A mixed bag this week. The Celtics’ angel has opened their eyes and brought them the postseason they’ve been wating for, while the confusion still belongs to the Red Sox down the hall. For the Bruins . . . well, an old mother dies.
Having unceremoniously dispensed the Cleveland Cavaliers last Thursday, the Celtics are now up two games over the Orlando Magic. North Station Sports starts things off with their belief that playoff success comes down to mental acumen, and while the C’s have mental lapses the Magic are not steel-minded enough to push through the hits they’re taking from Boston.
Celtics Life sees the return of Ubuntu and a hunger for an 18th banner after the opening win against the Magic on Sunday. Tuesday night’s Game 2 was all about Paul Pierce and CelticsBlog says no one personifies the will to win more than him. Celtics Hub points to Game 2 as evidence of why Vince Carter is not up there with Pierce among the best of the Class of 1998. If an idiot like Red’s Army could see Carter is not a clutch player, why couldn’t the Orlando Magic braintrust? LOSCY offers a graphical analysis of how Carter choked at the line. Green Street warns that the C’s cannot rely on missed free throws down the stretch again, as the fourth quarter has been prime time for the Magic in these first two games.
With tens of millions of dollars of payroll at risk and a bevy of ball boys, Celtics Green wonders why Amway Arena can’t pick up a few mops to keep the court dry. From screaming PA fools to cheer sticks to bouncing balls, And Another Thing . . . says it doesn’t get more bush than Orlando. Gino’s Jungle tests the theory that ref Bill Kennedy hates Doc Rivers and the C’s, but the conclusion after Game 2’s performance is that the whole crew was equally egregious to both teams.
Celtics Stuff Live warns the botoxed morons who fill Staples Center with chants of “We Want Boston” that the C’s would be the worst possible matchup for the Lakers. Mocking Mike Mayock lists ten reasons the C’s will win a title this year, and facing the Lakers is among them.
After dropping the last two in Detroit over the weekend, the Sox opened the work week with an improbable split in the Bronx after trailing, 5-0, in both games. Red Sox Monster had Monday’s game poised as one of the great wins of the season . . . until Jonathan Papelbon happened. With the Yankees victory, Subway Squawkers observed how the tables have turned, as the Pinstripers are acting more like the Idiot-era Sox and Boston like Kevin Brown-era cranks.
For Toeing The Rubber, it was almost more painful to watch the Sox win on Tuesday than lose on Monday. The Joy Of Sox recounts the last at bat on Tuesday, with Papelbon on the threshhold of another major meltdown and everything having the desperation of mid-October. Nonetheless, Michael Hurley maintains there is no such thing as a must-win in May. Fenway Pastoral suggests Papelbon may be tipping his pitches; it seems like every time he cocks his arm, he delivers a low-90s fastball with little to no movement on it. Confessions of a She-Fan finds it takes seven Yankees to screw up a ball game.
After last night’s performance against the Minnesota Twins, Boston Dirt Dogs is ready to appoint Clay Buchholz next year’s ace. ESPN Boston’s Red Sox Blog has Buchholz in command of four pitches last night.
Given Mike Lowell’s complaints over his situation on the heels of a bad Sox loss on Monday, Hit And Run With Dan Roche tells him in the same breath to get out of town and to sit tight. No wonder the poor guy doesn’t know whether he is coming or going. NESN‘s Peter Gammons counts as many as nine teams interested in Lowell, including the Florida Marlins. Hey, do you think they’d take Josh Beckett back, too? BoSox Injection welcomes back Big Papi.
Do we really have to? Since 2004, I’ve had a phobia of seeing any Boston team gain a 3-0 series advantage because I didn’t want to be the city that let New York off the hook. Now that it’s happened, my fears seem justified. This is a suckiness beyond anything my neurotic tendencies could have imagined. Black & Gold says the B’s may not have wanted to be involved in the worst collapse in NHL history, but they didn’t want to avoid it enough either. In the face of adversity this season, Hockey Independent could always hear the echo when the B’s tapped their empty chests.
The Old Bruins Fan says that, like last year’s second-rounder against the Hurricanes, this series was lost not in Game 7 but in one much earlier. Barstool Sports wonders what made the B’s pull a Cavaliers act and just quit. Jerry Thornton says there’s a time in defeat for handling oneself with class and a calm demeanor, but the aftermath of Game 7 was not one.
Masshole Sports thinks the B’s didn’t lose this series so much as the Flyers just won it. Something’s Bruin says this should have been expected, given the B’s have reeled us in for three straight postseasons, only to throw a series away in the end. Tea Party Throwdown expected elimination much earlier this postseason, and she finds this unexpected playoff run a silver lining.
Tuesday was Break-Up Day, as GM Peter Chiarelli – in his best Duquettian straight face – noted the B’s have spent more days in the second round than all but four teams over the last two years. Stanley Cup of Chowder brings us a Chairelli / Julien tap-dancing act at Break-Up Day. Boston Then And Now has Tuesday’s performance showcasing how a loser mentality on the ice starts with the front office. Kathryn Tappen thinks piecing together a new team better keep the front office off the links this summer.
The Hub of Hockey kicks off its player-by-player final grades by going soft on defenseman Dennis Wideman. As Wideman goes, so go the B’s says Big Bad Blog, but for a good stretch of this past season, Wideman wasn’t going. Rink Rap has Tuukka Rask showing a genuine humility that is a prerequisite for hockey’s most important position. Bruins 2010 Draft Watch doesn’t see the Edmonton Oilers being swayed from Taylor Hall, so B’s fans should get ready for Tyler Seguin next season.
. . . an unstructured wandering through the Boston sports world
In the wake of the B’s epic choke (I know, you can’t get away from it!), The Crowe’s Nest offers up their top five most disappointing Boston losses, and all four major teams are covered.
Extra Points has our New England Patriots cracking Forbes‘ list of the ten most valuable sports brands globally. Bingo Bar Blog wants to see NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell slice the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints with the same badge of justice he used to cut up Bill Belichick and the Patriots.
Six States, One Blog has the Revolution getting an ideal opportunity to test three trial players in an exhibition against Portugal league champion Benfica. Corner Kicks has the Portugese squad depleted, but coming up with a victory last night before a patriotic crowd at Gillette. New England Revolution Blog has a sparse distribution of the ball hindering efforts to evaluate the trial players last night.
B’s bloggers: get out the sunscreen, get some rest, and be ready for another great run at the second round next year. We’ll pop in on you from time to time during the summer. As always, you can pop in on me on Twitter or Facebook any time.