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Connelly’s Top Ten: Celtics Even, Red Sox Even with Machado, Bruins Not Even from Refs

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Connelly’s Top Ten: Celtics Even, Red Sox Even with Machado, Bruins Not Even from Refs

1. Bruins Back in the Tournament:
* I have said it all week – Bruins brass, including Cassidy, had to go “Harry Sinden” on the refs and the league – unprecedented in NHL history that a team lose on TWO overtime power play goals in same series – has to be a first (especially after Schaller had got pulled down already in OT and Pierre McGuire said that’s the standard) / Krejci knee blown up no call / Two goals taken away / no penalty shot / Methot punching people in the face and gets nothing. Neely can you do anything other than pump your fist after a goal
* Marchand’s worst game of his career – either lost the puck or his footing almost every time he touched the puck (ONE GOAL LAST TWENTY-FIVE PLAYOFF GAMES)
* Sidebar – is it bad karma to have a Chipolte ad on your ice?
* Does the Bruins alumni team have any salary cap room for Backes seeing he has four years left on his contract (they will be buying out the last two years)
* Ottawa was 6-0 at the Garden this year
* Bruins outshot them (30-29) / outhit them (42-32) / won more faceoffs (56%) / blocked more shots (16 to 8) and LOST
* How many times are the Bruins going to ice the puck
* Over $12mm for Backes, Hayes, and Beleskey – the last 36 combined games – one goal
* Looking to the offseason – things to improve on – not clearing the puck over your own glass / hitting the net with at least 40% of your shots

2. Celtics Playoffs
* Isaiah is a marvel – trade him right after the season
* Jimmy Butler free throws 23 / Celtics 22
* Smart needs to get in Butler’s head
* Bruins and Celtics are 0-5 at home this playoff series
* Isaiah’s game has to start with getting to the paint and then getting free looks outside – not the other way around
* Celtics shot 27% from three point land and won
* How is Lopez allowed to set pics by wrapping his arms around Celtics
* It appears that Brad Stevens under-utilized Gerald Green this year

3. Red Sox
* Nice job by Barnes trying to get the job done on Machado – you can’t be near the head though
* E Rodriguez threw up on Dean Wormer the three times he went after Machado’s legs
* How many times in baseball history have the first four hitters scored to start a game?
* Pedroia can’t throw his pitcher under the bus after the pitcher’s had his back
* Did I see Bogaerts wearing a Fitbit when he was playing?
* Jackie Bradley’s home run was a bomb Saturday night – urine test soon to be requested
* Benintendi 15 for his last 30

4. Sixth Round of the 2000 NFL Draft:
* Four players from the sixth round of the 2000 draft made Pro Bowls – Brady, Adalius Thomas, Marc Bulger, Neil Rackers
5. Earning your pay:

*99 NHL players played all 82 games / 17 NBA players played all 82 games

6. What’s more dangerous?
* Sitting in the Monster Seats when John “Wayback” Wasdin was pitching
* Standing behind the net when Pastrnak is shooting
* Sitting in the first row when Jae Crowder shoots
* Being a quarterback with Reggie White on the other side of Max Lane

7. Amazing Stat – Interesting stats in the Globe –
* In the NFL draft – Belichick has traded down 19 times but traded up 18 times
* The five players on the ice for the Bruins for Friday’s overtime winner were all Americans

8. Old School – These three incidents had to be dealt with:
* Wideman taking out Krejci and then talking trash to him – Chara has to take a penalty right there going after him – think Varitek fighting ARod and how that turned 2004 around
* Machado taking out Pedroia – I was sick to my stomach watching Steven Wright dancing a knuckler up to the plate and Machado gets a base hit – thank God they went after him Sunday
* Rondo trying to trip Crowder – can’t happen – Crowder has to get in his face

9. Just a Little Bit Outside – Names, phrases and places every good Boston fan should no
* Margo Adams
* Parry Sound
* “Dippsy Doo”
* “Mercy”
* 199
* Blue
* Cardiac Kids (to dream the impossible dream)
* Do your job / it is what it is
* Heartbreak Hill
* Snowplow

10. Randomocity
* Will Audi get a rebate – they sponsor each Bruins goal
* What is slanting the opinion of NFL scouts’ on Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey – that he is smaller or white?
* Hate that the Patriots have six-night games this fall
* If the NHL only has one timeout – why does basketball need so many – give them one a half
* Jerry Remy must be grumpy having to stay after games for the post-game show
* Sunday Sports on TV – English Soccer FA Cup at 9:30 / Red Sox at 1:30 / Bruins at 3:00 / Celtics at 6:30
* Will Howard allow Chuck to go to Joanie’s funeral?
* My odds that David Price gets surgery 65-35 – which means he has already missed 3 months of recovery. Don’t plan on seeing a winning game out of him until 2019.
* Scientists marched on Washington Saturday – in other news Staples stores in the nation’s capital have run out of pocket protectors

Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics Set To Face Their Toughest Test

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The Boston Celtics have battled their way to a 13-game winning streak after losing the first two games of their season. This winning streak has catapulted the C’s to the top of the Eastern Conference and has gotten the attention of fans around the NBA. But on Thursday night this team will face it’s first big test, the Golden State Warriors.

Golden State is the reigning NBA champions and still has the most talented roster in the entire league. Boston has done it all during their winning streak, but this task could be their toughest obstacle.

Taking down the Warriors is a huge confidence swing for a team that is potentially eyeing a title chance at the end of the season. Drumming up a regular season game is usually a hard thing to do, but for this game, the two teams are legitimate title contenders. For the Celtics, the loss of Gordon Hayward was thought to be crippling to this year’s team’s potential. But the amount of grit and resilience they have shown has been remarkable.

Whether they have been without Hayward, Kyrie Irving, Al Horford, or Jayson Tatum, this team has battled through it all to win 13 straight games. Thursday’s game will be a challenge, but one that could be very telling for the team’s long-term success.

Celtics-Warriors tips off at 8:00 pm on TNT.

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Boston Celtics

The Mask: Recalibrating Kyrie’s Face and the Offense

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Kyrie Irving is being obligated to accessorize on the basketball court. If you haven’t heard – It’s sort of a big deal. 

After getting elbowed in the face by Aron Baynes, during last Friday’s game, Kyrie will have to wear a protective mask for a little while. And many fans believe that Irving wears the good ol’ Rip Hamilton face mask with suave fashionability. 

Despite the raving reviews and social media’s embracement, Irving peers through his plastic transparency with defeated eyes. He looks like an emasculated puppy who has to wear one of those postoperative head-cones.

It’s apparent that Irving wants to release his bite, but feels that all he can do is bark, behind the silly partition. On Tuesday afternoon, Kyrie voiced his ambivalent love for the sensation that his prescription face shield has become. “I know it’s for my safety.” He volunteered during a press conference, before doing battle with the Brooklyn Nets.

Conversely, in his first game back since the recent facial injury, Kyrie Irving did not play with his tail between his legs. He attacked the Barclays Center like a beast unleashed.

Kyrie absolutely stifled the resolve of the Nets, with lancinating drives and frustrated flair. He was able to channel his embarrassment into his performance.

The annoying piece of hardware, that scratched at his face and jostled his vision, was ticking him off in a productive manner. After every play, Kyrie would remove the mask, guffaw at its dorkiness, readjust and then get back to work.

Irving, with a game-high 25 points and 5 assists, would lead the Celtics to a 109-102 victory over Brooklyn, on Tuesday night.

Celtics fans may not realize this, but Kyrie’s notorious mask is going to have a huge influence on the games in which it appears. Not only will the facemask recalibrate Kyrie Irving’s expression, but it will also recalibrate the entire Celtics offense.

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Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics Excitement Reaching 2008 Levels

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The 2017-18 Boston Celtics are on a bit of a roll right now with a 12 game win streak. Going into this season the hype surrounding a team that added not one but two superstars was high. And this team has yet to disappoint. But the way they are doing it is beyond impressive.

When Gordon Hayward went down there was an eerie feeling of a new season already being ruined. But with the youth movement in full swing, this team had something else in mind. Boston has battled through it all during their win streak. They have played without Al Horford and Kyrie Irving at times showing the full repertoire of what coach Brad Stevens has to offer.

Stevens during this run has drawn up game-winning plays with personnel such as Terry Rozier, Jayson Tatum, and Jaylen Brown playing well beyond their years. Can this run continue? Are they as good as they are playing? Yes and yes. Obviously, they will lose a basketball game sooner rather than later, but they have yet to play their best basketball.

Brown and Tatum are both young players who in theory will continue to grow and develop as the season progresses. And they are not the only ones, the other young players should be able to do the same under Stevens. On top of that Irving who has fit right into the Stevens’ system, in theory, has yet to hit his stride in the system. Others such as Morris and Baynes are also in that category.

Boston might be in the midst of a serious winning streak, but they still have room for growth. Can they win a title this season without Hayward? Why not? In the NBA playoffs, the team with the superstars tend to win which Boston would be outgunned when playing a Cleveland or a Golden State. But along the way, if they can get Tatum and others some playoff experience and a chance to see what getting close to a championship is like it could go a long way when Hayward returns.

No matter what happens this years team is the first big excitement surrounding the Celtics since Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen teamed up with Paul Pierce.

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