Celtics

Belichick not celebrating past late-season success

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Belichick not celebrating past late-season success

FOXBORO -- Bill Belichick can sound dispassionate about a lot of things. 
Want a taste? Ask the Patriots coach to reflect on his late-season success, especially that of the past. 
"I don't really concern myself too much with what happened in the past or what didn't happen in the past. Right now we're just worried about Miamiabout doing a good job in going down there and playing well Sunday."
It is for everyone else to be impressed, then. 
New England has gone 8-0 in the second halves of the last two years. 
"I don't think what our record was two years ago has anything to do with this week's game," Belichick said again. "We're just trying to focus on what we can do to play well this week."
The team has had perfect second half year records four times (2003, 2007, 2010, 2011) during Belichick's tenure, and gone 7-1 two other times (2001 and 2004). As of now, it looks like the Patriots are poised to do it again. 
"We can look back at other years and talk about them," the coach dared, sounding annoyed. "I don't know whether that's true this year or not. We'll see."
New England is currently on a five-game winning streak, going back to its 29-26 win over the Jets in Week 7.  While the road ahead isn't exactly bump-free -- the Texans and 49ers visit Gillette on back-to-back weekends in December -- it is a recent trend of this team to navigate adversity well as the season wears on. 
But that's another thing that bores Belichick. 
As the 38-year NFL veteran tells it, momentum doesn't really carry week to week. That New England has scored special teams touchdowns in the last two weeks, that Tom Brady has thrown six touchdowns and zero interceptions, that the defense has allowed just 21.5 average points -- it's all well and good. 
It just has nothing to do with the Miami Dolphins. 
"I think we've done some things well in the last couple of games. I don't think that really has any bearing on this game. Different team, different match ups, different schemes. It's all different. Whether we did or didn't last week, or some other week, or some other year, I don't think, any of it really matters."
Sunday's game against the 5-6 Dolphins isn't significant because New England can win the AFC East and clinch a playoff spot. 
It's significant because of basic math. 
"We all know the fewer games there are, the more important they become," the coach explained. "With each game, we play one less and each one becomes bigger. That's obvious. Sixteen games is sixteen games, but now there's five left so it's a five game season.
"We know it's a big game, Miami knows it's a big game. There's not many left. We've got two games left against a division rival. This is the first one down there and we know we've got to go there and play our best football this year. That's what we're looking to do." 

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Jayson Tatum vs. Markelle Fultz debate

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Jayson Tatum vs. Markelle Fultz debate

0:41 - Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith give their reactions on the Celtics getting their first win of the season and a comparison between Isaiah Thomas and Kyrie Irving in the 4th quarter.

7:17 - Phil Perry joins BST to break down the tale of the tape between the Falcons and the Patriots as he breaks down the quarterbacks, offense, defense, coaching, and intangibles between the two teams.

11:57 - Our crew on BST discuss number 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz and number 3 overall pick Jayson Tatum going up against each other and debate who seems like the better pick so far. 

16:35 - In this segment of Irrelevant Questions, Tom Curran interviews Patriots WR Phillip Dorsett as he asks him a bunch of random questions. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

ALCS: Verlander, Astros beat Yankees 7-1 to force Game 7

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ALCS: Verlander, Astros beat Yankees 7-1 to force Game 7

HOUSTON -  Justin Verlander remained perfect with Houston, pitching seven shutout innings when the team needed him most, and Jose Altuve homered and drove in three runs as the Astros extended the AL Championship Series to a decisive Game 7 with a 7-1 win over the New York Yankees on Friday night.

Acquired in an Aug. 31 trade, Verlander has won all nine outings with the Astros. And with his new club facing elimination in Game 6 against the Yankees, he delivered again.

After striking out 13 in a complete-game victory in Game 2, Verlander threw another gem. The right-hander scattered five hits and struck out eight to improve to 9-0 with 67 strikeouts since being traded from Detroit. George Springer helped him out of a jam in the seventh, leaping to make a catch at the center-field wall and rob Todd Frazier of extra bases with two on and Houston up 3-0.

Game 7 is Saturday night in Houston, with the winner advancing to the World Series against the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE