Rondo, Brooklyn brawl at the Garden in Celtics loss

The Celtics fell to the Brooklyn Nets 95-83 Wednesday night at the Garden, but the big story was Rajon Rondo pushing/punching Kris Humphries after a hard foul on Kevin Garnett, which led to the two teams shoving one another and the ejections of Rondo, Humphries and the Nets’ Gerald Wallace. Rondo will certainly be suspended at least one game and much has been made of it towards Rondo’s reputation and supposedly being the leader of the team.

With the ejection, Rondo’s assist streak came to an end — a streak full of controversy.

Is there any coach better than Doc Rivers in postgame press conferences? Rivers was brutally honest regarding his team, calling them “soft”. The coach also called out a few players (not by name) for assuming just by wearing the Celtics uniform they will play like a Celtic instead of working hard and earning it. He also added, “the brawl was not toughness, we don’t have any toughness.” Rivers has always been forthcoming with the media about his team, but Wednesday night was one his best press conferences of all-time.

Celtics play the waiting game regarding possible Rajon Rondo suspension– Gary Washburn’s notebook has Rondo could be facing a multi-game suspension as he’s already been suspended by the league twice in the past ten months. Gary Dzen has the Nets’ players reactions from the scrum.

Rajon Rondo playing the fool– Steve Bulpett says Rondo’s emotions got the best of him and now a suspension looms.

Rajon Rondo shows some fight– Chris Forsberg has how the Celtics could turn this into a positive, making them into a tougher team.

Rondo’s assist streak ends after ejection– Jessica Camerato has more on Rondo’s assist streak coming to an end.

Division crown no longer a layup for C’s– Bulpett also has the Atlantic Division being a much more competitive division this year, with the Nets, 76’ers and Knicks all primed to compete with the Celtics.

Bird’s Rookie Year – Game 20 vs. the Nuggets

Celtics (15-4) vs. Nuggets (9-15)
Wednesday, November 28
Boston Garden

Good things seemed to happen at the Garden when Dick Bavetta refs.

The last time Bavetta reffed a game in Boston, Larry Bird put up a triple-double.

Bird followed up that performance with a dominating 29 point, 7 rebound, 8 assist night in a 119-97 win over the Nuggets.  He shot 12-for-18 from the field and even canned another 3-pointer.  Overall, the story of the night was the three-point shot.  The Celtics lit up Denver by hitting a team-high six 3’s, including five from Chris Ford.  Ford had quietly contributed all season, but now was starting to break out with back-to-back standout games.  The future Celtics head coach poured in 27 points, as well as added 4 steals and 3 assists.  Known for his defensive spark, the 29-year old from Atlantic City was really adding a lot to the shooting guard position.

The starting five for the C’s pushed around the Nuggets.  Along with superb nights from Bird and Ford, the Green Team’s first five outscored their counterparts, 84-60.  Cedric Maxwell had a quiet game offensively, but contributed to the victory with 9 boards and 4 assists.  The Celtics were all filling their roles so well at such an early junction in the season, and Tiny Archibald did his job at the point with 10 points and distributed 13 assists.  Dave Cowens added 12 and 10.

The prior season, the Celtics did not reach their fifteenth victory until January 19.  Cowens, Archibald, Ford, and Maxwell were all part of that team, but the addition of Bird helped bring out the best in all of his teammates.

Fellow NBA rookie Earvin “Magic” Johnson was quoted in an aforementioned Sports Illustrated story by Douglas Looney, and he discussed the power of passing:

For his part, Magic says, “I discovered as a kid that the way to win was not to have a bunch of guys who could shoot 20-foot jump shots. What we’d do is get five average guys who could shoot layups. Then we’d pass—and win.”

Now, as the top team in the Atlantic and the Eastern Conference, Bird’s teammates — though these Celtics were far from average players, as Cowens and Archibald were two of the league’s finest and Maxwell sacrificed much of game to fill a defensive/rebounding role the team desperately needed — were likely to agree with that assessment.  After taking an Indiana State team further than anyone possibly conceived, Bird was now surrounded by talented teammates and seemed ready to take the league by storm.  The win, which featured Bill Fitch’s first ejection of the season, marked the Celtics’ fourth straight victory.  A rematch with the Knicks awaited on Friday at the Boston Garden.

 

Ron Borges Caught In Another Lie, Mazz Making Stuff Up, and Peter King’s Laughable Rationalization

Just another day in the world of the Boston sports media.

In the morning, we had Pete Sheppard taking on Ron Borges on the Dennis and Callahan Morning Show. Borges, as usual sounded like a raving madman, screaming, yelling and cursing on the air- getting bleeped out, shouting down any accusations or points made against him. As far as defenses go, its a reliable one, if you’re on the offensive and changing the talking points every two seconds, it’s going to be hard to build that stable case against you in the short time you have on the air.

Of course, the case against Borges was made a long time ago, and it has only been added to since.

One accusation that Sheppard made was that Borges had had dinner at Drew Bledsoe’s house, and how this closeness was part of the reason Borges turned on Bill Belichick so venomously when Belichick named Brady the starter even when Bledsoe was ready to return in 2001.

Borges went ballistic on Sheppard, screaming, asking what evidence he had of this supposed dinner, and when pressed on it yelled “NO I DIDN’T” and demanded again to have Sheppard reveal evidence.

Here’s your evidence, Ron: From Drew Bledsoe himself:

So there you go. Yet another documented case of Ron Borges lying.

Gerry Callahan was his usual loathsome self during the show,  at one point dropping into his whiny, feminine voice to say that Sheppard would now be wearing a fireman’s helmet to the games and leading the cheers of P-A-T-S, PATS!

When the topic of Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning throwing the ball on the Packers with five minutes to go came up, the goalposts were shifted again, instead of it being only the evil Patriots and Bill Belichick that do this, it became “we’re only concerned with Tom Brady and him getting hurt.

In the afternoon, Tony Massarotti spent the afternoon yelling that Jermaine Cunningham was clearly much bigger than he was in previous seasons and that the suspension was definitely not for Adderall.  He presented absolutely zero evidence of this, and really,  how could he? How much is he around the team? I’m not convinced that he even watches the games.

Meanwhile, if you want to know about Adderall, and why NFL players might want to take it, and why it is banned, Tom E Curran has it all.

A GIS search of Cunningham shows no obvious changes in his body since joining the Patriots. Some modest increase in strength, but no Barry Bonds-like transformation. Yet Massarotti was screaming that if you didn’t see, it, you’re an idiot, a moron and just plain stupid.

I continue to be baffled as to way anyone who actually enjoys sports and their teams would listen to this type of programming willingly. I’m clearly old-school, maybe not this old school, but definitely from before the time when sports radio only existed to dump on the local teams 24/7.

The running-up-the-score hypocrisy will not die. Peter King in his MMQB, Tuesday Edition answered an email from a New England NFL fan:

BELICHICK DOES IT ALL THE TIME. COUGHLIN, NOT SO MUCH. “How about a team that is up by four touchdowns (38-10) with five minutes left and keeping the starting quarterback in and is STILL throwing the ball? Man, that Belichick is one evil…. oh wait… that was Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning against Green Bay Sunday night. When it’s not Belichick, the moral outrage goes away, right?”
— Tom, Portsmouth, N.H.

It’s a little different. Belichick’s done this often over the years. You need more than one hand to count the times Tom Brady’s been in a total blowout in the middle of the fourth quarter. But Coughlin had a reason, I believe. His offense had been struggling for four weeks, and he has every right to use the game to do what he can to make sure his team is back on track for the stretch run. People wouldn’t be killing Belichick if it were a one-time occurrence. Obviously, it’s not.

My mind is still spinning at this.

It’s OK for Coughlin to use a real, live game to work on things to make his team better and make sure they’re in top form for the postseason. Bill Belichick does it, and it’s just out of spite and poor sportsmanship. Got it.

I mean, it’s not like Saint Tony Dungy ever did this sort of thing with Peyton Manning. Oh, wait.

I think this might be the more accurate explanation for why only Belichick gets flayed for this.

The other thing to wonder is how often are other teams even in this position? It’s all well and good to say that Coughlin, or any other coach doesn’t leave their QB in with a 35-point lead, or isn’t passing under five minutes with a 35-point lead. How many teams routinely have 35-point leads?

Still on the Patriots, with the Gil Santos era winding down, the subject of his replacement is gaining momentum.

John Rooke, The Obvious Choice To Take Over For Gil Santos – Derek Havens looks at why Rooke and his 20 years of working for the Patriots make him the best choice for the job. I’m on-board with this, certainly if it keeps Gary Tanguay or Jon Meterparel away from the gig.

Meanwhile, Red Sox reporters are waiting for something to happen.

Abraham of course, wrote a Lester column himself, but that was sort of his point. Right now, the Red Sox media is jumping on any scrap of information and writing about it.

I thought Abraham and Chad Finn had a nice 1-2 punch on the Jon Lester for Wil Myers rumor(?) Is it even a rumor? Speculation?

Lester for a prospect? Here’s why it’s crazy – Abraham

Jon Lester for Wil Myers? Why not? – Finn