Every Friday, Team Noontime — Matt Noonan, Andrew Pezzelli, and Zach Weiss — get together to record a weekly podcast on national (and yes, sometimes New England-based sports news). And this week, the trio shared their thoughts on the upcoming NBA play-in tournament.
All three believe this is a good thing for a league that included a play-in tournament last year when games were shifted to Orlando, Florida due to the Covid-19 pandemic. And as of this afternoon — Friday, May 14, to be exact — six of eight play-in spots are secured, including the seventh, eighth, and ninth positions in the Eastern Conference.
We’ll find out over the next few days as to which teams will secure the final two spots — one in the Eastern Conference and one in the Western Conference as the play-in tournament is set to begin next Tuesday, May 18 and will conclude Friday, May 21.
Additionally, Noonan, Pezzelli, and Weiss discuss the Boston Celtics’ current campaign, which finds the Green and White in seventh place in the Eastern Conference heading into the play-in tournament next week.The Celtics will most likely tip-off against the Charlotte Hornets, but could face the Indiana Pacers, pending results between now and Sunday.
Boston has two games remaining in the regular season against the Minnesota Timberwolves (Saturday, May 15) and New York Knicks (Sunday, May 16).
Hopefully, everyone is having a wonderful start to their morning (or afternoon or whenever you will be reading this) and looking forward to some snow in the forecast. Yes, snow will be arriving overnight here in Massachusetts, but luckily warmer weather will follow, which means better days are ahead, right?
In the meantime, take a work break or a reading break to enjoy a brand new ‘On This Date in History’ from your friends at NoontimeSports.com.
On This Date in History: April 17th, 2020
1947:Jackie Robinson recorded his first major league hit with a bunt going toward third base. Robinson started the game at first base and batted second in the lineup for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Brooklyn won the game by defeating the Boston Braves, 12-6.
1951: Mickey Mantle made his major league debut with the New York Yankees and finished his team’s initial contest of the 1951 season with one RBI, one hit, and one run. New York won its opening day clash against the Boston Red Sox by a score of 5-0 and would go onto win the World Series months later against the New York Giants.
1972: Olavi Suomalainen won the 76th running of the Boston Marathon by finishing the 26.2-mile course in 2:15:39. Victor Manuel Mora finished second with a time of 2:15:57 while Jacinto Sabinal placed third with a time of 2:16:10.
Nina Kuscsik won the women’s race with a time of 3:10:26 while Elaine Pedersen finished second (3:20:25) and Kathrine Switzer placed third (3:29:51).
1987:Julius Erving, who was commonly known as Dr. J to many basketball fans, joined a pair of NBA greats (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387) and Wilt Chamberlain (31,419)) by reaching 30,000 points in a 115-111 setback to the Indiana Pacers. Erving, who netted 38 points in the setback to the Pacers on 17 of 31 shooting, would conclude his career with 30,026 points.
Erving spent his entire NBA career competing for the Philadelphia 76ers but did begin competing professionally in the ABA with the Virginia Squires and New York Nets.
1999: With the first pick in the NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns selected Tim Couch, a quarterback that competed for Kentucky.
The Philadelphia Eagles, which had the second pick, selected Donovan McNabb from Syracuse while the Cincinnati Bengals selected Akili Smith, who played quarterback for Oregon.
The New England Patriots selected center Damien Woody, who played locally at Boston College with the 17th pick.
Welcome to Wednesday, everyone – hope you are doing OK this morning (or whenever you are reading this post!).
I’ll do the best to brighten your mood and take your mind off the coronavirus (COVID-19) – I know there is a lot of news and announcements being shared, so allow me to do my very best to change the subject to sports.
Did you watch last night’s Boston Celtics game? If not, I am happy to report that the Green and White defeated the Indiana Pacers, 114-111, and secured a spot in the upcoming NBA playoffs.
Jayson Tatum netted 30 points in the win while Gordon Hayward finished Tuesday’s game with a double-double of 27 points and 10 rebounds.
Boston will compete against the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday before returning home Friday to play against the Washington Wizards.
Patrice Bergeron and Matt Grzelcyk each netted one goal last night as the Boston Bruins topped the Philadelphia Flyers, 2-0.
With the win, the Black and Gold improve to 44-14-12 overall while the Flyers slip to 41-21-7.
Boston has now won three of their last four outings and will head to New York on Friday to skate against the Buffalo Sabres at 7 p.m.
Last night’s win over the Flyers marked the 50th time Tuukka Rask has recorded a shutout. He stopped 36 shots in his team’s 44th victory of the 2019-20 season.
It is unfortunate, but you have to give the Ivy League some credit for not just protecting its student-athletes, coaches, and team representatives, but also its fans, too.
Other leagues, organizations, and teams have begun announcing changes to its upcoming sports schedules, including the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Association (CIAA), which canceled its remaining winter tournaments.
The New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) announced an update on its website this morning that “the NESCAC Presidents met and concluded unanimously that conference competition, including conference championships, will be canceled for the 2020 spring season.”
We should expect more cancelations and changes to upcoming games over the next few weeks, including the possibility of no fans at future professional games, too.
We’ll be back tomorrow, but in the meantime remember to smile and know we will all get through this together!
Welcome to Tuesday, everyone. I hope you are ALL doing well and ready for another great day – I know I am!
It may not totally feel like spring (or summer) like it did yesterday, but I am confident the weather this morning and early afternoon will put a smile on your face. And you know what will also make you smile (and feel happy) is a brand new Daily Noontime, so let’s get started.
The TD Garden will be the go-to site for some great local high school basketball this afternoon and evening – here is today’s Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) schedule:
MIAA D4 State Semifinals: Matignon vs. Cathedral, 2 p.m.
MIAA D4 State Semifinals: Snowden vs. Abington, 3:45 p.m.
MIAA D1 State Semifinals: Andover vs. Bridgewater-Raynham, 5:30 p.m.
MIAA D1 State Semifinals: Lynn English vs. Mansfield, 7:15 p.m.
As of this morning, it appears as if fans will be allowed to attend these four games, but if anything changes due to COVID-19, we will let you know! Fans can also stream all four contests through NFHSNetwork.com.
The Boston Bruins will return to the ice this evening when they visit the Philadelphia Flyers for a 7 p.m. face-off. Boston is looking to return to the win column after losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning this past weekend.
Following their trip to Philadelphia, Boston will head to upstate New York for a Friday evening affair with the Buffalo Sabres before returning home on Saturday, March 14th for a 7 p.m. face-off against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for three wins this week!
The Boston Celtics return to the hardwood this evening, kicking off a three-game set in four days with a visit to the Indiana Pacers with tipoff scheduled for 7 p.m.
Boston is looking to return to the win column after being edged by the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday.
Following their visit to Indiana, the Celtics will take on the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday followed by a home date Friday, March 13th against the Washington Wizards.
Speaking of games without fans, according to D3Hoops.com, Amherst College, which will be the host site of this week’s NCAA D-III Women’s Basketball Sectional semifinals and finals, will not allow supporters of the four teams in their gym after denying access last weekend for three games, including the Mammoths’ initial postseason contest against Framingham State University.
According to the Burlington Free Press, the Norwich University women’s ice hockey team will play its first NCAA Tournament game against Amherst on Wednesday, March 11th without any fans due to concerns of the coronavirus. And this may not be the first postseason college hockey game to not include fans.
The good news about today is the weather: it is going to be gorgeous, so make sure to get outside and enjoy the sun.
Let’s kick-start a new week – well, a new work week, to be exact! – with a brand new Daily Noontime. Have a wonderful day, everyone, and remember to smile, too.
The Boston Celtics did not play their best basketball on Sunday as the Green and White were edged by the Oklahoma City Thunder, 105-104, at the TD Garden. Gordon Hayward led the Celtics with 24 points while Jayson Tatum added 19 points, five rebounds, and three assists. Marcus Smart recorded a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Boston will attempt to return to the win column tomorrow – that would be Tuesday, March 10th, to be exact – when they visit the Indiana Pacers for a 7 p.m. tip-off.
As of this morning, the Celtics remain locked in the third position in the Eastern Conference but need to find their groove down the stretch in order to catch the Toronto Raptors for the second spot in the upcoming NBA playoffs.
Hayward told reporters after his team’s loss to the Thunder that the Celtics were not going to blame the setback on Kemba Walker, who turned the ball over with 8.5 seconds remaining. Instead, Hayward told reporters that the Celtics “lost this game together.”
After a successful road trip down south, the Boston Bruins fell apart at home on Saturday, losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning by a score of 5-3. Tuukka Rask denied 20 of 24 shots in the setback while Charlie McAvoy tallied one goal and one assist.
Boston will visit the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday with puck drop scheduled for 7 p.m.
The Boston Red Sox will play another spring training game this afternoon against the Atlanta Braves with the first pitch scheduled for 6:05 p.m. Boston edged the Minnesota Twins on Sunday by a score of 7-6 after splitting two games on Saturday with the Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays.
And just in case you were wondering, we’re roughly two weeks away from the start of a brand new season, which seems crazy, right?
According to Jeff Borzello of ESPN, Harvard University‘s Seth Towns will compete for another team next season as a grad student – he is considering multiple programs, including Kansas, Virginia, and Syracuse. Towns has not appeared on the court this winter due to an injury – he also missed last season, too, but was named to the Lou Henson Award watch list, though.
The Holy Cross women’s basketball team will host Lafayette College this evening in the Patriot League quarterfinals. The winner will advance to Thursday’s semifinals. Holy Cross has won three-straight contests, including its final game of the 2019-20 regular season.
Yale University secured the top seed in this weekend’s Ivy League men’s basketball tournament while Princeton University is the number one seed in the women’s tournament.