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.

Celtics Prepping for Opener in Cleveland

The Celtics start their regular season with a nationally televised game in Cleveland tomorrow night against LeBron James, Shaq, and the rest of the Cavaliers.

 Paul Flannery wonders if this is the end of the line for the big three. Bill Doyle says that this might be the last hurrah for the 30-something Celtics. Dan Duggan has one of those 30-somethings, Ray Allen, saying that he is in the best shape of his life coming into the season.

Bill Doyle has Bob Cousy saying that Rajon Rondo is the most important piece of the puzzle for the Celtics. Julian Benbow has rookie point guard Lester Hudson hoping that he can contribute to the Celtics’ title hopes. Jim Fenton has Eddie House finding a home with the Celtics.

Steve Bulpett has a look at Rasheed Wallace, who he says is a perfect fit for the Celtics. Bill Simmons though, is not a fan of the signing, and is not looking forward to watching Wallace and all he brings each night.

Gary Washburn has the Cavs looking to come together as a team this season. Duggan gives us a Celtics Scouting report.

Murphy’ notebook has Ray Allen back at practice after getting stitches following and errant Kendrick Perkins elbow. Chris Forsberg reports that the Celtics have decided to do away with the morning shootarounds on game days.

Misc

Fluto Shinzawa has Blake Wheeler much more upbeat after his role in the Bruins win over the Senators on Saturday night. Stephen Harris has the Bruins grinding out some good results.

Michael Arace and Kyle McCarthy have the Revolution clinching a playoff berth with their 1-0 win in Columbus last night.

Mark Blaudschun says that BC’s loss to Notre Dame on Saturday wasn’t as bad as it might’ve seemed at first. Steve Conroy has BC coach Frank Spaziani not wishing to hear any of that talk. Blaudschun says that we still don’t know who the best team in the country is.

Peter Abraham has Johnny Damon looking for a new contract in 2010.

Patriots Have A Jolly Old Time

The Patriots took care of business in Wembley Stadium yesterday, routing the toothless Tampa Bay Buccaneers 35-7.

Chris Warner has a few observations from New England’s second straight stress-free victory.

Christopher L. Gasper has the Patriots finding the end zone just as easy to get to on that side of the Atlantic. Ian R. Rapoport has the Patriots showing the British what they’ve been showing Americans for years. The ProJo has Brandon Meriweather and the Patriots defense leading the wayin this one. (Anyone else having trouble opening more than one Projo article? Even though I’m registered, I can only open one article on their site and the rest come up blank. I’ve tried both IE and Firefox)

You’ll be hard pressed to find mentions of yesterday’s game on the Times of London sport page. I had to look a few times before I saw the box NFL game preaches to converted, where the writer says that “Wembley Stadium was about the worst place in Britain in which to judge the success or otherwise of the project.” The project being whether the NFL would be viable in Europe. Nick Szczepanik says that Brady wasn’t at his best yesterday, but the Buccaneers played their role as fall guys. Yesterday, John Harlow had a profile of Brady in the Times.

Christopher Price has 10 Things We Learned Yesterday, and Mike Reiss has 10 quick hits from yesterday. Tedy Bruschi has five observations from the game as well.

Ron Borges has the Patriots the last two weeks doing “what Super Bowl-contending teams should do: Destroy two sorry teams.” Dan Shaughnessy calls yesterday’s game a “ghastly unfolding of the obvious.” Bill Burt says that the 2009 Patriots officially have an identity now – tough and talented. Jim Donaldson says that no matter where they play, the Patriots are still the Patriots, and the Bucs are the Bucs.

Breer has Brandon Meriweather once again the key on defense with a pair of interceptions, including one that he returned for a touchdown. Karen Guregian has Meriweather delivering with big plays, and showing promise that he could be the key playmaker on defense that the Patriots need on that unit. Brian MacPherson says that the Patriots defense is finally starting to look like a Bill Belichick defense once again. Reiss has more on the strong play of Meriweather.

Albert R. Breer in the Globe has Tom Brady taking another step forward in his return to form yesterday. Borges has Brady once again good enough to get the job done. The Projo has London fans seeing a good Tom Brady, but not a flawless one yesterday.

Shaughnessy has Sam Aiken and Brandon Tate each getting a shot at being the third wide receiver. Guregian has Adalius Thomas back on the field, but once again submitting a quiet performance. Reiss says that this game was a bonding experience for the Patriots. The Projo has the Patriots feeling that the trip brought them closer as a team.

Hector Longo has his two-minute drill, with Jerod Mayo one of his “now shows” for yesterday. He says Mayo ” still can’t cover anyone.” Guregian says that the Meriweather pick 6 was a good way to start the day for New England. The Metro tells us  What went right and wrong yesterday.

Rapoport says that the carnival-like atmosphere made for a good time. Mark Woods says that the NFL accomplished their goal despite the blowout.

Gasper’s notebook has Wes Welker putting in another strong game. Rapoport’s notebook has more on Welker, and also has Ty Warren believing he’ll be good to go after the bye week after he suffered an ankle injury yesterday.