The Red Sox, who are now 6-12 and in sole possession of last place in the AL East for those of you keeping track, added insult to injury on Tuesday after they caved to pressure from fans (and supposedly even their own pitchers and manager) to call up Sandy Leon from the minors who was designated for assignment before the start of the 2019 season. Leon was hailed as the key to fixing all the Red Sox pitching problems and there was legitimate credence given to the thought that once Leon was back behind the plate, the Red Sox would suddenly get their 108-win mojo back. Only hours after the move was made, it was already clear that Leon wasn't fixing anything.
Playoffs Provide Struggling Morris and Rozier with Opportunity to Change the Narrative Ahead of Free Agency
With the extra pressure that playoff basketball brings, it also brings more attention and thus, more recognition for those players who step up in the games that mean the most. No matter what a player has done in the regular season, the narrative about them can be completely altered either positively or negatively based on how they perform under the spotlight. We’ve witnessed this for ourselves with several Celtics players over the last several years.
The Red Sox stumbled and bumbled their way through the first ten days of the season and ended the previous week with a dismal 2-8 record. With the end of the brutal season-opening road trip and then their first home games of the season in this third week of the season, would the Sox finally get back to the brand of winning baseball they played last season? Would the team finally turn the page on 2018 after getting their rings and unveiling the 2018 championship banner in their home opener? Will playing in front of the home crowd at Fenway Park be the thing to cure what ails them? These are all questions I had heading into this week and as you'll see, the results continued to be...mixed, at best.
The Bruins dropped game three in Toronto by a final score of 3-2. The Leafs were simply the better team Monday night, and it showed, as it felt like the Bruins were lacking in many departments, and it wasn't as close as the score indicated. Tuukka Rask was able to keep the Bruins in the game, but the poor offensive production and a slow starting attack ultimately did them in.
With Marcus Smart deemed out for somewhere between 3-6 weeks entering the playoffs, the biggest question for this Celtics team was how they were going to make up for the loss of his defense as well as the loss of those intangible traits he possesses such as his intensity and heart. Well, in Sunday's 84-74 win, the Celtics were able to do just that. If you told someone who didn't watch the game that the Celtics only scored 84 points and they didn't have Marcus Smart to help on the defensive end, they would probably think that the Celtics lost by a margin of at least 15-20 points. Instead, they held the Pacers to the lowest score of any Celtics opponent this season by embodying Marcus Smart in his absence.
Every Bruins fan should already hate the Toronto Maple Leafs. After the victory over Toronto, it would be a despicable sight to see a Bruins fan who didn't hate the Toronto Maple Leafs after their classless, dirty performance, especially from noted scumbag Nazem Kadri, who will face a hearing and may be forced to miss the rest of the series. Additionally, injuries to Jake DeBrusk (who was intentionally injured by Kadri) and Torey Krug, who received a high, but clean hit from Jake Muzzin only created more problems between the Bruins and Leafs.
It's been well known for a couple of weeks now that the Celtics first round playoff opponent would likely be the Indiana Pacers. Now, after two match-ups in the final two weeks of the regular season, the Celtics and Pacers are set to square off in Game 1 tomorrow at 1:00 on TNT. After a rollercoaster of a season for both the Celtics and us fans, there's no way to know for sure what to expect from the team as they enter the postseason; however, the way that the Celtics played in their regular season match-ups with the Pacers provides plenty of reason for optimism when it comes to their chances in Round 1.
The 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs kicked off Wednesday night, but the Boston Bruins and the Toronto Maple Leafs would have to wait one more day to begin their best of seven series Thursday at TD Garden. The two Original Six rivals met in the first round for the second time in as many seasons, with the the Bruins narrowly emerging in a thrilling game seven finish only a year ago. Boston would win both games at home to start the series by 5-1 and 7-3 margins. This time around, the Leafs looked to get off to a better start against their long-time rival.
The Boston Celtics were without Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford, Aron Baynes, Marcus Morris and Marcus Smart, but that did not stop the C’s from overcoming a 21-point deficit to defeat the Washington Wizards 116-110 in Washington, D.C.
By: Spencer Weeks
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