Celtics/Heat All Tied Up at 2-2

The Celtics dodged a game winning attempt from Dwyane Wade in overtime to win game four of the Eastern Conference Finals and tied the series at two games apiece with a 93-91 victory at the Garden.

The Celtics had roared out to a large lead in the first half, but as has become their custom, they made it difficult for themselves in the second half. Still, you’d rather than not have them get that big lead and force the opposition to use as much energy as possible to get back into the game.

Full links (and a lot of them) are at CelticsLinks.com. Noteworthy links are below.

Celtics didn’t make it easy in Game 4 win – Bob Ryan says that in the final seconds, what Marquis Daniels did was “save the game, no more, no less.”

Footloose and fancy 3 – Steve Bulpett says that the Celtics lived (and nearly died) by the three-pointer last night.

Celtics stay together, win together – Paul Flannery has the Heat still trying to reinvent themselves, while the Celtics clearly know who they themselves are.

Wade’s miss gives Celtics life – Jackie MacMullan says that now it is anyone’s series.

Celtics hold on, beat Heat in OT to even up series – A. Sherrod Blakely runs down the difference-makers in this one.

Allen performing a balancing act – The Globe notebook has Ray Allen settling back into rhythm. The Herald notebook from Mark Murphy has Paul Pierce happy to see LeBron James join him in fouling out last night.

Mike Breen And His Evident Dislike Of The Boston Celtics – From Friday, my SB Nation Media column. Someone needs to sit down with a tape of a Breen Celtics game, and really analyze what he says and how he says it when it comes to the Celtics, and the opposition. I know I’m a hypersensitive green-teamer here and all, but there’s definitely something here.

The best part of last night’s broadcast:

The other big story from the weekend is Tim Thomas and his announcement that he will be sitting out the upcoming NHL season. He posted a few times on Facebook, one citing a link forecasting impending doom on the world’s economy and the other saying he needs more time for Friends, Family and Faith.

Thomas confirms that he won’t play – Fluto Shinzawa reports on the situation.

Bruins goalie Tim Thomas sounds hypocritical in explaining decision to sit out – Mike Loftus thinks that Thomas isn’t telling the whole truth here.

Media deserves blame in Tim Thomas saga – Kirk Minihane says that the media treatment of Thomas is at least partly to blame for this.

Joe Haggerty takes extreme exception to this notion:

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Bruins teammates react as Thomas decides to walk away – Haggerty talks to a few Bruins about Thomas’ decision, and they don’t have a whole lot to say.

  • NEPatsfan

    Wow Bruce, you are hypersensitive. It’s just funny because I remember saying to a friend during game 2 that Mike Breen was openly rooting for the Celtics…different perspectives I guess.

    Another point, I know this is blasphemy around here, but Bob Ryan has really lost a lot off his fastball recently. Marquis Daniels saved the game? By going for the pump fake and giving Wade an uncontested three pointer for the game? After Doc specifically said to make sure not to go for the pump fake? Strange sentiments from Ryan.

    Back to last week’s discussion, I imagine any talks of anti-Celtic conspiracies are over after those last three foul calls on LeBron James last night. Although, that gives the “NBA wants to make sure it goes 7 games” conspiracy theorists more ammo. That’s the problem, there is always someone who can take some sort of conspiracy angle. If the Celtics win the series I wonder what the officiating angle will be around here. Probably nothing, as usual. It only comes up when they lose.

  • Darnell

    My experience is that almost every national announcer or commentator is viewed by Boston fans as being against the boston team.  Fans outside of Boston view the exact same person as being pro-Boston.  Breen is no different.

    • http://bostonsportsmedia.com/ Bruce Allen

      I acknowledge that that is usually the case, and I knew that would be the perception here. But this is different – it’s night and day, and I’ve struggled with the notion of even bringing the subject up because I knew how some would take it, but after listening to him the last few years, and trying very hard to give him a fair shake, I just can’t come to any other conclusion. It’s obvious.

      • NEPatsfan

        I think a lot of this perception is due to the fact that Breen is almost always sticking up for the officials and Celtic fans always think they are on the wrong side of the officiating. Therefore they think Breen is anti-Celtic. I don’t have a huge rooting interest in this series as I’m not a fan of either team, but like I said before, Breen sounded pro-Celtic to me in game 2.

        • bsmfan

           You’d have to go back and look but it’s not praising the officials but doing so when Lebron “gets fouled”

    • bsmfan

      From some of Bruce’s tweets and other folks commenting on it, I decided to test the waters with 2 folks who are NOT Celtics fans (one is a fan of the arch rival Lakers). I told them about the perceived bias that I started to see with Mike Breen. Both came back after watching 3-4 (this is so unscientific but, still, I valued their opinion) and said the same thing. “Mike Breen sure seems to go out of his way to not favor the Celtics.

      Take this at you want. Why does everyone love JVG? He calls it as he sees it.

  • rayallen

    can someone please tell me why mut and merloni is still on middays? just awful.

  • classless

    Breen is definitely biased. He’s the NY play by play guy, it’s obvious. It was no more apparent than when Lebron fouled out. Breen was beside himself that they called a foul, yet downplayed Pierce fouling out (a hall of famer). Bron bron is so pnysical yet he doesn’t foul? Pffff ok…

  • bsmfan

    On this “political thing”, man it looks like it’ll be open season on this stuff… I have a feeling it will get much worse

    Stayed up to watch Sports Sunday last night. Wow, could Felger be any worse on the coverage here? At this point, it’s an insult.. I got the impression from Scal that the _last_ person in the world he wanted to talk with (he was on with Max).

    from Bruce, “I’d like to thank all media members who have helpfully pointed out today that if Dwyane Wade hits that shot last night, the Celtics lose.”

    Yup.

    3-1 means we talk about the end and not what is going on. How else can it be? Cundiff’s kick doesn’t go wide left. Welker catches the ball..

  • bsmfan

    Bruce linked to this but:

    Sunday night’s NBA Eastern Conference Finals Game 4 on ESPN – in which
    Boston defeated Miami in overtime to even their series 2-2 – delivered a
    7.9 overnight rating, the highest ever for an NBA playoff game on cable
    (records back to 2003), according to Nielsen. The game peaked with a
    10.7 rating during overtime.

    http://sportsmedianews.com/eastern-conference-finals-game-4-on-espn-delivers-highest-overnight-rating-for-nba-playoff-game-ever-on-cable/

    I don’t have a tweet but, even though this was on Sunday vs. Saturday (think about it: going up against Game of Thrones, Mad Men) game 2 OT between the Kings/Devils didn’t even beat a rerun on ABC of some show.. and this was on network NBC. It only had like 3M viewers.

    The Tiger effect? Yup.

    The Tiger Effect was in overdrive. Tiger Woods’ victory saw CBS pull in a 3.8 rating for the final round of the Memorial Sunday. That’s up a whopping 138 percent from last year’s tournament, won by Steve Stricker. Yes, 138 percent.

    http://shermanreport.com/cbs-feels-full-power-of-tiger-effect-ratings-up-138-percent-sunday/

    And, thanks to that, you have great tweets like this from @jasongay

    “Is Tiger Woods Back?” is the trucker hat of sports.

  • Frank

    What’s up with Haggs over the last few years? Is it me or has he been working on his “Evil Tony” persona? He was the good natured, affable reporter who used to give you good information so that you could make up your own mind about topics. Lately he’s all about calling people out, and telling you why you should think a certain way. Maybe he thinks this is good for his career? It’s not.

  • Vze1rg81

    Hags doesn’t like Thomas, apparently for his political views.  As evidence, in his regular season player grades report, he gave Thomas a D- .  Now clearly, Thomas didn’t have the “all-time” yr he had the year before, but any unbiased reporter would never give Thomas a D -  for his regular season performance this year

    • bsmfan

      Really seems like Haggerty has been trying to make some noise for himself around the broadcasting circles/with fans by “being out front” and “on top of” this stuff when it comes to “outing” Thomas.

      At this point, it seems more about a vendetta than journalism.

      I’m not sure if it was him or someone else who “inferred” this but they claimed Thomas moved to Colorado because it was “more conservative than Mass.” First, there are only a handful of states (I’d say 3-4) that are “more liberal” than Mass, so the majority of states he could move to are conservative. Second, I saw views/reports today that it could be because of everything from US Hockey->Hospitals that he is there. So, if that’s true, why the conclusions on why he moved? My understanding, at this point, is that nobody knows why he is out there.

      If all goes according to how he wants this to go down, what happens if Tuka is up and down, clearly not a #1, and Thomas is gone? You’re Philadelphia with Bryz.

  • APimpNamedDaveR

    You know… I don’t think anyone can ever win in the media game.

    Tim Thomas has been, since he arrived in Boston, a bit of an odd duck.  That’s completely unsurprising, given that he’s a goalie, and goalies (with the exception of a few, e.g. Ken Dryden) are almost always more than a bit odd.  It’s the nature of the position:  You’re bundled up like a target dummy and everyone on the other team’s out to fire tiny dangerous projectiles at you.  It gets into your head eventually, I think….

    But suffice it to say Tim’s always been quirky.  He’s a guy who’s had an enormous, asteroid-sized chip on his shoulder forever, because despite being a great college goalie, and despite performing well in the pretty decent Finnish top division, both the Nordiques and the Oilers basically viewed him as minor league fodder.  The Bruins certainly didn’t intend to make him a starter when he signed here — he was depth to be on hand at Providence in case of injury.  But he took that gigantic chip and ran with it when he got the opportunity to play in Boston, all the way to two Vezinas and a Cup. 

    But here’s the thing — he’s ALWAYS been that quirky, odd, kind of unfriendly and standoffish guy from day 1.  That’s nothing new.  The team knew it, his teammates knew it, the media covering the Bruins knew it.  So why didn’t we know more about it?  Because when you’re winning two Vezinas and the Cup, the fans don’t want to hear that s–t.  They want to hear “Jesus looks to Tim Thomas for inspiration” and “Tim Thomas’ tears cure cancer” and “Heroin-addicted AIDS-ridden deformed child touches Tim Thomas and turns into Ryan Reynolds”.  If someone had dared to write “Cup Hero Thomas is Kind Of A Jerk”…. what would we have been saying about him/her here?  “Just like Felger, trying to be contrarian and ruining the moment”?  “Taking out the hatchet to get radio callers talking about him”?  “Mad that his buddy Tuukka Rask isn’t starting”?  Etc.?  I’d have put money that we’d be tearing them a new one, even though it would have been 100% the truth.

    So when Tim pulls an “I’m Tim Thomas and you do NOT tell me the eff what I am or aren’t going to do” move like the White House thing, and shows everyone exactly how big that chip on his shoulder is in an excruciatingly public fashion — something that should have surprised exactly 0% of the people who had been paying attention all this time…. should the media not report that Tim’s kind of a surly guy who’s got a bit of a persecution complex?   What about when he extends the big “eff you” finger to the Bruins, who contributed to that chip by shopping him around in 2010, by basically quitting on them?  I guess not, because if they do, Kirk Minehane and Eric Wilbur are going to hoist you on a petard for providing such “negative coverage” of Thomas that he ran away from this toxic media environment.  

    So what are you supposed to do, if you’re a hockey writer?  You appear to damned if you actually report the truth, but that’s what your job is supposed to be.  Isn’t it?

  • latetodinner

    What I want to know is when did Felger and Mazz become pro-owners.  To hear them tell it Tim Thomas signed a contract that he needs to honor.  Now all of a sudden he does not like that contract and rather than being a man and either honoring it here or asking to be traded he is taking his stick and going home (I think at this point Mazz would say boo hoo).  They went on for several hours how this effecting the Bruins ability to trade him for value, get a him to actually play, and their cap.  

    All this from the same guys who think the Patriots are a step below Satin for the way they handle contracts.  Its disingenuous.  so I will say it again.  If I were Bob Kraft and was listening to this, I would tell 98.5′s PD that the next time these two unfairly criticize my GM for the way he handles contracts I am pulling all my ads and the broadcast rights.  It is night and day different the way the Bruins are handled by these two compared to the Patriots.

    • Collis Jones

      Yeah Bob Kraft made his bones by overreacting to a couple of rodeo clown disk jockeys that are full of hot air.  Pull his ads and broadcast rights, get real.  do you think he’s Jerry Jones? 

      • latetodinner

        I think the Patriots have more leverage than they know and have never really used it. What I find fascinating is Kraft has used it in the past including getting 98.5 to broadcast Rev’s games. He has also used it in other disciplines specifically his real estate holdings and at International Paper. The Patriots as an organization have used it against individual reporters…Tom Jackson, John Tommase for example, but they continue to let the flagship network that they make $10′s of millions of dollars, continue to cast their brand in a negative light. Yes I think he is more like Jerry Jones than you do, just not in this one instance.

        • bsmfan

          How did he use it? (I’m unfamiliar with the stories)

          Maybe there is something in the NFL by-laws or “unofficial code” that prevents this?

          Where I’d start is the “cap is grap” garbage. It’s one thing to think that the cap is very lax (NFL is because of the lack of guaranteed contracts).

          There is another thing when you say it’s completely non-existent.

          Now, this is such a tedious point where if all owners went after any hosts in a market for this type of stuff, it really starts getting on the 1st Amendment.

          It is furthered by every single expert coming on debunking this and their refusal, at least at my request, to get a cap expert on like Andrew Brandt on. (i’ve emailed 3 times on this, 2 times I got a response; for all I know, there might be scheduling problem)

        • latetodinner

          In Tom Jackson’s case the team completely shut off access. In the case of John Tomasse the same thing happened and there were direct conversations between the Herald and the Patriots about consequences. My understanding in that case is Tomasse was removed from the Patriots beat before things went further and that satisfied the Patriots. I have heard it from several people privately that Revs are on 98.5 because of the Patriots. Their rights made no money on WEEI who I was told carried them in exchange for Patriots Monday. I am not sure any of this has ever been confirmed publicly but all of these are good business.
          It is not a first amendment issue. 98.5′s hosts can say whatever they want. The Patriots can choose to do business without whoever they want. If one does not like how they are treated by the other they are free to move on. If they express that they do not like the treatment they are getting and the other party does not move to make its business partner happy then you usually have a break up. It all comes down to what is more important and to whom.