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 As it happens, Celtics Blog has reported that the NBA front office, in an act of civility, just rescinded the second of Perk’s Ts.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