Celtics Circuit: Three Crucial Matchups Against Cavaliers

The Boston Celtics have to find a way to contain the Cleveland Cavaliers'  Big Three.

The Boston Celtics have to find a way to contain the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Big Three.

The Boston Celtics enter their opening-round series against the Cleveland Cavaliers with all eyes in Boston on them for the first time this season. Throughout the 2014-’15 season, the Celtics have been seen as rebuilding while the New England Patriots captured Super Bowl XLIX on February 1st and the Boston Bruins failed to make the playoffs last Saturday.

In this series, pundits have mainly picked the Cavaliers to finish the series quickly either in four or five games. Celtics play-by-play broadcaster Mike Gorman (along with the most optimistic Celtics fans) are the only people who are picking the Celtics.

The pressure is on the superstar-laden Cavaliers. LeBron James signed with the Cavaliers last summer and immediately made the Cavaliers contenders for the Larry O’Brien trophy. They added forward Kevin Love in a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves and they already had 2014 NBA All-Star MVP Kyrie Irving on their roster.

Meanwhile the Celtics were 16-30 after January and left for dead in the bottom of the Eastern Conference. They shipped Rajon Rondo to the Dallas Mavericks and Jeff Green to the Memphis Grizzlies before Super Bowl Sunday. The Celtics are 24-12 since February 1st. They have beaten playoff teams like the Grizzlies, Atlanta Hawks, and New Orleans Pelicans. They also built a big advantage over the Golden State Warriors before falling in the final few minutes. The Celtics are among the hottest and most interesting teams in this year’s postseason. Brad Stevens is a candidate for Coach of the Year.

Here are three intriguing matchups between the Celtics and Cavliers:

1. James versus Celtics’ defense: It will be interesting to see if the Celtics employ any new wrinkles against James because they don’t really have a one-on-one defender to stop LeBron (nobody really does). The biggest key is to limit the turnovers and not let James get into the open court. The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach had an interesting article in Saturday’s newspaper about James’ shooting percentage from the perimeter. Himmelsbach wrote that James is shooting 56.5 percent when he has a defender guarding him within two feet and his percentage falls to 49.5 percent when the nearest defender is at least six feet away from him. Obviously, the Celtics would like to make James shoot jumpers in the half-court, but that is easier said than done against the 6-foot-8-inch, 250-pound battering ram. The Celtics will likely seek a rotation of Evan Turner, Jae Crowder, and Brandon Bass to defend James. Read more

The P.K. Subban LumberJack Song Will Cheer Up Bruins Fans (VIDEO)

p.k. subban

Being a Bruins fan right now sucks, as we are watching other teams play in the second season. But there is one thing we can do to ease the pain, that is to root against the Canadiens and their whiny, arrogant fans.

If anyone touches their players, it’s considered a crime.

But it’s completely acceptable for P.K. Subban to act like a lumberjack and two hand slash Mark Stone of the Ottawa Senators, fracturing his wrist.

Almost as deplorable as the slash itself, is Subban’s whiny and crying that Stone embellished…….the pot calling the kettle black much (and no Habs fans this is not a racial slur, google it)?!



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Cheer up P.K. someone has expressed their love for you in song….

Dude you have a a lot of talent but that gets overshadowed by you being a hippocritcal whiny diving B*TCH!

Celtics Playoffs..What Are The Odds? – With NBA Lines by Mybookie.ag

Isaiah Thomas leads Celtics

Isaiah Thomas has been a major reason why the Celtics had the second best record in the Eastern Conference since February 2nd.

I’ll be the first to say that I was right in my prediction of contending for a low-seed playoff spot, but how the Celtics reached this point nobody saw coming. This Celtics team proved a lot of doubters wrong thus far, and defied the NBA tank. The strange thing is, I’m convinced they aren’t done yet. That’s correct, I think the Boston Celtics could give the Cavaliers a run for their money, by either pushing the Cavs to 7 games or even taking the series. And if anyone else is feeling as bold as I am about the Celtics taking down the Cavs, you can go place a bet for the series. 

I’m going to play out a scenario, and you tell me if I am being overly optimistic, or completely sensible. Celtics upset the Cavs in 7 games. LeBron will get his 30+ points a night, but can only carry his team so far. Kevin Love, much like most of the season, struggles to fit into David Blatt’s offense. Kyrie is held in check by Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley. David Blatt, an untested NBA coach, gets out-coached by Brad Stevens. Celtics play as a team and move the ball around and keep Cleveland’s stars in check. Celtics take a few games early on in the series, and suddenly the Cavs are playing on their heels.

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Boston Bruins: Final Two Weeks By The Numbers

There are a lot of words that could be used to describe the 2014-15 season of the Boston Bruins. ‘Successful’ would not be one of them. Coming off of a Presidents’ Trophy a season ago, big things were expected from the Black and Gold, but they never got to showcase their full potential as injuries to several key players derailed their season and now there is only one team from the Garden that is playoff bound. Whether Claude Julien and Peter Chiarelli return in 2015 is still up in the air, but the team did announce Monday that it will be parting ways with longtime fourth-liners and unrestricted free agents, Daniel Paille and Gregory Campbell, as they look to improve in the goal-scoring department for next season. Before we completely turn the page to next year, however, let’s look back at the final two weeks of play, which featured a teenaged rookie setting a Bruins’ record and joining some pretty impressive company in the process, the first NHL goal for one young defenseman, the team’s most shots on goal in two years, a dismal scoreless streak against one playoff-bound team, a woeful piece of all-time history relating to a particular season series and Boston becoming the first team to miss the postseason the year after earning one of the league’s most impressive trophies. For the final time in 2014-15, this is Boston Bruins: Final Two Weeks By The Numbers.

The Bruins head off the ice after a disappointing end to the 2014-15 season.

The Bruins head off the ice after a disappointing end to the 2014-15 season.

0: The Bruins did not allow the Rangers (this year’s Presidents’ Trophy winners) to have a power-play opportunity in their 4-2 win on March 28. It was the first time since Nov. 10 against the Devils that the Bruins’ opponent did not have a single power play and just the second time this season.

1: Zach Trotman scored his first career NHL goal – the game winner – to beat the Red Wings late in the third period on April 2.

1: The Wings led the Bruins, 1-0, after two periods in that game before the B’s rallied to win with three goals in the third. It marked the first time this season that the Wings lost a game in regulation in which they led after two periods (21-1-4).

.167: The Bruins had a .167 winning percentage this season when Torey Krug committed a penalty – the lowest of any regular player on the team. Zdeno Chara (.214) was the next lowest.

1.85: New York’s Henrik Lundqvist came into the March 28 meeting against Boston with a 1.85 goals-against average in 36 career appearances against the B’s before surrendering four goals in the loss.

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The Autopsy Of The 2014-5 Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins autopsy

VICTIM NAME:

BOSTON BRUINS

TIME OF DEATH:

945PM, APRIL 11TH 2015

CAUSES OF DEATH:

  1. MISMANAGEMENT OF THE SALARY CAP (IGINLA & BOYCHUK)
  2. SIGNING EVERY SINGLE CORE PLAYER TO LONG TERM CONTRACTS
  3. GIVING OUT NO TRADE CLAUSES LIKE CANDY
  4. TERRIBLE DRAFTS BESIDES PASTRNAK
  5. LITTLE TO NO IMPROVEMENT OF THE ROSTER AT THE TRADE DEADLINE (FOR MULTIPLE SEASONS)
  6. STICKING WITH PLAYERS THAT HAVE NOTHING LEFT OR NEVER HAD ANYTHING TO BEGIN WITH (KELLY, CAMPBELL, PAILLE, BARTKOWSKI)
  7. NO FAITH OR TRUST IN YOUNG PLAYERS (SPOONER)
  8. NO IDENTITY (NOT BIG, NOT BAD, NOT FAST, NOT TOUGH)
  9. PLAYING WITH NO URGENCY, DESPERATION OR KILLER INSTINCT FOR THE BALANCE OF THE SEASON
  10. A ONCE PROUD DEFENSE REDUCED TO A SHELL OF ITS FORMER SELF 
  11. COULDN’T SCORE IN A NURSING HOME


Well, that’s it kids.

The Boston Bruins went from a Stanley Cup finalist to a President’s Trophy Winner to out of the f’n playoffs. How does that even happen?

Well you have a GM that could f*ck up a one car funeral procession.

A coach who sticks with “his guys” way too long and has a phobia for young offensive talent.

Too many players being passengers on this team and too many “core” guys were way too comfortable because of their no trade clauses and big fat contracts.

The only bright spots for the 2014-5 Boston Bruins were Patrice Bergeron (which is a given every year) and the rise of the kids (Pastrnak & Spooner).

And that is about it.

Just as your parents said to you when you did something wrong, “Hey Bruins, I am not mad, I am just EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTED!”

 

Red Sox Report: “The Ground Ball Effect”

 

Justin Masterson pitching for the Boston Red Sox

He may have had a 5.88 ERA last year, but Justin Masterson plays an integral part in the Red Sox plan for 2015.

I don’t think there has ever been a team in recent memory that has inspired such wildly inconsistent predictions from baseball analysts than the 2015 Boston Red Sox.

While the Red Sox have been favored by many to win the AL pennant, some think the AL East is up for grabs, let alone the AL pennant.

There is optimism for the season ahead, especially considering it can’t get too much worse than a last place finish in the AL East. The doubt in the minds of many, however, stems from the pitching rotation, and rightfully so.

The starting pitching rotation far from inspires optimism. Clay Buchholz is in contention for shakiest ace in the history of the MLB. Rick Porcello and Wade Miley can pitch and eat up innings, which helps the bullpen – but aren’t exactly what you would consider conventional starters on a playoff team, let alone championship team. The same goes for Justin Masterson and “Machine Gun” Joe Kelly, who round out the starters.

This rotation seems underwhelming… at least typed out on a computer screen. I’d like to think otherwise. John Farrell and the front office certainly do.

The fact is, the pitching may rely on the Red Sox positional players for support, and no, I don’t mean just the potentially lethal lineup. As it stands, Red Sox starting rotation has an averaged ground ball rate of over 50%, led by Masterson’s 56%. With ground-ball pitchers, comes heavy reliance on the infield, which figures to be solid all around including an improved Bogaerts manning shortstop.

Will this work? Can the Red Sox get by with this rotation? The Red Sox seem to think so. It’s not a conventional rotation staff led by power pitchers, but at least there is a plan – a plan that feels so experimental, it seems more like a case study. With that, I’d like to dub this pitching case study as “The Ground Ball Effect”. I just hope Ben Cherington doesn’t lose the Phillies front office phone number when the trade deadline comes around, because the Red Sox might find themselves needing a Cole Hamels.

 

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