Celtics

Wakeup Call: Magic sheds no tears over Brown's departure

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Wakeup Call: Magic sheds no tears over Brown's departure

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Monday, November 12:

AUTO RACING
Brad Keselowski would rather not have relied on Jimmie Johnson's misfortune for victory Sunday at Phoenix, but in any case he's now on the brink of his first Sprint Cup championship. (AP)

BASEBALL
The Yankees are confident that Mariano Rivera, Hiroki Kuroda and Andy Pettitte will be back in 2013. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Meanwhile, Davey Johnson has already decided to return to Washington. (AP)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
San Diego State was gone with the wind -- har, har -- on the USS Midway against Syracuse. (AP)

Larry Brown starts coaching job No. 14 with a victory. (AP)

Now that's defense: Florida holds Alabama State to nine points in the first half en route to an 84-35 victory. (AP)

The UConn women win their 17th consecutive opener rather decisively, 103-39 over the College of Charleston. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Sure enough, Alabama's loss Saturday puts Kansas State and Oregon in the Nos. 1 and 2 spots in the BCS rankings. (AP)

And the AP poll, too, only their positions are reversed. (AP)

Wasn't it just a few weeks ago that a few folks were claiming the Tide could beat some of the NFL's bottom feeders? (AP)

Two games away from its first-ever BCS title game, Kansas State is in tight, take-it-one-day-at-a-time mode. (AP)

But at Notre Dame, Brian Kelly wants to know: Why not us? (AP)

Meanwhile, the conference commissioners continue to plan the BCS' demise. (AP)

Mike Leach is on the hot seat at Washington State thanks to some explosive charges by wide receiver Marquess Wilson. (AP)

HOCKEY
NHL assistant honcho Bill Daly explains the league's hard-line stance on the contract issues that apparently have scuttled this latest round of negotiations . . . and perhaps the season. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

Canadiens farmhand Blake Geoffrion, grandson of former Montreal star Bernie Geoffrion, is expected to make a full recovery from a skull fracture suffered in an AHL game Friday night. (AP)

PRO BASKETBALL
All the Phil Jackson talk was just that -- talk -- as the Lakers hire Mike D'Antoni as their new coach. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

Maybe they should have kept Bernie Bickerstaff in the big chair. (AP)

Magic Johnson is shedding no tears over Mike Brown's departure, that's for sure. (Pro Basketball Talk)

As for Brown, he apparently drowned his sorrows after his firing at a nearby Chick-Fil-A. (Pro Basketball Talk)

Confronting one of San Antonio's announcers -- yes, announcers -- in a hostile manner is going to cost Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins two games and 70,500. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL
Mercury Morris' moment in the sun is over for another year: The Saints hand the Falcons their first loss. (AP)

Bad day for quarterbacks in the NFL: Concussions claim Jay Cutler . . . (AP)

. . . Michael Vick . . . (AP)

. . . and Alex Wilson. (AP)

Vick's job, though, will be waiting for him when he gets healthy, despite Philadelphia's five straight losses. (CSN Philly)

Tim Dobbins, whose hit concussed Cutler, says he shouldn't be fined because Cutler "ran into me." (CSN Chicago)

Texans defensive line coach Bill Kollar in a Chicago hospital because of blood clots that doctors discovered after he complained of shortness of breath. (CSN Houston)

Ties have become so rare in the NFL that the 49ers aren't sure how they should feel after their 24-24 standoff with the Rams. (CSN Bay Area)

And a bizarre tie it was. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

The Giants' annual November swoon is on. (AP)

Eli Manning's been "dreadful" the last few weeks, but he insists it's not anything physical. (Pro Football Talk)

As for the Jets, they've been swooning all year. And it continued yesterday. (AP)

This is a recording: Mark Sanchez is our quarterback. This is a recording. (Pro Football Talk)

Some of the Raiders said all the right thinks, but a few of them admitted how they really felt about the Ravens scoring a touchdown off a fake field goal with a 41-17 lead in Baltimore's 55-20 rout of Oakland. (CSN Bay Area)

Stats: Jayson Tatum is pretty much Larry Bird

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Stats: Jayson Tatum is pretty much Larry Bird

Stop comparing Jayson Tatum to Paul Pierce. Turns out he's Larry Bird. Numbers don't lie.

In posting 14 points and 10 rebounds, Tatum became the first Celtics player to notch a double-double in his NBA debut since Larry Bird in 1979. Numbers also suggest that Bird went on to be very good, so that pretty much settles it. You can't just accept the numbers that say Bird was great and ignore the numbers that say Jayson Tatum is Larry Bird. You've got to accept all the numbers. Cherry-picking certain stats for your argument is what Mike Felger does. 

Tatum, who was the apple of Danny Ainge’s eye in the draft when he traded down from the first overall pick to the third spot, finished third on the C’s in scoring in Tuesday’s loss to the Cavs. Jaylen Brown led the way with a career-high 25 points, while Kyrie Irving posted 24.

Shorthanded Celtics fall short in 102-99 loss to Cavs

Shorthanded Celtics fall short in 102-99 loss to Cavs

CLEVELAND – Adversity has been a given with the Boston Celtics, so why would the season opener be any different? 

Despite being without their prized free agent signing in the offseason for all but the first five minutes against Cleveland, the Celtics gave themselves a chance to win down the stretch only to come up short in a 102-99 loss.

Boston led in the fourth only for LeBron James to score a go-ahead basket to make it 99-98 and then force a Celtics turnover seconds later.

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Following a time-out with 1:04 to play, Kevin Love hit a 3-pointer with 46.3 seconds to play to make it a 102-98 game.

The loss certainly hurts, but that pales in comparison to what losing Gordon Hayward for most if not all of this season, means to the Celtics after Hayward went down with fractured left ankle injury in the first quarter.

With the Celtics ahead 12-9, Kyrie Irving saw Hayward sprinting towards the rim and threw him an alley-oop pass.

LeBron James slid over and leaped to try and deflect it, which threw Hayward off balance in mid-air.

But Hayward didn’t land cleanly because ex-Celtic Jae Crowder, who was defending him on the play, made contact with Hayward’s lower body that resulted in an awkward landing for Hayward.

Video replays showed how contorted Hayward’s left ankle was, the kind of gruesome image that was in some ways reminiscent to the knee injury that derailed the career of Shaun Livingston.
 
While Livingston eventually returned to the floor and won a pair of NBA titles with the Golden State Warriors, but he was never the same player afterwards.
 
It’s far too soon to say exactly how Hayward’s injury will impact him this season, let alone for his career. 
 
But there is no mistaking seeing him go down the way he did, clearly rattled the Celtics and for that matter, the NBA family. 
 
Current and former NBA players took to social media offering of prayers of healing for Hayward, who was named to his first NBA All-Star team last season and signed a four-year, $127.8 million contract with the Celtics this summer. 
 
As for the actual game, the Cavaliers steadily pulled away in the second quarter and remained in control for most of the second half in a victory that certainly had to feel a bit shallow.
 
It wasn’t because the Celtics were undermanned without Hayward, but more important, because he’s part of the NBA family and regardless of how competitive players are, they never, ever like to see one of their own go down with such a devastating injury. 
 
Moments after Hayward went down, the looks of disappointment and pain were apparent. Inside the Celtics huddle, you saw Kyrie Irving’s head in the shoulder of a teammate.
 
Former Celtic Isaiah Thomas, now with the Cavs, was inside the Cavaliers locker room which is where they took Hayward initially. 
 
When Thomas left, he nodded, and shook his head, saddened by what he saw in the locker room. 
 
Despite the pain that all the Celtics were in following Hayward’s injury, there was still a game that had to be played. 
 
And anything less than their best against the defending Eastern Conference champions, would make for a long night. 
 
But the Celtics showed a resiliency in the third quarter that saw them climb back into things and made it a relatively close game. 
 
Trailing 54-38 at the half, Boston tied the game at 69 following a Marcus Smart free throw, followed by a go-ahead basket by Smart that put Boston on top 71-69. 
 
However, the Cavs ended the quarter with a 3-pointer by Derrick Rose which put them ahead 72-71 going into the fourth, an envious position for the Celtics all things considered. 
 
Even if the Celtics had been whole with Hayward, defeating the Cavs was going to be an extremely tall task.
 
They have after all, been to the NBA Finals each of the last three seasons and are the odds-on favorite to get back there for a fourth straight year. 
 
But the Celtics lost more than a key player when Hayward went down. 
 
They lost their focus, that intangible edge to their team that was supposed to be one of their strengths against a Cleveland team that has plenty of firepower and weapons of its own. 
 
The good news for both teams is that regardless of who came out on top, there are lessons to be learned for both teams. 
 
Unfortunately for the Celtics, those lessons going forward are likely to come about without Hayward in the lineup for some time. 

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