Baby Tantrum Could Cost Celtics

The Celtics tip off the NBA regular season tonight with a game in Cleveland against the Cavaliers. The Celtics will be without reserve forward Glen “Big Baby” Davis, who broke his thumb following an “altercation” with a former teammate who was up visiting him. Steve Bulpett was on the story yesterday, and he says it appears Davis was defending himself. It is not known how long Davis will be out, it will depend on whether he needs surgery or not. Frank Dell’Apa has the Celtics tight-lipped about the incident until they get all the facts. The injury is a big blow to the Celtics frontcourt depth.

Dell’Apa has a feature on Danny Ainge this morning, looking at how the former Celtics guard has turned the franchise back into a contender, and how he and Doc Rivers manage to work so well together. Bulpett says that Ainge faces an age-old challenge this season in trying to contend for a title with an aging team. Tim Weisberg says that the Celtics come into this season with a blank slate of expectations. Jessica Camerato has the Celtics set to start out on another title quest. Mike Fine says that if everyone stays healthy (which they haven’t already, see Davis, Glen), this team will win the NBA title.

Robert Lee says that the Celtics believe they are the best this season, and just need to go out and prove it. Lenny Megliola has Paul Pierce savoring the moment with this Celtics team. Bulpett has Doc Rivers looking to be firm in how many minutes he allows his veterans to play this season.  Mark Murphy has Kevin Garnett looking to come back and shine this season for the Celtics.

Julian Benbow has the Celtics excited about the versatility their new hybrid, Marquis Daniels can bring to the club. Weisberg has the Celtics hoping Daniels is a ‘Marquis’ attraction off the bench. Murphy says that Daniels and the rest of the improved bench should make a big difference for the Celtics this season. Lee takes a look at the Celtics’ roster with the starters and key reserves. Scott Souza says that with Davis out, Sheldon Williams will get more time.

Murphy says that when it comes to defense, Kendrick Perkins and the Celtics want to be the best ever this season. Fine has the Celtics eager to get the season started tonight in Cleveland. Chris Forsberg says that the Celtics don’t see age as an obstacle to their success.

Gary Washburn has the Cavaliers full of respect for the Celtics. Bulpett has the Celtics looking at tonight’s game like the first date – setting the foundation for what potentially could be. Paul Flannery has 25 questions about the 2009-10 NBA season. Fine has a number of lists of five about this season.

Dell’Apa’s notebook has the Celtics looking for their first win in Cleveland in five years. Fenton’s notebook has more on Davis’ thumb.

Patriots

Jeremy Gottlieb and Ron Borges have the report cards, the lowest grade is a “D” for the Patriots special teams from Borges.

Jonathan Comey fires back at Patriots critics such as Borges, who focus on the isolated personnel failures of Bill Belichick rather than the overall success.

Albert R. Breer says that despite outscoring their last two opponents 94-7, there is still plenty to be concerned about on this Patriots team. Karen Guregian has the Patriots taking a bye week before heading out on the toughest five-game stretch of their schedule. Rich Garven says that the Patriots will be using the bye week to get better.

Ian R. Rapoport has the Patriots offense stepping up and answering the call in the last two weeks. Glen Farley has more on the upcoming schedule for the Patriots. Christopher Price says that we’ll know alot more about this team after the next five games.

Rapoport’s notebook has rookie Pat Chung seeing early action on defense Sunday. Breer’s notebook has the Patriots enjoying their time together on this trip. Farley’s notebook has Sam Aiken stepping up big on Sunday.

Red Sox Anniversary

Do you remember anything about five years ago tonight?

Bob Hohler says that overcoming media pressure (mostly from Jonny Miller and Dan Shuaghnessy) was a big part of what the Red Sox were able to accomplish. Jon Couture says that five years later, the impact of that night is still felt.