Top 10 Boston Sports Events of 2017

Welcome to my 2017 sports year in review!  This year has been historic in Boston sports, as all 4 of our teams made the playoffs and the Pats won a championship.  Today I will list the Top 10 stories of the year.

10. Patriots lock up home-field advantage throughout 2017-18 AFC Playoffs

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With a win over the Jets today, the Pats locked up the #1 seed, giving them home-field advantage throughout the AFC Playoffs.  The Steelers, who also went 13-3, grabbed the 2nd seed, but the Pats have the tiebreaker after a big win over Pittsburgh, which may be mentioned later on our list.

9. Celtics Sign Gordon Hayward

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This summer, the Celts signed former Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward.  Although he did not get to play much due to a brutal leg injury, it was a good signing that will help the Celtics offensive efforts in coming years.  The question is, will Hayward ever fully heal?

8. Red Sox Clinch Division

After a tough fight for the division with the Yankees, the Sox clinched the division in a 6-3 win against the Astros.  The Sox won the division for the 2nd straight year, but it will be tougher this year as the Yankees acquired Giancarlo Stanton.

7. Pats Trade Jimmy Garoppolo to 49ers

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This was a surprising move as Brady is 40 years old and should have a young backup ready.  Garoppolo also did really well during Brady’s suspension.  The Garoppolo effect has led the 49ers to a pretty good final record.  How much longer can it last?

6. Celtics Trade #1 Pick to 76ers, Acquire #3 Pick Instead

The Celtics had won the pick in the lottery after their trade with the Nets.  However, it didn’t matter as the guy they wanted, Jayson Tatum, was not going before Markelle Fultz or Lonzo Ball, and the Celtics were able to draft him.  Honestly, he’s doing better than Fultz or Ball.  He’s led the Celtics as a rookie, something that has not happened in a long time.

5. Celtics surprise Wizards as they win Game 7 of Eastern Conference Semifinals

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I was losing faith in the Celts, but they pulled it off.  However, they lost to Cleveland the next round.

4. Pats Trade with Saints, Acquire Brandin Cooks

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This was a good move as Cooks became the Pats’ #1 receiver and deep threat this season as Julian Edelman went down with a torn ACL.

3. Celtics acquire Kyrie Irving from Cavaliers, Give Up Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder

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Irving has made a difference this season, and Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder haven’t done nearly as much as him.  This is a good trade so far, but Thomas has been hurt, so the outcome is still unknown.

2. Patriots shock Steelers to secure tiebreaker, clinch division

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This was the Game of the Year.  The Pats came back at the last minute with a TD and 2 point conversion.  To read more about it, check out this article: Pats Stun Pittsburgh and Steal Win

1. Pats Win Super Bowl LI as Falcons blow 28-3 Lead

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If there’s any game this year that was better than the Pats-Steelers match-up this month, it’s this one.  The Pats came back from a 25-point Falcons lead, going to the first ever Super Bowl overtime and winning the game, 34-28.  To read more about it, read this article: Best Super Bowl Ever: Pats Win 5th Ring in OT Miracle

That’s all for this article.  Happy New Year, and stay tuned for playoff predictions coming tomorrow.

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NBA Playoffs Have Begun: Who Will Win It All?

The playoffs are here for the NBA.  It’s a little late, but my predictions are ready.  Who do I have winning it all?  Find out my surprising pick below.  I have hesitated to write about the NBA since Durant signed with the Warriors and the Cavs and Warriors became unbeatable super teams, but with the Celtics in the #1 seed, I’m feeling optimistic about a different final outcome.

This is my 2017 NBA Playoff Prediction.  Not many surprises early on, with the top seeds winning in every match-up except two, with the #5 Hawks beating the #4 Wizards, and the #6 Thunder beating the #3 Rockets, which could easily happen.  I don’t think the Rockets will be as good in the playoffs, they’re only slightly better than they were last year when they were seeded #8.  The Thunder have triple-double shooting Russell Westbrook on their side.  That should last them at least until they play a Top 2 seed.

The Conference Semifinals is where I have the first of a few shockers.  I have the Spurs, Celtics, and Cavs reaching Conference Finals as expected.  But I do have one surprise in the West.  Golden State will lose in the Conference Semifinals.  For many years now, I have seen Los Angeles as a legitimate contender in the West.  I think they are a team that can beat the Warriors.  They’re not the better team, but in a head-to-head match-up, the Clippers can overpower Golden State.

The Conference Finals bring more surprises.  I think the kind of shocker the Celtics pulled over Cleveland in their one regular season win against the Cavs could happen again.  They would need multiple wins in Cleveland, but especially if Kevin Love is not 100% by the Conference Final, the Celts do have a chance.  Sure, the Celtics won’t be going any further, but they have a chance to win here and go further than they’ve been since 2008.

Now, when they or Cleveland get to the NBA Championship, that will be the end.  I think no matter what happens, a Western Conference team will win the NBA Championship.  Neither the Celtics or Cavs are capable of beating Golden State, San Antonio or LA in a 7 game series.  So, it’ll be a team from the West raising the trophy.  My pick right now for that team is the Spurs.  They have a good defense, the stars they need on offense and a good all-around team.  This is the year San Antonio finally wins after a few years of waiting on a super team that’s come so close.  They won in 2013-14, and they’ve come so close since, but they can do it again three years later.   It’s hard to believe the Spurs have only won one NBA Championship in the last 5 years with the roster they have.

Bradley’s Buzzer Beater Leads Celtics to Victory

The Boston Celtics were trailing most of the game but came back to win 104-103 in the second half.  Evan Turner had a good night, earning himself a double-double (19 points, and a career high 12 rebounds), plus 6 assists.  Isaiah Thomas also contributed with 22 points, and Tyler Zeller had 16.

LeBron James also got 30 points for the opposing team, J.R. Smith had 20 and Kyrie Irving contributed 19 points plus 6 assists.  No Cavaliers players had double-doubles like Turner despite King James’ scoring showcase.  James honestly goes untouched cause the NBA wants to further promote their best stars like James, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry.

For most of the first quarter, the Cavs were destroying the Celtics, making some amazing plays.  The Celts were down by 12 or 13 most of the 1st quarter, and they were down 32-20 when the quarter ended.  To make matters worse, Isaiah Thomas rolled his ankle.

The Celtics were still trailing in the second but began to come back.  Thomas was back but LeBron James took one little rest and Kelly Olynyk led the Celts on a 12-2 run.  It was easier on the defense without King James but he returned and the Cavs scored 5 unanswered points.  By the end of the half they had cut the lead from the end of the first half, trailing just 49-43.  From the end of the 2nd to the start of the 3rd, they went on a quick 21-4 run. The run lasted from 6:24 left in the 2nd to the first two minutes of the 3rd.

The scoring started to slow down at that point.  Kevin Love in the meantime hobbled off the court with an ankle injury.  By the last two minutes of the third the Cavs were once again up by six.  They had made a run gaining 9 on the Celts through most of the 3rd.  But Love being in the locker room wouldn’t help.  At the end of the 3rd, it was 73-65 Cavaliers.  The Celtics regained control in the 4th quarter.

With Kevin Love out, the Celtics started the quarter with a 10-0 run.  LeBron James ended it with some go-ahead free throws.  9 minutes left.  There wasn’t much scoring besides free throws for the few minutes after that.  The Celts had another 11-2 run from the 6.5 minute mark to the 4 minute mark.  After that, the Cavs surged back with 9 straight points to regain the lead, 93-92.  This is where it began to get exciting.

The Celtics tied it up, but the Cavs answered with two 2-pointers and a free throw.  The Celtics answered with a basket to make it 99-96 Cavs .     The Celtics called time with eighteen seconds to go.

The last 18 seconds were especially exciting.  The Celts were down 101-96.  The Celtics got the ball and Bradley missed a long three pointer off the in-bounds.  Sullinger quickly rebounded it and tossed it to Jae Crowder who made an amazing three pointer from the corner that cut the Cavs’ lead to two points with 8 seconds left!!  The Celtics immediately fouled and the Cavs made both foul shots.  103-99 Cavs.  The Celtics called timeout again to take the in-bound in Cavaliers territory.  Evan Turner got the layup in just four seconds!  This time the Cavaliers fouled on Turner’s layup.  With the Celtics down by two Evan Turner had to intentionally miss the shot.  The ball tipped off two Cavs players before going out of bounds. The Celtics had the ball with 4.1 seconds left.

The officials gave the ball to Jae Crowder in front of the basket they were shooting into, then he passed it to Isaiah Thomas and Thomas tossed it to Avery Bradley.  Bradley bobbled the ball momentarily but regained control with enough time left to attempt a shot.  Avery Bradley released the 3-point buzzer beater from the corner and made it as time expired!!!!

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Avery Bradley shooting the game winning buzzer beater

The Celtics came back from a six point deficit at the half to defeat the Cavaliers 104-103!  They were trailing by thirteen to start the first quarter and slowly but surely they came back to win!!!   The Celtics advance to 30-22, while the Cavs fall to 35-14.

The Celts next play today at 1, hosting the Sacramento Kings.  Hopefully I can catch that game.  The Celtics are on a 3 game winning streak and have won 8 out of their last 9.  Can they keep it up?

Celtics Win 2nd Straight vs. Suns, Great Weekend for Boston?

A great weekend is already brewing for Boston sports fanatics.  The Celtics had a nice win over the Suns last night, the Bruins beat the Sabres 4-1, the Pats are bound to pounce on the Chiefs for revenge, and the Red Sox and Joe Kelly avoided arbitration with a one year deal.  The Celtics and B’s also play again today.

The Celtics won 117-103 over the Phoenix Suns.  This is the first time Boston has played the Suns since Isaiah Thomas was on the Phoenix Suns.  Thomas and Marcus Smart, who had his first career triple double, the youngest to do it (10 pts, 11 assists, 11 rebounds), helped them to a big win.  The game puts the C’s at 21-19.

Marcus Smart shooting for two of his 10 points that contributed to his triple-double.

Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder also each contributed 17 points, Kelly Olynyk scored 21 despite limited court time, Thomas gave in 19, and Jared Sullinger had a double-double.  So the offense was still booming like the 4th quarter of Celtics-Pacers, when they came back by constantly doing this pattern, steal, pass, run, shoot.  It got them 4 unanswered baskets.  This time, they had such a big lead at half that 2nd half struggles didn’t matter, they still held a lead.

The start was rough.  While the Suns got to shoot more, the Celtics got more 3 pointers, and they led 16-12 with 6 minutes to go.  The struggles continued throughout the quarter, but they piled up enough extra points to lead by 7 by the end of the 1st. They grabbed on to their largest lead when they went on a 22-5 run to end the 1st half.  Kelly Olynyk led the offense during the run, responsible for 13 of the 22  points.  Olynyk finished the game leading the offense with 21 points and 9 rebounds, most of it coming from just that portion of the game.  He made four 3-pointers, three during the second quarter.

In the 3rd quarter, the Suns began to come back.   For most of the quarter, they did it slowly, but they had a short 11-4 run at mid-quarter.  The Suns just barely outscored Boston 31-28 in the quarter.  They continued the slow comeback, but the Celtics were just scoring too much overall for the Suns to get too much of a move on.  They went from a 21 point to a 14 point deficit but still won, 117-103.

Mirza Teletovic and Brandon Knight had decent games combining for 38 points, but the Celtics had 4 players with at least 17 points, the Suns only had two that had at least 16, one that had 22.  Two players on the C’s had double or triple doubles, Phoenix had none.  Best of all, Isaiah Thomas was second in points for us, with 19.  If he did the same for Phoenix, but not us, we would’ve lost 122-98.  So the Isaiah Thomas trade was surely worth it.  The Celtics are beginning to look like a young, but powerful playoff team.  Their conference is the easier one to do well in, and their division’s only competitors are the Raptors, and possibly the Kristaps Porzingis led Knicks.  The season continues on.

Also be on the look out for my NBA mid-season report soon.  I will include playoff predictions, and will be preparing it after the Celts play their 41st game today.

Rajon Rondo Traded To Mavericks

The Celtics Rajon Rondo was traded to the Mavericks. He did well in is first game there, but many other players miss him. The Celtics don’t have anybody from their 2008 starting lineup still on the team. Unless they can stockpile top draft picks and charge in the future, the Celtics won’t shine again for a few more years without Rondo. A few months ago when Smart was injured I went to my first Celtics game against the Trail Blazers, seeing practice, and getting sky box seats while enjoying a gluten free burger, fries, and Sprite. The Celts lead all the way through till the fourth quarter, as this was becoming the Celtics way of losing, the Trail Blazers comeback to win. However, that was a good Portland team, with Damian Lillard the best of them. How long will it take for a lowly Celtics group to rebuild?

NBA Draft Lottery Top 3 & Celtics

1.Cavaliers
Are you surprised that the CAVS are so high?The Bucks and Sixers both were teams that deserved the pick that made the Top 3,but the Cavs?It should be the Celtics,Jazz or maybe even the Pistons deserved that 3rd top 3 spot and if the Cavs even deserved top 3,it was third.
2.Bucks
Guess their candidate’s good luck charms didn’t work completely but it at least got them Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins for their pick.
3.76ers
This team used to be a great team but they need a rebuild and a top 3 pick should really help this team if it gets some other good picks and free agents.
6.Celtics
The Celtics have 18 championships and this is how they do in the 2013-14 season and draft lottery,this team could be stranded like this forever or at least for a while longer.