Patriots

Wakeup Call: HOW old are the Lakers, Kobe?

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Wakeup Call: HOW old are the Lakers, Kobe?

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Thursday, January 3.

BASEBALL
The Rangers' philosophy when it comes to their wooing of Lance Berkman: If at first you don't succeed . . . (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Delmon Young and the Yankees would be a match made in, well, somewhere. But it ain't gonna happen. (Hardball Talk)

My only question: Why'd it take her a week? (AP)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Jim Boeheim passes Bobby Knight on the all-time victory list as Syracuse routs Rutgers. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Everyone figured the Sugar Bowl would be a blowout. Just not with Louisville winning, is all. (NBC's College Football Talk)

They were hardly back in the locker room, consoling themselves after their defeat, when Florida's Matt Elam and Sharrif Floyd declared for the NFL draft. (College Football Talk)

So did Utah's Joe Kruger, though not in a postgame scrum. (AP)

Notre Dame is reveling in its underdog status for the BCS Championship Game . . . but quietly. (CSN Chicago)

Come on. If you didn't like the Stanford band's Ode to Cheese in the Rose Bowl, then you don't know halftime shows. (NBC's Off The Bench)

GOLF
Carl Pettersson is the latest to blast the ban on belly putters. (AP)

HOCKEY
If you're looking for a sign that there might be hockey this year, how's this: The NHL reportedly is planing to open the shortened season with a Penguins-at-Flyers game on Jan. 19. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

And yet another: The NHLPA let pass the deadline to file a disclaimer of interest, which is perhaps an indication they see more hope in negotiating rather than litigating. (Pro Hockey Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL
The ultimate Lakers scouting report, as delivered by Kobe Bryant: "We're old as s--t." (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

Not the Heat; they had enough energy to take down the Mavs in overtime. (AP)

How can you tell you love basketball? You get ejected. At least that's Kevin Durant's theory, which he tested in the Thunder's loss to the Nets last night. (AP)

Ah, we knew it was too good to be true in Clipper Land. (AP)

Hmm. This Warriors-Clippers thing looks interesting. (CSN Bay Area)

Sad news: The son of Clippers owner Donald Sterling is found dead of an apparent drug overdose at age 32. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL
Out of nowhere, Ray Lewis announced his retirement yesterday. (CSN Baltimore)

And no one was more stunned than his teammates. (CSN Balltimore)

Now, however, they have their motivation for the playoffs. (CSN Baltimore)

On Tuesday, everyone had Andy Reid ticketed for Arizona. On Wednesday, he looked like he might be Kansas City-bound. Ah, the NFL coaching carousel. (CSN Philly)

The Godfather of the Spread Offense in Philadelphia? Maybe . . . (CSN Philly)

Not Coach Cowher, though. (CSN Philly)

You have to like a job candidate who enters the interview saying he's going to try to "knock your socks off". Buffalo, meet Ray Horton! (AP)

There's a lot of bad karma surrounding the 49ers as the playoffs begin. (CSN Bay Area)

There isn't anything Adrian Peterson can't do. Or thinks he can't do. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Can he play quarterback? The Vikings might need one Saturday. (AP)

How bad are things for Tony Romo? He's being consoled by a rookie. (Pro Football Talk)

Man, the Jets just can't win. First, they can't shut Rex Ryan up. Then they finally do, and they get in trouble with the NFL. (AP)

Redskins' 20-10 victory adds to woes for Giants (2-9)

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Redskins' 20-10 victory adds to woes for Giants (2-9)

LANDOVER, Md. - Kirk Cousins threw two touchdown passes to compensate for a pick-6, and the Washington Redskins beat the New York Giants 20-10 on Thursday night on a drab field in a drab game between two injury-depleted teams that did not look ready for prime time. Click here to read more. 


 

Mapping out the Celtics' next super long win streak

Mapping out the Celtics' next super long win streak

That Celtics win streak was dope. Let’s map out an even longer one that probably won’t happen. 

Nobody’s actually expecting them to keep the pace they’ve established with their recently concluded run. Still, with 63 games remaining, there’s still time for the Celtics to have up to three win streaks of even longer than 16 games. So, because it’s the holidays and the holidays are all about positivity (fun move you’ve probably picked up from movies: You can say “the holidays are all about _____” and just put in whatever you want and it will work), let’s map out the next win streak. 

MORE CELTICS:

A big part of the Celtics’ 16-gamer (and get ready to say “duh”) is that they were better than a lot of the teams they beat. But they also beat one team that was without question better than them and beat a few teams that could certainly beat them on any given night. 

Here’s a rough breakdown of the 16 games: 

- Even if they didn’t go as smoothly as anticipated, nine games were against what could be classified as easy prey based on their rosters and how those teams were playing: The 76ers, the Knicks, the Kings, the Hawks twice, the Lakers, the Hornets, the Nets and the Mavericks. 

- Let’s say that the Heat (whom they played and beat during the streak before Miami snapped the streak Wednesday) and Magic weren’t perceived pushovers, but rather unremarkable opponents. 

- Four games were against what one could call worthy opponents for the Celtics: the Bucks, the Spurs (though they were missing Kawhi Leonard), the Thunder and the Raptors. 

- Nobody was ever pretending the Celtics were actually better than the Warriors. 

So that breaks the 16 games into one game against an unequivocally superior opponent, four against worthy opponents, two against unremarkable teams, and nine joke books. 

Of course, there are several variables that can be thrown into that, such as the fact that the C’s beat one of the aforementioned good teams (Toronto) without Kyrie Irving and nearly lost to two of those trash teams (Charlotte and Dallas). You can’t predict injuries just like you shouldn’t predict win streaks, but let’s take all the information we have and try to find the next one:

STARTING FRIDAY

Friday vs. Magic (trash; probable win)

Saturday at Pacers (unremarkable; potential loss)

A back-to-back after a holiday with the second game on the road against a team that’s been way better than expected? I don’t like the sound of it. 

Nov. 27 vs. Pistons (worthy opponent; potential loss)

Are they overrated? Maybe, but Pistons currently hold the second spot in the Eastern Conference. Whether it’s the Pacers or the Pistons, I think this short stretch prevents a speed bump. The streak might have to wait. 

STARTING NOV. 30

Nov. 30 against Sixers (upgraded to unremarkable based on recent play; still win)

Remember: The last streak started against the Sixers. Hopefully, Kyrie pays that fans’ way to Boston for a halftime reunion. 

Dec. 2 vs. Suns (trash; win)

Dec. 4 vs. Bucks (worthy opponent; win)

Celtics aren’t losing to those sons of guns twice at home. 

Dec. 6 vs. Dallas (trash; win)

Can you get revenge on a team for almost beating you? Yes. The Celtics will. 

Dec. 8 at Spurs (worthy opponent; win)

Until I see Kawhi on the court, this one is a win. 

Dec. 10 at Detroit (worthy opponent; win)

The Pistons play the Spurs, Bucks and Warriors the three previous games. They’ll be all tuckered out. 

Dec. 11 through Dec. 23 (mix of unremarkable and trash opponents; seven wins)

Dec. 25 vs. Wizards (worthy opponent; win)

Terry Rozier becomes a household name with a Christmas performance for the ages. 

Dec. 27 at Charlotte (trash; win) 

Dec. 28 vs. Houston (worthy opponent; win) 

Dec. 31 vs. Brooklyn (trash; loss)

The Celtics are 0-1 the days prior to holidays this season. The streak ends at 18. 

THE REST OF THE SEASON

We'll assess it then, but for now, let's say undefeated (including playoffs).