn’t convince the former Knicks and Rockets coach, as he stated toward the end of the game that the Celtics still needed a veteran starting point guard in order to go deep in the playoffs. Van Gundy had praise for Doc Rivers, however, tabbing him as one of the best in the league coming out of timeouts with a specific play to run.

Spears’ notebook and Bulpett’s notebook each lead with the news that Kevin Garnett is officially out of next weekend’s All Star game, and has been replaced on that roster with Rasheed Wallace. They also both report on Perkins’ strained left shoulder. Doyle’s notebook has Garnett likely sitting out until after the All Star game for the Celtics. Weisberg’s notebook has more on Garnett, and also on rookie Glen Davis, who was huge in his defense of Duncan yesterday.

Red Sox

Gordon Edes reports this morning that Curt Schilling’s contract for 2008 with the Red Sox is not insured by the club, meaning they are on the hook for the full amount should Schilling only pitch briefly during the season, or even if he retires. Tony Massarotti strings together the preseason favorite – nine questions facing the Red Sox going into Spring Training. Rob Bradford has Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Okajima taking the field yesterday as two of the earliest arrivals among the Red Sox.

Amalie Benjamin has Kevin Youkilis getting a nice raise for 2008, getting a bump to $3 million, up from the $424,500 he earned last season. Bradford has more on Youkilis and the Sox avoiding a salary arbitration hearing with the agreement. Bob Halloran says that Roger Clemens should make this an interesting week.

Bruins/Misc

Kevin Paul Dupont has Manny Fernandez making strides towards a return in net for the Bruins this season. Stephen Harris says that the Bruins are better off holding onto their young players and not making a rash trade before the deadline to try and get a quick fix this season. Mick Colageo says that we shouldn’t count the Bruins in for more than a minor deal prior to the deadline.

Pat Bigold has the Patriots Pro-Bowlers getting a rough welcome in Hawaii yesterday. Karen Guregian has the signs pointing towards a return for Rodney Harrison to the Patriots in 2008.

The Beanpot Final is tonight with Boston College taking on Harvard. Jim McCabe has a look at BC’s Benn Ferriero, while John Connolly has a look at his teammate, Anthony Aiello. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell has Harvard looking for the upset, and Connolly has both the Crimson and Eagles seeking their shot at Beanpot glory. Marrapese-Burrell’s notebook has Harvard goalie Kyle Richter as the possible X-factor tonight.

The Globe “Names” column has Carol Beggy and Mark Shanahan reporting on Manny Ramirez offering one of his classic cars up for auction to benefit the Franciscan Hospital for Children, and also has Bob Cousy excited at a new sneaker deal and offering his thoughts on the current Celtics.

David Scott has a Tina Cervasio sighting and a few other notes on the new-look (and new address) Scott’s Shots.

  • Rafael

    Celtics are a very motivated group of players. They havent been able to reach such high stakes in a long 22 years, I believe that there deprivetion from championship tittle is going to influence extra hunger and drive to suceed. Boston has been waiting for this day for a long time, today is when we find out if they are champs or shumps….LETS GO BOSTON….