Celtics Stumble on First Stop

The BSMW Full Court Press has a rebuttal this morning to a Sunday Op-Ed piece in the Boston Globe, which decried the Celtics Dancers, using the word “porn” four times to describe them, and has the author generally behaving like a moral bully.

The Celtics themselves dropped their first game against a Western conference opponent last night, falling to the Denver Nuggets 124-118. You won’t find an NBA game with more head-scratching calls from the officials than this one. On both sides. Each team was awarded a basket on goaltending call in which the ball was no where near going in the hoop. Denver went to the line 49 times last night.

Marc J. Spears has Denver spoiling the return of Kevin Garnett, who looked pretty rusty all night, and rather tentative out there at times. Steve Bulpett says that it is a good thing Tom Heinsohn wasn’t out there for the game, his head might’ve exploded at the free throw discrepancy.

Bulpett has Danny Ainge looking around, but in no rush to make a deal before tomorrow’s trade deadline. Jeff Howe has Rajon Rondo becoming an indispensable piece for the Celtics. Spears’ notebook has Marcus Camby keeping up with his UMass Minuteman. Bulpett’s notebook has Garnett trying to get his legs under him last night.

Bruins

Stephen Harris and Fluto Shinzawa have the Bruins blowing a two goal lead in 20 seconds with just about a minute to play last night against the Hurricanes, but managing to get the win in the shootout.

Harris’ notebook has a look at the Bruins “3 Score Line” made up of youngsters Milan Lucic (19 years old), center David Krejci (21) and Phil Kessel (20). Shinzawa’s notebook has Aaron Ward hoping to remain a Bruin beyond the trading deadline.

Red Sox

Jacoby Ellsbury arrived in camp yesterday and immediately became the focus of attention because of his impending competition with Coco Crisp for the starting centerfield position with the Red Sox. Steve Buckley however, says that the competition with Crisp is just a mere formality – the job belongs to Ellsbury. He draws comparisons to Nomar Garciaparra competing with John Valentin for the shortstop job. Jeff Goldberg says Ellsbury has a much better idea of what to expect in this, his second spring training with the Red Sox. Amalie Benjamin also makes the Ellsbury/Garciaparra connection in his battle for a starting position. Buckley also has Ellsbury taking his mind off the position battle this offseason by increasing his workouts.

Sean McAdam says that the Red Sox are in no hurry to make a decision on Manny Ramirez’s contract options. Bob Ryan looks at Gold Glove winner Kevin Youkilis at first base and how he has worked hard to get to this point defensively. Rob Bradford has J.D. Drew taking up bowling in the offseason to try and keep his back strong. Joe Haggerty has John Farrell confident that Josh Beckett will be even better this season. Bradford has Mike Lowell talking about the resignation of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.

The Nick Cafardo steroid redemption tour continues this morning with a piece on Astros shortstop Miguel Tejada.

Edes’ notebook has David Ortiz arriving in camp yesterday as well. McAdam’s notebook has more on the Ellsbury/Crisp centerfield battle. Goldberg’s notebook has more on Ortiz and the health of his knee. Bradford’s notebook has some quotes from Hank Steinbrenner in the latest edition of GQ.

(The full Steinbrenner interview – The Godfather, Part II)

Patriots

Mark Farinella looks at the Patriots going on a PR Offensive against former assistant Matt Walsh.

Karen Guregian and Christopher L. Gasper report on Ellis Hobbs undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum, and also battling through a groin injury in the later stages of the season.

The Projo has posted an article re-printed from Arlen Specter’s hometown of Philadelphia, entitled ‘Cheating’ has been a time-honored tradition in NFL.