Posts Tagged ‘Boston Celtics’

There has been a lot of talking about the Chicago Bulls and if they will traded there All-Star Guard/Forward Jimmy Butler. There are a few teams who’s names have come up in a deal involving Butler, but the one that has come up the most is the Boston Celtics. Thursday night these two teams met at the United Center in Chicago and Butler was a huge part of the finish to the game. The Bulls found themselves down 103-102 with the clock running down and the basketball in Butler’s hands. As Butler went for the game winning shot with just .4 seconds left in the game the whistle blew and a foul was called on Marcus Smart of the Celtics as Butler was shooting. Even on replay it’s tough to see the foul and it’s been called “ticky-tack”, but the referees made the call and Butler calmly stepped to the free throw line made both free throws and after a last second shot by the Celtics failed the Bulls walked away with a 104-103 victory.

The Celtics started off the game on a 15 to 7 run to take there biggest lead of the 1st quarter. The Bulls where able to cut the lead down, but each times Boston was able to push it back to 8 points. Gerald Green hit a  3-pointer with 3:38 left to give the Celtics that 8 point lead for the final time in the quarter at 25-18. Chicago was able to score the final 4 points of the quarter to cut the lead to 25-22 at the end of the 1st quarter.

The Bulls started off the 2nd quarter by scoring the first 5 points to take the lead at 27-25. The teams traded the lead six times before the Celtics went on a 15 to 4 run to take a double digit lead at 45-35. The Bulls spent the rest of the quarter trying to cut into the lea and with just :33 seconds left they had the Celtics lead down to 3 at 55-52. Isaiah Thomas then hit a 3-pointer with :28 seconds left to give Boston a 6 point lead 58-52 heading into halftime.

Chicago started the 3rd quarter on a 15 to 7 run to take the lead at 67-65 on a Jerian Grant 3-pointer with 7:35 left in the quarter. The Bulls took there biggest lead of the quarter at 75-68 on a Robin Lopez tip in with 4:30 left in the quarter. Boston finished the quarter on a 10 to 6 run to cut the Bulls lead to 3 points 81-78 after three quarters.

The Bulls held the lead until Terry Rozier hit a 3-pointer with 6:15 left in the game to tie things up at 92 all. The game was tied three more times before the Bulls took the lead at 98-97 after Taj Gibson made two free throws with 2:54 left in the game. The Celtics went right back to the lead, but could never get any farther ahead than 3 points. After Doug McDermott hit two free throws with 1:20 left in the game the Bulls where down just 1 point at 103-102. On the defensive end Jimmy Butler blocked an Isaiah Thomas shot to give the Bulls the basketball back and a chance to win. Butler and the Jerian Grant missed 3-pointers to give the Bulls the lead. After each team used a timeout Isaiah Thomas missed a jump shot and Michael Carter-Williams got the rebound to set up the game ending scenario for Jimmy Butler. Butler missed the shot as time was expiring, but Marcus smart was called for the foul while Butler was in the act of shooting. Butler proceeded to hit both of his free throws to give the Bulls a 104-103 win.

Jimmy Butler was the Bulls leading scorer with 29 points while Bobby Portis came off the Bulls bench to score 19 points. Robin Lopez had 15 points wile Taj Gibson scored 12 points and grabbed a game high 9 rebounds. Doug McDermott also came off the Bulls bench to hit double figures with 11 points while Jerian grant added 10 points. Rajon Rondo didn’t score in the game, ubt he did hand out a game high 8 assists.

Isaiah Thomas was the Celtics leading scorer with 29 points and a team high 7 assists. Off the Celtics bench Kelly Olynck scored 17 points and grabbed a team high 7 rebounds while Terry Rozier scored 11 points. Amir Johnson had 10 points for Boston.

With the win the Bulls will head into the All-Star break with a record of 28-29 which is good for 7th place in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics fall to 37-20 with the loss, but are still in 2nd place in the Eastern Conference and find themselves just 3 games out of the top spot. The Bulls return to action on February 24th when they host the 18-39 Phoenix Suns. The Celtics are also off until February 24th, but they’ll be on the road against the 33-24 Toronto Raptors.

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Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: January 25, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in sports
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I’ve been a sports fan for a long time and I’ve seen great players come and go. What I’m trying to remember is if I’ve ever heard a great player complain as much as LeBron James does. It started with there not being enough time off for the All-Star break. The NBA gave in and made the All-Star break a week long. I think that with this extra time James took a trip to Miami instead of spending that extra time with his family which is what he said when he cried about the break being extended. James also complained about back to back games and playing three games in four days. Now under the new CBA these issues have been address. So expect an even longer NBA season starting next year when the new CBA kicks in. Then earlier this season James  started kicking and screaming that the Cleveland Cavaliers needed a shooter. So Cavaliers general manager David Griffin managed to swing a deal with the Atlanta Hawks for one of the best shooters in the NBA Kyle Korver. When things didn’t turn around right away after they acquired Korver the excuse James gave was that they hadn’t had any practice time together. The Cavaliers have now lost five of there last seven games and you knew that James would have an excuse or at least something to cry about and he didn’t disappoint. James has squarely placed the blame on Griffin and has now said that the Cavaliers need a play maker. James called the current Cavaliers roster “ill-equipped” and then later tried to back pedal on Twitter saying “I not mad or upset at management cause Griff and staff have done a great job, I just feel we still need to improve in order to repeat…if that’s what we wanna want to do”. James posted this in two separate tweets and the spelling is all his; so don’t blame that one on me. James is looking for the Cavaliers to add a back up point guard to lighten the load on himself and Kyrie Irving. The Cavaliers do have other point guards on there roster. Cleveland has Kay Felder there 2nd round pick from 2016 as well as DeAndre Liggins who is in his 4th NBA season. Now you have to ask yourself if it’s the general managers fault that James had the Cavaliers over pay his friends and now there in a tight salary cap spot even with the increase the NBA just had. It’s clear that James doesn’t want to see Felder or Liggins on the court; so they’re as good as done with the Cavaliers. Now the Cavaliers are still on top of the Eastern Conference at 30-13, but there lead is down to just three games over the Toronto Raptors. The more you listen to James talk you actually have to wonder if this is just a guy trying to cover his rear end in case the Cavaliers don’t make it to the NBA finals.

So where are the Cavaliers going to get a back up point guard. I’m sure James would love to see Cleveland go out and get his buddy Chris Paul. Paul is currently out after having thumb surgery, but I don’t think that Cleveland could get Paul’s salary under the cap unless Irving is headed the other way in the deal and that doesn’t solve the Cavaliers problem. James’ other buddy Dwayne Wade isn’t a true point guard, but I’m sure the Chicago Bulls would part with Wade’s teammate and true point guard Rajon Rondo. Rickey Rubio of the Minnesota Timberwolves name has come up in trade rumors; so maybe he could be an option for Cleveland. There could also be a players like Goran Dragic of the Miami Heat or Tim Frazier of the New Orleans Pelicans available. The question is which one if any of these players James would accept as a teammate. Then of course the Cavaliers would have to make sure they could make a deal with the salary cap. Of course with what the Cavaliers are paying in luxury tax penalties now; would a little more even matter?

The Washington Wizards arrived dressed in black funeral wear for what they openly labeled a grudge match against the Boston Celtics Tuesday night. Bradley Beal scored 13 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter to help  the Wizards extended their home winning streak to 14 games with a 123-108 victory over Boston. John Wall had 27 points while Markieff Morris register a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds. This was a bit of revenge for the Wizards from the Last time these two teams met which ended with a Boston 117-108 victory. That game featured five technical fouls and ended with Wall and Jae Crowder getting into a verbal confrontation that almost started a brawl. That prompted the Wizards to show up to Verizon Center on Tuesday wearing all black, funeral themed clothing. Wall’s apparel consisted of a designer T-shirt beneath a varsity style jacket as he arrived. Beal who came up with the idea showed up wearing an oversized black winter trenchcoat complete with hood and matching scarf. He would later have his best offensive night since that game in Boston. There was no blow up between the teams this game, but there was some action on the Boston bench as Marcus Smart got into an argument with Boston’s assistant coaches in the 4th quarter. Celtics coach Brad Stevens explained that the argument came from Smart wanting to go back into the game, but was on an minute limit for the half.

The rivalry in more interesting between these two teams since they’re both have good seasons. Boston is currently 3rd in the Eastern Conference standings at 26-18 while the Wizards are currently 5th in the Eastern Conference standings at 25-20. Maybe there will end up being a playoff series between these two teams.

Believe it or not we’re getting close to the start of baseball spring training. Pitchers and catchers report starting February 13th with all players being in camp by February 20th. So ready or not it’s almost time for baseball.

 

The Boston Celtics avenged their only loss of the season and handed the Chicago Bulls there first loss of the season with a 107-100 win Wednesday night. Boston’s big off season acquisition Al Horford missed the game. Horford was placed in the concussion protocol Tuesday after exhibiting concussive symptoms during practice. With the game tied at 10 the Celtics went on a 26-15 run to end the 1st quarter and pull away to a 36-25 lead. The Bulls made a big run in the 2nd quarter outscoring the Celtics 27-19 in the quarter and went into halftime trailing by 3 at 55-52. The Bulls had there lowest offensive output in a quarter this season when they out up just 18 points in the 3rd quarter. Celtics forward Amir Johnson almost outscored the Bulls on his own as he put up 16 points in the quarter. Boston had a 26 point quarter and headed into the 4th quarter with an 11 point lead at 81-70. The Bulls made a run and a Jimmy Butler 3-pointer with just under 6 minutes left cut the Celtics lead to 3 at 94-91. The Bulls then managed to tie the game at 100 all with two Nikola Mirotic free throws. Of course those where the last points the Bulls would score as the Celtics scored the next 7 points to get the 107-100 victory. The Bulls actually outscored the Celtics 30-26 in the 4th quarter, but it wasn’t enough.

Amir Johnson and Isaiah Thomas each put up 23 points to lead Boston in scoring. All 5 Boston starters scored in double figures as Avery Bradley had 13 points, Tyler Zeller had 11 pints and Jae Crowder scored 10 points. Thomas had a game high 10 assists while Johnson tied with Jonas Jerebko grabbing a team high 6 rebounds. Johnson also set a career high in 3-pointers as he went 4 for 4 from the 3-point stripe.

The Bulls where led by Jimmy Butler who had 23 points. Dwayne Wade had 15 points while Rajon Rondo scored 12 points handed out a team high 5 assists and grabbed a game high 10 rebounds. Nikola Mirotic came off the Bulls bench to put up 17 points. The Bulls had some turnover issues in the game as they had a season high 19 in the game.

The Celtics improved to 3-1 with the win, but they have to turn right around and hit the road as they face the undefeated (4-0) Cleveland Cavaliers. Chicago is now 3-1 with the loss and they get to head home. On Friday the Bulls host the 1-3 New York Knicks and their former teammates Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah.

The NBA season started for the Chicago Bulls last night and they got a 105-99 win over the Boston Celtics. This is a good win for the new look Bulls to start the season with. The Celtics are predicted to be one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference while the Bulls are predicted in most cases to miss the playoffs. Of course it’s just the first game of the season; so don’t buy those Bulls playoff tickets just yet, but it’s still better to start with a won than a loss.

The Bulls came out with a solid 30 point 1st quarter and took a 10 point lead 30-20 going into the 2nd quarter. It took the Celtics some time, but they started to chip away at the lead. Boston was able to knock a couple of points off the Bulls lead by outscoring them 29-27 in the 2nd quarter. On the plus side the Bulls where still up 8 points headed into halftime 57-49. The Celtics knocked a couple of more points off the Bulls lead in the 3rd quarter, but again it was just 2 points as they outscored the Bulls 24-22. That gave the Bulls a 79-73 lead heading into the final quarter. It looked as though the Bulls would cruise to a victory as the stretched their lead to 14 points (95-81) in the middle of the 4th quarter. Of course it’s never that easy in the NBA as every team seems to have a run in them and Boston had there’s as they scored 11 straight points to make it a 95-92 game. The teams traded buckets to make it a 101-99 game. Then with about 30 seconds left in the game the Celtics committed a turnover and Dwayne Wade nailed a 3-pointer to give the Bulls a 5-point lead and seal the victory.

Jimmy Butler played a team high 37 minutes and led the Bulls in scoring with 24 points. Butler made 4 of the 6 3-point shots he took in the game. Wade also made 4 of the 6 3-pointers he took and ended the night with 22 points. In a starting role Taj Gibson put up 18 points and grabbed a game high 10 rebounds. Nikola Mirotic came off the Bulls bench to add 15 points. Like Wade Rajon Rondo was making his Bulls debut and he handed out a game high 9 assists against his former team.

Boston’s Isaiah Thomas was the game’s leading scorer with 25 points. Avery Bradley played a game high 41 minutes and scored 16 points for the Celtics. Jae Crowder chipped in 14 points and got into a heated exchange with Butler in the 4th quarter, Interestingly Crowder and Butler where college teammates at Marquette. Al Horford was Boston’s big off season signing and he scored 11 points and grabbed a team high 7 rebounds in his debut with the team. Horford also tied with Bradley for the team lead in assists with 5 of them.

The 1-0 Bulls host the 1-0 Indiana Pacers on Saturday night while the 1-1 Celtics stay on the road as they take on the 1-0 Charlotte Hornets also on Saturday night.

We had some drafting done to end the week and not the fantasy kind. On Thursday the NBA had it’s draft. That was followed up on Friday by the NHL holding it’s annual draft. I’ll start with the NBA draft since I saw more of that.

First the things that drive me crazy. Why does the NBA not allow teams to make trades during the draft so we can actually see where the player is going and not have to hear about it later. It drives me nuts when a player is drafted by a team and he goes up on stage gets the hat and the jersey from the team that picked him and does the picture thing with Commissioner Adam Silver only to find out that he’s not with that team now. There where a couple of occasions when the television announce crew would spend 5 to 10 minutes breaking down a player and how he fit with the team that drafted him only to have to turn around and do it again for the team who had already traded for him. It’s not like all these trades are happening right now and the league can’t keep up with them. How is it possible that the NFL can handle teams making trades while they’re on the clock t draft, but the NBA is lost and can’t find a way to do it. Moving on; streamline the draft coverage. Why was the television coverage so long? For whatever reason ESPN stretched out the actual draft itself to like four hours when it probably could’ve been done in have the time. Would it of been that hard for them to put a draft recap show on or something like that instead of just dragging out the draft and making it unwatchable. I get it they overpaid for their contract to cover the NBA so they’re going to do everything they can to keep them on television, but stretching out the draft coverage like this makes it boring. With the way they handle the coverage they don;t seem to understand that the majority of the fans watching will go away from the channel and the draft after a pick has been made and then come back and pick the coverage up when it gets closer to the next pick being made. Maybe this doesn’t reflect in the ratings; so it doesn’t hurt their numbers. If it did then they’d care about it.

As for the actual draft itself. It went like most experts had predicted it would. Ben Simmons (LSU) went #1 overall to the Philadelphia 76ers. Then Brandon Ingram (Duke) went #2 to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Boston Celtics on the clock at #3 with one of there 8 picks on the night did everything they could according to reports to deal this pick for some veteran help, but couldn’t find a trade partner and ended up selecting Jaylon Brown (California) with the pick. Most experts thought after the first two picks came off the board any of the top players could be picked by any of the teams in the draft lottery and that’s how it went. The first real surprised was when the Milwaukee Bucks selected high schooler Thon Maker with the 10th pick in the 1st round. Maker didn’t attend college or play overseas, but spent last season at the Athlete Institute in Canada and this had some people questioning his eligibility for the NBA draft. There is also some question about his age. Maker is listed as being 19 years old, but there where NBA teams that took him off there draft boards as there are reports that he’s actually between the of 21 and 23. After Milwaukee took Maker the draft kind of settled back in and the story became how far would Skal Labissiere (Kentucky) fall. Most if not every mock draft had Labissiece being selected in the Top 10. Labissece was eventually selected by the Phoenix Suns with the 28th pick, but was traded to the Sacramento Kings in a draft day trade; that we of course didn’t find out about until after the pick was made. In his one season at Kentucky Labissece didn’t produce like it was thought he would, but still entered the NBA draft. The down season along with his performance at the NBA Draft Combine contributed to Labissece fall to #28. Back to the Celtics and all there draft picks. Besides Brown at #3 the Celtics selected Guerschon Yabusele out of France with the 16th pick of the 1st round and then at #23 the Celtics picked Ante Zizic from Croatia. As of no it appears that they’ll be keeping all three of these draft picks. Of course when you pick a player from overseas he might not be eligible to play in the NBA right away depending on what his contract situation is with his current team. The Celtics where able to deal a couple of their 2nd round draft picks #31 and #35 to the Memphis Grizzlies, but still had three 2nd round picks of there own. At #45 they took Demetrius Jackson (Notre Dame), at #51 they took Ben Bentil (Providence) and at # 58 Boston took Abdel Nader (Iowa State) to wrap up it’s draft night. I don;t think that the Celtics and there General Manager Danny Ainge thought they would walk away from the draft having picked six players. I guess will have to wait and see if there are some deals still in the works for the Celtics or if they’re going to open the 2016-17 season with quite a few rookies on their roster.

I’ll be the first to admit that I don;t know much of anything about the players that where drafted by the NHL last night. Auston Matthews get #1 overall to the Toronto Maple Leafs and I’d expect to see him with them in the 2016-17 season. I’m sure we’ll see a few of these 1st round draft picks playing in the NHL next season, but I just don;t know a whole lot about them. What I wanted to venture off into was some of the draft day trades that where made. The Detroit Red Wings traded Pavel Datsyuk; who I thought I heard was either going to retire or play next season in Russia along with the 16th pick in the draft to the Arizona Coyotes for 20th pick, the 53rd pick and Joe Vitale. I was a little surprise to hear that the St. Louis Blues broke up their goaltending tandem, but they did sending Brian Elliott to Calgary Flames for 2016 2nd-round pick (35th overall), 2018 conditional 3rd-round pick. The Chicago Blackhawks also made a move to help with there salary cap issues as they sent Andrew Shaw to Montreal Canadiens for two 2nd round picks #39 and #45. We’ll see if these deals impact any free agent signings or if some of the teams in these deals where so close to the salary cap that they just needed the relief.

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The Golden State Warriors improved to 24-0 last night (Friday) with a 124-119 victory over the Boston Celtics in double overtime. It was the 2nd time Golden State has went to overtime to keep the streak alive, nut their first double overtime game. On November 14th the Warriors needed overtime to beat the Brooklyn Nets 107-99. Klay Thompson missed this game with a sprained ankle and the Warriors could’ve used his shooting touch. Golden State shot 39.3% from the floor (42 for 107) in the game. It was an even tougher night from behind the 3-point line where the Warriors shot 29.0% going 9-31. Even shooting poorly Golden State was able to build a 7 point lead 82-75 at the start of the 4th quarter. The Celtics outscored the Warriors 28-21 in the 4th quarter and both tams had chances to win the game late, but neither could score and they headed to overtime tied at 103.  Neither team could get anything going in the 1st overtime. They each managed to score 7 points and we headed to the 2nd overtime period tied at 110. Golden State was able to take advantage of a couple of Boston misses and built a small lead. They where able to hold on by making their free throws late in the 2nd overtime. Golden State scored 14 points in the 2nd overtime while Boston scored just 9 points to get them their 24th straight victory to start the season 124-119.

Stephen Curry scored 38 points to lead the Warriors, but didn’t shoot very well. Curry was 9 of 27 overall, but did go 6 of 13 from the 3-point line and did make all of his 14 free throw attempts. Curry also tied for the team lead in assists with 8. With Thompsom out Draymond Green tried to fill that scoring void. Green played a game high 50 minutes and scored 20 points and tied Curry with 8 assists. Andre Iguodala saw increased playing time with Thompson out. Iguodala played 44 minutes and scored 13 points. Festus Ezeli and Shaun Livingston also came off the Warriors bench to score 12 points. Ezeli also had a team high 12 rebounds. Golden State shot 39 free throws in the game compared to just 16 for Boston.

Kelly Olynyk came off the Celtics bench and went 11 of 21 shooting overall, 3 of 6 from the 3-point line and 3 of 4 on free throws to lead Boston wit 28 points. Avery Bradley scored 19 points before fouling out while Isaiah Thomas 18 points and a team high 10 assists and Jae Crowder 15 points where the Celtics starters who scored in double figures.Besides Olynyk Evan Turner (13 points) and David Lee (10 points) scored in double figures off the Boston bench. Jared Sullinger grabbed a game high 13 rebounds for Boston.
Golden State wraps up their road trip tonight as they’re in Milwaukee to play the Bucks. Milwaukee has lost it’s last 2 games including a 90-83 loss to the Toronto Raptors Friday night. Milwaukee is 9-15 on the season, but with Thompson’s injury and Golden State coming off a double overtime game could tonight be the night they suffer there first loss?
There was another close game on Thursday night as the Arizona Cardinals beat the Minnesota Vikings 23-20. With the victory the Cardinals improved to 11-2 and clinched a playoff berth in the NFC. Minnesota fell to 8-5 good for 2nd place in the NFC North right now 1/2 game behind the Green Bay Packers.

There was quite a bit of discussion about the end of this game and who to place the blame for the Minnesota loss on. The Vikings had the football last and with about 12 seconds or so on the clock they decided to run 1 more play instead of try a 48 yard field goal to tie the game. Minnesota quarterback Teddy Bridgewater dropped back to pass and was sacked by Arizona defensive lineman Dwight Freeney. Freeney was also able to strip the football from Bridgewater. The Cardinals recovered the fumble, but with the Vikings out of timeouts they wouldn’t of been able to get the field goal unit set up in time to even make an attempt to tie the game. This is where all the debate starts. Is it Teddy Bridgewater’s fault for not throwing the football away? Or is it Mike Zimmer and the Vikings coaching staffs fault for the play call? While all these experts where trying to assign blame to someone they where all assuming that Blair Walsh would’ve made the 48 yard field goal to tie the game in the closing seconds. maybe it’s just me, but I don’t remember 48 yard field goals being gimmes, but they sure acted like it was. Now on the ill fated play it’s been pointed out that Bridgewater took a 5-step drop. In most late game situation like that you’ll see the quarterback take a 3-step drop and try to get rid of the football quickly. As the play develops it looks like Bridgewater wants to throw the football down the field instead of an out to the sideline. A shot at the end zone would be an interesting play call in that situation, but I don’t know if that’s what the Vikings where going for. While Bridgewater is dropping back to throw the Arizona defense does a great job of keeping him in the pocket and only allowing him a little room to step up. Now let me remind you that while Freeney might be at the end of his career he does have 115 1/2 career sacks and leads the Cardinals in that category this season with 4. Arizona signed him for just this type of play and they monitor how many snaps he takes so he’s ready for this type of situation. Freeney used a spin move to beat Vikings left tackle Matt Kalil giving himself a clear path to Bridgewater. With the Arizona defense doing there job and containing Bridgewater in the pocket there was nowhere for him to go. Bridgewater tries to step up into what little room he has and throw the football, but Freeney was able to close the distance and strip the football while he was taking Bridgewater down. So if you still feel the need to find fault in the Minnesota loss maybe it was Dwight Freeney’s fault they lost.

 

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Matt Kalil

How was your Week?

Posted: January 10, 2015 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, football, hockey, sports
Tags: , , , ,

1/10/15

On Wednesday I mentioned the Cleveland Cavaliers looking for a big man and talking with the Denver Nuggets about Timofey Mozgov. Well the two teams finally came to an agreement on a deal. Cleveland sent 2 protected 2015 1st round draft picks to Denver for Mozgov. That sounds like it was a lot to give up for a player who’s averaged 8.6 points per game and 7.8 rebounds per game, but the Cavaliers needed some size and at 7 feet 1 inch tall and listed at 250 pounds Mozgov has that. With Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving and of course LeBron James the Cavaliers weren’t looking for scoring, but someone to try to replace the void created by Anderson Varejao’s season ending Achilles injury.

Is it full rebuild mode for the Boston Celtics? After sending who many considered their best player Rajon Rondo to the Dallas Mavericks the Celtics announced one deal and have been rumored to be making another deal. Brandan Wright who Boston got in the Rondo deal was sent to the Phoenix Suns for a conditional first round draft pick and created a $5 million trade exception in the process. The other deal being reported, but I haven’t heard if it’s official yet has the Memphis Grizziles trading veteran Tayshaun Prince’s expiring $7.7 million contract and future first round draft pick to Boston for forward Jeff Green. After Rondo was dealt many experts looked at Green as the Celtics best player and now it looks like he’s on his way out of Boston. The Celtics lost 107-103 last night (Friday) in overtime to the Indiana Pacers. Green was pulled from the Celtics starting line up because of the trade rumors and Wright was already on his way to join his new team. Avery Bradley led Boston in scoring with 23 points while Brandon Bass added 17 points. If you’re a Celtics fan who are you looking to step up and lead this team; is Marcus Smart that guy?

Jimmy Butler bet on himself in the off-season and it looks like the Chicago Bulls guard made the right choice. The Bulls tried to sign Butler to a contract extension in the off-season, but Butler turned them down choosing to enter free agency after this season. Butler is off to a career year averaging 21.4 points per game, 6.2 rebounds per game, 3.2 assists per game and 1.7 steals per game. Butler has always been a good defender, but with his offensive skills coming around this season the Bulls are ready to offer him a “Max deal” this off-season. That would mean a max salary just under $16 million next season and the Bulls would be able to pay him more than $91 million over five years, compared to $67 million over four years by any other team. You’d have to say that Butler made the right choice.

The NHL is at or in some teams cases just a little past the halfway point of the season. Who had the Tampa Bay Lighting or the Nashville Predators leading their divisions with 58 points, The Anaheim Ducks also lead their division with 58 points, but going into the season they looked like contenders. Tampa Bay is led by Tyler Johnson (Center) with 46 points. Steven Stamkos (Center) leads the Lighting in goals with 22 while Johnson’s 28 assists lead in that category. In goal Ben Bishop is 21-6 in 31 starts with two overtime losses and one shutout. In Nashville Filip Forsberg (Center) is leading the Predators in points with 38; he also leads the team in goals with 14. Mike Ribero (Center) leads the team in assists with 27. Pekka Rinne has made 35 starts in-goal going 27-6 with two overtime losses and a 2.00 goals against average and Rinne also has three shutouts this season. Rinne has started in-goal 35 of the Predators 40 games this season. Neither team is running away with their division by any means. Tampa Bay has a four point lead over the Montréal Canadiens in the Atlantic division of the Eastern conference while Nashville’s lead is even smaller. The Predators have a two point lead over the Chicago Blackhawks in the Central division of the Western conference. Will we see a Tampa Bay vs. Nashville Stanley Cup finals; probably not. The NHL playoff road is always has it’s share of upsets; so will these teams be the ones being upset or doing the upsetting.

It’s the Divisional round of the NFL playoffs with two of the game being played (Saturday) today. In the first game it’s the Baltimore Ravens vs. the New England Patriots. The second game has the Carolina Panthers vs. the Seattle Seahawks. We went into quite a bit of detail on these games during last nights podcast, and you can get our thoughts on these games. For the record Mr. Fantasy, Schaumburg Stu, Dan the Man and I picked the same winners in these games, We all have New England winning the first game and Seattle winning the second game. You can also listen to from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. as we preview Sunday’s playoff games and review what happen in Saturday’s games.

It’s being reported that the Pittsburgh Pirates are reportedly close to officially signing Korean shortstop Jung-ho Kang to a four year deal. Terms of any deal haven’t been reported yet, but it’s being said that Kang was looking for $5 million a season. While Kang played shortstop for Nexen Heroes in the Korean Baseball Organization it is unclear what position he’d play for the Pirates. He could back up Josh Harrison at third base, Jordy Mercer at shortstop and Neil Walker at second, and he could be a part of the mix at first base. The 27-year-old Kang hit 40 homers and drove in 117 runs in 117 games while batting .356 with a 1.198 OPS last season while playing shortstop.

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So how was your week?