Celtics Put Up A Fight, But Can’t Beat Heat

The aged and depleted Celtics put up quite a fight last night in Miami, giving the front-running Heat and their fans something to sweat about when they cut what had been a 20-point Miami lead to three points with two minutes remaining. However, in the customary fourth-quarter disappearance of LeBron James, rookie Norris Cole stepped up and made big shots which buried the Celtics in the end, giving Miami a 115-107 victory over Boston.

Last night had everything on display which makes people who hate the NBA, hate the NBA. You had the front-running Heat and their fans nearly choking away a game, relying on a rookie to bail them out in the fourth quarter, and then celebrating like they won the title. You’ve got the imminently unlikeable LeBron James and Chris Bosh (I found myself hoping Bosh would bite his own tongue off after sticking out after making a three.) the incredibly hatable Miami Heat PA announcer, and of course, officials like Danny Crawford and Dick Bavetta who can’t let the game just play out on its own, but have to insert themselves into it, and while attempting to “make up” for bad calls, just make things worse.

Time to make choices, not panic - While Bob Neumeier opened SportsNet Central on CSNNE last night asking if it was time to panic, Paul Flannery says that time has not yet arrived.

Celtics can’t let slow starts continue - Chris Forsberg says that eliminating slow starts has to be first on the list of priorities. A. Sherrod Blakely says that atrocious defense isn’t helping either.

Green plans to return stronger - Gary Washburn’s notebook has Jeff Green looking to come back from heart surgery better than ever. The Herald notebook from Mark Murphy has turnovers killing the Celtics.

Eight Patriots were named to the Pro Bowl yesterday, and that includes free agent signees Brian Waters and Andre Carter. It funny to me how we get columns like this – Haynesworth just another personnel whiff - but not much about the successes. Carter and Mark Anderson have 19 sacks between them. How much would that be worth if you paid top dollar for them? (How much are Freeney, Dumervil, Babin, Allen and Pierre-Paul – the other Pro Bowl Ends - making?) Waters was the only starter from opening day left of the offensive line during the second half on Sunday, and helped protect Brady in the comeback win.

Yes, there have been plenty of whiffs in free agency. There have been successes as well. You just don’t hear about them. Mike Reiss does give it a mention in his wrapup of the selections, and is especially happy for Matthew Slater.

Brian Waters has become steady presence for Patriots’ offensive line - Christopher Price says that Waters has been the Patriots best free-agent signing.

Wounded Buffalo limps in - Greg A Bedard looks at the Patriots final regular season opponent.

Bill Belichick’s Style Means Patriots Won’t Let Up Against Buffalo and 19 Other Thoughts - Jeff Howe says that the Patriots will probably play this one straight.

’Twine tied early Patriots together - Ron Borges with a very nice piece on Houston Antwine, who passed away yesterday.

If you’re unfamiliar with Antwine, he was named All-AFL five times, an AFL All Star six times, and is a member of the All-Time AFL team as elected by the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

He’s also not in the Patriots Hall of Fame. It’s a shame that Antwine wasn’t honored before his passing. Drew Bledsoe could’ve waited 1 (or 10) more year(s).

According to Mark Farinella, the veteran’s committee of the Patriots Hall of Fame wasn’t expected to meet for another four years after putting Jon Morris in the Hall this year. I strongly urge Farinella, Borges and anyone else associated with the election committee of the Patriots Hall of Fame to seriously consider putting Antwine into the Hall immediately.

  • Angry Old Bastard

    As far as Neumeier's comment, same old-same old. Media asked about "panic button" after Bruins slow start, they started with "panic button" talk after Patriots 2 game losing streak. and they wonder why some of us label them "Panic mongers'?……been on vacation this week. Michael Smith (formerly of the Globe, I believe/) has been hosting a show on ESPN News/Radio. EXCELLENT…always liked him. I guess he's too soft spoken/rational for WEEI or 98.5…although he did host as a fill in with Holley a few times

  • http://twitter.com/Bosson100 @Bosson100

    If Neumeier was a weather forecaster he'd be telling us to build an ark every time we got an inch of rain

  • joeycoconut

    the NBA refs have become a joke…I know it's been said time and time again but seriously it's gone too far. Look on paper, the celtics shouldn't have won that game last night because Miami is a better team but to tell me that referees had no influence on that game is hilarious. the celtics have had probably the two worst refs in the NBA for the two games between joey crawford and dick bavetta…joey just needs to disappear, the guy is a total fraud who calls technicals to get attention and dick bavetta is just plain old and can't see anymore…okay i'm done venting, what a frustrating two games so far, the NBA and its ego-master stern suck.

  • bostonsportsmediafan

    Agree on the HOF post and it was funny listening to Chris Mannix with the buyers remorse (he articulated his support for NBA refs well and recanting) on WEEI this morning.

    In some media links (probably wind up on one of the megalink posts): http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/ric

    Richard Deitsch has a great round-up for 2011.

  • Classless

    I'll pass on the Miami frontrunning and bad officiating because that's a dead horse (i agree with you guys). Instead I'll focus on how a rookie (someone the Celtics could have drafted) murdered them in the 4th quarter while the Celtics rookies/young guys continued the time honored Doc Rivers tradition of rotting on the bench.

    Am I asking for them to play major minutes in the 4th? No. But they ABSOLUTELY have to contribute this season or this team is one and done. Avery Bradley especially. It's year 2 and he plays terrified, knowing 1 mistake and Doc will bury him.

  • bettyd

    I am putting my pink hat on to say that – if we had a healthy Paul Pierce for those two games – we coulda won um. I am reserving judgement for now and hope for 1-2 after tonight!

  • bostonsportsmediafan

    In other news, it looks like Foxboro won't be another Mohegan Sun/Foxwoods.
    http://boston.cbslocal.com/2011/12/27/foxboro-vot

    With all the Krafts have done to clean up the area around Foxboro for the stadium and make a "family atmosphere", I was very surprised they wanted to turn it into Coney Island via the casino route. No doubt the money to be made is virtually endless, usually for the owners, and people will get sold on all the "benefits", but if you've ever been by Atlantic City or other casinos, it is not pretty. Plus, I didn't understand how the NFL would allow this, even with the pull Kraft has with the league.

  • Collis Jones

    Jeff Green was the key to the season.

    A player that could guard Bosh/Stoudamire and would let the Celtics play the pick by switching onto small forwards like Anthony and Lebron.

    As strange as it sounds without Green they might finish at or around .500.

    Bruce, for a site such as yours that criticizes the way the sports media handles game analysis your game analysis sounds on par with what you'd hear on sports radio or read in a Shaughnessy column.

  • mandb97

    Usually, I like the holiday shows when the regulars are gone because the quality actually improves. Unfortunately that has not been the case this year. Both stations have put on terrible shows this season. The only show that was probably pretty good involved Chris Mannix and Dale Arnold, but I missed it. The ones I have listened to have been dreadful. WEEI continues to shove Kirk Minihane in my face. He is as awful a personality as there is. He is a smug, wise-ass, who should not be given three seconds of air time. He is a decent writer but should not be within a mile of a microphone. Steve Buckley has also been given plenty of air time, much to my chagrin. Buckley has shown me two things as a host. He is snide and can be flat out mean. Buckley likes to play the role of sports historian but when someone, usual an older caller, wants to talk about some historical items Buckley can't wait to get them off the air. Here's an idea Steve and WEEI staff, if you do not want to talk about historical items, don't let those callers on the air. Also, Buckley loves to interrupt any and every person, whether it's a caller or co-host Buckley needs to interrupt with something that has nothing to do with anything.

    98.5 has not been any better. Damon Amendolara has gone from someone I enjoyed listening to a lot, to becoming a circus clown. He and Albert Breer went on and on about the historically bad defense and how you can't expect teams like Pittsburgh and Baltimore to turn the ball over in the playoffs. Wash, Rinse, Repeat. Amendolara, tonight on "CSNNE Sports Tonight" said that Daniel Bard did not come off as a Mensa candidate because he likes to hunt. Yup, that's how I like to judge intelligence is on whether someone hunts. Mark Bertrand and Jermaine Wiggins were in for F&M. It was brutal. Wiggins is not bad when he is talking specifically about football strategy or breaking down plays is not that bad but give him four hours and he is 98.5's version of Fred Smerlas. Marc Bertrand just comes across as someone who likes to hear himself talk. Felger has since come back and he threw out this little gem, "The Patriots red zone defense is overrated. It is only in the middle of the pack." Thanks Sherlock, everyone on this board knows about points and the red zone defense as being in the middle of the pack. The problem is that you and your parakeet have only focused on the yards and never talk about turnovers or points. Only Felger or Maz could take a positive like points and spin it into a negative. Nice job.

    Finally, CSNNE has decided that we all want to hear the thoughts of Taylor Twellman when it comes to sports. I have a response for the management of CSNNE, no we don't.

    • Alex

      Mike Flynn has been really good on 98.5 as a fill in this week. He can actually talk about other sports as well as football and still offer some good insight. Hopefully he doesn't get dragged down by all the no talent, contrarian, fake radio hosts employed in the Boston radio market.

      • mandb97

        Alex, I agree with you 100% with Flynn. Has he been doing the morning shift? In my opinion, Flynn is THE best personality on Boston sports radio. Your description of him is perfect. He has also been teamed with former Patriot, Matt Chatham, on NESN daily during Patriot segments. It is a total breath of fresh air.

        • Alex

          Yes, Flynn has been filling in on the 6-10am shift this week. IMO, he'd be a great edition to the Patriots broadcast next season…. And while I'm sure it would never happen, he'd make a great replacement for Andy Gresh should 98.5 ever come to their senses and get rid of him.

    • bostonsportsmediafan

      How did DA get on NFL Films so much when they were doing "Top 10 Packers recently? I watched part of that on NFL Network and wondered when he became an "expert" on the NFL, let alone the Packers? I'd understand if they just gave him a script because it looks "cool" to have a fratboy instead of some 30-year veteran beat reporter that isn't the most photogenic.

      On the Amendolara comment: Yeah.. he's getting into Colin Cowherd territory here where one has to wonder how they have a job. Hate to say it, but many professional athletes are probably not going to get a Rhodes or be a Mensa candidate, but they have some abilities most of us don't that make them able to play sports. Seriously..

      Overall, if a football team only took guys who got a >25 on the Wonderlick, I think you'd have issues meeting a 53-man roster.

      "Wiggins is not bad when he is talking specifically about football strategy or breaking down plays is not that bad but give him four hours and he is 98.5's version of Fred Smerlas." — amen.

      I saw Taylor Twellman lat night. CSNNE, really? Are you serious? He also isn't a good "host" when it comes to progressing through the segments of the show, let alone a sports analyst.

  • Guest

    Minihane filling in on 'eei AGAIN this morning. Please get this bozo off the air, he's obnoxious.

    • Classless

      Minihane reminds me of what I would be on the air: a huge d*ck. At least i'm self-aware to know no one would want to listen to me. Someone needs to tell Minihane that, in addition to no one caring he runs 7 miles a day or whatever.

      • joeycoconut

        just was listening to weei, lou called in to give his take on the sox trade yesterday, it's amazing how much of a crush mut has on the guy. he talks to him like a father figure, it's really creepy. i agree with the previous posts, minihane is awful on radio and on the site, he sounds like a jerk on the radio and he writes horrible articles.

        • bostonsportsmediafan

          I tuned in right for the "fight" between him and Rob Bradford over Crawford's attitude and how BobbyV handled it? Sounded like some argument you'd hear if you walked into a girl's bathroom in highschool.

          It was around the beginning of the 8AM hour.

          Bradford seemed like he was trying to mitigate it but KM was perpetuating it..

          Rather lame.

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