Celtics trying to establish a home court presence


Celtics trying to establish a home court presence

BOSTON To have a 16-17 record is bad enough for the Boston Celtics. Realizing that only one team (the Minnesota Timberwolves) had more home games prior to the All-Star break than the C's is downright depressing.

The Garden has been affectionately referred to as the jungle for all the rough and tumble action teams expect when they're on the Green Team's turf.

But this year?

It's been more like a jungle gym as the Celtics sport an 11-8 home record, the kind of mediocrity that they know can't continue if they're to make a surge record-wise.

"We gotta go home and play better basketball," said Paul Pierce. "That's something we've been thinking about, something we've been talking about, just playing better at home. If we played better at home in the first part (of the season), we know we'd have a better record. That's on us, to take care of business at home."

Winning at home is important, obviously.

For the Celtics, winning period is what really matters at this point.

"Momentum is important for us right now," said Kevin Garnett, whose strong play in Tuesday's win at Cleveland helped snap a five-game losing streak. "We playing every other day, and this is going to be a grind, a true grind physically. Mentally, we have to be into it and prepare and just be ready to hoop."

And as far as winning at home, Garnett added, "We have to establish some type of presence at home, and it starts (tonight against Milwaukee)."

Said Rajon Rondo: "We need to establish a presence, period. We're trying to get back on track some how, some way. It starts with a win (over the Cavs), try to follow with another win (tonight over Milwaukee)."

Thursday, Sept. 29: Oilers right where they belong


Thursday, Sept. 29: Oilers right where they belong

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while looking forward to watching the Luke Cage Netflix series.

*The Cult of Hockey has no issues with yours truly ranking the Edmonton Oilers 29th out of 30 teams in my first preseason NHL power rankings.

*An interesting piece about Brian McGrattan and his battle with alcohol in his career as an NHL tough guy. I can honestly say having covered him a bit when he was in the Bruins organization that he was one of the scariest dudes I’ve ever talked to in an NHL dressing room. A nice guy, but very intense and always looked like he definitely enjoyed his work on the ice.

*Dennis Seidenberg hopped on with the Hockey Central crew today to talk about his new contract with the New York Islanders.

*PHT writer and Friend of Haggs (FOH) Mike Halford has Guy Boucher with some serious Dion Phaneuf love going on in Ottawa.

*Jack Eichel is oozing confidence and swagger in his second NHL season with Buffalo looking to make a big step up this season.

*Scott Burnside said that the World Cup of Hockey could be coming to an end tonight and I think most predict that it will with a little bit of an anticlimactic thud due to the sheer awesomeness of Team Canada.

*For something completely different: “Aleppo Moment” sounds like a great name for a rock band. Not so much for a Presidential candidate.







Mass. lawmakers propose naming bridge near Fenway for Ortiz


Mass. lawmakers propose naming bridge near Fenway for Ortiz

One of the biggest gifts David Ortiz could get this weekend as he plays his final regular-season games is a well-traveled area right outside Fenway Park.

Massachusetts lawmakers have taken steps to name the Brookline Avenue bridge that spans the Mass Pike between Newbury and Lansdowne streets near the ballpark the “David Ortiz (‘Big Papi’) Bridge.

The House Ways and Means committee included the proposal as part of a spending bill that the full House could vote on as soon as Thursday and, if approved, send on to the Senate. 

“David Ortiz’s accomplishments and heroics on and off the baseball field have made him a living legend, and his heartfelt contributions to the communities here and in his native Dominican Republic have made him an icon,” said Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker. “As a lifelong Red Sox fan, I am thrilled to be able to help our Commonwealth create a lasting ‘Thank You’ to Big Papi through the renaming of this bridge.”

The proposal calls for a “suitable marker” to be placed on the bridge bearing the new name.

“I’m so excited to be part of this process of giving David Ortiz, one of the greatest Red Sox of all time, his proper due by naming a bridge in his honor,” House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo said. “David has not only been an extraordinary baseball player, he has been an exemplary and inspirational member of our community, most notably after the Boston Marathon bombings. As a fan, I will miss his stride up to the plate followed by a clutch hit and the ballpark exploding into applause.”