The Boston Bruins make their way to Edmonton to face the Oilers on their Canadian road trip. The players took out some time to hang out with former teammate and friend, Andrew Ference. Ference was and still is one of the most beloved players to wear Black & Gold.
Reunited and it feels so good…..well until game time that is.
The Boston Celtics endured an emotional and tough week. They fell to the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Clippers.
Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce along with the rest of the Nets showed why they were contenders for the NBA title on Tuesday night in Brooklyn. In the 96-88 loss to the Clippers, the Celtics allowed the Clippers to get to the free throw line while posting poor offensive possessions in the second half. Doc Rivers made his return to Boston last night. In the second half, the Clippers’ defense did not allow much penetration in the paint by Jordan Crawford and the rest of the Celtics.
Before these last two losses, the Celtics had won six of their previous eight games. They got a reminder of what it is like to win close games against talented opponents. Both the Nets and Clippers had mismatches at point guard and center. The Nets had Deron Williams and Brook Lopez. The Clippers had Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. Without Rajon Rondo, the Celtics are lacking against superior competition in these two positions.
Here are two noticeable tweets from Celtics’ players:
Knicks vs BK. Wow! Charles Barkley is hilarious on @TNT Gotta win the game when Chuck is working it. #chuckpressure
This is an obvious statement from Kris Humphries while Humphries was following the New York Knicks lopsided win over the Nets on December 4th. Charles Barkley was a great basketball player and he may be even better providing analysis in the studio on TNT. Barkley’s honesty is very entertaining. Players don’t want to be embarrassed when their game is being televised on TNT because Barkley will make a note of it for his commentary on the game. Humphries did not play in the loss to the Clippers because of a bruised knee that he suffered against the Nets.
Jordan Crawford was named NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played Mon, Dec. 2 through Sun, Dec. 8: http://t.co/kK5ifWpbVs
Celtics forward Brandon Bass retweeted the Celtics congratulating point guard Crawford on being named Eastern Conference Player of the Week. Crawford helped lead the Celtics to wins over the Milwaukee Bucks and the Denver Nuggets last week. Crawford scored 47 points combined and he shot 17-of-27 from the field, including 6-of-11 from beyond the three-point line. He added 13 assists in the two home victories. Crawford continued his strong performance with 23 points in the Celtics’ 114-73 victory over the Knicks on Sunday afternoon. The Celtics’ guard nailed six treys to silence the Madison Square Garden.
Brooklyn Nets forward Paul Pierce (four points) tries to drive by Jeff Green in the Nets’ 104-96 win.
This week has been dubbed “Reunion Week” by the media because the Boston Celtics faced Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and the Nets in Brooklyn on Tuesday night. They will face the Celtics former head coach Doc Rivers and the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night.
While the Celtics were in a rebuilding process, many basketball experts believed that the Nets and Clippers would be title contenders this season.
The Celtics and Nets are in complete opposite directions of where the two franchises were supposed to be before the season. Even though a quarter of the season has been played, the Nets have battled injuries throughout their lineup. Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams had missed 11 of the previous 12 games with a sprained ankle before he returned against the Celtics on Tuesday. Pierce (broken right hand) also returned after missing four games and came off the bench for the Nets with a wrap on his hand. The Nets have also dealt with turmoil in their coaching staff with assistant coach Lawerence Frank being reassigned to giving game reports. Frank and head coach Jason Kidd butted heads in a power struggle. Garnett and Pierce are shooting below 40 percent from the field. Meanwhile, the Celtics had won six of their last eight games before Tuesday night’s 104-96 loss.
It was difficult to watch the game and not come away with the perception that once the Nets are completely healthy, the Nets will run away with the Atlantic Division. The Nets have too much size for the Celtics with Brook Lopez, Garnett, and Andray Blatche. Even though the Celtics cut a double-digit deficit to five points with under two minutes remaining in the game, the Nets were able to come away with the victory. Williams (25 points and seven assists) and Lopez (24 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the field) give the Nets two things that the Celtics do not have right now – point guard and center. Both were able to get inside the Celtics’ defense for easy baskets at the net. The Nets are still without Andrei Kirilenko (back) and ex-Celtic Jason Terry. Despite sitting at 7-14, the Nets are only two games behind the Celtics.
It was an emotional night in Calgary for the Bruins’ Jarome Iginla. Iginla spent the first 16 years of his career with the Flames was the face of the franchise as well as a stalwart in the local community. The Flames put together a nice pre-game tribute for him as the sold out crowd chanted “IG-GY”…..
After two lackluster periods, the Bruins pulled out a 2-1 victory in Iginla’s homecoming. Iginla was voted the game’s third star and did the traditional tip of the cap, tap of the stick to the crowd.
But something touching and magical happened during Iginla’s recognition, his Bruins teammates pushed him back on the ice multiple times so the crowd could cheer on their hometown hero. Below is a link of the footage that TSN NOT NESN captured…..
Injuries create opportunities. Nobody wants to see a guy get hurt, but when it happens, it opens up a spot for someone else to make an impact. The Bruins have been hit pretty hard with the injury bug over the last few games. Two of these many injuries, Chris Kelly (fractured tibia) and Loui Eriksson (concussion), have left holes in the lineup. Both of these players will be out for an extended period of time, so the B’s have called up AHL scoring machines Ryan Spooner and Matt Fraser.
It is exciting to see these two guys get the call up from Providence despite the somber circumstances regarding their promotion. This is especially true given they outstanding seasons they are both having with the baby B’s.
Spooner was the Bruins’ 2nd round draft pick during the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Last season with the Providence Bruins, he had 17 goals, 40 assists, and a +17 in 59 games. This season in the AHL he has 5 goals, 18 assists, and a +6 in 21 games. He has a high hockey IQ to go along with his impressive speed and vision. He has developed into quite the offensive weapon in the AHL, and there is plenty of potential there for him to turn into a productive NHLer.
A nice comparable for Spooner would be current Bruins forward Reilly Smith. Both players are quick, shifty, and their high end puck moving ability helps them make up for their lack of physicality. Although, Smith is a little bigger than Spooner, so he will have to contend with that throughout his career. The young center also has 2 assists in 2 games from a prior call-up earlier in the season.
For the third straight week, the Patriots offense got off to a slow start, and for the third straight week, led by Tom Brady, they found a way to dig themselves out of the hole. Trailing 26-14 with two minutes left after Cleveland made it a two-possession game, Brady led the team to not one but two touchdowns to give them the improbable victory, 27-26.
Unlike the previous two times, however, it took two touchdowns in the final two minutes to earn the victory. Not to mention recovering an onside kick and keeping the Browns and kicker Billy Cundiff just far enough away so that his 58-yard attempt came up just short as time expired.
“That was awesome,” said Brady after the game. That was awesome. What a game. I’m just proud of the guys. We fought through a lot of adversity. A lot of mental toughness. We grinded it out, so it was pretty sweet.”