Celtics prove they are legit despite loss to Warriors

The best team in the east, the Celtics, took on the best team in the west, the Warriors in their final matchup of the season. The Celtics beat the Warriors 92-88 on November 16, but Stephen Curry led the Warriors to a 109-105 win over the Celtics.

The Celtics got off to a hot start when they took a 37-27 lead over the Warriors after the first quarter. The Celtics struggled in the next two, scoring 17 points in the second and 19 points in the third. The Celtics just can’t seem to create shots without Kyrie Irving on the floor, this leads to teams doubling him in the late minutes of a game due to the gap of capable scorers on the team.This strategy does not apply to the Warriors because double-teaming Curry leaves Thompson, Green, or Durant open. The Celtics usually put Marcus Smart on Curry, but he was out due to a “hand injury.” Terry Rozier struggled when he had to guard Curry and the defensive schemes Brad Stevens implemented had no answer for Curry. Curry was held to just nine points in the previous matchup, but the former MVP went off for 49.

Kyrie Irving kept the game close for the Celtics with 37, but Tatum only had four points and Horford only had 15. Jaylen Brown impressed with 20 points, but it was not enough. The Celtics need more scoring options, they have the talent they just need to put the pieces together. They could either wait until Tatum and Brown develop into stars, wait until Hayward comes back, or look externally. The trade deadline is February 8th, and the Celtics could make a splash. They could trade for someone like Clippers guard Lou Williams, who would help with scoring off the bench. They also could make a big move by getting superstars such as Anthony Davis from New Orleans or Kawhi Leonard from San Antonio. They are both rumored to be on the trade market, but it would take a lot to get them. Packages might include Jayson Tatum, Terry Rozier, and a first-round pick.

Even though they lost, The Celtics have proven that they are legitimate contenders. They have lost to the Cavaliers by three, beat the Cavaliers by 14, lost to the Spurs by three, and beat the Spurs by 14. They beat the Raptors by one and beat the Rockets by one. Banner 18 most likely will not come this year, but that doesn’t mean the Celtics won’t go down without a fight


Should the Red Sox budge on JD Martinez?

JD Martinez had a career year with 45 home runs and 104 RBI, and he is a current free agent. One of the teams with interest is the Red Sox, but they SHOULD NOT sign him for two reasons.

  1. According to Jerry Carasnick, Martinez’ agent, Scott Boras is looking for $200 million. He is 30 years old, and he has struggled with injuries in the past. Furthermore, Martinez was the second best hitter in Detriot behind Miguel Cabrera and the second best hitter in Arizona behind Paul Goldschmidt. The Red Sox did not replace David Ortiz’ power, leadership, and ratings/marketing drive in 2016, and Martinez is not the guy
  2. The Red Sox should wait another year. They already missed out on Giancarlo Stanton, who was traded to the rival Yankees earlier in the off-season. The list of free agents in 2019 include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and Josh Donaldson. These players will cost more than Martinez, but they are better players worth waiting for. Many fans in Boston are spoiled and have a win-now mentality, but the Red Sox are better off waiting considering it is going to be hard to beat the Yankees this year anyway.






Divisional Round Predictions

# 4 Titans 16 at #1 Patriots 30

The Titans had an up-and-down season which they started 8-4, then went on a three-game losing streak and got snuck into the five seed with a 9-7 record. They had an impressive comeback win on wild-card weekend against the Chiefs when they came back form 1 21-3 halftime deficit. The Patriots had a fairly smooth road to the one seed, with a shaky first month and a slip up against Miami. Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota will have to play at an elite level because if you are going to beat the Patriots then it will most likely have to be a shootout. Tom Brady knows the Dick LeBeau defense, and the Titans do not have enough defensive talent to slow down the Patriots. I said, 30-16 Patriots because the Patriots are home, Tom Brady knows the Dick Lebeau defense, and the Titans do not have enough offensive talent to keep up.

#3 Jaguars 14 #2 Steelers 24

The Jaguars dominated the Steelers 30-9 in week five by picking off Ben Roethlisberger five times. The Jaguars beat the Bills 10-3 in wild-card weekend behind their defense. Blake Bortles had an impressive scratch in late November but came back down to earth in late December. He will have to impress on Sunday, but I do not trust him to perform well. Jacksonville has an elite defense, but they are shaky against the run and the Steelers have enough weapons on offense including Antonio Brown, LeVeon Bell, and Juju Smith Schuster.

# 6 Falcons 17 at # 1 Eagles 3

The Falcons had a clear super bowl 51 hangovers to start the season, but they rebounded and snuck into the six seed. The Falcons’ offense was great last year including MVP Matt Ryan, but offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian is too conservative and Dan Quinn needs to explore other routes in the offseason. The Eagles got off to a great start this season, but Carson Wentz’ ACL tear destroyed their offense. The Eagles barely beat the Raiders in week 16 and they lost to the Cowboys 6-0 in week 17. Nick Foles is not good enough to lead the Eagles to a playoff victory, and the six seeded Falcons should cruise to a win.


# 4 Saints 24 at # 2 Vikings 31

The Vikings have a super bowl caliber roster with star wide receivers Adam Thelin and Stefon Diggs, and star running back Dalvin Cook until he got injured. They also have a very good defense, and quarterback Case Keenum has been impressive in most of his starts. The Saints’ defense is much better than recent years, and Drew Brees has more help on offense with running back duo in Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram, and star wide receiver Michael Thomas. I think this matchup is mostly even, but I give the edge to the Vikings because they are home and their defense is better than the Saints’.

Notes: I did not look at the Super Stan Sports’ official playoff prediction article that was posted last week, these are my own

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Celtics beat Cavaliers 102-88

The first place, 30-10 Boston Celtics took on the third place, 25-13 Cleveland Cavaliers on January third at TD Garden. Cavaliers guard Isaiah Thomas did not play because he is coming off of a hip injury and he could not play the second night of a back-to-back after making his return against the Trailblazers the night before. He, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and the 2018 Brooklyn Nets first-round pick were traded for Kyrie Irving last August. This was the second of three meetings between the two teams after the Cavaliers won 102-99 on opening night last October, and could possibly be an eastern conference finals preview.
The Celtics took a 32-21 lead in the first quarter thanks to their defense, as it has been all year. The Celtics got solid guard play all game behind Irving’s nine rebounds, Marcus’ Smart’s 15 points and Terry Rozier’s surprising 20 points. The Celtics’ guards are also elite defensively, especially tonight as they held the Cavs to 25% from behind the arc, and 34.8% in total. The Celtics as a team are ranked number one in the league in defensive efficiency mainly because they hold opponents to 99.7 PPG and they held the Cavs to 88 points which were a season-low for the Cavaliers. The Celtics can rely on solid defense from their backcourt because all-star power forward Al Horford is ranked third in defensive efficiency in the NBA, and center Aron Baynes has been surprisingly productive this season.
The Celtics offense was not great, but it was good and efficient enough just like it has been all season. 102 points are not earth-shattering, but it was good enough to get the win. Backup guard Terry Rozier scored 20 points which is his second highest point total on the season behind a 23 point performance against the Magic on November 24th. MVP candidate Kyrie Irving only scored 11 points, but he was efficient with nine rebounds, six assists and a plus 18 plus/minus on 28 minutes. In total, the Celtics had five players with a negative plus/minus, whereas the Cavaliers had nine players with a negative plus/minus including starters Jae Crowder, Kevin Love, Jose Calderon, and LeBron James. James was the only reason the Cavaliers were competitive in the first half, but he seemed to shut it down in the third quarter when the Celtics took a double-digit lead. LeBron James apologists will say that he does not have enough help, but 19 points and a negative six Plus/Minus is not acceptable for the “Greatest of all time” against the best team in the conference. James could take over a potential eastern conference finals matchup because he is known to turn it up a few notches when playoff time rolls around. The Celtics do not have an answer defensively for James- Brad Stevens put forward Marcus Morris on James but James got the best of Morris all night. Jayson Tatum is not big enough to defend James, and Jaylen Brown and Al Horford are not athletic enough. Gordon Hayward could have been an option if it wasn’t for his season-ending injury, he is smaller but he is considered an elite perimeter defender and elite wing scorer which are two areas of need for the Celtics.
A regular season win over the Cavaliers in January will not do anything for the Celtics in the long run because the only thing that matters is the playoffs, but the Celtics could take the Cavaliers to six or seven games because they are better than they were last year, they are on pace to have home court advantage, and they have beaten the Cavaliers already. If Gordon Hayward comes back earlier than expected from injury then it will be a huge boost for the Celtics even if he is on a minutes restriction because he is arguably the best player on the Celtics

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Give Mitchell Trubisky Time

It is infuriating to me after every game the Bears lose people call Mitchell Trubisky a bust or compare him to Deshaun Watson. Asinine people are even calling for Bears GM Ryan Pace to be fired for drafting Trubisky over Watson.

Everyone insists the Bears gave up way too much to trade up one spot to get Trubisky. Pace was able to recoup a couple of the draft picks and essentially only ended up losing a 3rd and 5th round pick to get his franchise QB. Meanwhile, other teams like the Texans and Chiefs gave up a lot more to move up to get their franchise QBs.

Pundits also say Ryan Pace didn’t need to trade up and that they could have even traded back to get Trubisky. Adam Schefter stated that The Bears actually held off the Browns from trading up by having trade discussions with them to allow the Browns to move into the Bears spot while all along the Bears were actually in talks with the 49ers to trade up to make sure they got their man. In short, the Bears duped the Browns to make sure they couldn’t move up and take Trubisky.

Watson was having one of the best rookie seasons for a QB that we have ever seen while Trubisky’s season has had its fair share of ups and downs. Comparing the two is like comparing apples to oranges.

Watson averaged more yards than Trubisky averages per game right now and has 19 TDs to Trubiskys 8 TDs while having fewer games played than Trubisky. The stats are clearly on Watson’s side especially playing fewer games than Trubisky but people forget to mention Watson has thrown more interceptions than Trubisky while playing in 3 fewer games.

Though Trubisky may have better weapons in the backfield, Watson has WRs that are able to create separation and make big plays while Trubisky is playing with WRs that don’t do either of those things.

There’s no point to really even get into comparing the coaching staffs because it’s blatantly obvious that Watson has the better coaching staff around him. Trubisky has a good game and Chicago media jumps onto the Trubisky train until he has a rough game like a typical rookie and they call him a bust. Trubisky is going to have ups and downs which is part of being a rookie in the league and people seem to forget that.

You want a comparison? How about Trubisky & Goff. Jared Goff got lucky this year with the hire of Sean McVay. McVay has helped Goff turn one of the last year’s worst offenses into one of this season’s best. An offensive-minded coaching staff like Goff has is key to Trubisky’s development. Trubisky has shown more than Goff did his rookie year and that makes you believe if he gets competent coaching around him he will be able to have a breakout sophomore season like Goff has been able to have.

Pump the breaks on calling Trubisky a bust and comparing him to Watson because we won’t know if he’s a bust nor will we know which QB is better for at least another 2 seasons. Give Trubisky some time to develop with more weapons around him and a competent coaching staff.