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.

Mayo: Patriots QB situation has him thinking back to 2008

Mayo: Patriots QB situation has him thinking back to 2008

Jerod Mayo looks at the looming quarterback situation for the Patriots and can’t help thinking back to his rookie season.

The former Patriots linebacker who graduated (ahem) to co-hosting “Quick Slants” with me on Monday nights, was asked how drastic the impact of Brady’s four-game suspension will be.

“I still remember 2008, my rookie year, in the first game of the season against the Kansas City Chiefs and Tom tears his ACL,” said Mayo. “Matt Cassel, at the same point, had zero starts just like Jimmy Garoppolo and we won 11 games. I know we missed the playoffs, but we still won 11 games and that’s something.”

Asked what the message Bill Belichick gave the team in the wake of Brady’s injury and what Mayo anticipates the message being now, Mayo answered, “Honestly, it’s so cliché but it’s that ‘next man up’ mentality and the depth of the team that Bill Belichick builds, you just can’t top it.”

Later in the show, Mayo indicated he wouldn’t be surprised if the team did add a little more quarterback depth in camp. In 2015, the team brought on both Ryan Lindley and Matt Flynn as a cushion behind Brady and Garoppolo.  

Report: Benintendi ‘front man’ in Chris Sale trade talks

Report: Benintendi ‘front man’ in Chris Sale trade talks

Any Red Sox trade discussions the past few weeks have pretty much begun and ended with their top two prospects, second baseman Yoan Moncada and outfielder Andrew Benintendi.

As the Red Sox continue their search for starting pitching, those two names keep coming up. So, naturally, comes a report Tuesday that puts Benintendi at the center of a deal for Chicago White Sox left-handed ace Chris Sale. 

Andrew Benintendi “could be the front man in a multi-player Chris Sale trade if talks progress,” according to Chicago-based mlb.com columnist Phil Rogers. 

With top pitching prospect Anderson Espinoza dealt to the Padres in trade for Drew Pomeranz, the question is, would Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski further deplete his prospect reserve by dealing Benintendi, the 2015 first-round pick out of Arkansas who is hitting .276 with six homers and 36 RBI in 58 games at Double-A Portland? 

The Red Sox' performance is the next six games until the Aug. 1 trade deadline may hold the answer. 

 

Tuesday’s Red Sox-Tigers lineups: Wright tries to right Sox

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Tuesday’s Red Sox-Tigers lineups: Wright tries to right Sox

The Red Sox send knuckleballer Steven Wright (12-5, American League-leading 2.57 ERA) to the mound tonight in the middle game of their three-game series with the Detroit Tigers. 

Wright has won his past four starts. The Tigers counter with right-hander Mike Pelfrey (3-9, 4.78). The Red Sox field their standard lineup, with Ryan Hanigan catching Wright, as they try to rebound from a 4-2 loss on Monday night. 

The lineups:

TIGERS
Ian Kinsler 2B
Jose Iglesias SS
Miguel Cabrera 1B
Victor Martinez DH
Nick Castellanos 3B
Justin Upton LF
Mike Aviles RF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia C
Tyler Collins CF

Mike Pelfrey

RED SOX
Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Travis Shaw 3B
Ryan Hanigan C
Brock Holt LF

Steven Wright RHP