The Celtics will raise banner # 17 to the Garden rafters tonight as they tap off the new season against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Mark Murphy looks at the challenges that a title defense will provide for the Celtics. Frank Dell’Apa has the Celtics ready to take on the challenge of defending their championship, starting tonight. Tim Weisberg looks at how things will change for the Celtics this season with a championship under their belt. Paul Doyle has the Celtics eying their place in NBA history. Bill Doyle notes that the greatest Celtic of all will be missing from tonight’s ceremony. Robert Lee has the Celtics confident that they have what it takes to repeat.
Bob Ryan looks at the new NBA season, which kicks off in glorious fashion tonight at the Garden. Steve Bulpett says that the party will be over at tipoff tonight with LeBron in town. Gerry Callahan says that the Celtics are the true definition of a team. Very good column from Callahan. Bill Reynolds insists that the big three of these Celtics need to win another title in order to truly be great Celtics. Scott Souza has the Celtics ready to get things started.
Marc J. Spears says that it is more about the feeling of winning and being champions than getting the actual rings themselves. Jeff Howe has the Celtics excited to ring in the new season. Bulpett looks at the top threats to the Celtics in the East. Paul Flannery says that the Celtics are still the class of the East.
Bulpett has expectations growing this season for Rajon Rondo in his third year in the league. Dan Duggan looks at the young guys Danny Ainge added to the bench in the offseason. Weisberg also has a look at how Ainge spent the summer rebuilding the bench. Murphy has a look at the chemistry that Kendrick Perkins and Kevin Garnett have in the paint for the Celtics.
So what are the odds that Wyc Grousbeck says or does something embarrassing tonight in his exuberance? Bulpett has the Celtics three big stars looking to be even better this season. Murphy looks at Tom Thibodeau‘s role as secretary of defense. Ron Borges says that Doc Rivers has always been a winner, even when his “internet critics” said otherwise.
Dell’Apa’s notebook has a look at the detail that goes into making the championship banners. Bulpett’s notebook has Pierce thinking Red tonight. Lee’s notebook has Sam Cassell reflecting on his third championship ring.
It’s report card day for the Patriots. Michael Felger has praise for the defense and generally high marks all around. Ron Borges isn’t quite so generous with his grades, but the marks are still passing. Ian Clark has a big “A” for Matt Cassel.
John Tomase has Adalius Thomas getting more into the mix for the Patriots defense, right at the perfect time. Christopher L. Gasper notes that the depleted defensive secondary has a tough task on tap this week against the Colts. David Brown says that the Patriots defense bent on Sunday, but held when needed. Christopher Price has Bill Belichick talking about Matt Cassel’s improvement. Glen Farley says that the Patriots depth has been a key to their success this season. An article with no byline in the Telegram & Gazette says that the Patriots have a blueprint to success that they’ve been working from for nine years. Shalise Manza Young says that the Patriots proved that a penalty free game can have an impact on the outcome. Daniel Barbarisi says that coaching played a huge role in the win over the Rams.
In a somewhat – strange – column, Shira Springer says that short athletes like Wes Welker are an inspiration.
Tomase’s notebook has victories, not style points important to the Patriots. He also has Mike Vrabel preparing to school the younger Patriots in the ways of Peyton Manning. Gasper’s notebook says that success in the Red Zone – on both ends – was the key to the Patriots win on Sunday. The Projo notebook has Belichick praising the onsides kick by the Rams.
The Bruins picked up an overtime win in Edmonton last night, 1-0 over the Oilers. Get the details at BruinsLinks.com.