Celtics Don’t Bow To King James

The Celtics returned home last night, and returned to their dominating style of play, beating the Cleveland Cavaliers by the score of 92-87. The game wasn’t as close as the score would seem to indicate, as Boston was in charge throughout.

Marc J. Spears has the Celtics coming out with the needed energy despite just coming off a grueling West coast road trip. Mark Murphy has the Celtics able trot “Boogie Fever Gino” onto the Jumbotron for the first time in weeks last night. Jeff Howe notes that there were homecomings all around last night. Bill Doyle has the Celtics beating a LeBron-led Cavs team for the first time in…well, quite a while. Jessica Camerato had a live blog of the game last night.

Tony Massarotti notes that the Celtics will be going for a championship for the first time in a generation this spring, and they know they have things they need to tune up to get there. Jackie MacMullan writes about how LeBron James had absolutely killed the Celtics every time he had played them, and that his new supporting cast is much better than the old version of the Cavs. Bill Burt talks to ex-Celtics Delonte West and Wally Szczerbiak for their thoughts on their old team and new. Camerato also has a look at the Return of Celtic Pride to Boston. Murphy reports on the Celtics bringing in P.J. Brown to add depth to the frontcourt for the stretch run.

Spears’ notebook has more on the signing of Brown, who should lend some much needed size and defense to the Celtics frontcourt. Murphy’s notebook has Ray Allen continuing his hot shooting since the All Star break, and checks in with West and Szczerbiak. Doyle’s notebook has more on the pickup of Brown.

Red Sox

With the veterans at the White House, pitching prospect Justin Masterson was the star of the show in Red Sox camp yesterday. Amalie Benjamin has a feature on the soon-to-be 23 year-old, who appears to charm everyone he encounters and has a limitless future ahead of him. Maureen Mullen also has a piece on Masterson, and he is also featured in Rob Bradford’s notebook as he gets the start against Northeastern tonight in a split-squad game. Masterson is also the focus of Jeff Goldberg’s notebook.

Steve Buckley says that the Red Sox visit to the White House is spoiled by the steroid scandal. John E. Mulligan has more on the Red Sox trip to the White House. Massarotti says that Roger Clemens has no shame and has proven himself a phony. Nick Cafardo has Congress launching an inquiry into whether Clemens committed perjury in his testimony earlier this month. Jeff Jacobs says that Clemens can’t throw a fastball at the feds’ head as he would’ve during his playing career. Buckley has John Kerry weighing in on Clemens and the Patriots.

Rob Bradford has a look at Jason Varitek using the offseason to make his swings from each side of the plate appear like mirror images of each other. Michael Silverman has a look at prospect David Aardsma and his sister Amanda, who could each be rising stars in different fields. Rob Duca has Jonathan Papelbon happing with his role and looking forward to another World Series with the Red Sox. Silverman also has Freddy Garcia paying a visit to Red Sox camp to get checked out.

Benjamin’s notebook has Bartolo Colon looking at pitching in a game as early as March 9th, and impressing Terry Francona with his arm. Sean McAdam’s notebook has Colon ready to pitch. Duca’s notebook has Colon ready to do whatever it takes to get ready for the season.

Bruins/Patriots/Misc

Stephen Harris has Phil Kessel unfazed with all the attention his name drew at the trading deadline. Fluto Shinzawa has the Bruins preparing to face the Penguins and the player they couldn’t get at the deadline, Marian Hossa, at the Garden tonight.

Karen Guregian has Ty Law open to a return to the Patriots, and she has a number of other player updates. Christopher L. Gasper has a look at former St. John’s Prep star Jonathan Goff, who made quite an impression on scouts at the combine.

Buddy Thomas is hearing those voices again.

APSE Honors Local Writers, Papers

Yesterday I had noted the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association and Hall of Fame honorees, today we’ll mention the Associated Press Sports Editors awards for both writers and sections.

Of local interest, section winners included the Lewiston Sun Journal; the New Bedford Standard Times; the Nashua Telegraph ; the Worcester Telegram-Gazette; the New Haven Register; the Portland Press Herald; and the Boston Globe.

Writing winners included Tim O’Sullivan (Concord Monitor), Mick Colageo (New Bedford Standard Times), Chris Carlson (Berkshire Eagle), Dave D’Onofrio (Concord Monitor), David Brown (New Bedford Standard Times), Chip Malafronte (New Haven Register), Dave Solomon (New Haven Register), Shawn Courchesne (Hartford Courant), Jeff Jacobs (Hartford Courant), Dan Shaughnessy, and project teams at both the Courant and the Globe.

Bruins Stand Pat, Pats Brewin’ Changes

The Bruins failed to make a trade prior to yesterday NHL trading deadline, choosing to stand pat with the roster that they currently have. Last night, Tim Thomas and the B’s scored a 4-0 shutout over the Ottawa Senators – a team they seem to own.

Fluto Shinzawa says that Boston “dominated a thoroughly disinterested Ottawa club” at the Garden last night. Bud Barth says that the close-knit Bruins were happy that their GM believed in them, and it showed on the ice last night. Steve Conroy has the Bruins tying their longest winning streak of the season, with their fourth straight victory. Douglas Flynn has the Bruins being able to carry their momentum from their recently completed road trip over to this game.

Mick Colageo has GM Peter Chiarelli showing faith in his club by standing pat at the trading deadline, whether it pays off for him remains to be seen. Stephen Harris declares that Chiarelli showed “wisdom and courage” by standing pat and refusing to include any of his young players in a deal and choosing instead to show faith in his current roster to make it to the playoffs.

Shinzawa’s notebook has a look at Chiarelli’s failed efforts to land Marian Hossa from Atlanta. Barth’s notebook says that Chiarelli putting his future in the hands of some unproven youngsters is a risky thing for his job. Conroy’s notebook says that a little rest appears to have gone a long way for Thomas in being able to record the shutout last night. Flynn’s notebook has Chiarelli showing confidence in his team by keeping them together for the stretch run.

Red Sox

Rob Bradford has Daisuke Matsuzaka working on yet another pitch to add to his arsenal, a two-seam fastball. Jeff Goldberg says that Matsuzaka is more relaxed and comfortable this spring, and it shows. Comparing him to Drew Bledsoe, Bill Burt declares that Coco Crisp can’t handle the pressure of playing in Boston and should be traded to somewhere where they don’t care quite as much about baseball. Gordon Edes has a look at former Harvard third baseman Zak Farkes, who is trying to make the transformation to a catcher in the Red Sox minor leagues. The article begins with an account of a tradition that Jason Varitek and Doug Mirabelli have of taking all the catchers in the organization out to dinner during spring training. Sean McAdam notes that depending on whether Crisp of Jacoby Ellsbury wins the starting job, the lineup could look much different from one scenario to the other.

Rob Duca says that Bartolo Colon would do well to try and follow the example and advice of Luis Tiant, who had a great career with the Red Sox after many thought he was washed up.
 Michael Silverman has the World Champs set to visit the White House and Walter Reed Army Hospital today. Bradford has Clay Buchholz impressing the veteran hitters during batting practice yesterday. Silverman notes that with Curt Schilling out, the health of Tim Wakefield becomes a much more important thing. Joe Haggerty has more on a mechanical change for Dice-K.

Bradford’s notebook has the Sox ready to take things slow with Colon. Edes’ notebook has Colon needing to deal with some weight and conditioning issues before he is ready to pitch to batters. McAdam’s notebook has more on Colon’s arrival to camp yesterday. Duca’s notebook has the Red Sox veterans set to hit Washington today to meet with the President. Goldberg’s notebook has more on the first glimpse of Colon in Boston colors.

Celtics

Marc J. Spears reports that there has been a “snag” in the buyout of Sam Cassell – owner Donald Sterling’s wallet.

Peter May looks at what the possible addition of Cassell to the Celtics could mean for Boston’s title hopes. Steve Bulpett has the Celtics hoping to keep the momentum going from the last two games of the road trip. Mike Szostak however, says that the road trip punctured Celts’ aura of invincibility.

The BSMW Full Court Press beats Dan Shaughnessy to the punch and compares Boston to the other cities in the NBA Eastern playoff hunt.

Patriots

Mike Reiss looks at yesterday’s release of Rosevelt Colvin by the Patriots in what appears to be a salary cap related move. Karen Guregian says that concerns over Colvin’s health also contributed to his release. She has a few other Patriots personnel notes and updates. David Heuschkel also has a report on the release of Colvin.

Christopher L. Gasper and Jessica Heslam report on Kevin Faulk being cited for marijuana possession at a rap concert in Louisiana.

Sean Jensen of AOL sports reports that two NFL sources claim that Randy Moss has a multi-year deal in place to remain with the Patriots.