Daily Noontime: Friday, March 6th, 2020


By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation

It’s Friday – hooray!

I hope you are excited about the weekend as I am – I know it will be a great one.

Tomorrow will be chilly, but then the mild-winter/early spring weather returns on Sunday and then Monday will feel like a beach day (wahoo!).

Let’s kick-off the final day of the workweek with a brand new ‘Daily Noontime.’

The Boston Bruins squeaked out a 2-1 win last night over the Florida Panthers – they needed a second-period goal to eventually force overtime. Torey Krug netted the game-winner while finishing with one goal and one assist. Patrice Bergeron tied the game in the second period.

With the win, the Bruins earned an additional two points and are now in complete command of the Atlantic Division. They have won 43 games and will look to continue their momentum tomorrow evening when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning with puck drop scheduled for 7 p.m.

Following their one-goal victory last night over the Panthers, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy made a funny joke about Krug. Apparently, he referred to the defensemen as “hammer hands there.” That is pretty funny, right?

Crew Ainge and the Babson College men’s basketball team are back in the NCAA D-III Tournament this afternoon – the Beavers will tip-off against Ithaca College at 5 p.m.

Ainge is the son of Boston Celtics president of basketball operations – that would be Danny Ainge – and has certainly enjoyed competing for the Beavers this winter.

Speaking of the Celtics, they will be at home this evening against the Utah Jazz. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m.

According to former Celtics forward (and center) Kendrick Perkins, he believes Boston’s best chance to contend for a title (and be a real threat in the Eastern Conference) is by locking-up the second seed. “If Boston gets the second seed, they’re going to the Eastern Conference Finals and they’re going to the (NBA) Finals,” Perkins said, via Nick Friar of WEEI.com.

As of this morning, the Celtics trail the Toronto Raptors by one-and-a-half games for the second spot. But I think Perkins is right – we need the second position to have a chance at contending for an NBA championship in June (fingers crossed!).

Finally, it sounds like the San Francisco 49ers could be a possible landing spot for Tom Brady, but the same could be said for our beloved New England Patriots.

Other potential landing spots, as noted by ProFootballTalk.com, are Tennessee TitansLos Angeles Chargers, and Las Vegas Raiders.

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?

10-Games Boston Celtics Fans Can’t Miss in 2011-12

Does Kevin Garnett and the Boston Celtics have what it takes to win the NBA Championship in June of 2012?

By Matt Noonan 

The NBA Lockout is far from over. However, the league announced on Tuesday the 2011-12 regular season schedule, which hopefully is a sign of progress.

Although, despite the ongoing NBA drama, here’s 10 games that Boston Celtics fans will certainly want to circle on their calendars, especially if the season starts in November.

Boston at Miami (Nov. 16) – Seriously, who isn’t intrigued by this particular matchup? The newest version of the “Big-3” failed against the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA championship this past June, plus, between the ongoing lockout and time apart, Miami should be pretty rusty for the aging Celtics legs.

Boston at Orlando (Nov. 17) – Boston-Orlando has turned into “can’t-miss” television, so, mark your calendars fans, as the Green and White will look win back-to-back games in Florida on this particular weekend in November.

Miami at Boston (Dec. 1) – This matchup should be more intense, especially since it will be at the Garden. Can you imagine the fans reactions when LeBron Jamesis introduced over the public address system? Should be interesting!

Boston at New York Knicks (Dec. 25) – Santa should deliver quite an exciting Christmas Day treat, especially if both teams are healthy. Although this time around, New York’s “Big-3,” (Amare Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups) should know to how to play with one another, so let’s hope for an exciting holiday contest.

Dallas at Boston (Jan. 11) – The Mavericks won their first NBA championship in franchise history last season, so you can expect the Northeast championship tour to be somewhat exciting, especially against the Celtics.

Oklahoma City at Boston (Jan. 16) – This game will totally be worth watching, especially if the Green and White’s old friends, Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson remain with the Thunder. Yet, why did I write that particular sentence? Well, apparently Robinson wants to play football these days; yet, they’re somewhat in a lockout too, right?

Los Angles Lakers at Boston (Feb. 9) – The last time the Lakers invaded the Garden was when the Celtics watched Ray Allen hit his 2,561st three-pointer. Any chance he’ll break another record against Boston’s rival?

Chicago at Boston (Feb. 12) – Ever since their epic seven-game duel in the ’09 playoffs, Chicago has challenged Boston a great deal. Although with youth, talent and Tom Thibodeau on their side, Chicago should run away with this game, but let’s hope that’s not true.

Boston at Houston (Feb. 19) – Once upon a time, Kevin McHale played for the Celtics, but now, he’s the new head coach for the Houston Rockets, so this is another, “can’t-miss” television event. Hopefully The Office won’t be on that evening!

Boston at San Antonio (Mar. 25) – At this point, both teams should have locked up playoff spots, yet, playing in San Antonio can be challenging, especially for the Celtics, who are [38-40] all time against the Spurs.

Top 10 Boston Celtics of the 21st Century

A majority of the 2008 NBA Champions made the Top 10 List, but exactly, why?

By Matt Noonan 

It’s officially my duty as the Noontime Sports basketball guru, (technically a “guru”), to break down the Boston Celtics from 2000 to 2011. There are indeed so many players to consider for this particular Top-10 list, but really, I think I’ve identified the best members of the Green and White.

So, similarly to our good friend, Andy Lindberg, I have provided you, the reader with a list of 10-names, as well as short, quick synopses too.

Top 10- Boston Celtics of the 21st Century

10.) Brian Scalabrine – “Scal” deserved to make this particular list, especially since he was a “fan favorite.” He may have not been the best player to sport the Green and White, but when the exuberant red head ran up and down the floor, it was always entertaining.

9.) Antoine Walker – “Toine” was a true troublemaker, but also a competitor. He never won a NBA championship, but one has to wonder, what exactly will he be remembered for the most, especially in Boston? Hmm… I’d have to say his dance moves and complaints.

8.) Walter McCarty – Similar to Scalabrine, McCarty was a fan favorite. He played a majority of his career in a Boston uniform, but his best season was during the ‘03-‘04 campaign, as the forward finished the regular season with 605 points, 137 three-pointers, 62 free-throw points, 239 rebounds, 124 assists and 72 steals.

7.) Kendrick PerkinsA majority of the so-called, “Celtics Nation” was brought to tears this past February, which was when Boston traded their “big man” to Oklahoma City in exchange for Jeff Green and Nenad Kristic. The Celtics never recovered from their “blockbuster” trade, as they finished the season in the second round of the NBA Playoffs. However, while Perkins could have helped the team in the post season, (it’s hard to determine that theory), he indeed will be remembered for being a member of a starting-five that never lost a playoff series.

6.) James PoseyThe ultimate “sixth-man,” Posey played an important role during the ’07-‘08 season, as well as helped Boston earn its first NBA title in 22-years. Posey finished the ’07-’08 season with 545 points, 114 assists and 322 rebounds.

5.) P.J. Brown He may have not been a member of the Celtics for a long time, but Brown ended his career by winning a championship, so that’s sweet, right? Brown’s defense, leadership and intensity played a significant role against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Piston and Los Angles Lakers in the ‘08 NBA playoffs.

4.) Rajon RondoAt first, it didn’t seem like Rondo was the right person to lead the Celtics to victory. Although, Rondo has excelled under the guidance of head coach Doc Rivers and his veteran teammates. Rondo is considered one of the top point guards in the league, but seriously, he needs to work on his shooting.

3.) Kevin GarnettGarnett displayed his love and passion for the game, as well as embraced “Celtics pride,” en-route to Boston’s 17th NBA championship. His leadership and guidance played a significant role the past few seasons, as he has helped Glen Davis and Rajon Rondo improve their games.

2.) Ray Allen Acquired on Draft Night in ‘07, Allen came to Boston poised to win a championship. Currently, Allen holds the record for most three-pointers in the NBA.

1.) Paul Pierce – Pierce’s long wait for a title came in ’08 against the Los Angles Lakers, as he, Allen and Garnett, as well as a few other role players, captured the NBA title on June 17, 2008. Pierce was also named the Final’s MVP too.

Noonan: Rivers is Back, But Where do the Celtics go from here?

Doc Rivers is back with Boston, but what needs to happen next?

By Matt Noonan

After Wednesday’s Game 5 loss to the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers was greeted by the usual group of media members, who always have something to interesting to say about the men dressed in Green and White. He sat down at the podium and calmly congratulated the Heat on their victory, but also, he mentioned how proud he was of his team’s effort.

In fact, he even stated, “I’m a Celtics,” which brought smiles to many New Englanders faces.

Rivers is indeed a Celtic or a special part of the franchise’s history, as he officially inked his name on a brand new, five-year, $35 million contract on Friday. So, no need to worry about the future of Doc Rivers, he’s coming back to Boston, so relax.

Yet, while the coaching situation is all set, the next question is what will team president Danny Ainge do with his aging and ailing squad?

Will he wheel and deal, just like he did this past season when he sent Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to Oklahoma City?

Will he test the free agent wire and pick up some intriguing veterans, such as Jamal Crawford, Tyson Chandler or Caron Butler?  

Possibly, he’ll try and wake up his former head coach Red Auerbach and ask for some advice?

No matter what, Danny Ainge will need to make some changes, especially since the window of his modern day “Big-3” is practically over.

Paul Pierce looked incredibly flustered this season, Ray Allen wanted the ball more and Kevin Garnett realized, he’s not 21-years old.

Pierce, Allen and Garnett will go down in the record books as “All-Stars,” no matter what happens. If they win another championship together, well that’d be great, but if not, they certainly brought the spirit of basketball back to the city of Boston.

Yet, while Pierce, Allen and Garnett slowly fade away and walk off into the sunset, one has to wonder, who will Ainge find to replace them? He already has a tremendous point guard in Rajon Rondo and needs to find the right pieces that will compliment his efforts.

Should the Celtics take a chance and attempt to bring Dwight Howard to Boston?

Should they wait another year and go after Chris Paul or Ben Wallace?

Perhaps, Danny and company would be interested in welcoming back Eddie House next season, who happens to be an unrestricted free-agent this summer.

No matter what, Ainge, Rivers and the entire front office needs to make some changes this summer; otherwise, they’ll fall behind the eight ball. Boston will still be competitive next season, but will certainly be second fiddle to Chicago, Miami and New York, who all have talented young players.

All in all, the Celtics do need to make some changes pronto; otherwise, they’ll experience Game 5 relapses and continue to lose the fourth quarter due to their legs.