Banner Night On Tap For C’s

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.

Patriots.

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.

“Celtics Stuff Live” Joins CSN

Proving once again that BSMW is a stepping stone to media greatness, former BSMW Full Court Press lead writer Jon Duke and his partners on the popular internet radio show “Celtics Stuff Live” have moved their show to Comcast SportsNet.

From the CSN announcement:

The “Celtics Stuff Live” guys will now bring their Sunday night podcasts, postgame podcaps, and written commentary to the “Wicked Good Sports” blog section on Comcast SportsNet.com. Jughead and The Duke will also be frequent guests during our “Live Game Chats”, which will return for every Celtics game this season.They will continue to bring you the same unique fan perspective they have always brought to their shows, and the same great guests every Sunday night.

This comes on the heels of the announcement that CelticsBlog.com Is Joining SBNation

Congrats to Jon and the guys!

Pats Ram St Louis

The Patriots improved to 5-2 and moved into a first place tie in the AFC East yesterday with a 23-16 win over a surprisingly plucky St. Louis Rams team, who have shown great improvement since Jim Haslett took over as interim head coach three weeks ago.

On Patriots Daily, Chris Warner has a look back at yesterday’s win, and looks at candidates to provide some unexpected help for the Patriots later this season.

Chris Price has his 10 Things We Learned Yesterday column.

Karen Guregian has the Patriots answering to adversity with this win. Christopher Price has Matt Cassel engineering his first fourth quarter comeback. Mark Farinella says that we should accept that the days of the 40 point wins are over (last week’s 34 point win wasn’t good enough?) and that the games are going to look a lot more like yesterday this season. Christopher L. Gasper has the Patriots back in their rightful place atop the AFC East. David Brown has New England’s resiliency – combined with its weak schedule – keeping them afloat in the AFC playoff picture. Eric McHugh has the Patriots with some bad moments, but still coming away with a win. Shalise Manza Young has the battered but unbowed Patriots moving back into first place. Chris Kennedy says that there was plenty of good and bad for the Patriots yesterday. Andy Vogt has the Patriots silencing the Rams at Gillette. Matthew Roy says that the Patriots were good when it counted yesterday.

Bob Ryan has Matt Cassel making improvements in his game week-by-week, and turning in a pretty decent performance yesterday. Michael Felger says that this Cassel kid might be OK after all. Brian MacPherson says that yesterday was a step forward for Cassel in his development as an NFL QB. Hector Longo demands to know why the Patriots were so “giddy” with Matt Cassel’s performance yesterday against the “bottom feeding” Rams. Price has Cassel showing signs of promise in the win yesterday. John Tomase says that Cassel just keeps on improving and impressing. Brown has Cassel having to go out and win a game for the first time yesterday. Jim Donaldson says that Cassel graduated from game manager to game winner yesterday.

Mike Reiss has Mr Clutch once again stepping forward for the Patriots yesterday. Farinella has Kevin Faulk riding to the rescue yesterday for the Patriots. Bill Burt has a look at how valuable Faulk is to the Patriots, and how a lot teams wish they had this versatile performer. Dan Ventura has Faulk once again picking up the slack for the Patriots on offense. Tim Weisberg has the versatility of Faulk shining for the Patriots again. Glen Farley has Faulk turning it on for the Patriots when in counted. Robert Lee has Mr Dependable coming through again. Jennifer Toland says Faulk is always putting the team first.

Farinella has the Patriots’ defense hanging in there despite all the injuries. Adam Kilgore has the Patriots calling all hands on deck in the secondary after a rash of injuries yesterday. Chris Forsberg has the front seven, led by Adalius Thomas and Richard Seymour helping out the secondary by finally getting some pressure on the QB. Tomase has the Patriots defense answering the call yesterday when a play was needed. Daniel Barbarisi has the secondary tightening in the end when needed. Young has the Patriots’ pass rush a key to the win. Farley has the defense scrambling to put bodies on the field yesterday. Kennedy says that Belichick was a secondary mover and shaker during the game.

Ron Borges seems impressed with the Patriots ability to hang on until the end in this one. Steve Buckley has the Patriots feeding off their rallying cry that no one gave them a chance after Tom Brady went down. Farinella has the Patriots feeling pretty good about themselves and their 5-3 record to this point. Lee has Wes Welker proving the doubters wrong once again. Toland has Randy Moss coming up big on the winning drive.

Peter Gobis has the Rams looking good, but not quite good enough. Michael Vega agrees that the Rams were tough, but just didn’t have enough in the end.

Borges goes through the best and the worst from yesterday. Lee also offers up some postgame analysis from both sides of the ball. McHugh figures out who was hot and who was not yesterday. Mike Petraglia wraps things up from Gillette with soundbites from the locker room.

Gobis’ notebook has Wes Welker still Cassel’s go-to guy yesterday. Gasper’s notebook has the Patriots turning in the first penalty-free performance in franchise history. Guregian’s notebook has the shelves empty at cornerback by the end of the game. Weisberg’s notebook has the depleted secondary making a big play when it counted. McHugh’s notebook says Cassel had game when it counted.

Probably the best thing about FOX doing the games yesterday was that there was not a single reference to the CBS Scene at Patriots place…