Celtics

SB 46 Intel: While Giants chirp, Patriots praise

649858.jpg

SB 46 Intel: While Giants chirp, Patriots praise

FOXBORO - There's been a steady flow of effluence from the Giants and we aren't even in Indy yet.

Whether it's Osi Umenyiora explaining that he doesn't like Matt Light or Mario Manningham pleading to have Julian Edelman on the field, the Giants mouths are running a little wild in advance of Super Bowl XLVI.

The Patriots? Likely letting the Giants words foment while they smile and praise.
Asked this week if the Giants should be miffed that Las Vegas made them the underdogs for next Sunday's game, Vince Wilfork said, "I would see why people would say they need to be favored theyre a heck of a ball club. It seems like the later in the season it gets, the better they get. They peak at the right time. I understand and trust me, I see the same thing that they see."

It's worth remembering that this Giants team finished the season 9-7. The Patriots finished 13-3. The Giants lost four in a row and five out of six in November and December. The Patriots haven't lost since November 6. That loss, of course, came against the Giants, 24-20.

The Giants have since won three playoff games, knocking off the first and second seeds in the NFC and not allowing an offensive point to the Falcons in the Wild Card round.

Wilfork sees what's up.

"I watch film a little bit more in depth than those guys and the Giants are a real good football team," said Wilfork. "Theyre coached very well and they have playmakers everywhere."
As Wilfork pointed out, though, the Vegas spread is not going to be the determining factor next Sunday.

"At the end of the day, no one can write what the outcome is going to be or who is going to win the game," said Wilfork. "You cant predict it. Its going to be up to those two ball clubs on Sunday, on game day, to see who wins that ball game between the lines. Thats what its going to boil down to and hopefully we have what it takes because Im pretty sure theyre going to be pretty psyched and theyre going to be very excited to play. Were going to have to match their intensity."

The Giants are certainly giving New England fuel for that intensity.

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Could Gordon Hayward return this season?

best_of_bst_podcast.jpg

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Could Gordon Hayward return this season?

0:41 - Kyle Draper, Brain Scalabrine, Tommy Heinsohn, and Mike Gorman break down the Celtics loss to the Cavs and Gordon Hayward’s injury.

4:22 - Tom Curran, Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith give their reactions to the gruesome injury to Gordon Hayward and how it impacted the game.

9:39 - Dr. Chris Chihlas joins BST to give his medical opinion on Gordon Hayward and if he thinks there is a chance Hayward could return this season. 

13:40 - Chris Mannix and A. Sherrod Blakely discuss what the feeling was like in the arena when Hayward went down but how there is actually a 'cautious optimism' surrounding the injury.

Jayson Tatum flashes potential with double-double debut

Jayson Tatum flashes potential with double-double debut

CLEVELAND – Jayson Tatum has seen plenty of games featuring Cleveland’s LeBron James.

And in the Boston Celtics’ preparation for Tuesday night’s matchup, the 19-year-old rookie had seen plenty of James on film.

But facing him, up close and personal, was something entirely different.

“He’s way bigger than I thought,” Tatum said. “He’s way better than I imagined. That’s the reason why he is who he is.”

MORE:

James’ play was among the key factors in Cleveland handing Boston a 102-99 loss on Tuesday night.

But Tatum showed he too has some big-time potential by finishing with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds which included some nifty drives to the basket as well as showing the ability to hold his own on the glass in terms of rebounding the basketball.

The last Celtics rookie to post a double-double on opening night?

That was Larry Bird back in 1980, helping the Celtics to a 114-106 win over the Houston Rockets.

What’s even crazier?

Bird had 14 points and 10 rebounds in that Rockets game, too.

Tatum’s solid performance didn’t seem in the making in the first half when Tatum had missed all five of his shot attempts while tallying just two points.

But as the Celtics mounted their comeback, Tatum’s play was a key to the team’s improved play.

“Just being more relaxed” was how Tatum described his improved play in the second half.

Tatum added, “first half, I think I was nervous and anxious. And then the game slowed down for me. That helped out a lot.”

And the Celtics will need even more from Tatum going forward after Gordon Hayward’s left ankle injury that will keep him sidelined indefinitely.

There was plenty of room for him to improve upon following Tuesday’s game.

But for the most part, head coach Brad Stevens liked what he saw from the rookie.

“Jayson was pretty good,” Stevens said. “He did a pretty good job for a first game. That’s pretty hard to do, to be thrown into this environment, first game and play that well.”

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE