Bruins

Clippers crush Celtics, 106-77

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Clippers crush Celtics, 106-77

LOS ANGELES Prior to Thursday's game, Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers joked about a conversation he had recently with Los Angeles Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro about the Clippers' depth.
"It's really tough for all 11 of your guys to play bad," Rivers recalled telling Del Negro.
Rivers added, "When you think about that team, when you have a team where five or six guys can play poorly and you can still win by a lot of points, that means you are really deep. That's what they have."
And that's what they proved in emphatic fashion on Thursday, blowing out the C's 106-77 on to extend their winning streak to a franchise-best 15 in a row.
The high hopes that Boston (14-14) had for an upset seemed to be wiped out in a matter of minutes as the Clippers (23-6) opened the game with a blistering 16-4 run that set the blowout in motion.
But the Celtics battled back early on, even cutting the Clippers lead to 30-20 following a Kevin Garnett buzzer-beating jumper to end the first.
Boston's backups brought the C's even closer, 32-28, following a 3-pointer by Courtney Lee. But the Clippers ran off eight straight regain control of the game and from there, it was never really close again as the Clippers got contributions from an assortment of players.
Then again, that has been the Clippers way all season.
Teams that run off 15 straight wins have to do more than rely on one or two players in order to win.
The leading scorers for the Clippers on Thursday were Matt Barnes (21 points) and Jamal Crawford (17) who both come off the bench.
"They got a lot of good players," Rivers said.
When reminded that most teams have good players, Rivers replied, "Yeah, but most teams don't have 11 of them."
Indeed, the Clippers depth allowed the starters to bolt out to a double-digit lead that the second unit was able to maintain.
It was the kind of performance that fans were anticipating the Celtics and their deep-on-paper bench would deliver this season.
But that has not been the case.
Not even close.
It was for the most part an exercise in futility with the C's showing that whatever growth they have made in recent weeks, they still have a ways to go before they can compete with elite teams like the Clippers.
Elite team. Clippers. Same sentence.
Yeah, it sounds weird for sure.
But it is the reality of the NBA right now, just like the Celtics being a mediocre team is indeed the true state of where the C's are currently.

Morning Skate: PK Subban rightly recognizes O'Ree as a hockey pioneer

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Morning Skate: PK Subban rightly recognizes O'Ree as a hockey pioneer

Here are all the hockey links from around the world, and what I’m reading, while wondering when my video tribute is coming.

*Great interview with PK Subban, who appropriately lauds Willie O’Ree for his trailblazing, pioneer accomplishment of breaking through the NHL’s color barrier 60 years ago today. It was very cool that O’Ree did it with the Bruins and even cooler that he was in Boston last night from the Bruins-Habs game at TD Garden.

*Speaking of the Canadiens, old friend Joe Morrow decided to show the Canadiens digital people around Southie this week. That was his big accomplishment in these last two Bruins-Habs games.

*The Winnipeg Jets are having some big success this season, but they’ve also got some serious financial considerations coming up.

*The Colorado Avalanche continue to see attendance issues in their building, but at least there’s a reasonably better product on the ice.

*What is the value for power forward Patrick Maroon on the trade market as a rental? It certainly matters who is asking.

*Jack Johnson and John Tortorella are talking out their issues after it surfaced that the Columbus D-man wants a trade out of town.

*With Victor Hedman injured, it looks like young Tampa Bay D-man Slater Koekkoek is finally going to get a featured look with the Lightning. Per Elliotte Friedman, this is a player that the Bruins have eyed in trade possibilities in the recent past.

*For something completely different: Liam Neeson is open to returning as Qui Gon-Jinn, which adds another interesting piece to a standalone movie for Obi-Wan Kenobi.

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Adam Butler to Jalen Ramsey: 'Be humble or be humbled'

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Adam Butler to Jalen Ramsey: 'Be humble or be humbled'

FOXBORO -- The Patriots are well aware of Jalen Ramsey's Super Bowl prediction, and they're not about to take the same approach to the AFC title game buildup. 

"If you're going to make a statement like that," Patriots rookie defensive tackle Adam Butler said on Wednesday, "you better be able to back it up . . . It's a bold statement to make. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out. But like I said, be humble or be humbled. That's all I can really say about that."

As that quote made the rounds, Ramsey tweeted an emphatic "WHO!???" Didn't seem to be a coincidence.

What Ramsey said, though, is part of who the Jaguars are. They're young. They're confident. They're not afraid to talk. 

"I ain't got too much to say, but y'all make sure you bring that same energy out here next week and the week after," Ramsey said in Jacksonville following his team's plane ride back from Pittsburgh on Saturday. "We're going to the Super Bowl and we're going to win that (expletive)."

Outside of Butler, the comments have garnered little in the way of public commentary from Patriots players. 

"I mean, obviously, that's his game," Patriots cornerback Eric Rowe said of Ramsey. "He's a confident dude . . . Obviously, they're happy to go to the championship game, but, you know, that mindset of thinking ahead of yourself, I don't think it's a good idea . . ."

"We saw what happened to the Steelers. But on our end, obviously, we're not thinking ahead to the [Super Bowl] because we have to get past [the Jaguars]. So, we heard it, but we're not too focused on it because we have to focus on doing our job for the game."