Conference Call: Celtics-Heat Preview


Conference Call: Celtics-Heat Preview

Bob Neumeier takes a stroll around the NBA world and talks to a few writers who certainly have a few things to say before the NBA season gets underway on Tuesday.

First, Eric Reid, from Sun Sports, has seen plenty from the Miami Heat and Ray Allen since training camp began. You know he'll be there Tuesday night, and is expecting to see a game with heightened intensity.

"A little bit more, but probably not for the right reason," he said when asked if there's a little more juice to the rivalry now. He thinks the the reason should be based on the postseason battles between the two teams, not the talk between the C's and Ray Allen.

Our man Sherrod Blakely was next, where he said that the Celtics are contenders for title.

"They're just a better team from top to bottom," he said, before saying how they can go 9-10 deep in the rotation and make up for injuries that may occur.

Sports Illustrated's Ian Thomsen ranked the Celtics fourth in his power rankings but noted that the Celtics won't go into the postseason with the fourth-best record, instead focusing on staying healthy before the postseason begins.

Lastly, it was hockey or lack thereof.

The Boston Globe's Kevin Paul Dupont says, "If players are going to blink, they're going to blink very shortly here."

It's do or die for the NHL season.

Just Belichick being Belichick at Friday presser

Just Belichick being Belichick at Friday presser

On Wednesday, the Patriots media room was festooned with AFC Championship Game adornments. A big red backdrop behind the podium, Patriots and Steelers helmets arranged on a table facing each other with the Lamar Hunt AFC Champion Trophy in the middle. 

Bill Belichick, who's not big on festoons, noted the helmets during his press conference and deadpanned, "So exciting...". That clip got some run. 

On Friday, when asked to recall his first Conference Championship as a coach, he mentioned the 2001 AFC Championship Game in Pittsburgh and the fact that Belichick, Lawyer Milloy and Tom Brady were all required to fly to Pittsburgh on the Friday before the game to do media duties. 

"That was awesome," Belichick snarked. Then, looking to the area where the display was on Wednesday, Belichick smiled and said, "Where's all the stuff from Wednesday? Did it get thrown out?"

He is the turd in the NFL's punch bowl and it's endlessly amusing. 

Belichick not focused on Trump shout-out before inauguration: 'We've got a big game'

Belichick not focused on Trump shout-out before inauguration: 'We've got a big game'

FOXBORO -- During a dinner for donors at Union Station in Washington, D.C. on Thursday night, Donald Trump name-dropped Bill Belichick on two separate occasions. It marked what might've been the first time a president-elect publicly shouted out an NFL coach on the eve of his inauguration in the office's history.

Trump and Belichick have a long-standing friendship, Belichick explained back in November. Still, on Friday morning, the Patriots commander-in-chief had little reaction to his name being mentioned by Trump the night before. 

"We've got a big game," Belichick said matter-of-factly. 

There was little chance Belichick would utter anything else. He's still in preparation mode, still trying to out-work the Steelers in order to have his team at its best Sunday night. 

It's that approach that urged Trump to mention Belichick in the first place.

"I out-worked everybody" during the election, Trump said. "I think I out-worked anyone who ever ran for office. I learned that from Belichick."

Trump also mentioned the four-time Super Bowl-winning head coach while in the process of pointing out Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft during the dinner. 

"In the audience we have somebody that's under no pressure whatsoever because he's got a great quarterback named Tom Brady and a great coach named Belichick: Bob Kraft," Trump said. "Good luck, Bob."