Monday, May 05, 2008


It was a good weekend to be a Boston fan. Some quick thoughts on the weekend...

He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue...

The Celtics played a series against Atlanta that saw both teams hold serve at home. The C's just lacked the intensity on the road that they had at home. They gave a sub-.500 team hope.

Then they crushed them.

The closest the game ever got was when the Hawks went up 3-0 in the first quarter. It was over by the half.

With more than a quarter to go, the Celtics went up 70-34.

Early in the third the Hawks Marvin Williams put Rajon Rondo on the floor with a flagrant foul and was kicked out of the game. Kevin Garnett went old-school. Larry Bird would have been proud. Garnett put a vicious screen on the Hawks' Zaza Pachulia, putting Pachulia on his ass.

The bottom line, the game was never in doubt and maybe, just maybe the Celtics have figured out what they need to do going forward to put another banner in the Garden's rafters.

One last note - big time players come up big in big games. Atlanta's Mike Bibby, a one time all-star, was a virtual no-show in the games in Boston. His line in game one - 5 points, 1 assist; game two - 12 points, 1 assist; game five - 6 points, 1 assist; game seven - 2 points, 2 assists. Atlanta lost those games by an average of 25.25 points.

Now, I will admit to not being the biggest basketball fan, but I seem to recall that point-guards like Bibby are the guys that set the offense and rack up the assists. He averaged 1.25 per game in the Garden to go with his 6.25 points per game average in Boston.

To put that in perspective, Bibby, on his home court, averaged 5.67 assists per game and 15.67 points per game. Way to be clutch.

Rays rocked by Sox...

In the weekend's three game series Tampa scored ten runs - an average of 3.3 runs per game. Not great, not terrible. Certainly good enough, if their pitching is solid, to come up with two wins in three games.

Didn't happen.

After a brutal stretch in which the Sox had trouble scoring runs, they absolutely exploded against the Rays. Through the three games Boston put up 26 total runs - just under nine per game.

Jon Lester had possibly the best outing of the Sox' starters, going six innings while giving up one earned run on four hits. It was his second straight quality start. A day earlier, Josh Beckett went eight innings, but gave up four runs, and in the first game rookie starter Clay Buchholz was good in giving up only one run, but was lifted with one out in the sixth inning.

All told, however, Sox starters gave up six of Tampa's ten runs, with four coming from Beckett. Lester and Buchholz combined for a 1.46 ERA in their two starts. It can be dismissed that it was done against the Rays until the following is considered - the second place (yeah, you read that right) Rays are 6th in the AL in RBI's, home runs, and 9th in batting average. Overall, 14th in RBI's, 13th in home runs, and 15th in average. They are, indeed, a solid, middle of the road sort of team with pitching (through this weekend) comparable to the Sox (4.12 staff ERA to the Sox 4.13)

Different directions...

This is the Jets-Patriots relationship in microcosm...

Since Victor Hobson (signed this off-season by the Patriots) was drafted by the Jets in 2003, the linebacker has been solid, racking up fewer than 50 tackles only once (45 in 2004). He has averaged 68.6 tackles per season, racked up 11 sacks, and 3 interceptions. He has appeared all 16 games all but once in his five seasons.

The Jets let him go to free agency without a fight. Then they went out and signed Calvin Pace away from the Arizona Cardinals. Pace, drafted in the same year as Hobson, has appeared in all sixteen games in in three of his five seasons, racked up an average of 37.2 tackles per season, 14 total sacks and 1 interception. If you discount the 98 tackles he had in his contract year, Pace averaged 22 tackles per season, had a total of 7.5 sacks and no interceptions.

I can't help but think that it's going to be another long season for Jets fans with signings like that.

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