Haggerty: 15 thoughts from Bruins-Lightning

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Haggerty: 15 thoughts from Bruins-Lightning

TAMPA Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins trailing the Tampa Bay Lightning by a 1-0 score after the first 20 minutes of play at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

1)Another disinterested first period for the Bruins against the Lightning. Sloppy on defense, little emotion and no real push offensively coupled with pedestrian opponents are bringing the worst out of the Bs. Very flat, very passive and no physical engagement whatsoever for the Bs, but Id call it a malaise more than slump.

2)Second game in a row that the Bruins had only six shots at the end of the first period. Thats simply not enough offense for the Bruins and not enough sustained possession in the offensive zone.

3)Three Bs bodies (Zdeno Chara, Johnny Boychuk and David Krejci) all around Vinny Lecavalier in front of the Boston net, but My Center Vinny beat them all to a loose with Tim Thomas way out of the net after challenging Marty St. Louis. Too easy for Lecavalier and not enough push-back from the Bruins.

4) Patrice Bergeron had to retreat to the Bs dressing room twice during the first period for what looked like equipment issues. He missed one of the Bs power plays because of it. No. 37 needs to lock down the equipment problems because the Bs can afford to miss him in big moments.

5)Brett Clark blocked four shots in the first period for Tampa and literally walked right in front of the Joe Corvo slap shot. The guy seems to have no fear. Impressive.

TAMPA Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning tied at a 2-2- score after the first 40 minutes of play at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

1)Claude Julien calls out Nathan Horton after last nights game, and the right wing responds by scoring a pair of goals and helping keep his hockey club in the game. Horton leads the Bruins with four shots on net and had another three shots blocked in the most active offensive night hes had in quite some time. When is Claude Julien going to go on his motivational speaking tour?

2)Another group of defensive breakdowns for the Bruins leading to a Tom Pyatt goal. Milan Lucic made an ill-advised cross-ice pass that was intercepted, Joe Corvo vacated his defensive post in front of the net and Tim Thomas ventured way out of his crease with no defensive support. That amount to an easy tap in for Pyatt that has the game tied after two periods.

3)Joe Corvo is in a pretty deep funk right now. Hes not making enough happen offensively and has been a leaking oil liability in his own end.

4)Pierre-Cedric Labrie running around with five hits in 2:43 of ice time through two periods, and hasnt been challenged to back away by any of the Bruins as of yet. Stay tuned in the third period.

5) Have to share the Jack Edwards tweet after Nathan Hortons second goal: Horton hears a hoo. Two. Has a clue. Would like to make it a few. Please do. You cant make that stuff up. By the way, love the 40 million renovations at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The pipe organ theyve added really makes it feel like a hockey barn rather than a rink stuck in Florida.

TAMPA Here are five thoughts from the third period with the Bruins falling to the Tampa Bay Lightning by a 5-3 score after 60 minutes of play at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

1)Tyler Seguin called for diving in the third period on a matching call with Steve Stamkos. Thats not the Bruins way, Tyler. You cant be diving. Not on this team.

2)Tim Thomas was flat beaten by the Dominic Moore shot in the third period for the game-winner. Not a great game for the Bs goalie with the Bruins defense very shaky in front of him.

3) Bruins definitely look like they could use the energy of Brad Marchand, dont they?

4)Daniel Paille doesnt cash in close to all of the breakaways hes given because of his speed, instincts and tenacity, but given enough chances hell figure it out as he did in the third period on a filthy roofed backhander.

5)How is this Lightning team as bad they are this season? Looks to me like they have everything they need to win hockey games based on one nights effort against the Bruins.

Halftime stars, studs and duds: Rose looking like his old self

Halftime stars, studs and duds: Rose looking like his old self

BOSTON – The New York Knicks have been in a massive funk of late, something the Boston Celtics had to know which, not surprisingly, would result in them playing with a heightened level of desperation.

That desperation left the Celtics a bit exasperated at the half which ended with a 10-2 run by New York that put them ahead 63-54 at the half.

After falling behind by as many as nine points in the second quarter, the Celtics rallied to within a single point (53-52) following a basket by Isaiah Thomas.

The second quarter was all-New York afterwards.

It was just a one-possession game (Boston led 34-31) for the Celtics going into the second quarter, which was exactly where Boston didn’t want to be against a Knicks team whose bench ranks among the NBA’s highest-scoring second units recently. In their last three games, the Knicks’ bench has averaged 43.0 points per game which according to hoopsstats.com, ranks sixth in the NBA during that span.

At the half, they had 33 points compared to just 12 for Boston’s backups.

Boston fell behind early 9-5, but the Celtics rallied following a time-out with a 15-4 run capped off by a 3-pointer from Isaiah Thomas.

The Celtics’ lead peaked at nine points on separate occasions in the first, but the Knicks closed out the first with a 12-6 spurt that cut Boston’s lead to 34-31 at the end of the first.

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from the first half.

 

STARS

Derrick Rose

The former league MVP looked like his old self tonight instead of just old. He led the Knicks with 14 points on 7-for-11 shooting.

Isaiah Thomas

The Knicks had great success inside the paint against all the Celtics minus Thomas who did much of his dirty work offensively on drives to the basket. At the half he had 19 points on 8-for-10 shooting.

 

STUDS

Willy Hernangomez

Boston had problems rebounding the ball, and Hernangomez was the main reason why. At the half he had 10 points and six rebounds, three of which were offensive boards.

Jae Crowder

Dealing with Carmelo Anthony is enough to keep Crowder busy tonight. But he’s doing that at a high level in addition to providing a nice punch offensively with 14 points.

Mindaugas Kuzminskas

You may not know his name, but his game was pretty impressive in the first half. At the half, he had nine points.

 

DUDS

Al Horford

We’ve seen him air-ball a 3-pointer, miss a lay-up and strguggle to get any shots to go down tonight. At the half, he had three points while missing nine of his 10 shot attempts.

Avery Bradley (Achilles) will not play vs. Knicks

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Avery Bradley (Achilles) will not play vs. Knicks

BOSTON – Both New York and Boston will take to the floor tonight minus a starter courtesy of a sore Achilles injury.

For Celtics guard Avery Bradley, tonight will be the fifth time in the last six games that his right Achilles injury will keep him sidelined.

Meanwhile, New York’s Kristaps Porzingis will miss his fourth straight game with a sore left Achilles injury.

The 7-foot-3 Porzingis averages 19.4 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game.

Porzingis’ absence tonight was established well before tip-off.

“I’d say I’m 90 percent ready; still not there yet,” Porzingis told reporters prior to the game. “But I’m getting closer … hopefully the next game or after the next game.”

As far as Bradley is concerned, he was a last-minute matter.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens was asked about his roster earlier tonight, and indicated Tyler Zeller (sinus) and James Young (ankle) would be on the inactive list tonight with injuries.

Without Bradley, the Celtics are expected to start Marcus Smart who has filled in as the team’s starter previously when the 6-foot-2 Bradley was unavailable.

 Bradley is the Celtics' second-leading scorer with 17.7 points per game this season, along with a team-high 6.9 rebounds per game and 2.4 assists.