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 As it happens, Celtics Blog has reported that the NBA front office, in an act of civility, just rescinded the second of Perk’s Ts.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.