Daily Noontime – March 30, 2012

Brooks Laich netted the game winning goal on Thursday, which helped Washington escape Causeway Street, 3-2! (Photo Credit: Boston Globe/Barry Chin)

By NoontimeSports.com 

It’s Friday, and while we don’t need to break out into song and dance, let’s instead dish out some headlines and news from the Hub!

* Despite rallying to tie the game, Washington’s Brooks Laich netted the game winning shootout goal, which helped the Capitals defeat the Boston Bruins on Thursday, 3-2. Tim Thomas recorded 21 saves between the pipes, and held Washington scoreless for the first two frames. Had Boston won, they would have clinched a playoff spot, but luckily, the Black and Gold will return to the ice on Saturday when they travel to Long Island to face the New York Islanders.

Bobby Valentine told the media on Thursday that he’s expecting Carl Crawford to begin the season on a rehab assignment. The left fielder underwent wrist surgery this past offseason, and has taken part in bunting drills with the team. However, Valentine doesn’t believe he’ll be able to face living pitching until he possibly experiences “50 at-bats somewhere.”

* The Boston Celtics will return to the hardwood on Friday when they travel to Minnesota to face the Timberwolves. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:00pm.

* Celtics President Danny Ainge made his weekly appearance on Boston sports radio WEEI on Thursday, and told The Big Show that he’s not planning on forcing Mickael Pietrus to get back on the court. He’s expected to return to the lineup soon, but according to reports, the Celtics should have more information on his concussion he sustained last week in Philadelphia.

Daily Noontime – March 15, 2012

Kevin Garnett's late fourth quarter heroics lifted Boston past Golden State! (Photo Credit: Comcast Sports/Bay Area)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Good Thursday to everyone, and welcome into yet another amazing rendition of the Daily Noontime! Let’s kick-start the day with some news from the city of champions!

* Kevin Garnett’s 20-foot jumper with six seconds remaining in the fourth quarter provided the Boston Celtics with a 105-103 win on Wednesday against the Golden State Warriors. Garnett paced the Green and White with 24 points, while Brandon Bass added 22 points. Boston is now 2-1 on their current eight-game swing, and will return to the court on Friday when they tip-off against the Sacramento Kings.

* Sources confirmed on Wednesday evening that Celtics forward/center Chris Wilcox will undergo aortic surgery on Mar. 29, and miss the remainder of the season.

* Sources have confirmed that the Celtics are possibly considering trading Paul Pierce to the Portland Trailblazers. The NBA trade deadline is set to conclude at 3PM on Thursday, and it’s likely that president of operations Danny Ainge will pull the trigger.

* The Boston Bruins will look to snap their three-game skid on Thursday evening when they face-off against the Panthers in Florida. The Panthers enter the contest having won two of their last three matchups against Carolina and Toronto.

* Harvard University’s men’s basketball team will begin their quest toward NCAA glory on Thursday when they tip-off against Vanderbilt University. Also, UMass will play its second round NIT game against Seton Hall on Saturday, Mar. 17, at 11AM.

* Finally, the New England Patriots acquired former Cincinnati Bengals defensive lineman Jonathan Fanene on Wednesday, as well as inked his name to a three-year, $12 million deal. Fanene has spent the past seven season with the Bengals, as well as ended this pasts season with 24 tackles, 17 solo tackles and 6.5 sacks.

Daily Noontime – March 2, 2012

Jason Varitek announced his retirement from baseball on Thursday, and will certainly be missed! (Photo Credit: Eagle Tribune)

By NoontimeSports.com 

It’s Friday, and before we break into song and dance, let’s dish out some headlines news from the sports universe… Boston, Massachusetts!

* On Thursday, Boston Red Sox catcher, (or should we say backstop) Jason Varitek officially announced his retirement from the MLB. Varitek thanked a variety of managers and front office members, as well as his teammates, too. Also, he stated, ” I decided that it’s best for me and my family that I retire, that I retire a Red Sox.”

David Krejci notched three goals against New Jersey on Thursday, which included the game-winner in OT, as the Bruins defeated the Devils at the TD Garden, 4-3. Boston hasn’t swept New Jersey in the regular season since 1985-86. Boston will return to the ice on Saturday when they host the New York Islanders for a 1:00pm face-off.

* According to various Boston sources – Boston Celtics team president Danny Ainge isn’t planning on shopping or trading Rajon Rondo. Although, ESPN’s Chris Broussard did report that the organization is “aggressively shopping” their point guard. The NBA trade deadline is rapidly approaching, March 15, and it’s certainly possible that the Celtics could trade their valuable puzzle piece.

* The Boston Celtics will return to the hardwood on Friday when they host the New Jersey Nets for a 7:30pm tip-off.

VIDEO: Should The Boston Celtics Initiate A Trade?

By NoontimeSports.com 

The Boston Celtics concluded the first half of their 66-game schedule on Wednesday evening against the Oklahoma City Thunder, who defeated the Green and White, 119-104.

The Celtics will now enjoy a few days off due to the NBA All-Star game on Sunday before returning to the hardwood next week when they travel to Cleveland. However, Boston certainly needs something or someone to spark their offense and defense, who’s won 15 of 32 contests thus far. Yet, what should the Celtics do? Should they rely on team president Danny Ainge to find their savior or keep things intact?

What are your thoughts on the Celtics? Would adding a new piece to the puzzle help Doc Rivers‘ crew reach the NBA Finals?

Share your thoughts below or post them on Facebook or Twitter.

Noonan: The Ups And Downs Of Boston Sports

Bobby Valentine has spiced things up in Florida! (Photo Credit: Boston Herald)

By Matt Noonan 

It’s been a while since a dark, stormy cloud drifted over the city of Boston.

For the past few weeks, Bostonians and New Englanders have appeared aggravated and disgusted with their four major professional sports teams because they’ve either struggled or disengaged.

Yet, let’s take a step back and realize that these particular days will pass because Boston is still technically the “City of Champions,” especially since all four major sports teams have won at least one championship in the past 11-years, right?

So, without further ado, let’s take a stroll downtown and check in with the Bruins, Celtics and Red Sox, who’re currently stealing the spotlight from the New England Patriots, who ended their season a few weeks ago in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Thoughts on the Sox: It’s way too early to deem the upcoming Boston Red Sox season a failure, especially since it’s only been two days of pitchers and catchers.

Manager Bobby Valentine has done a rather decent job with the club over the past few days, and appears eager to help everyone improve, especially Daisuke Matsuzaka, who according to the Boston Globe, played catch with his skipper on Monday. However, the highly touted pitcher isn’t expected to return the Fenway Park bump until midseason, as he’s currently recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Carl Crawford seems focused and determined to improve his performance from last season, despite ending the year with 129 hits, 29 doubles, seven triples, 56 RBIs and 18 stolen bases. Also, he struck out 104 times at the plate, too. Yet, similar to Matsuzaka, Valentine doesn’t want to push his leftfielder back into the lineup because he’s currently recovering from surgery on his left wrist.

Finally, a majority of the Sox position players have already arrived in Fort Myers, which is a hopeful sign that they’ve moved on from their chicken and beer rituals from last season. Boston is expected to conduct their first full team workouts on Thursday, and I’m sure after it concludes, we’ll have plenty to discuss around the water cooler in regards to David Ortiz to Cody Ross to Jason Varitek.

The aging Boston Celtics: Literally two weeks ago, I was sitting in the TD Garden watching the Green and White face a Memphis Grizzlies squad that probably should have won this particular clash, especially because they’re younger, quicker, stronger and faster. Although, Kevin Garnett denied the Grizzlies of a much needed win by turning in 22 points and nine rebounds, which helped Boston escape with a 98-80 victory.

Although, ever since that particular day, Boston has endued a 2-6 slump, which includes two losses to a struggling Detroit Pistons team that’ll most likely miss the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Can Danny Ainge salvage the Boston Celtics season? (Photo Credit: Flickr)

The Celtics are a complete mess, and need something or someone to spark their offense and defense, but what exactly should they do?

Should team president Danny Ainge create a blockbuster move or keep the roster intact?

What would Red Auerbach do? OK, that maybe the wrong thing to ask, but really, what would the former coach do in this particular situation?

It’s hard to determine what will happen over the next few weeks, but it’s pretty certain that a change is needed, especially if Boston plans to contend for some hardware in June.

The Bruins need to score goals: Similar to the Celtics, the Bruins are struggling.

They’ve lost two of their last three contests, and registered a goose egg (zero) on the scoreboard for the sixth time this season this past Sunday when the Minnesota Wild blanked them, 2-0 on national television.

However, Boston can salvage their current six-game road trip with wins in St. Louis, Buffalo and Ottawa, which might turn some frowns upside down.

Various reports on Tuesday and Wednesday confirmed that Nathan Horton is expected to remain sidelined, while Rich Peverley continues to be hampered by a knee injury. Also, Shawn Thornton has been battling an illness, which could prevent him from playing against the Blues on Wednesday.

Although, despite the various injuries, as well as bumps and bruises I think, Patrice Bergeron summed it up perfectly when he told the media that his teammates aren’t expecting the front office to locate a “savior” to assist the Bruins, who’re currently on par to snag the second seed in the Eastern Conference.

I don’t think a drastic change is necessary for this particular squad. What Boston needs to do is focus on scoring the first goal, and capitalizing on it. They also need Tim Thomas to keep his mind on hockey, not politics or social media.

The Bruins will be fine, but I’m not ruling out a potential trade that could help Boston in May and June.

Daily Noontime – January 20, 2012

Nathan Horton and the Boston Bruins capped off their road swing with a 4-1 victory on Thursday! (Photo Credit: Zimbio.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

It’s Friday, wahoo! Here are some headlines and news to kick-start the final day of the workweek, enjoy!

* The Boston Bruin ended their four-game road trip with a 2-2 record, as they defeated the New Jersey Devils, 4-1. The Black and Gold notched four goals in the third period, as Andrew Ference, Nathan Horton, Gregory Campbell and Chris Kelly all scored for Boston, while Tim Thomas deflected 30 saves between the pipes. Boston will return to the ice on Saturday afternoon when they host the New York Rangers at the TD Garden.

* Boston Celtics President of Operations Danny Ainge told WEEI, (Boston Sports Radio) on Thursday that he was stating the obvious about dealing the “Big-3.” Although, he did admit if there is a decent deal on the table, he’ll most likely pull the trigger.

* Rajon Rondo told the media on Thursday that he’s doubtful for Friday’s contest against the Phoenix Suns, which means Avery Bradley, will most likely be the starting guard.

* According to various reports – the New England Patriots are “believed” to be the AFC foe that’ll face the St. Louis Rams next year in London, England. The Patriots last played overseas in 2009 when they defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

What We’ve Learned About The Boston Celtics In 2011

After a tumultuous 2011, what exactly did we learn about the Boston Celtics? (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan for NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan 

Over the past 12 months, we’ve learned a lot about the Boston Celtics.

They’re no longer the top dog or a team that’s feared. Instead, they’re a veteran team that’s most likely going to finish the current season with at least 25 to 28 wins, and somehow squeak their way into the playoffs.

They’ll probably earn a few postseason victories too, but then lose to the younger and more athletic units, which include Chicago, Miami and New York, which is expected, right?

Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen have all aged, so don’t expect their tiresome legs to cruise to one more championship series, especially this season. However, it’s possible, yet highly doubtful that Boston will see a repeat of Bill Russell’s Celtics from 1969, but again, don’t hold your breath.

So, what exactly have we learned from this past year?

Could it be that team president Danny Ainge isn’t afraid to wheel and deal?

Perhaps Ainge’s decision to trade Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to Oklahoma City could be the eventual downfall of Boston’s basketball team?

And finally, maybe the Green and White should have traded point guard Rajon Rondo to Dallas or Detroit for various veterans?

Ok… take a deep breath because I, Matt Noonan have a few thoughts and ideas in regards to all these questions stated above.

Ainge Likes to Wheel and Deal: Any owner, president or manager for a particular team or organization is always going to contemplate the question — how can I improve my team?

In the case of Ainge, he wants to win. However, I think it’s fair to say that he’s a gambler, as well as someone who’s all-in, especially at the blackjack table. Yet, adding players like Jeff Green, Nenad Krstic, Carlos Arroyo, Troy Murphy and Rasheed Wallace didn’t exactly help Boston win their 18th championship banner, but instead, create aggravation and frustration for the past few years.

Celtics fans need to understand that Ainge is going to gamble. He’ll win and lose various trades and acquisitions, as well as do whatever it takes to help his team succeed every night, and contend for a championship.

Saying Good Bye to Kendrick and Nate: It’s hard to believe, but many Bostonians still think Ainge shouldn’t have pulled the trigger last February to release Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson because they would have helped the Celtics defeat the Miami Heat in May.

 

Yet, how do these fans or followers know that Perkins and Robinson were the answer?

Boston managed to win 15 of their final 27 contest, but relied heavily on Allen, Garnett and Pierce because Green and Krstic, who were the players that Boston and Oklahoma swapped, didn’t exactly comprehend Doc Rivers’ playbook.

The Celtics bench, which Ainge rebuilt after the trade, couldn’t compliment the starters play, which was obviously frustrating. However, let’s admit that Ainge once again gambled, and came up short, again.

Perkins, Robinson, and the Thunder reached the Western Conference Finals, but lost to the Dallas Mavericks, 4-1.

So, once again, I don’t think it’s fair to state that Ainge’s decision to trade Perkins and Robinson was the demise of the 2010-2011 Celtics or future teams, but once again, another gamble that he felt would improve Boston’s chances.

In Rondo, We Trust:  Say what you want about Rondo, but seriously, he’s the future of Boston basketball, and if the Celtics are going to continue their winning ways or at least attempt to remain competitive in the near future, then he’s going to be Ainge’s building block.

Boston will eventually be forced to replace Allen, Garnett and Pierce, which means Rondo will have to play his best basketball every night, as well as imitate his Game 3 performance against the Heat from this past May, which was when he dislocated his elbow.

 

If Rondo can be more aggressive, attack the rim, and keep his wits about himself, then expect the Celtics to succeed. However, if his old, immature ways return, then assume that Boston will be forced to rebuild once their current squad walks off into the sun.

I think Rondo can be a great asset for the Celtics, especially in the near future. But, I also think many will certainly ponder the question — what if Ainge had pulled the trigger, and acquired Chris Paul?

Celtics Trade Glen Davis, Acquire Brandon Bass

Glen Davis is headed South to join Orlando! (Photo Credit: Zimbio.com)

By Matt Noonan 

It’s official – reports have confirmed that the Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic have completed a sign-and-trade deal, which will send forward Glen Davis to Florida and forward Brandon Bass to Massachusetts.

However, the trade won’t be official until both physicals have been conducted and passed.

Saying, “so long and farewell” to Davis won’t exactly be the easiest thing for team president Danny Ainge, especially since “Big Baby” joined the squad as rookie in ‘07, and was a component of the team’s 17th NBA Championship. Yet, during the past three seasons, Bostonians saw another side of Davis, who not only appeared frustrated, but also demanded a starting job too.

Davis will join a talented unit in Orlando that’ll certainly miss Bass, who finished last season with 11.2 points per game, 5.6 rebounds, and 0.7 blocks.

According to sources, Bass is considered a “tough” player that should gel quite well with Kevin Garnett, while Davis is versatile and should certainly compliment Dwight Howard.

Will The Boston Celtics Unload Rajon Rondo?

Will the Celtics trade Rajon Rondo for Chris Paul? We'll see! (Photo Credit: Sports Grind)

By Matt Noonan 

The NBA season is right around the corner, which is hard to fathom, but according to various reports on Wednesday morning, the Boston Celtics are apparently interesting in unloading point guard Rajon Rondo.

This isn’t the first time that we’ve heard murmurs or speculations about the team contemplating trading Rondo, but according to a report on WEEI.com by Ben Rohrbach, the Celtics are apparently interested in acquiring New Orleans point guard Chris Paul.

On Tuesday, Sports Illustrated’s Sam Amick also confirmed that team president Danny Ainge is willing to trade Rondo for the right player, but again, is it Paul or possibly someone else?

Don’t get me wrong, but if the Celtics were to acquire Paul, they’d most likely have to surrender a few other players and draft picks besides Rondo because New Orleans most likely won’t hand over their prize possession without a few necessities in return, right?

It’s also possible that Ainge could throw one of his “Big-3” members into this particular trade pot too, but would that make head coach Doc Rivers happy?

I doubt it!

The NBA season as well as know will be condensed to 66-games, and if the Celtics are going to be successful this year, they’re going to need young, fresh blood to compliment Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. Rivers can’t rely on his aging veterans to play the entire 48-minutes, which is why acquiring Paul or possibly a few other battle tested veterans would help this team compete against Atlanta, Miami, New York and Orlando.

Who knows if the Ainge will indeed pull the trigger, but acquiring someone like Paul could certainly help boost the moral for a team that’s experienced three years of heartbreaking playoff losses, and only one championship in four seasons. Former Celtic great Bill Russell told Garnett that he predicted this team would win at least two or three championships before the “Big-3” dissembles, so again, acquiring some young, talented fresh legs would certainly help their cause in a challenging Eastern Conference.

Daily Noontime – September 21, 2011

Can the Red Sox recover from their losing ways? We'll see!

Happy “Hump Day” to everyone and welcome into an outstanding edition of the Daily Noontime, which we hope you enjoy! Here’s a look at some of the headlines and news of the day!

Headlines: 

* Once again, the Boston Red Sox faltered in the late innings on Tuesday against the Baltimore Orioles, which resulted in a 7-5 loss.

* According to sources, Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers and team president Danny Ainge are eager for the NBA Lockout to end.

* The NBA Lockout continues, but it certainly seems that both sides are interested in finalizing a deal, so they can save the upcoming season. Both parties will meet with one another on Wednesday and possibly Thursday.

* In case you’ve missed the past two weeks of the NFL season – here’s some news and notes from the San Francisco Chronicle.

* According to some sources – the Dallas Cowboys plan to roll out quarterback Tony Romo next Monday against the Washington Redskins despite a punctured lung and fractured rib.

* The Winnipeg Jets earned their first preseason win on Tuesday against the Columbus Blue Jackets, 6-1 and hopefully this is a sign of good things to come.

Games to Watch: 

* Tampa Bay at New York Yankees (MLB) – 1:05/7:00pm eastern 

* Milwaukee at Chicago Cubs (MLB) – 2:20pm eastern 

* Baltimore at Boston (MLB) – 7:10pm eastern 

* Atlanta at Florida (MLB) – 7:10pm eastern 

* New York Mets at St. Louis (MLB) – 8:10pm eastern 

* San Francisco at L.A. Dodgers (MLB) – 10:10pm eastern 

Video of the Day: 

Anyone think we could see Charlie Batch under center this season for the Pittsburgh Steelers, especially if Big Ben gets hurt?