Celtics Can’t Turn Down The Heat, Just Yet.

The cliche goes that that fourth win in a playoff series is the hardest one to get, and the Celtics found that out yesterday, as a determined Dwyane Wade wasn’t about to let his Miami Heat squad go down in a first round sweep. Wade scored 46 points yesterday, as the Miami won, 101-92 to send the series back to Boston for game five. Get all stories on this one over at CelticsLinks.com.

The Red Sox fell to the lowly Orioles 7-6 in 10 innings over at Fenway yesterday. The win was just the third of the season for Baltimore. Find full coverage at RedSoxLinks.com.

The Bruins look to close out the Sabres at home in tonight’s game six at the Garden. Check out BruinsLinks.com for as much coverage as you can handle on the B’s.

Sloppy start, finish did in Celtics - Chris Forsberg says that the Celtics gave this one to the Heat just as much as Wade took it from them.

Celtics beware, the Heat still have Wade - Paul Flannery looks at a game that got away for the Celtics.

No plan to visit again - Steve Bulpett says that the Celtics are hoping to not make a return trip to Miami this week.

Tony Gaffney takes long road to short list as a Celtic - Nice story this weekend from Bill Reynolds on the local kid getting a chance to join the team he grew up cheering for.

Finding a way with star’s strong will - Remember back when Eddie Andelman used to talk about the difference between a “superstar” and a “super-duper-star?” Well, Bob Ryan apparently puts Wade in the latter category.

No answer for D-Wade - A. Sherrod Blakely’s notebook has a few more items from yesterday.

Belichick sticks to his standards - Randy Whitehouse notes that lately around here, instead of “in Bill we trust,” it’s been more like “what have you done for me lately?”

Not old, but old school - I’m not sure what to make of this, but Hector Longo apparently loves the Patriots draft.

Five things we learned this weekend at the NFL draft - Christopher Price is still a little concerned at the lack of a pass rush.

Belichick drafted with attitude - Mike Reiss says that the Patriots were focused on getting bigger and tougher this weekend.

Brandon Spikes, Jermaine Cunningham top crop of new leaders - Ian Rapoport has Foxborough preparing for a Gator invasion. He also notes that the Patriots brought in at least five players who were captains of their college teams, a clear sign that leadership is important to the team.

Return of Savard to Bruins would be just what doctor ordered - Kevin Paul Dupont says that the Bruins need what Marc Savard can bring them.

Savard playing in Game Six is a bad idea - Joe Haggerty doesn’t think they should take the risk.

Time for Sturm to stir up Game 6 magic - Mick Colageo says that Marco Sturm needs to be a major player tonight.

Bruins draw lines in ice - Rich Garven’s notebook has Sturm and Milan Lucic being swapped on the first two lines.

Homing in on finishing blow - Stephen Harris says that the Bruins need to close things out tonight, or Buffalo will have the momentum going into game 7.

Wakefield latest challenge for Francona - Gordon Edes has the Red Sox manager with another unhappy veteran.

Overtaxed bullpen fails Red Sox in the end - The ProJo Red Sox Journal picks up a few pieces from yesterday.

Creating roster space will force decisions for Red Sox - Michael Silverman’s notebook has some decisions coming up for the Sox.

Find Your NESNplus Channel for Monday, April 26 - Red Sox and Bruins are both in action tonight, look here for where to find them on your TV provider.

  • Guntfather of Sports radio

    Toucher just apologized at 10:00 AM for this controversial statement..No crossover with the midday show and straight to the sports update:

    http://www.nesn.com/2010/04/boston-sports-radio-host-fred-toettcher-compares-tim-tebow-to-nazis.html

    • http://www.jonvssports.blogspot.com Jon

      Much ado about nothing.

  • Tony

    I thought the local media’s assessment of the Pats’ draft ranged from pretty good and level-headed (Reiss, Curran) to downright pathetic (the usual suspects, with Breer their new sidekick).

    Felger opened his show last night with a chart about how poorly the Pats have selected in the 2nd round since 2003 (not even giving them credit for taking Eugene Wilson with one of their 2003 2nd rounders–I mean, all he did was start and make big plays at safety for a 2-time Super Bowl-winning team, right?). The argument was that all of their trading down to acquire additional picks is pointless since they “can’t draft well in the 2nd round.” True, Chad Jackson was a bust, Ellis Hobbs wasn’t great (but he DID contribute while he was here, at least on special teams), and Terence Wheatley has struggled, but Felger was already writing off pretty much all of their 2009 2nd rounders after just one year (except for Vollmer, who would be hard even for him to write off). And oh yes….no mention of the fact that their 2007 2nd rounder was “spent” to acquire Wes Welker. Epic fail on that move, right?

    I honestly wonder why I bother watching that show. He’s such a negative, negative, negative douche. (And for validation of his criticism, guess who he had sitting to his left? You guessed it…Borges.)

    We have to accept that fact that, whether we like it or not, Belichick is going to draft defensive guys who fit his “system.” Hughes from TCU probably would have been a better pick for them in the first round than McCourty, based on need (and especially considering that Polian snapped him up at #31 four spots later, which means he’ll be in Brady’s face for the next few years); but if BB doesn’t think the guy works in his system, he won’t take him. It CAN be very frustrating for us fans, too, since there’s nothing worse than watching the Pats’ defense force a team into 3rd and long, and then watch the opposing QB have 5 minutes to find an open receiver for 12 yards and a first down because the pass rush is non-existent.

    But as the man himself would say: it is what it is, and the local media guys need to get off that “he needs to look beyond the system and just draft for talent” schtick that so many of them used over the weekend. He’s simply not going to change his ways at this point. But at least it’s a legitimate criticism. Felger’s criticism of all their trading to acquire extra picks was not legit; it’s not like they have missed on ALL of their 2nd rounders (Light and Deion Branch were 2nd rounders, as was Vollmer), and the law of averages says that eventually they’ll nail a few more going forward. Besides, the picks always can be used in trades to acquire veterans. Having extra picks in the first three rounds is NEVER a bad thing.

    I also don’t understand the media criticisms of BB drafting guys from programs with which he’s familiar(Florida, Rutgers, Fresno State, and LSU/Alabama, with Saban). They always bring up the Chad Jackson example of the strategy not working, but they don’t mention that Jarvis Green from LSU was considered a “reach” into the 4th round in 2002, but Saban had advised Belichick to take him there anyway; that pick worked out OK, right? And not to pick nits, but Chad Jackson played 1 year under Meyer at Florida (Ron Zook recruited him and he played most of his career under Zook), so Meyer wasn’t in the best position to evaluate him since he only had him for one year and Jackson wasn’t used to Meyer’s offense; so it’s not the best example of the strategy not working.

    • Jason Coyote

      Tony, you are spot-on in your analysis. I’m not sure why I watch Felger’s Sunday show anymore either, because last night he definitely had the obnoxious dial turned up to 11. If we’re going to use his theory, then Gronkowski, Cunningham and Spikes are all going to be terrible picks, there’s no point even waiting to see how they’re going to turn out.

      Another point that had me banging my head against the wall last night was the hue and cry over not taking Dez Bryant, when Felger has been whining for weeks on his radio show that they have to get away from the Randy Moss type of star player (which Bryant is rumored to be) and get back to having the kind of team dynamic they did at the beginning of the last decade. Felger, you can’t have it both ways! Belichick seems like he drafted exactly the type of players Felger would have wanted him to and he still found reasons to b!tch and moan about it.

      It’s like what Bruce and practically everyone here has been saying for weeks–we don’t mind the media being critical of the Patriots or any other Boston team, just please put some intelligent, non-agenda driven thought into it.

      • Tony

        Oh God, the Dez Bryant talk was annoying!!

        Receivers are more important now than they were, say, five years ago, but I still consider them to be a luxury item to be acquired AFTER you’ve got the rest of your team in place.

        They got within a few injuries (and a couple of blown calls) from going to the Super Bowl just 4 years ago with Gaffney, Caldwell and the rest of that motley crew catching Brady’s passes.

        Bryant has baggage–more than Moss ever had even coming out of college–and the Pats had more pressing needs than WR.

        Besides, the NFL landscape is littered with first round busts of epic proportions at the WR position over the last 10 years.

        David Terrell anyone? How about Koren Robinson? You know, the two guys the Pats SHOULD have taken over Seymour back in 2001?

        How about Carlos Rogers (#2 overall!!!) in Detroit? And many, many more.

        Bryant may very well be the next Moss, but I’d be fine with the original Moss, Edelman, a healthy Welker, Price and hopefully Brandon Tate in 2010, as long as the defense improves.

        • Tony

          Sorry, that was Charles Rogers from Detroit, not Carlos.

          Oh, and they also took another colossal bust in Mike Williams (10th overall) from USC just a couple of years later.

          Braylon Edwards (3rd overall, 2005) is a good player, but he’s already been traded by his original team and they didn’t get nearly the same value back in return when they dealt him.

          First round WRs are a risk, period.

    • Lance

      Good stuff Tony. I turned on the radio Saturday afternoon and the first thing I heard from some EEI jerk was “I don’t see why they needed to draft a punter – it wasn’t a problem last year.” So I quickly turned it off.

      Felger and company are always going to cater to idiot whiner fans anyway so why bother. I do think Ian Rappaport is good – the clear guy to get some legitimate news/analysis after Reiss.

      But in a way Boston deserves these media weenies – way too many of the comments around were whining idiots who wouldn’t know Sergio Kindle from Sergio Leone.

      • Tony

        Who, for the love of God, said that punting wasn’t a problem last year? What games was HE watching!

        Besides, taking a guy named “Zoltan” has to be a good thing, if only for the “don’t mess with the Zoltan” jokes, and for the comparisons to “Zoltar”, the carnival game that turned Tom Hanks into a 12-year old in the movie “Big.”

        • Lance

          Funny thing is that I got the idea this idiot (anyone know who was hosting EEI Saturday afternoon?) that he didn’t know the Patriots were looking for a new punter.

          Why should any decent sports fan tune in to someone who knows less about a given sport than they do? And that goes double of the creme de la creme of sports idiots – people who call in to Felger. I sweat it’s Felger’s mission to make Miss South Carolina seem like Al Einstein.

    • Steve From Yellowstone

      I really, really want to like Felger, and admittingly, when able, I listen to his show pretty much exclusively instead of the Big Show, but his Patriot bias has gotten to the point of absurdity. Make no qualms about it, despite all the Tebow loving he’s been showing over the last few months, had the Pats drafted Tebow, he’d be bashing them to death for it. He excessively flames the Pats for not drafting talent, then turns around and criticizes them for doing exactly that with Lawrence Maroney and Chad Jackson. Its a shame, because this guy truly is great at what he does and could pull off an amazing show if he didn’t have to go so overboard with this “Pats suck” schtick that he does to get listeners. Well, either that, or time to calm down over whatever wrong someone in the Pats organization must have done to him a few years ago to turn him so heavily around in his assessment of them. Pats go 19-0 for 5 years straight, win every game by 50 points, and you’ll still hear Felger bashing them to death in an attempt to get more people to pay attention to him.

  • derek g.

    Yeah, the Pats’ draft choices have been pathetic. The organization stinks. Bill B.? Doesn’t know what he’s doing. There’s only one tiny, minor point to be made: The most successful franchise in the NFL over the last decade (not coincidentally, Bill B’s tenure) has been the good ol’ New England Patriots. To make derogatory comments on the organization, to me, indicates no understanding or respect for the Patriots, and certainly no respect for fans. In Bill we trust? You bet your fanny, media pinheads. This guy has delivered more consistantly than any other Boston-based organization since the 1980s Celtics. And to take a chronically crappy football team like the Pats and turn it completely around? I’d trust the guy with my first-born kid, if I had one.

  • mandb97

    A couple of quick hitters:

    1) I see that T&R have passed D&C in the ratings. If Fred Toucher can stay away from the Nazi jokes I could really root for them. At least Toucher was seemingly sincere in his apology about the Tebow family being equated to a Nazi Rally. Fred you are no Mel Brooks, let the pros handle that. D&C have never believed that anything they said was wrong. My guess is that their leash just got a little bit shorter from Wolfe and Khan now that they are behind.

    2) I will not listen to or read anything about the draft from the local media. If you were to take an anonymous poll of all the local scribes or yakers my guess is the most college games viewed in a year is five and I am going high. Do you really think people like Borges, Gaspar, Breer, Felger and others have any clue as to any of the players drafted other than Tebow? I doubt it. I know people like Kiper, Mayock and McShay get ripped but they follow college football 24/7. It is their life and I will listen to them before any of the locals.

    3) Did the same woman who sat behind Sean Grande for game three sit behind him for game four? If so, some hilarity must have ensued.

    • Eddie

      I read somwhere that T&R were ahead of D&C for the last two weeks of March. Was it, in fact for the whole month?

      • mandb97

        Eddie I’m not sure. I looked at Bruce’s twitter post and saw it. He might have more information on it.

  • Doc Michaels

    Tony, I agree except for one thing — Curran. I found him completely obnoxious in his CSNNE segments all weekend, particularly on a negative rant with Chris Gasper, who I’m quickly finding to be unbelievably obnoxious. I don’t know if Gasper has been hanging out too much with Felger or what, but he’s utterly annoying and throws his opinions around like he’s trying to be “one of the big media guys” on TV who just loves to talk. I was so sick of him saying “I don’t like this pick, I don’t get this pick” — I mean, dude, nobody cares what YOU think. How about doing what Mike Reiss does, attempt to explain what the team is doing, then interject a bit of analysis in a subtle way. Apparently that’s over Gasper’s head.

    Anyway, Reiss and a few others stand out beyond this crowd of empty-headed idiots who apparently just love being on TV.

    And Felger’s Sunday night show — I agree, I’m inclined to stop watching it entirely. He doesn’t even bother having a “voice of dissent” — last night’s triumvirate of Felger, Borges and Gasper was just unbelievable. They spent 10 minutes talking about how awful the Pats drafts have been — I mean, could they have taped the segment two weeks ago or what? We get it, Mike, you hate the Pats. Around and around it goes, he’s become such a clown it’s amazing.

    As much as I hate to say it, these guys make The Big Show look restrained. Seriously.

    • Classless

      Yet you watched 10 full minutes. You’re rant fell apart there, pal.

      • Doc Michaels

        How is that exactly? Can’t rant about something you didn’t see yourself.

    • Tony

      Doc, I agree that Curran was a bit ridiculous with his Dez Bryant love (I would have been really, really upset if they’d gone offense at all in the first round, after the year that pass defense had). But all in all, while he didn’t “like” the McCourty pick, at least he had a fairly reasonable explanation as to why.

      Sometimes he gets obnoxious, but he’s usually one of the few guys covering the local football team who manages to avoid the histrionics and usually gives a reasonable analysis.

      Felger is beyond hope….when he stopped being just a beat writer, he sold his soul to the false “I must create controversy all the time” Gods.

  • Doc Michaels

    Tony, agreed. And I think the Globe writers — namely Gasper and Breer — are taking the lead from Felger. Good thing they added Shalize, I’m in RI so I’ve been familiar with her work for years, so while she doesn’t bring a lot of charisma or personality to her TV appearances, she’s a solid reporter and more like Reiss than her Globe counterparts. Given the sullen, anti-Belichickian tone of both Breer and Gasper over the weekend, she’ll be the only one I’ll be actively getting information from when it comes to the Pats from the Globe.

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