Celtics Interrupt Super Week

We interrupt your regularly scheduled Super Bowl week to bring you news of another big win from your Boston Celtics, who seem poised to carry on the streak of championship-level sports play from your local franchises.

Playing once again without Kevin Garnett, the Celtics got 26 points each from Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, while James Posey blanketed Dirk Nowitzki down the stretch, coming up with huge defensive stops when needed, giving the Celtics a 96-90 win over the now 31-14 Dallas Mavericks. Point guard Rajon Rondo had 14 point, and 12 rebounds for the Celtics, including a huge offensive putback in front of Nowitzki which gave the Celtics the lead for good at 92-90.

Steve Bulpett notes that the win pushed the Celtics to 13-0 against the Western Conference this season. Marc J. Spears says that the Celtics know how the West is won. Scott Souza says that this was a major statement game for the Celtics. Bill Doyle highlight’s Rondo’s game winner for the Celtics.

Peter May says that the Celtics can afford to give Garnett the time he need to get healthy right now, but they will need him back at some point. Jeff Howe says that the Celtics aren’t going to rush KG back into action. Rich Thompson has Paul Pierce getting named to the Eastern Conference All Star squad, while Ray Allen is snubbed in favor of Atlanta’s Joe Johnson. Tim Weisberg says that not making the All Start team is OK with Allen since he’s playing with a team with a chance to win a championship. Thompson has James Posey making the difference down the stretch last night for the Celtics. Lenny Megliola looks at the improbable path to the NBA for former Northeastern star Jose Juan Barea.

Spears’ notebook has more on Pierce getting the All Star nod, while remaining puzzled at Allen’s snub. Bulpett’s notebook has Rajon Rondo making the Sophomore squad at the Rookie Challenge, while Glen Davis was left off the rookie squad. Doyle’s notebook has more on Pierce’s selection to the All Star team.

We now return you to wall-to-wall Patriots Super Bowl coverage…

Patriots

First, the important stuff. Do you have your food and drink menu’s lined up for Super Bowl Sunday? If not, the crew from Patriots Daily has a number of suggestions for you from their staff favorites.

With the Patriots sitting at 18-0, David Scott lists out his 18 oh-no’s of Super Bowl coverage this week.

How predictable was this? Dan Shaughnessy says that even if the Patriots finish off a perfect 19-0 season, this is still a Red Sox town and the perfect season won’t measure up with the 2004 World Series Championship in terms of local sports events.

John Powers examines Tom Brady’s path to greatness. Robert Lee also looks at Brady’s rise to the top. Tony Massarotti looks at the “other” Brady, Kyle. Mark Farinella has Kyle Brady quietly getting the job done for the Patriots. Jennifer Toland also focuses on Kyle. Josh Egerman has Dante Scarnecchia withstanding the test of time with the Patriots.

Jackie MacMullan reminds us that Asante Samuel will be a rich man after this season, though probably not with the Patriots. I’m sure we’re all waiting for Jackie’s weekend feature article which will have some unhappy player, coach or executive taking shots at the Patriots and attempting to mute some of the joy of the weekend. Nick Tavares has Samuel focused on the Giants, not free agency. Michael Felger is glad that the Patriots and their coaches are forced to talk to the media during Super Bowl week because it makes their jobs a whole lot easier. David Brown says that Bill Belichick is not all business, all the time. Tom Puleo has a feature on former Patriot Tebucky Jones and the huge role he has in his community.

John Tomase has the Patriots buying into the high standards that Bill Belichick sets for them. With the players done talking for the week, Massarotti looks at them getting back to work. Farinella has the Patriots heading into seclusion for their final preparations. Rob Bradford looks at strength coach Mike Woicik, who is going for his seventh Super Bowl ring. Brown tabs Josh McDaniels as a rising coaching star. David Heuschkel has more on McDaniels. Shalise Manza Young has Don Davis fitting nicely into his new role with the Patriots.

Christopher L. Gasper notes how well the Patriots have taken care of the football this season. John Tomase matches up the Patriots and Giants head to head for Sunday. Mike Reiss talks to San Diego’s Antonio Cromartie about shutting down Randy Moss. Karen Guregian says that versatility is probably the Patriots biggest strength. Lee has Rodney Harrison enjoying every moment of this Super Bowl week.

Michael Vega has Adalius Thomas viewing this as his first real Super Bowl, as he was just a rookie reserve on Baltimore’s 2000 Super Bowl champion team. Ventura has more on Thomas getting a second chance at the Super Bowl. Guregian has the team looking forward to Junior Seau‘s pregame sermons. Bradford has Brady’s ankle injury being called a non-factor for the game. Lee has Richard Seymour still mending, but ready for a big game against the Giants.

Steve Buckley says that people should stop bring up the name Scott Norwood. Who is talking about Scott Norwood? Jim Donaldson has Stephen Gostkowski unfazed by the legend of Adam Vinatieri. Frank Dell’Apa has a look at punter Chris Hanson, who talks about coming to the Patriots this season. Dan Ventura has defensive line coach Pepper Johnson talking about his experience with the 1990 Giants, but also about the mindset of the Patriots. Egerman says that Johnson brings intensity to the Patriots sideline. Buckley has Ellis Hobbs getting a second shot at Plaxico Burress.

Gasper’s notebook has Jabar Gaffney hopeful that he’ll be able to go in the Super Bowl. Guregian’s notebook has Logan Mankins and Richard Seymour having their share of dustups in practice over the course of the year, but still staying friends. Egerman’s notebook says that the Patriots 2007 draft can be considered a success even if it only directly yielded one contributor. Farinella’s notebook has Mike Vrabel endorsing Andre Tippett’s Hall of Fame candidacy. The ProJo notebook has more on the Patriots draft. Heuschkel’s notebook has Randy Moss hungry for a ring.

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell talks with former Patriots great Gino Cappelletti, who has been taken along for the ride this decade up in the broadcast booth. McCabe makes his Super Bowl Pick. Farinella provides some Tales of trees, TVs and treats from the media handouts at the Super Bowl.

Giants

With Brady profiled by Powers in the Globe, Jim McCabe does the same with Eli Manning. Steve Conroy looks at the local ties on the Giants coaching staff, of which there are many. Rich Garven has Antonio Piece hoping to put an end to the Patriots dynasty. Mark Blaudschun has Zak DeOssie hoping to get a Super Bowl ring with the Giants, just like his dad. Garven has Manning crediting his receivers.

McCabe’a notebook has Plaxico Burress sitting out practice once again yesterday, but with a sore knee this time. Conroy’s notebook has more on Burress sitting out practice. Toland’s notebook has the Giants at home living out of a suitcase.