Blakely: Bass, Celtics continue to rebound from rough start

730652.jpg

Blakely: Bass, Celtics continue to rebound from rough start

BOSTON As Brandon Bass lay on the sideline near the Boston Celtics bench, clutching his left knee, clearly in pain, Celtics Nation feared the worst.

The way this season has gone, with one fluke injury after another, it seemed a given that Bass would be just another one to add to the list.

"I felt like a little kid," Bass said. "I was scared. I didn't know what had happened. It hurt so bad."

A few minutes later, Bass was back on his feet and able to finish out the game as the Celtics squeaked out an 88-86 overtime win against the Hawks.

Bass' injury (he said he hyperextended the knee), and his ability to bounce back up and keep playing, was symbolic of the kind of season this has been for the Boston Celtics.

Just when you're ready to write them off because of a seemingly cataclysmic setback, they shock you with their resiliency.

Boston (34-24) is 10 games over .500 for the first time this season, and are riding a four-game winning streak which includes all four wins over playoff-caliber opponents.

"We have great character," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "Tough-minded group. They really are. You could see they wanted to win that game so bad, and you could see the way we played."

And no player better symbolized that fight than Bass, who had his seventh double-double of the season with 21 points and 10 rebounds.

When he went down in overtime, C's coach Doc Rivers feared Bass had suffered some type of injury to the ligaments in his left knee.

"I've had that injury -- we know the one I'm talking about?" said Rivers, who suffered a torn ACL injury to his left knee during the 1993-1994 season when he played with the New York Knicks. "I don't even like saying the word. And where he was grabbing. I didn't think it was going to be a good thing."

But it turned out better -- much better -- than Rivers expected, which in many ways, is shaping up to be the theme of the Celtics' season.

Prior to the All-Star break, Boston seemed to be caught somewhere between bound for the NBA lottery, or a playoff team headed for an early exit.

But since the All-Star break, the C's have not only distanced themselves from the mediocre, but they are trending towards becoming one of the NBA's elite teams. This current run of success will only strengthen the case that the Celtics are a legit playoff contender that teams need to be concerned about when the playoffs begin in a couple weeks.

Some would attribute the turn-around to Rivers, while others will credit the players.

Truth be told, it's a combination of the two.

"They're playing at a very, very high level," Indiana coach Frank Vogel said after the Celtics defeated the Pacers on Saturday. "They have a championship coach and a championship core."

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: What's going on between Patriots, Butler?

best_of_bst_podcast.jpg

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: What's going on between Patriots, Butler?

0:41 - Tom Curran, Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith discuss what’s going on between the Patriots and Malcolm Butler after Bill Belichick praised Jonathan Jones and Eric Rowe but didn’t have much to say on Butler.

5:39 - John Farrell thinks David Price out of the bullpen can be similar to Andrew Miller with the Indians last year in the playoffs. Our panel on BST break it down.

10:35 - Curran, Holley, Smith, and Phil Perry talk about the NFL ratings being down and why that continues to be.

15:15 - Evan Drellich joins BST after the Red Sox win to explain why Drew Pomeranz could be even more threatening, how good the bullpen actually is, and the offense not driving in runs.

Krug, Forbacka Karlsson suffer upper body injuries vs. Red Wings

bruins_torey_krug_091917.jpg

Krug, Forbacka Karlsson suffer upper body injuries vs. Red Wings

BOSTON – The Bruins ended Tuesday night’s preseason home date with another feel-good victory over the Red Wings, but it may have come at a cost.

Both Torey Krug and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson were injured in the second period of the B’s 4-2 win over the Red Wings at TD Garden, and didn’t return to the game. Krug was hit in the face with a puck in the defensive zone during the second period, and quickly exited the ice with Bruins trainer Don DelNegro after the impact of the puck hitting his face initially took his feet out from under him.  

“[Krug] clearly didn’t finish the game, and took a shot up in the facial area,” said Bruce Cassidy of Krug, who had a couple of shots on net in 9:10 of ice time while largely playing with Charlie McAvoy in an offensive-minded pairing. “We’ll probably have an update tomorrow.”

Forbacka Karlsson took a hard tumble into the end boards in the game’s middle period, and never returned after serving up the primary assist on Danton Heinen’s goal earlier in that very same period. JFK tried to return to Tuesday night’s win over the Red Wings, according to Cassidy, but was kept out of the game with an upper body injury that has his status as questionable moving forward.

“He went into the boards late in the second. He’s day-to-day, upper body. I think wanted to – he did come back and try [to return to the game],” said Cassidy of JFK, who put up an assist and a plus-1 rating in 8:37 of ice time before leaving the game. “I don’t think it’s serious, but I can’t speculate. We’ll get another update tomorrow. It didn’t look good, but I don’t think it’s as bad as it looked. We’ll know more [about JFK] tomorrow.”

It certainly sounds like both Krug and JFK could miss a day or two of practice moving forward after the injury wear-and-tear of preseason action, but the hope is that the Black and Gold won’t be missing a couple of key performers for anything more than that.  

CSNNE SCHEDULE