Celtics Take Down Magic, Head to NBA Finals

All of those out there wishing for the Celtics to follow the lead of the Bruins and lose a 3-0 series lead were sorely disappointed last night, as the Celtics dispatched Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic 96-84 in game six of the Eastern Conference Finals. The Celtics are headed back to the NBA Finals for the 21st time in franchise history.

Paul Pierce led the way with 31 points and 13 rebounds for the Celtics. Nate Robinson was the spark in this one, coming off the bench to score 13 points and play tough defense on Jameer Nelson. Get every bit of coverage on this one over at CelticsLinks.com.

In the end, the Celtics were nothing like the Bruins, except in the minds and hopes of a collective media that in the words of a friend, “gleefully anticipated” a historic collapse and hoped for a one-two punch of misery for the Boston fans and a plethora of storylines and lame jokes with which to torment their readers endlessly with.

Mike Breen on the ESPN telecast could hardly mask his disappointment, and held out hope for a Magic comeback pretty much to the end. If the Celtics play the Lakers in the finals (no sure thing) Breen can at least take solace in the fact that he’ll be able to fawn over Kobe Bryant for a minimum of four games.

Guess who’s headed back to the Finals … The Celtics, that’s who – Paul Flannery says that the Celtics were not supposed to end up here.

With their pedigree, it was matter of time – Bob Ryan says that there is a reason no team has ever come back from an 0-3 in the NBA playoffs.

Celtics finally done kidding around – Steve Bulpett has the Celtics once again becoming a force of nature.

Rivers’ savings plan pays dividends – Peter May has Doc Rivers’ plan of using the regular season to get his team healthy paying dividends.

A bruising victory and a shot at banner 18 – Yes, yes, Dan Shaughnessy may have been leading the cheers in hoping for the 3-0 choke, but I still enjoyed his column today that tells us why the Celtics would never let down their fans in that way.

‘Big 15′ prove anything is possible – Tim Weisberg has the Celtics viewing this as a team victory.

Robinson’s patience pays off – Chris Forsberg has Nate Robinson finally getting his chance – and making the most of it.

Despite pains, gains made – Julian Benbow’s notebook has the Celtics walking wounded making a contribution.

A day, and a friend, David Ortiz will never forget – Rob Bradford looks at a tough day for the Red Sox DH yesterday, having attended the wake of his friend, Jose Lima.

Second coming for Bruins  – Kevin Paul Dupont has the Bruins getting close-up looks at Tyler Seguin and Taylor Hall at the combine.

RedSoxLinks.comhas all the stories from last night’s Red Sox loss to the Royals.

Time For The Friday Not-So-Mega Links

Let’s give you the Friday megalinks while I can. Not as many links as the usual Friday, but the Memorial Day weekend has a lot to do with that.

Getting ready for the three day weekend and you can find the sports and the entertainment viewing for Saturday and Sunday right here.

On to the links.

National

USA Today’s Michael Hiestand and Michael McCarthy debate the pros and cons of holding Super Bowl XLVIII in New Jersey.

William Cooper of Sports Business Daily says the first ad promoting the US World Cup bid for the 2018 or 2022 games will air Saturday. 

Neil Hayes writing for NBC Sports.com says the Stanley Cup Finals could be a ratings boon for the NHL. Don’t forget NBC is a rightsholder for the NHL.

Michael Lombardi of the National Football Post announces that he’s leaving to join NFL Network and NFL.com full-time.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell writes that sports apparel brand Crons is entering the nutrition game.

Milton Kent of Fanhouse says Danica Patrick may have lost some fans in IndyCar.

The Sports Media Watch says Thursday’s thrilling Game 5 between the Lakers and Suns got its highest ratings of the NBA Western Conference Finals, but they’re still down from last year.

SMW also has news and notes on various sports TV personalities.

Steve Lepore at Puck The Media discovers that Dan Patrick will not host NBC’s coverage of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals from the beginning.

Steve also has NHL Network’s coverage plans for the Stanley Cup Finals.

Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo’s Puck Daddy tells NHL fans what they can do to help increase the ratings for the Stanley Cup Finals. 

World Cup Buzz critiques ESPN’s practice run for the World Cup.

World Cup Buzz shows us ESPN’s World Cup murals.

Deadspin has the video of YES reporter Kimberly Jones having her pork chop eaten by an overzealous and extremely creepy Yankees fan in Minnesota.

Emmett Jones at Sports Business Digest asks if an outdoors cold weather Super Bowl makes sense.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Chad Finn of the Boston Globe profiles ESPN/ABC main NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy.

Bob Raissman in the New York Daily News wants the New Jersey Super Bowl talk to stop now.

Phil Mushnick of the New York Post puts his vitriol aside for one day and remembers a former New York Football Giant who fought bravely for his country in Iwo Jima during World War II.

Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union wonders if ESPN/ABC should focus on Danica Patrick during this Sunday’s Indianapolis 500.

Peter Van Allen of the Philadelphia Business Journal says the Flyers have brought record ratings to the local Comcast SportsNet affiliate.  

Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner says Nationals fans as well as baseball fans across the country will have their eyes focused on the Junior College World Series and potential 1st round draft pick Bryce Harper tonight.

Jim notes that it will be a hockey weekend on NBC.

South

Adam Fisher of the Naples (FL) Daily News says Dick Vitale was a big hit as the keynote speaker for a local event.

David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says all signs point to the Astros and Rockets leaving Fox Sports and signing with Comcast or another entity for their TV rights.

Midwest

Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press writes that soccer games can draw ratings as the numbers show us.

Curt Cavin of the Indianapolis Star wonders when the local blackouts of the Indianapolis 500 will end. 

Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Fox Sports is putting out an all points bulletin for younger male viewers for NASCAR.

Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business has CBC’s Don Cherry being bullish on the Flyers-Blackhawks Stanley Cup Finals.

Ed says the Blackhawks are the big winners in sports business this week.

Paul Christian of the Rochester Post-Bulletin looks at ESPN/ABC’s coverage of this Sunday’s Indianapolis 500.

Dan Caesar in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Cardinals might be making changes to their TV and radio deals for next season.

West

Scott D. Pierce of the Deseret (UT) News writes that BYU fans will be able to watch the women’s softball team in action this weekend on the ESPN family of networks.

Jay Posner of the San Diego Union-Tribune tells Padres fans that Dick Enberg prefers to call games straight down the middle.

To John Maffei of the North County Times who tells us that the Padres, Cox 4 and a local sports radio station have agreed to pull a spot that depended on bathroom humor.

Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star writes that Danica Patrick may be losing her status as IndyCar sweetheart.

And Jim has some sports media news and notes today.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News speculates on where Erin Andrews may land after her ESPN contract expires later this year.

Tom also has his extensive media news and notes in his blog.

Canada

Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail wonders if CBC will broach the subject of match fixing during the World Cup. Dowbiggin apparently thinks every soccer game is fixed based on this extremely biased column.

TSN announces that TSN2 will carry an early afternoon NFL game during the regular season.

As mentioned, not as many links on this Friday as many writers took the weekend off. I hope you enjoy your Memorial Day weekend.

Sox Streak Ended, Celtics To Try Again To Close Out Magic

As good as Daisuke Matsuzaka was in his last start against the Phillies, he was almost as bad last night against the Royals. He didn’t even make it through the fifth inning last night, walking eight Royals in 4 2/3 innings in the Red Sox 4-3loss to Kansas City at Fenway. Get the full coverage at RedSoxLinks.com.

The Matsuzaka mystery won’t go away – Alex Speier says that the Japanese righty  remains the source of absolute befuddlement.

There’s nothing worse than ‘Bad Dice-K’ – Joe Haggerty notes that even Matsuzaka was puzzled by his outing.

He’ll call the shots – Peter Abraham’s minor league notebook has former internet project manager Amiel Sawdaye set to direct his first draft for the Red Sox.

At Big Papi’s, Ortiz takes a moment to thank those who stuck by him – Daniel Barbarisi has the Red Sox slugger reaching out to thank those who supported him during his horid April. Needless to say, media members weren’t among those receiving thanks.

Bill Hall doing it all and Manny Delcarmen in groove – Rich Thompson with a pair of secondary articles on guys who have been big contributors to the Red Sox in supporting roles.

V-Mart ready for Friday return – CSN’s notebook has Victor Martinez set to return to the lineup tonight.

The Celtics will try tonight for the third time to close out the Orlando Magic and return to the NBA finals. Game six will be held at the TD Garden (ESPN, 8:30) and crows will no doubt look to fire up the Celtics early.

Beat ’em to punch, Celtics – Is it alright to say that I absolutely love this column from RON BORGES? I do, this excerpt puts this perfectly:

At the time, Cedric Maxwell explained what resulted when he said, “Before Kevin McHale hit Kurt Rambis, the Lakers were just running across the street whenever they wanted. Now they stop at the corner, push the button, wait for the light and look both ways.”

Now it’s Howard’s turn to learn physical play is a two-way street. It’s time for him to eat some bloody chicklets.

And he brought it on himself. Not by scoring and rebounding. Not by pushing and shoving. But by acting as if he has carte blanche to hurt people in the guise of “playing hard.”

It is exactly what needs to happen tonight.

Tommy Heinsohn’s points at refs – Gotta love it. I really would’ve loved to have been there when Steve Bulpett talked to Tommy about this series. The ending is classic too.

Ex-coach Van Gundy turns new career into a no-lose situation – Chad Finn’s media column has Jeff Van Gundy talking about his new career as an in-game analyst, his desire to get back into coaching, but only when he can handle losing better, and why Orlando fans much more negative feedback in this series than Celtics fans have.

Celts, a bit banged up, looking to recover – Bill Doyle looks at the Celtics concerned heading into tonight’s game six, along with injury updates for Glen Davis, Rasheed Wallace and Marquis Daniels.

Celtics can blame themselves – Steve Bulpett says that yes, the Celtics were hosed by the officials in game five, but they still have only themselves to blame for the loss.

Rondo is taking his shots – Julian Benbow’s Globe notebook has the Celtics point guard taking some big hits from Dwight Howard in the last few games.

So let’s see, both Dan Shaughnessy and Jim Donaldson wrote columns today about the possibility of a Celtics choke and joining the Bruins in the 3-0 infamy club? Shocking. Pass and Pass.

Glenn Ordway pretty much guaranteed a double-digit Celtics win tonight, (health of Rondo and others the only qualifier) and that the Celtics would go on to win the NBA title. It’d be nice if he was right.

Headed to Boston? Seguin talks Bruins, scoring, and chasing a cup as a rookie – DJ Bean talks to potential Bruin Tyler Seguin about the possibility of coming to Boston.

Derrick Burgess: Veteran voice – Ian Rapoport has the Patriots officially announcing the signing of Derrick Burgess, and a few other Patriots notes.

Week Log: It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again

There was once a day when a 3-0 lead in a best-of-seven series was considered commanding. This season, the B’s and C’s have made it anything but. In a one-month stretch, can one city beget two of the five most colossal chokes in the history of professional sports? After the Celtics’ Game 5 drubbing at the hands of the Magic last night in Orlando it’s no longer so far-fetched, so let’s start there.

Celtics

Banner 18? is worried after the dramatic change in this series. CelticsBlog says momentum is big in basketball, and the Magic grabbed it all back last night. On the contrary, Red’s Army thinks that momentum dies once the lights go out and a player hits the pillow.

Last night’s was a physical game and the C’s came up short. Gino’s Jungle has trainer Ed Lacerte getting way too much face time on national television. Evans Clinchy has Doc Rivers looking as if he, too, took an elbow from Dwight Howard after this one. Green Street says the C’s now have a whole lot more to overcome than Orlando’s pick-and-roll if they are going to win this series. ESPN Boston Celtics Blog has the C’s oozing quiet confidence in the face of mounting adversity. CSNNE’s Celtic Notes has the Magic rediscovering an old, familiar friend.

Celtics Life calls Kendrick Perkins’ second quarter ejection a disgrace to basketball, while Celtics Hub presents the argument that it was within Perk’s control to prevent his DQ. Kirk Minihane wants to see NBA refs own up to potentially series-altering mistakes like the one made by Ed F. Rush last night. Perk Is A Beast says anything less than overturning Perk’s technicals and allowing him to play in Game 6 would be uncivilized. As it happens, Celtics Blog has reported that the NBA front office, in an act of civility, just rescinded the second of Perk’s Ts.

And Another Thing . . . tells you why there’s a huge difference between Rajon Rondo’s big Game 3 play and the Dave Cowens play of 1974 to which it is frequently compared. Rondo is among North Station Sports‘ nine players still remaining in this postseason whose legacy would be most affected by an NBA championship.

Red Sox

I have to admit to liking the Sox’s unusually slow start. When you’re fourth in your division, up is pretty much the only direction to go, and the role of chaser is . . . refreshing? It’s a strange year for A Very Simple Game, which is accustomed to racing through the league until Memorial Day, then fighting to stay in the playoff hunt. For Tony Lee, the question of whether the Sox could keep their heads above water over this 19-game stretch has changed to one of how long they can stay the hottest team in baseball. Toeing The Rubber says going 8-2 against the Yankees, Twins, Phillies, and Rays is only the beginning of one heck of a ride this summer.

Starting pitching has been key. Boston Dirt Dogs says anything is possible now after back-to-back gems by Daisuke Matsuzaka and Tim Wakefield in Philadelphia over the weekend. Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester kept it going in Tampa Bay. Better Red Than Dead has it almost an afterthought that Tuesday was Lester’s seventh start in which he’s allowed two or fewer hits. Fenway West hopes that Theo’s hard work in drafting and developing talent like Lester and Buchholz continues to translate into on-field success. 4SportBoston looks back on the non-trade for Johan Santana that could have cost the Sox both Lester and Buchholz. Forget about all Theo’s mumbo jumbo says Boston Blood Sox, as the only thing that truly prevents runs is good pitching. Surviving Grady says the starters have become atomic-powered in the blink of an eye. Even John Lackey has joined the party, although The Joy Of Sox says his outing last night was the very definition of winning ugly.

BoSox Injection can’t tell if this is a Rays disaster or a Sox hot streak talking. SoxSpace News says not so fast to those who set it in stone that the Rays are a better ball club. With Tampa Bay drawing so poorly in Florida and Boston missing a second team for the last 58 years, Boston Sports Blog pines for bringing the Rays to the Hub.

Fenway Pastoral thinks Lackey is in bad need of a J.D. Drew grand slam moment to defibrillate his big-contract status. Speaking of Drew, Red Sox Monster comes to his defense after a media poll declares him the most overrated player in the Majors. Fenway Nation calls the decision to put Jacoby Ellsbury back in center sound. Keep Your Sox On has Ellsbury with some work to do before his stroke reappears. Fire Brand of the American League wants to land Rockies catcher Chris Iannetta before his body goes bad and his power fizzles.

Odds & Sods
. . . an unstructured wandering through the Boston sports world

Extra Points says it’s all about the young guys at the Patriots’ OTAs in Foxborough this week. Tom E. Curran has the veterans dispelling any fears of a lack of leadership this season. It Is What It Is has the Krafts installing high-def video scoreboards in each end zone at Gillette.

With the Revolution enjoying the week off, Six States, One Blog has the return of team captain Shalrie Joseph not enough to get some biscuits in the basket, as the Revs were again shut out, 1-0, in Toronto over the weekend. Boston Sports Then And Now cautions disgruntled Bruins fans rallying for a Tim Thomas tade to be careful what you ask for, as history suggests this won’t bode well for Tuukka. Fenway Fruitgirl reports on the first annual Run For Home Base 9K last Sunday, where attendees got to stroll around Fenway Park after the race.

No Week Log next week due to some scheduling conflicts. We’ll see you in a fortnight, with the C’s hopefully well-occupied by The Finals.

Celtics Beat Up In Orlando, Sox Sweep Rays

It’s fair to say that last night’s game was one of the ugliest in recent NBA memory. The Celtics had players ejected because of questionable technical fouls (Kendrick Perkins), have to leave the game with concussions (Glen Davis and Marquis Daniels), and foul out AND be injured (Rasheed Wallace).

That isn’t the reason the Celtics lost the game however. They were once again the less aggressive team, did not defend the three point line and were generally outplayed. THAT’s why they lost the game. The officials didn’t help their cause any, but ultimately the Celtics can only blame themselves for the 113-92 loss. Full links at CelticsLinks.com.

I don’t feel good about this team right now, the momentum is clearly with the Magic, and if the Celtics don’t close out tomorrow night, it seems pretty certain to me that they will join the Bruins in the infamous 3-0 club. (not that there is ANY connection between the two) There are people (in the media) out there rooting for this.

You like apples? Both the Bruins and Celtics are on the verge of choking away 3-0 leads. How do you like dem apples?Thu May 27 04:39:55 via web

How great would it be to see both the Bruins & Celtics blow 3-0 leads? Does it make the 04 and 07 World Series a little more bearable. (No.)Thu May 27 03:12:47 via web

Celtics hurtin’ for certain – Mark Murphy says that the Celtics need to hack off Orlando’s momentum. Quickly.

Things fall apart – Paul Flannery says that you can look at the series a couple different ways.

Celtics losing their edge – Bob Ryan has the series slipping away from the Celtics.

Celtics say they’ll be all right – Chris Forsberg has the Celtics still acting confident following the beating.

These blows shifted the momentum – Gary Washburn has a pair of Dwight Howard elbows changing the series.

Kendrick Perkins T’s a big issue – Steve Bulpett has the center’s fate for game six in league hands.

Playoff anomaly? Celtics as Cinderella – Howard Bryant looks at how the Celtics playoff run flies in the face of the LeBron/Jordan star power theory.

Series wears on Rondo – Kevin McNamara’s Celtics Journal has the Boston point guard worn down and still not the same player as earlier in the playoffs.

Things are much better for the Red Sox these days, as they finished off a three game sweep of the first-place Tampa Rays, and moved into third place in the AL East. Last night Adrian Beltre (2 HR, 6 RBI) was the offensive star, and David Ortiz also homered to power Boston to a 11-3 win. Full coverage is available at RedSoxLinks.com. Heck, this one should be Reloaded.

Adrian Beltre’s bat helps Red Sox get out the brooms and sweep Rays – Ron Chimelis has the third baseman leading the way for Boston.

Red Sox rising above the chaos – Gordon Edes says that the Red Sox have officially put their slow start behind them.

Sox make a statement with recent run – Sean McAdam looks at the remarkable run the Red Sox have been on as of late.

True potential now rising to surface – Michael Silverman says that we’re seeing just how good the Red Sox can be.

Bard has continued to deliver while learning on the job – Brian MacPherson has the young reliever growing up before our eyes.

Ortiz bats in No. 3 spot – MacPherson’s extensive notebook has Ortiz hitting the third spot for the first time in over a year.

The Patriots held a limited OTA workout that was open to the media yesterday.

Crable, Tate and McKenzie back on the field – Christopher Price looks at a trio of young players who missed most, if not all of last season.

Veteran WR working hard – Mark Farinella has David Patten talking about his offseason work with the Patriots.

Wheatley not feeling cornered by competition – Shalise Manza Young has the third year cornerback acknowledging the make or break year in front of him.

Stiff competition for Pats’ third receiver slot – Robert Lee looks at one of the ongoing competitions on the club.

Holt keeps Pats cool – Rich Garven has Torry Holt trying to set a good example for his younger teammates.

Brace gets mental game up to speed – Mike Reiss has Ron Brace focused on getting better after a tough rookie season.

Lester, Sox Take Another From The Rays

Shhh…don’t look now, but the Red Sox are getting their act together…

Jon Lester and the Red Sox only allowed one hit to the Tampa Rays last night, defeating the first place squad for the second straight night, this time by the score of 2-0. David Ortiz drove in both Red Sox runs with a double off Rays starter James Shields. Get the complete coverage over at RedSoxLinks.com.

One-hit wondrous – Amalie Benjamin has Lester continuing a stretch of dominance for the Red Sox starters.

A reminder regarding how far Jon Lester has come – Rob Bradford says that the five walks given up by the lefty were a reminder of what he used to be.

Problem with steals put on hold – Peter Abraham has a look at how the Red Sox have solved their issues with opponents stolen bases.

It’s like he never left (he didn’t) – Gordon Edes has Darnell McDonald getting a quick call back to the Sox after Jacoby Ellsbury reported soreness in his side.

Don Zimmer is getting his due, 30 years after a turbulent time in Boston – Ron Chimelis looks at the former Red Sox manager (and Yankees bench coach) being inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame.

The Celtics get another chance to close out the Magic tonight (ESPN, 8:30), though it will be in a much tougher environment, down in Orlando. I still think this series comes back to Boston for game six – I hope I’m wrong.

C’s can’t get picked apart again – Chris Forsberg says that the Celtics defense on pick-and-rolls will be crucial tonight.

Total team effort – Steve Bulpett says that the Celtics don’t want to keep Dave Cowens waiting any longer.

The Bruin who shaped the Celtics’ series – Kirk Minihane with a look at how the Bruins director of collegiate scouting played a big role in building the current Magic club.

OT loss aside, C’s aren’t new B’s – Ron Borges dismisses talk that the Celtics could follow the lead of the Bruins.

Celtics look to deliver knock-out punch – Kevin McNamara has the final win always the toughest to get.

Apparently Jameer Nelson is well-liked and respected by a number of media folks, and the Magic point guard played a great game Monday night, and has been one of the few Magic players who seems to have shown up for the entire series, but the fawning article by Chris Gasper today went just a bit too far for my taste. It’s OK to pump up Nelson, but trying to put down Rajon Rondo in the process, doesn’t seem to do Nelson any favors.

I’m not a fan of this Boston Herald front page:

The teaser for the Borges article is also completely misleading.

The Patriots OTA session is open to the media today, and they’ll get their first look at the team that has been put together thus far in the offseason.

Jon Morris belongs in Pats’ Hall of Fame – Jim Donaldson gives his endorsement to the former center.

Big appetite meets Bon Appetite! – Karen Guregian with a look at Dan Connolly, his love of food, and his older brother, a high-profile chef.

Game getting lost in the gizmos – Mark Farinella with a look at the good and bad that new technology could bring to Gillette.

Bruins need to try a little Taylor-ing – Michael Felger with a few thoughts on the Boston sports scene.

Idle thought of the day:  Is there a thinner-skinned sports media member in Boston than that wacky goofball, Mikey Adams? I think not.

Your Sports Media/Blog “Finds”

As suggested by “Guest” this morning, I thought it was a good idea to open things up to you to get your input on where you’ve been going to get information for the office water cooler, or new outlets, places, websites, podcasts or blogs that you’ve discovered recently – or have been going to for some time – that you think should be mentioned.

Bob Ekstrom on the Thursday Week Log does a great job in linking to new and different blogs out there dealing with Boston sports, and there are plenty more still to be discovered.

Perhaps there are other outlets that you think need to be mentioned more often. Now’s your chance to speak up.

Post a comment below and let your fellow readers in on your sources.

Note: If you register with Intense Debate you can get a lot more out of the comments system and make sure your comments go through quickly, without the extra step of moderation. The signup is extremely quick and painless, and you can use your account at any site that uses Intense Debate. (WEEI.com, for example.)

One more link today, from Ken Fang: 33rd Annual Boston/New England Sports Emmy Award Winnners

Celtics Can’t Close Out Magic, Sox Take Down Rays

The Celtics played their poorest game since game three of the Eastern Semi-Finals, but were still in position to close out the Orlando Magic last night. They fell short in overtime, 96-92, sending the series back to Orlando for game five tomorrow night. Get the complete picture at CelticsLinks.com.

Fair or not, until the Celtics can close out this series, expect plenty of comparisons to the Bruins losing their 3-0 series lead.In fact, many people nationally are hoping for the Celtics to collapse.

Wouldn’t it be great if a 2nd Boston team gagged away a 3-0 lead in the postseason? I think Orlando can win 4 straightTue May 25 01:54:29 via web

I can’t get a good feel for tomorrow night’s game. A loud voice in me says that this series is now going six, as the Magic will be fired up back at home. Another voice says that the Magic’s aim was just not to get swept and that they’ll lay down tomorrow night.

Magic force Game 5 with overtime win – Bill Doyle points out that perhaps the Celtics shouldn’t have tempted fate by having the Bruins singer Rene Rancourt do the national anthem last night.

Howard, Nelson Deserve Credit For Preventing A Sweep- Jeff Jacobs says that the Magic are not the 2004 Red Sox or the 2010 Flyers, but they deserve credit for not mailing in the sweep.

Magic make things interesting- Steve Bulpett says that the series isn’t quite over yet.

No surprise the Magic made it a series – Rich Levine says that we shouldn’t be surprised at what happened last night.

Rondo and the Celtics have come a long way in one year- Kevin McNamara says that Danny Ainge should be able to crow about signing Rajon Rondo this past offseason as much as the trades that netted Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.

Final play breakdown tells story- Chris Forsberg notes that the final play of regulation was a microcosm of the entire night for the Celtics.

Technically, it’s a problem for Kevin Garnett, Rasheed Wallace – Mark Murphy’s notebook has the Celtics suffering from their first lack of poise since the first round.

The  Red Sox got another impressive start from Clay Buchholz, who gave up one run in six innings last night, as the Red Sox beat the first place Tampa Rays 6-1. Boston got home runs from David Ortiz (9) and Kevin Youkilis (10) in the win. Follow all the stories over at RedSoxLinks.com.

With raised stakes, Sox stay hot – Amalie Benjamin has the Red Sox offense staying hot against the Rays.

Can we stop panicking now? – Gordon Edes says that after taking 6 of their last seven against quality opponents, the Red Sox are getting things together.

Buchholz passes this test with flying colors – Sean McAdam has the young righthander improving to 6-3 on the year after the big win last night.

Martinez may have caught break – Peter Abraham says that the toe injury suffered by the Red Sox catcher last night doesn’t appear to be serious.

Cameron’s back, while Lowrie has a long road ahead – Brian MacPherson’s extensive Red Sox Journal is packed full of Red Sox goodness.

The Patriots have come to terms with third round pick Taylor Price on a four year contract.

Kraft investing in the future – Albert Breer has the Patriots owner speaking from the owners meetings in Dallas.

Revamped Rivals Have Patriots Gearing Up for Treacherous Run Through AFC East Gauntlet – Jeff Howe with a look at the Patriots divisional foes.

Shawn Crable – Potential Player, or Bad Joke? – Do you roll your eyes when you hear the name Shawn Crable, or do you just have a blank stare on your face?

BSMW Ratings Poll – Celtics Coverage

Interest in the Celtics is at a season-high right now, with the team on the cusp of returning to the NBA finals for the second time in three seasons.

While no doubt you’re getting your coverage from a variety of sources, perhaps relying on the links provided here at BSMW, is there one place that you find yourself going back to again and again for Celtics coverage?

In the choices below, include the blog that that outlet might provide. For example, on WEEI.com you’ve got the columns from Paul Flannery and Jessica Camerato on WEEI.com, but also material on the Green Street Celtics blog.

I find myself getting more Celtics coverage from:
View Results

Wakefield, Sox, Impressive Against NL Champs

Tim Wakefield pitched eight shutout innings yesterday, as the Red Sox beat Roy Halladay and the Philadelphia Phillies 8-3 to take two out of three from the defending National League champions. Get the full links from RedSoxLinks.com. The Red Sox now begin a three-game series in Tampa against the first place Rays, who have jumped out to a 32-12 start this season, and lead the AL East over the Yankees by six games. The Red Sox are 8.5 games back.

The Celtics can close out the Eastern Conference Finals with a win over the Orlando Magic tonight (ESPN, 8:30)  at the Garden.

It’s finally coming together for the Sox – Sean McAdam says that the Red Sox are finally starting to play the way they had envisioned at the start of the year.

Rays, with everything going their way, can make Red Sox an A.L. East afterthought this week – Brian MacPherson looks at a very important series for the Red Sox.

Youkilis locked in, and hard to get out – Peter Abraham has a look at a monster May for the Red Sox first baseman.

Red Sox proving resilient amidst key stretch – Alex Speier has the Red Sox showing good signs in this brutal stretch of schedule.

Pedroia has yet to hit on a solution – Amalie Benjamin’s extensive notebook leads off with the continued struggles of Dustin Pedroia.

Perspective on a team in transition – Howard Bryant blasts David Ortiz for blasting the media.

Quitting time already for Orlando? – Tim Weisberg has the Magic at least speaking like a team that isn’t ready to quit.

Kevin Garnett has healing powers – Mark Murphy says that the improved health of Kevin Garnett has made a huge difference for the Celtics defense.

Garnett invigorates teammates – Bill Doyle says that even though the torch might have been passed to Rajon Rondo as leader of this team, they can’t win a title without KG.

2010 just isn’t 2008 – Rich Levine looks at why there is no comparison between this club and the one from two years ago.

This Celtics team has shades of 1969 green – Old-timer Bill Reynolds remembers that last Bill Russell championship.

Strong leadership keeps the Celtics on course – A. Sherrod Blakely looks at younger player like Rondo, Kendrick Perkins and even Glen Davis stepping up their roles as leading players for the Celtics.

They couldn’t bear Bruins repeat – Yes, there are people (media) actually trying to bring up the Bruins collapse from a 3-0 series lead and somehow compare it to this situation. Michael Vega’s notebook has the Celtics determined not to follow the Bruins lead.

What to watch for at the OTA’s – Christopher Price gives us a few things to look for at Patriots organized team activities.

Banta-Cain hoping to be timely contributor for Patriots once again this season – Glen Farley has the Patriots linebacker hoping for another strong season.

Wes Welker shoulders pain – Ian Rapoport has the Patriots receiver talking about his shoulder injury.