Big. Bang. Clock.

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Big. Bang. Clock.

By Adam Hart
CSNNE.com

Know who was named to the AFC Pro Bowl Team? Brandon Meriweather, that's who.

With this news comes the collective "huh?" from all Patriots fans not related to the freelancing safety. How could a player who struggles to secure consistent playing time make the Pro Bowl? Don't ask Darius Butler or Julian Edelman. Ask Wicked Good Sports.

Here are the reasons, from least- to most-likely:

1) He deserves it.

2) Fellow The U alums banded together to vote one another in. Except the only thing they band together to do is lose and, in recent years, get stompy in brawls. Meriweather's No. 19 in your program:

3) Nobody watches the Pro Bowl due to its tameness. Time to turn the game's secondary into the Wild West of headhunting. Yeehaw.

4) The NFL is hellbent on promoting its game in England, Big Bang Clock style:
5) They ran out of safeties.

6) They forgot Eric Berry plays in the AFC.

7) NFC players saw the friendly-fire hit on Devin McCourty and unanimously selected Meriweather, hoping to increase the chances they earn 45,000 as Pro Bowl winners. Losers get 22,500.

8) He wears No. 31, McCourty wears No. 32. Hanging chad:

9) Remember when he told the media he quit listening to the coaches and decided to try stuff in practice? Other NFLers like the idea of doing what they want.

10) Might get windy in Hawaii, and he did a remarkable job holding the ball on kickoffs in Chicago.

Yes. The kickoff thing has to be it.

Celtics miss an opportunity in first half with LeBron in foul trouble

Celtics miss an opportunity in first half with LeBron in foul trouble

CLEVELAND – There are 240 minutes of play in an NBA game, but Boston’s 112-99 Game 4 loss to Cleveland came down to seven (six minutes and 46 seconds to be precise).

That would be the amount of time left in the second quarter that LeBron James spent on the bench with four personal fouls (a first for him in the first half of an NBA playoff game ever) and Boston ahead by 10 points.

Boston could not have asked for a better scenario than that, especially considering how well they had played up to that point in the game and again, knowing that James wasn’t about to set foot back on the court until the third quarter.

But here’s the problem.

Boston’s 10-point lead when James left with four fouls.

Halftime rolled around and Boston’s lead was still at just 10 points.

Celtics players agreed that not finding a way to increase their lead with James out was among the more pivotal stretches of play in Game 4.

“They did a really good job of not letting it (the 10-point lead) get out of control while he was on the bench,” Boston’s Marcus Smart told CSNNE.com. “Every time we scored, they came back and scored.  They answered back with everything we answered.”

While many will point to that stretch as a time when the Celtics failed to make the necessary adjustments to increase their chances of winning, it wasn’t as if the Cavs are a one-man team.

“They still have two All-Stars out on the court,” said Boston’s head coach Brad Stevens, referring to Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. “With the best player in the world they go to unreal, but they’re still a pretty darned good team when those guys are out there.”

Irving had a playoff career-high 42 points which included him scoring 12 of Cleveland’s 14 points in the final 6:46 of the second with James on the bench.

“He’s one of the best point guards in the NBA, and you know, you can tell he puts in a lot of work in his game, a lot of respect from myself, my teammates,” said Avery Bradley. “We have to do a better job at defending him as a unit, trying to make everything hard on him. He definitely got a great rhythm going tonight, and I felt like we had a chance to make it harder on him.”

James still finished with a strong stat line for the night – 34 points, six assists, five rebounds and a blocked shot.

As good as he was on the court, the Celtics have to be kicking themselves for not doing more with the time James on the bench in the second quarter which in hindsight, was among the bigger factors in them now returning home facing elimination as opposed to being tied at two games apiece in this series.

“What are you going to do?” said Cleveland’s Kevin Love. “You have to continue to fight through it. At halftime, we were down 10. We made some adjustments on the defensive end and we just fought; we needed to. They got everything out of us tonight in that second half, but we played more inspired basketball as well.”