Patriots

Wakeup Call: It was June in December for Heat and Thunder

969845.jpg

Wakeup Call: It was June in December for Heat and Thunder

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Wednesday, December 26:

BASEBALL
Will Andruw Jones' early-Christmas-morning arrest on a battery charge in a domestic dispute jeopardize the contract he just signed to play in Japan next year? (AP)

In protest of the Hall of FamePED mess, one voter registered a protest by sending in an empty ballot. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Arizona wins the Diamond Head Classic. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
If early December is the time for college football teams to fire their coaches, late December is the time for them to suspend their naughty players from bowl games. Like Texas Tech. (AP via CSN Houston)

And Syracuse. (AP)

Jerry Sandusky just won't shut up. (AP)

PRO BASKETBALL
Quite the Finals rematch between the Heat and Thunder, wasn't it? (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

And Miami's win over Oklahoma City felt like it was played in "a different month" acorrding to Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, referring to the springtime playoff intensity. (AP)

How intense was it? LeBron James even committed a foul. (AP)

Looks like something from Tom Thibodeau's time in Boston stuck to him when he went to Chicago: He invoked the Bill Belichick "Gotta play better, gotta coach better" line after the Bulls were routed by the Rockets. (CSN Chicago)

Can anyone stop the Clippers? (AP)

Across town, the Lakers are patting themselves on the back for reaching the .500 mark after their win over the Knicks. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL
Whenever Bill Belichick is asked a question about an injured Patriot, he invariably responds, "I'm not a doctor." Let us introduce you, then, to Mike McCarthy, M.D., of Green Bay. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Steve Mariucci gives a passionate non-denial denial to reports linking him to the soon-to-be-open Chargers job. (CSN Bay Area)

Broken finger? What broken finger? (Pro Football Talk)

The Seahawks -- perhaps with an eye towards a playoff matchup against the Falcons -- may sign ex-Atlanta defensive end Ray Edwards. (Pro Football Talk)

Looking for a reason for the Ravens to be optimistic heading into the playoffs? They're getting healthy. (CSN Baltimore)

Looking for a reason to be pessimistic? They're the most penalized team in the NFL, and they've no shown no sign of reversing that season-killing trend. (CSN Baltimore)

Michael Vick will be back at quarterback for the Eagles -- Nick Foles, you see, is hurt -- as they try to finish off the all-but-dead Giants. (AP)

No one who saw Mario Manningham crumble to the ground Sunday night will be surprised to hear that he's out for the season. (CSN Bay Area)

Also done for the year: Heath Miller. But, then, so are the Steelers. (AP)

Adrian Peterson's dealing with a sore abdominal muscle as he a) gears up for a run at a 208-yard performance that would enable him to break Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing record and b) tries to help the Vikings earn a playoff spot with a win over the Packers. (AP)

If John Fox had an MVP vote, he'd cast it for Peyton Manning . . . but he admits, "Obviously, I'm going to be a little biased." (AP)

TENNIS
Now it's a stomach virus that's keeping Rafael Nadal off the courts. (AP)

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

washington-redskins-kirk-cousins-giants-112317.jpg

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).