The Boston Celtics are riding a six game winning streak over the Wasington Wizards thanks to Isaiah Thomas’es 53 point night Isaiah still suffering emotionally from the loss of his sister in a car crash last week as thus far been the MVP of the series. The Celtics however can’t count on Thomas to deliver 30 plus points every night. If they want to keep winning in post season they’ll have to get from everyone. Forward Al Horford is coming around and playing like the player he should be after signing with Boston as a free agent last summer. Both him and Avery Bradley need to play up to their potential and take some pressure off of Thomas . Horford has been playing well both offensively and defensively . Horford had a big game Sunday scoring 20 and snagging 10 rebounds. With Bradley’s defense and shooting the Celtics have enjoyed a six game winning streak. Compared to the first series against Chicago in which the Celtics won in six the Celtics have outshot the Wizards and have dominated on the boards. Rebounding is where the Celtics were weak against Chicago. In order to win they need to dominate the boards. Also they need to get out in front early where in Chicago the Bulls dominated the first quarter and half way into the second before a Celtics comeback from behind victories. Against the Wizards the Wizards have been shooting at a respectable 56%. But the Wizards have been getting most of their scoring from Bradley Beal and John Wall. Starter Moncrieff Morris has been hurt. The Celtics have been getting big games from forward Gerald Green, Kelly Olynyk and guard Terry Rozier. Forward Jae Crowder has come up big to playing solid defense and making critical shots. If the Celtics are to continue their post season success they’ll need from all twelve bodies. Thomas can’t be expected to keep pouring 30 plus night in and night out.They’ll have to get physical contributions from from their big men and shut down defense from Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley in order to keep up their winning ways . Head coach Brad Stevens has done a masterful job in three seasons as the Celtics head coach. Despite being knovcked out the first year against Atlanta and last year against the Cavs Stevens has guided his young team to a 53 win season and a very impressive post season. Banner number 18 is not far away.
With the major league baseball underway here is a breakdown of each AL team that will try to take the AL title away from the Indians. AL East 1st place Orioles strengths pitching,offense and bullpen. Gausman,ChrisTillman, Wade Miley and Dylan Bundy. Plenty of offense in Many Machado, Mark Trumbo, Chris Jones and Adam Jones. Look for the O’s to win 98 games in 17. 2nd place Red Sox. Strengths starting pitching in Chris Sale, David Price Rick Porcello and Eduardo Rodriguez. Powerful offense in Jackie Bradley, Hanley Ramirez, Mookie Betts and rookie Andrew Benintendi. Weaknesses could use a couple of more setup men in the bullpen. Look for the Sox to win 95 games and capture the wild card. Price needs to stay healthy. 3rd place Yankees strengths starting pitching. Michael Pineda,Mashahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia and Louis Severino are as good as it gets.Closer Aroldis Chapman needs to stay healthy. Offensively Greg Bird Starling Castro, DiDi Gregorious and Brett Gardner are OK. Future stars in catchers Gary Sanchez and Austin Romine. Projected wins 88 may be 90. 4th place Jays strengths offense. Even with the loss of Encarnancion Jose Bautista, Kevin Pillar and Justin Smoak are OK but they could still use another hitter Pitching wise JA Happ, Miguel Estrada, and and Mat Latos are OK but not enough Marcus Stroman is a future Cy Young candidate. Look for the Jays to win 85 games this year. 5th place Rays Strengths OK pitching still trying to deliver a quality starting staff. This year its Chris Archer, Alex Cobb,Blake Snell and Matt Andriese. Alex Colone is the closer. A little weak on offense with Evan Longoria, and Kevin Kiemaier supplying the power. The Rays have a way to go before they compete. Look for the Rays to win 78 games this year. AL Central 1st place Indians strengths everything weaknesses none. Look for the Indians to repeat as AL Champions. Good starting pitching Balanced offense even with homerun king Edward Encarancion pryed away from the Blue Jays.Starting pitcher Hector Carrasco is on e of the leagues best. Reliever Andrew Miller is probably the best setup man in baseball. Look for the Indians to win 100 games this year. 2nd place White Sox strengths bullpen decent starting pitching. They can only go up after losing 103 games in 16. Strong bullpen with Dan Jennings,Nate Jones , and Dave Robertson the clubs closer. OK starting staff in Jose Quintana,Derek Holland and Miguel Gonzalez. Jose Abreau and Melky Cabrera lead the offense. Look for the Sox to win 90 games this year. 3rd place Tigers strenths hitting weaknesses age. This team needs to win now. Starters Justin Verlander and Ryan Zimmerman are a year older. Offensively Miguel Cabreara is the leagues best hitter. DH Victor Martinez is 39 but still dependable. Look for the Tigers to win 83 games this year. 4th place Royals strengths hitting weaknesses pitching. Nce starter in Danny Duffy. Eric Hosmer and Lorenzo Cain supply the offense. Royals need to find their winning ways of old. They won’t be much better than last year possibly 82 wins. 5th place Twins A team trying desperately to compete. They’re rebuilding through the draft. A nice group of starters in Kyle Gibson, Phil Hughes, and Hector Santiago. Out fielders Byron Buxton and Eddie Rosario are rising stars. They need more help in the bullpen. Look for the Twins to win 78 games this year. AL West 1st place Rangers strengths starting pitching. The team that won 95 games last year should repeat. Starter Yu Darvish needs to stay healthy. They need big years from left Cole Hamels and Martin Perez. Veteran 3rd baseman Adrian Beltre is one of the leagues best power hitters. Look for the Rangers to win 97 games in 17. 2nd place Astros strengths everything. The Astros are loaded. Starters Lance McCullers, Dallas Kuechel,Colin McHugh and Joe Musgrove are probably the best in the west. They need to stay healthy in order to beat the Rangers. Offensively shortstop Jose Carrera and second baseman Jose Altuve are the games best. Look for the Stros to challenge the Rangers this year and win close to 95 games. 3rd place Mariners strengths experience. This is a group that needs to win now. Felix Hernandez is the teams ace. Second baseman Robinson Cano are a year older and Nelson Cruz are a year older. Veteran pitcher John Smyly was acquired for depth. Third Baseman Kyle Seager is a future star belting 33 hr’s and 99 rbi’s in 16. The M’s could win 87 games in 17. 4th place Angels strengthshitting. Despite having the games best player in Mike Trout and 38 year old DH Albert Pujols the Angels don’t have much. Starters Garrett Richards and Cj Wilson aren’t enough. The Angels will be lucky t win 78 games in 17. 5th place A’s Look for the A’s to fight it out with the Angels for last place. Veterans Rajai Davis and Trevor Plouffe are the teams best hitters. Pitcher Sonny Gray is not the pitcher he used to be. Look for the A;s to win 70 games in 17. Their you have my predictions. Not much different than last year. Look for the Indians and Red Sox to meet in the AL Championship.
Now that the 2017 season is officially over for the Boston Bruins lets takes a look at the positives going into 217/18. For the fifth time in six years the Bruins have been knocked out of the playoffs. This years culprit was the Ottawa Senators. You can say injuries was a big reason for getting eliminated in game five but in all fairness it was the Bruins themselves. Certainly it was not lack of effort it was just a simple matter of talent. Head coach Bruce Cassidy hired mid way through the year replacing Claude Julian did a masterful job. Going forward the Bruins need to tweak their roster. Decisions need to be made on first goaltender Tukka Rask. Rask had a decent year in 2017 registering eight shutouts and winning 31 games. But the bottom line he hasn’t won anything in post season since Tim Thomas left after their 2011 Stanley Cup season. The question is who do they replace him with. With nobody near[y as good in Providence the Bruins will have to consider trading him or explore free agency. Two goalies that are available are free agent Ben Bishop and Flyer goalie Steve Mason. Mason 29 years of age has a cap hit of 1,000,000 dollars played in only 58 games in 17 winning 26.. He’s at best a backup. Bishop on the other hand is the same age as Rask 30 yrs old. Bishop played in only 39 games 1n 17 but overall is about is as good as Rask. The rest of the roster is loaded with youth. Names t keep an eye on are center Tim Schaller,center Austin Czarnik, defenseman Charlie McAvoy. The Bruins need to let go non productive players Jimmy Hayes, Matt Beleskey, and center Ryan Spooner. Veteran defenseman and captain Zedeno Chara is 40. For 40 years old Chara is still productive logging 80 games in 17 and 75 games the year before. With young defenseman on the way up he could be a good role model to have around for another year at 4,000,000 guaranteed. With a weak free agency in 2017 the only attractive names on the market are defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk,Brian Campbell, defenseman Johnny Oduya and winger TJ Oshie. Shattenkirk 28 years old is the youngest and one of the most productive offensive defenseman going.Would be worth a long term investment for the Bruins. Campbell and O’duya are both in their mid to late thirties.Both would be short tem with Oduya’s playoff experience he would be the better fit. The other issue the Bruins need to explore are center David Krejci. Krejci recently signed a long term extension with the Bruins but his production has fallen considerably plus he missed the playoffs with an upper body injury. Krejci also has a no trade clause in his contract . Any deal that may come along the Bruins would ha to swallow most of and most likely get very little in return. One name to keep an eye on in free agency is winger TJ Oshie. Oshie had a solid season for the Capitals Oshie who averages 25 goals a year and still young would be the perfect fit for the Bruins. Clearly the Bruins have some decisions to make over the summer. The best thing they did was go with the youth movement and fire Claude Julian. They need to come to terms with Krejci and Rask and start winning in post season. Bruin fans are waiting patiently.
With the NFLDraft just a few days away Patriot nation is curiously wondering what moves if any the Patriots will make come draft day. The Patriots have two third round picks a fourth a fifth depending on if Buffalo matches the Patriots offer on the Gillislee contract. If they don’t the Pats will lose their fifth round pick. Two other issues regarding the Patriots are the futures of cornerback Malcom Butler and quarterback Jimmy Garoppollo. Butler recently signed a one year tender with the Pats for an estimated 3.19 million. Recent word out of Foxboro has him staying put in New England for a year. As for Garoppollo he has been the subject of trade rumors all off season. Garoppollo filled in nicely for two games while Tom Brady served his deflategate suspension. He did however miss two games due to injury If the right deal comes along look for Belichick to pull the trigger on a deal. Now to the draft. With two third round picks look for the Pats to add an outside linebacker for depth. During the season the Pats traded veteran Chandler Jones to Arizona. So any move here would be a depth move. A couple of names to keep an eye on is UCLA linebacker Takkarist McKinley. McKinley a pass rushing specialist who recorded 61 tackles 10 sacks and three forced fumbles. Mckinley may also be gone by the time the Pats select their pick. Jordan Willis is another player with value. Willis played both OLB/DE at Kansas State Willis had 11 sacks and 52 tackles in 2016. Carroll Phillips of Illinois an OLB/DE is another player whose versatile and can play more than one position. Anyone of these players would be good fits for the Patriots. Players who can play more than one position would be a good fit for the Pats. With the second third round pick don’t be surprised if Belichick selects a quarterback . This is what he did three years ago when he selected Garoppollo in the second round. A couple of names that maybe available might be Pat Mahomes of Texas Tech. Mahomes had an excellent senior season and would fit in nicely with any NFL team because of his pocket presence . Brad Kaaya of Miami is another possibility. Kaaya threw for 3500 yards in 16 24 td’s and only seven interceptions Kaaya has a strong skill set and also has a lot of poise.Trevor Knight of Texas and M would be a nice choice for the Pats Knight threw for 2400 yards and 19 td’s in 16. Also has great leadership skills. In the middle rounds the Pats could add another running back to the mix. Currently LeGarrette Blount remains unsigned. Some names to watch are Dalvin Cook of Florida State Wayne Gallman of Clemson Gallman Gallman had over 1000 yards for the Tigers last year and 13 touchdowns.Gallman is an excellent elusive runner with good mental toughness. Jammal Williams of BYU would be a great value pick in the mid rounds. Williams ran for 1375 yards in 16 with 12 td’s In the later rounds the Pats may add another corner. Veteran Logan Ryan was lost to free agency. Some late corners who may be available are Jamar Summers of UConn. Summers whose 6ft and lengthy could start out on special teams.Donovan Wilson of Texas A&M has also good height six feet two inches. The Pats could also bulk up on the offensive line in case of injuries to Shaq Mason or Nate Solder. Some possibilities could be Miami G/T KC McDermott McDermott a versatile lineman would be a perfect Belichick fit.Other names to keep an eye on are Penn States Brandon Mahon.a G/T Toby Weathersby a mammoth 6ft 5 305 pound tackle would be a great depth move. Another name Grant Newsome of Michigan a giant 6ft 6 318 pounder would also look nice in a Pats uniform. Their you have my selections. Just remember on draft day Belichick is liable to do anything. The Pats had a great off season signing Bill free agent corner Stephon Gilmore to a 40 million dollar deal. Also the Pats came to terms with Dont’a Hightower and DEKony Elay to replace departed Chris Long. Plus wide out Brandon Cooks from New Orleans. No matter what the Pats do on draft day anything they do will be a bonus.
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