Noonan: Boston Celtics Playoffs Thoughts and Predictions

Are the Boston Celtics ready to earn Banner 18? We'll find out!

 By Matt Noonan

Similar to the Boston Bruins, Noontime Sports has provided a few thoughts on the Boston Celtics, as well as their playoff chances. Will they win their 18th NBA title in franchise history? Who knows, but here is what we believe will happen with the Boston Celtics. 

Thoughts on the Boston Celtics: Well here comes another playoffs series, whoop-di-doo!

Are you excited? Revved up and ready for a championship run? Who thinks this Boston Celtics team has what it takes to go the distance?

Stop right there. Who truly believes this group of veterans and young guns has what it takes to earn Banner 18?

Unfortunately, I don’t feel the urge to root for this team primarily because every member of this squad, including head coach Doc Rivers and point guard Rajon Rondo haven’t gotten over the Kendrick Perkins departure from February. Instead of coping with it or learning to move on, the Celtics, who were [41-14] at the time of the trade, fell apart and finished their final 27-games with a [15-12] record.

A majority of their efforts were put into grieving over the loss of Perkins, who may or may not have been the true part of “Ubuntu.” Yet, Perkins was part of that starting five, which featured himself, Rondo, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett that never lost a playoff series. They were the ones who were able to boast about beating the Los Angles Lakers in 2008.

Yet, there were also times when the “starting-5” was missing Garnett or Perkins, but again, this was the core group of guys that defined Celtics basketball, especially in the 21st century, but again, Perkins was a key part to their success, despite all of his fouls and frowns.

On Sunday the Celtics begin their quest for Banner 18 without Perkins or the essential member of team “Shrek and Donkey,” (Glen Davis and Nate Robinson).

There are indeed some new faces, such as Carols Arroyo, Jeff Green, Nenad Kristic and Troy Murphy, but is every Green and White supporter excited to see these guys contribute toward bringing Boston yet another championship? I don’t think so.

If you had the chance to catch part IV of ESPN’s “The Association,” which was a documentary series that followed the Celtics all season, the final chapter clearly summed up the fact that this team is not ready to contend for a championship. Doc Rivers and Rajon Rondo again seem dumbfounded by the trade, but Kevin Garnett though hasn’t lost his mojo.

The Celtics are also faced with the daunting task of wondering how much Jermaine O’Neal and Shaquille O’Neal will help this club. Can they make a difference or be the catalysts in a possible downfall? Both players signed up as aging veterans who wanted one more shot at redemption or possibly the chance to play in a NBA Finals, but unless these two stars figure out a way to stay healthy, they could possibly go down as the two biggest busts in Celtics lore.

There are a lot of questions surrounding the team, but the only way we’ll find out what this team is made of is when the New York Knicks invade the TD Garden for games 1 and 2 on Sunday and Tuesday. After two games, the Celtics may provide us with some answers or ideas, but again, should we call Las Vegas and consider them a lock to win the title? Nope, please don’t!

Although, if Celtics fans learned anything last year, it is that the regular season can’t truly predict what will happen in the post-season or who is a guaranteed winner. Sure, the Chicago Bulls maybe the best team in basketball, but do they have what it takes to win a NBA championship?

Does Kobe Bryant have enough fuel in his tank to lead his Los Angles Lakers to the finish line or will the Miami Heat’s “Big-3” put aside their difference and win their first of possibly seven titles, according to LeBron James?

The NBA post-season is a long and enduring process, but again, who knows where this Celtics team can go, so just sit back, relax and wait until Sunday evening for some answers.

Prediction: Again, this Celtics team is a true “wild-card.” They could win it all or possibly flop out after round one against the New York Knicks. Doc Rivers is definitely one of the top five sideline generals in the NBA, so as long as he can keep his team motivated or focused, then they’ll advance. If any funny business occurs or if the team doesn’t respond to Rivers, then consider it another year without a championship.

The Celtics will most likely win their first round series against the New York Knicks in six games and then lose to the Miami Heat during the second round of the NBA playoffs.

NBA Finals Prediction:  Chicago Bulls vs. San Antonio Spurs, (Bulls win the series in seven games, 4-3).  

Daily Noontime – March 2, 2011

Happy Wednesday to everyone and welcome into yet another Daily Noontime for March 2, 2011! Here are the headlines and news of the day, as well as your video of the day, so enjoy!

Headlines:

* So the Boston Red Sox owner John Henry apparently got slapped with a major fine by the MLB on Tuesday due to some unusual comments.

* It seems that the Miami Heat have added another former NBA great to their roster, Mike Bibby.

* With the NFL Lockout just a few days from now, it seems that a few players are signing with a new team, but taking a chance that their contract money is available after Friday.

* NFL quarterback Carson Palmer has already made it clear that he will never play another down for the Cincinnati Bengals.

* The Oklahoma City Thunder has enjoyed having Kendrick Perkins, who apparently has signed a new 4-year contract.

* Sure, the New York Knicks defeated the Miami Heat on Sunday, but on Tuesday, they lost to the Orlando Magic.

* Sadly, the New York Mets won’t receive or loan anymore money from the MLB.

Games to Watch:

* Chicago at Atlanta (NBA) – 7:00pm eastern

* New Orleans at New York Knicks (NBA) – 7:00pm eastern

* Phoenix at Boston (NBA) – 7:30pm eastern

* Calgary at Chicago (NHL) – 9:00pm eastern

Video of the Day:

Charlie Sheen will always be a winner in our book!


Daily Noontime – February 25, 2011

Could Jeff Green really help the Boston Celtics?

Good Friday morning to everyone and welcome into yet another Daily Noontime and of course, a brand new weekend! Have a great day, be safe and here are your headlines, news and video of the day!

Headlines:

* The NBA Trade Deadline has come and gone, but one of the biggest trades involved the Boston Celtics and Oklahoma City Thunder.

* How about the Chicago Bulls? “Da Bulls” defeated the Miami Heat on Thursday in an impressive win.

* The Georgetown Hoyas will continue the remainder of their regular season without one of their young stars, Chris Wright.

* According to the NFL mediator, “some progress” has been made between both the players union and owners.

* The NFL combine turned into a variety of question and answers on Thursday and certainly, many NFL team officials wanted to talk with former Auburn University quarterback, Cam Newton.

* Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh believes that Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose is going to be the leagues MVP.

* Good news for Detroit Tigers fans, first baseman Miguel Cabrera has officially shown up to spring training camp after being arrested a week ago for a DUI.

Games to Watch:

* Pittsburgh at Carolina (NHL) – 7:00pm eastern

* New Jersey at Tampa Bay (NHL) – 7:30pm eastern

* Oklahoma City at Orlando (NBA) – 8:00pm eastern

* New Jersey at San Antonio (NBA) – 8:30pm eastern

* Denver at Portland (NBA) – 10:30pm eastern

Video of the Day:

Looks like the Celtics found another member of the “Green Team!”


Boston Sports Check-Up in January 2011

Look outside your window and what do you see? Snow? Ice? Freezing cold weather (not that you can tell or describe what “cold” or a temperature looks like), but exactly, what do you see?

Take that idea and apply it to our Boston sports scene. Currently, many New Englanders and Bostonians are continuing to mourn the Patriots exit in the NFL playoffs, which was provided by those New York Jets on January 16, 2011. Another reason to despise the New York sports teams!

Other fans are just happy that they can turn their attention to the Bruins and Celtics every night, as well as those who are eagerly waiting for the Red Sox pitcher and catchers workouts to begin in February.

Yet, no matter what, it is important to consider the current mood or feelings that are going around during this rather chilly time in January and check in on all four teams. So, here is our breakdown and current thoughts on the Bruins, Celtics, Patriots and Red Sox, enjoy!

New England Patriots: Watching the Patriots early exit from the 2010 NFL playoffs is still somewhat hard to grasp and dissatisfying. Not only did they lose to an AFC East opponent, but a New York team, which really puts a bad taste in any Bostonian’s mouth. Yet, finishing atop the AFC with a record of (14-2) and knocking off the “heavy-hitters,” Baltimore, Indianapolis, San Diego, Pittsburgh and New York once, is quite an impressive accomplishment and clearly, they exceeded their pre-season expectations.

Going into the off-season, there will be a lot of items that need to be addressed, but first, the  biggest task of them all will be if commissioner Roger Goodell and his team of executives  can get a new CBA in place for a 2011 season. Pending that there is a season come next  September, the Patriots will be faced with the daunting task of resigning all-pro  tackle, Logan Mankins, who had asked for a long-term contract prior to the start of the ’10   season, but his wish was not granted. Instead, Mankins held out of mini-camp and training-  camp and did not return to the team until the first weekend in November. He played an  important role in protecting his quarterback, but also opening up holes at the line for the  running game.

Of course there are other names too that will be important to address, such as Matt  LightFred Taylor, Sammy Morris, Kevin Faulk and BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Will  all these names return next season? Could we see some familiar faces in new places?

Then there is quarterback Tom Brady and his fractured foot, which could pose a problem f  for the upcoming season; yet, we shouldn’t doubt his toughness or love for the game. He,  unlike some quarterbacks is tough and mentally prepared every week to win, so don’t ever count out Mr. Brady!

All in all, their status here in January is somewhat quiet, but as they prepare for the NFL draft, look for the squad to continue to add pieces to this newly assembled defense and even add maybe an extra deep threat for Brady. Any chance that Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chad OchoCinco could be a new member of the Patriots in 2011? The possibilities and thoughts will continue to run wild until kick-off next season.

Boston Celtics: The Celtics received great news on Tuesday, as they welcomed back center Kendrick Perkins, who not only returned three weeks earlier, but proved that he his hungry and wants another championship ring. Of course, Perkins has felt the sting from his injury, which occurred last June during the NBA Finals against the Lakers in game six. Had Perkins remained in the line-up, could they have beaten Los Angles and earned another NBA championship trophy and banner for the rafters? That’s debatable!

The Green and White have been hot as of recently and own one of the better records in the NBA. Having won 34 games and already past the mid-way point of the season, they certainly seem in prime position to go after Banner 18 in June. Although, there have been some great surprises thus far and they don’t all belong to Shaquille O’Neal. Forward Glen Davis has clearly matured and improved his game. Davis’s minutes have improved greatly, averaging close to 30-minutes a game. Other names that have been incredibly helpful this season are Von Wafer, Semih Erden and Luke Harangody.

Again, the Celtics own the best record in the East and clearly would earn the top seed to begin the conference playoffs, if it were to begin today. Yet, a big test will come Thursday, when they begin a four-game road trip, starting in Portland, Oregon. The NBA Finals rematch will take place on Sunday January 30, 2011, which promises to be something special. Besides, the Celtics want revenge, but can they get it?

As long as everyone remains healthy and Doc Rivers keeps coaching, then consider this squad dangerous for the remainder of the season, as well as in the playoffs too.

Boston Bruins: It seems that the Bruins constantly win, lose and win again, yet, what makes this team more enjoyable to watch compared to past seasons is their physical play and ability to skate for 60-minutes, rather than 40 or 45-minutes. Of course, there are certain games where fans want to pull their hair out and scream, but once they fully establish a decent rhythm, then this team will be ready to contend for their sixth Stanley Cup.

Head coach Claude Julien wasn’t too pleased with his teams performance a week ago against the Buffalo Sabres, especially since the Black and Gold played horrendous hockey in all three periods and didn’t have their usual, “pop” in them, which could be displayed when trailing in the third period. Julien did state during his press conference that the team was “flat” all evening. Great word choice, but in all honesty, they have struggled greatly against the Sabres this season and there may not be an answer to why that has occurred.

The recent injury to Marc Savard is certainly not good news and hopefully, the Bruins medical staff and trainers will help him remain off the ice, as well as let him take the remainder of the season off. Would it be wise to put Savard back on the ice in March or April? Also, goaltender Tuukka Rask can’t seem to win in net. His current record of (5-10-1) is nothing to write home about, but exactly, why do the Bruins played so poorly when he starts? At least Tim Thomas is succeeding between the pipes. Thomas is the top goaltender for the Bruins and owns a record of (23-5-6).

Finally, the Bruins do display their toughness, especially defenseman, Steve Kampfer, who has chosen to keep playing hockey and not have surgery on his broken nose.

The Bruins will host the Florida Panthers on Wednesday at the TD Garden and then enjoy some extra rest during the NHL All-Star weekend. The second half won’t be an easy beginning for a team that currently resides in third place in the Eastern conference, as Boston will face Dallas, San Jose, Montreal and Detroit to kick-off the second of their season, which may provide some idea about this squad, as well as help fans understand if they could be cup-bound in June.   

Boston Red Sox: It is not even April, but baseball is slowly creeping back onto our Noontime Sports radar. The Red Sox look ready to challenge the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays, as well as win the division too. Yet, there are still a god amount of questions that remain, such as, can Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford remain healthy for an entire season? What will their impact be on the team? Will second-year pitcher Jon Lackey rebound from a rocky ’10 season and lower his earned run average? Can the bullpen shut down their opponents late in the game?

On the bright side, the club will be happy to have Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis back on the diamond and in the line-up, but they too are a year older and need to stay healthy.

Overall, it is still early, but pending how the team does during their February and March exhibition schedule could dictate a good or bad season.

Daily Noontime – January 26, 2011

Is Jay Cutler really hurt or faking an injury?

It is indeed the middle of the week, so get excited! It is Wednesday January 26, 2011 and while another storm is headed to the Northeast, why don’t you check out the headline, games to watch and an amazing video of the day!

Headlines:

* THIS JUST IN… Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler used the stairs after his teams NFC Conference Championship loss on Sunday evening!

* At the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal‘s run toward a Grand Slam came to an end on Wednesday.

* Did Matthew Stafford‘s teammate, Zack Follet say something wrong about his Detroit Lions teammate?

* The Boston Celtics defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday, but were able to welcome back Kendrick Perkins to the line-up.

* Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick has officially signed up with a new sponsor, which is his first since being in prison.

* New York Yankees Hank Steinbrenner has admitted that his team needs to win a World Series again.

* Apparently Los Angles Lakers forward Lamar Odom and Boston Celtics forward Shaquille O’Neal are being sued by an endorser.

Games to Watch:

* Florida at Boston (NHL) – 7:00pm eastern

* Washington at Atlanta (NHL) – 7:00pm eastern

* LA Clippers at Houston (NBA) – 8:30pm eastern

* San Antonio at Utah (NBA) – 9:30pm eastern

Video of the Day:

In all honesty, did Jay Cutler really get hurt against the Packers on Sunday?