The 2018 All-Star Break came like a downpour in the desert for the Boston Celtics, who have been severely “faltering” as of late. And even that is a rather forgiving euphemism to use - perhaps “shriveling” would be more appropriate. In their last 3 games, Boston has allowed an average of 115.7 points to their opponents (OPPG), even worse than the 105 OPPG allowed in their last 15 contests. The fiery resolve with which this team was playing top-notch defense at the beginning of the year (2nd best in the NBA) has all but escaped them. Someone needs to put a stop to this slipping; that someone is Kyrie Irving.
There was a time when Lonzo Ball didn’t live in the shadow of his father. It may be hard to remember now, but before every news outlet in Los Angeles began sticking a camera in Lavar Ball’s face, it was all about Lonzo.
This has been a tough stretch for the Celtics. From Marcus Smart getting injured and missing time, to the team losing four of their last five games, including three in a row heading into the All-Star break, to the Cavs getting better. It all paints a negative picture for the Celtics. However, after Gordon Hayward went down in the first game of the season, Celtics fans expected a negative picture type of season. So why are fans so down on the team now? Because, the team has exceeded expectations. Not only have they exceeded them, they have changed the expectations of fans. It may be best to return to how fans felt on night one. A time when they’d be satisfied with any positive output from the team, rather than now, expecting the best of the best.
The Cleveland Cavaliers shook things up at the trade deadline, to say the least. They moved on from their older players like Channing Frye, Dwyane Wade, and Derrick Rose, as well Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder (note: other assets were also moved, but those are the notable)
The Boston Bruins(34-12-8) beat the New Jersey Devils(27-20-8) 5-3 in a crazy game at the Prudential Center. Noel Acciari returned to the lineup and Austin Czarnik was reassigned to Providence(AHL).
The Bruins (33-11-8) played host to the Buffalo Sabres (15-29-10) Saturday night at TD Garden. Boston entered the night 9-1-0 in its past ten games, good for 74 points and second place in the Atlantic Division. Buffalo, with a record of 4-5-1, sat at the bottom of the Eastern Conference with 42 points. The teams split their previous two meetings, Buffalo took the first meeting 5-4 in overtime back on October 21st, with Boston victorious in the most recent meeting 3-0 on December 19th. Bruins’ goaltender Tuukka Rask carried a personal 21-game point streak (19-0-2) into the game.
With the NFL season officially over, all eyes turn to free agency and the draft, as teams look to fill the holes on their rosters in hopes of making next season, their season. Here’s a look at my projections for the 1st two rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft prior to the start of free agency.
The 9th ranked Providence College Friars hosted the University of Maine Black Bears Friday at Schneider Arena. This game marked the second meeting between Maine freshman Jeremy Swayman, a 2017 fourth round pick of the Boston Bruins, and Providence junior Hayden Hawkey, a 2014 sixth round pick of the Montreal Canadiens.
As the basketball world fractured around them, the Boston Celtics remained relatively inactive at the NBA Trade Deadline. Now, one might presume that this suggests a lack of confidence or chutzpah. But that's just not the case. For the first time since the days of the “Big Three”, the Celtics really didn't need anything, save for maybe a prosthetic for Gordon Hayward, but I digress. The roster has crystallized; the faces of the next Boston Sports hegemony are already here. Fans should be extremely heartened by the Celtics’ dearth of desperation.