As the second half of the 2019 NBA season approaches, the Boston Celtics need to focus on winning. With, rumors of Kyrie Irving leaving and Pelicans star Anthony Davis demanding to be traded winning is secondary. In this post, we will review three areas why the team needs to focus on winning rather than trade talk.
Celtics Need To Focus On Winning
Less Finger pointing; Since the start of the season, the Celtics have been at the center of finger _pointing. Guard Terry Rozier was complaining frequently regarding his lack of playing time. Forwards Marcus Morris and Jaylen Brown were having a heated argument in a game just before the All_Star break Head coach, Brad Stevens has been criticized by the media for not being tough enough on his players. Last season at this time the Celtics were in first place without Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving. Fans have been waiting patiently for Hayward to play at his full potential.
Team Lacks Leadership; At the midway point of the season, the Celtics find themselves tied in fourth place with Philadelphia in the NBA East. So far this season, it has all been Kyrie Irving. Irving has been averaging 25 30 points a game regularly forward Gordon Hayward has been mediocre since coming off a season _ending 2018 injury. If the Celtics expect to reach the finals, it will be done with teamwork and leadership rather than finger pointing. Balanced Attack; With the second half of the season about to start, the Celtics find themselves tied for fourth place in the NBA East with Philadelphia. Considering all the drama, the team has a well balanced_ attack. Outside of Kyrie Irving’s 25 points a game, the club has been getting valuable performances from Jayson Tatum and Marcus Morris. Jaylen Brown is improving while playing on the second unit. Overall, the club ranks ninth on offense and fifth on defense. Playing together is the only way they can reach the NBA finals.
Experienced Group; With three- quarters of the NHL season over, the team’s defence ranks second in the league in goals allowed. As the third-year coach, Bruce Cassidy rotates goalies Tuukka Rask, and Jaraslov Halak the Bruins have held onto fourth place in the NHL East.
The defensive group of Zdeno Chara, Charlie McAvoy, Brandon, Carlo, John Moore Kevan Miller, Steven Kampfer, and Torey Rug.. have remained fairly healthy. Early season injuries to Charlie McAvoy and Zdeno Chara the Bruins defence has been one of the best in hockey.
Except for John Moore and Steven Kampfer, the group has been together for five years or longer. At 42 years old Zdeno Chara is a valuable member of the clubs power play. Veteran Torey Krug is having a solid season by logging 44 games played and 5 goals and 33 assists. Krug is also an essential member of the Bruins power play. Sixty Minutes Of Hockey; One area the team needs to focus on is consistency. Saturday’s 5-4 win over the LA Kings the Bruins fell apart in the third period. Future Hall Of Fame winger Patrice Bergeron netted the game _winning goal in overtime to beat the Kings. It was also Bergeron’s 1,000 point as a Bruin.
The team has won and lost several close games this season because of a defensive breakdown. In a recent win over Washington, goalie Tuukka Rask kept the Capitals scoreless for three periods and earned his 253 wins as the organizations winningest goalie.
Staying Healthy; Despite early season injuries to Charlie McAvoy and Zdeno Chara, the Bruins have one of the top five defensive units in the NHL. Outside of the Bruins Anaheim, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Minnesota have better defensive units.
Zdeno Chara continues to pile up the minutes every night. If the rest of the defence can stay healthy, the team will be a serious contender going forward.
Looking Ahead; Head coach Bruce Cassidy continues to mix up his lines regularly. Keeping goalies Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak fresh will be another factor for a successful Stanley Cup run
This Sunday the Patriots will be in pursuit of their sixth Super Bowl title. Only one other team the, Pittsburgh Steelers, have six Super Bowl wins. Last year, the decision not to play Malcolm Butler affected their performance. In this post, we will examine three areas that will bring the Lombardi trophy back to Foxborough. Three Strategies For the Patriots To achieve Their Sixth Super Title
Playing Smart The past two wins against the Chargers and Chiefs the offensive line had zero penalties. Unlike week fourteen against Pittsburgh that rang up eighteen penalties, the protection has been excellent.
The offensive line has to keep Brady in the pocket long enough, to see his receivers Blocking Ndamukong Suh and Aaron Donald will not be easy but attainable Being patient will be a significant factor in the game‘s outcome To many players on the field, for example, is one area the team needs to avoid.
Officiating; Like Patriot fans have witnessed so many times, the officials are usually a key player. A recent example was a call against the Chiefs. Kansas City punted and return man Julian Edelman was charged with a fumble. Head coach Bill Belichick challenged the call, and the play was overturned.
Another example was in Super Bowl 51 against Atlanta. In this game, Patriot receiver Julian Edelman made one of the greatest catches in history. After the catch, Atlanta challenged the call for lack of possession long enough. After reviewing the play, the Patriots won the appeal and won their fifth Super Bowl.
Getting Everyone Involved; One of the main reasons for the Patriots success this year was Brady got every receiver involved. Except for Josh Gordon who was acquired in October, the team had a balanced attack. When Gordon was released after twelve games Brady’s favourite receiver was the one that was open.
The Patriots should have a successful day against a team that ranked 7th defensively Both sides have had great success in running the ball this postseason. Together Tom Brady and Jared Goff have a combined three passing touchdowns.
Final prediction; If all goes according to plan the Patriots should win by a close margin 31-27. Brady should be able to throw against AqibTalib, Marcus Peters and John Johnson. Linebacker Dante Fowler is one of the games best.
As the season progressed on the Patriots defense improved in stopping the run. Look for the Patriot linebackers Donta Hightower, Kyle Van Noy and Trey Flowers to blitz most of the game. Rams quarterback Jared Goff is playing in his fourth postseason game versus the greatest quarterback in NFL history.