Bruins deliver toys to local hospitals

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Bruins deliver toys to local hospitals

Members of the Bruins coaching staff and front office arecarrying on the tradition of Christmas toy donations to local hospitals despitethe NHL lockout thats wiped out the first three months of the season.

BruinsPresident Cam Neely, general manager Peter Chiarelli, head coach Claude Julienand Hall of Fame defenseman Ray Bourque led a contingent of Bruinsorganization members to make toy deliveries to six local hospitals on Wednesdaymorning.

The toys were purchased last week at the Target in Woburn asthe part of the Boston Bruins Holiday Toy Delivery presented by AT&T andwill include groups visiting the following hospitals: Boston Children'sHospital, Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center, FranciscanHospital for Children, MassGeneral Hospital for Children, Shriners Hospitalsfor Children - Boston, and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.

An estimated total amount of 22,500 was donated by theBoston Bruins Foundation,
Delaware North Companies and Garden Neighborhood Charities so the staff to shop for toys last week. The toys will be packed and delivered tothe hospitals courtesy of Gentle Giant Moving Company.

Bruins Hall of Famer Ray Bourque started the holiday toyshopping and delivery tradition in the early 1990s when he was captain of theBlack and Gold, and the event has continued through the years with Zdeno Charamost recently picking up the tradition over the last few years.

The hospital toy deliveries broke down as follows:

Boston Children's Hospital (300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA
02115) Staff & Media Participating: Head Coach Claude Julien, GeneralManager
Peter Chiarelli, Assistant Coach Geoff Ward, Equipment Manager Keith
Robinson, Assistant Equipment Manager Matt Falconer, Bruins alumnus and
NESN analyst Gord Kluzak, NESN anchor Adam Pellerin

Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center (755 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02111) Staff Participating: Bruins President Cam Neely,Assistant General Manager Don Sweeney, Assistant Coach Doug Houda, Strength and Conditioning Coach John Whitesides

Franciscan Hospital for Children (30 Warren Street, Brighton, MA 02135) Staff Participating: Assistant General Manager Jim Benning, Assistant Coach Doug Jarvis, Bruins alumni Rick Middleton and Tommy Songin

MassGeneral Hospital for Children (55 Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114) Staff & Media Participating: Bruins alumni Ray Bourque and Jay Miller, Bruins alumnus and current Executive Director of the Boston Bruins FoundationBob Sweeney, NESN reporter Naoko Funayama

Shriners Hospitals for Children - Boston (51 Blossom Street, Boston, MA 02114) Staff & Media Participating: 98.5 The Sports Hubs Bob Beers andDave Goucher, Bruins Athletic Trainer Don DelNegro, Assistant Equipment Manager Jim Beets Johnson

Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital (125 Nashua Street, Boston, MA 02114) Staff & Media Participating: Bruins alumnus John Chief Bucyk, NHL Networks Kathryn Tappen, NESN personality Dale Arnold, Bruins Video Analyst Jeremy Rogalski

Halftime stars, studs and duds: Wizards shoot ridiculous 65 percent from field

Halftime stars, studs and duds: Wizards shoot ridiculous 65 percent from field

After Boston’s last game against Portland – a loss – Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said he was encouraged by some of the things his team did defensively.

It’s safe to say Stevens won’t be singing that tone if the Celtics continue along the path they’re on defensively right now as the Washington Wizards went into the half with a 66-59 lead.

Washington, donning all-black clothes when they arrived at the Verizon Center, were very much looking as though they were digging a basketball grave for the Boston Celtics who allowed the Wizards to shoot a ridiculous 65 percent from the field in the first half and 61.5 percent (8-for-13) from 3-point range.

The Wizards scored the first four points of the game and spent all of the first half playing with a lead.

But the Celtics showed some fight late in the second quarter, going on a 14-6 run to cut Washington’s lead to 55-52 with 3:39 to play in the quarter.

Boston would later have a chance to tie the game, but Marcus Smart’s 3-pointer was off the mark.

And the Wizards, as they had done all game, made the Celtics pay as Bradley Beal drained a jumper that made it a two-possession game.

Here’s a look at the Stars, Studs and Duds from the first half.

 

STARS

Bradley Beal

It was his idea to go with the all-Black look, and he backed up his talk with a strong first half of play. He has a team-high 14 points at the half along with five assists.

Isaiah Thomas

Thomas delivered yet another all-star caliber scoring performance in the first half for Boston. He led all scorers with 17 points on 5-for-9 shooting along with a game-high eight assists.  

John Wall

After scoring just nine points when these two met on Jan. 11, Wall has 13 points at the half on 6-for-9 shooting to go with five rebounds and three assists.

 

STUDS

Al Horford

It was an extremely efficient game offensively in the first half for Horford. He had 13 points on 5-for-6 shooting with three assists.

Markieff Morris

He’s one of four double-digit scorers in the first half for the Wizards. In addition to his 10 points, he also has five rebounds and three assists.

 

DUDS

Celtics defense

At this end of the floor, the Celtics were absolutely atrocious in the first half. The Wizards shot a ridiculously high 65 percent from the field, and were just as lethal (8-for-13, 61.5 percent) from 3-point land. They have no shot at competing let alone winning tonight’s game, if they don’t turn things around and do so soon!

Beyond the numbers: 'Game is slowing down' for Isaiah Thomas

Beyond the numbers: 'Game is slowing down' for Isaiah Thomas

Just about every part of Isaiah Thomas’ game offensively has seen tremendous growth this season.

But what has really separated him from earlier versions of himself, has been his 3-point shooting.

He comes into tonight’s game against the Washington Wizards shooting a career best 38.4 percent from 3-point range.

When asked about how he has elevated his game this season, the answer isn’t that simple.

“I don’t know” he told reporters prior to tonight’s game. “The game is slowing down for me. My teammates put me in position, my coach does … and I’m just knocking down shots.”

Because of his shot-making, Thomas has made it difficult for defenses to give him a steady diet of any style of play in trying to limit him.

And because they have to change things up with regularity, that has created more scoring opportunities.

“Sometimes they forget what they want to do (defensively) and leave me open for a three,” Thomas said. “Those are the the types of shots I need to knock down and I’m being aggressive.

He added, “I need to get to the free throw line, trying to make plays for my teammates. It’s one of those things where I’m in a really good zone now; a really good rhythm.”

A good rhythm?

According to NBA statistics guru Dick Lipe, Thomas is the first Celtic ever to make at least four 3-pointers in five straight games. Taking it a step further, he has made at least three 3-pointers in seven straight games which equaled Antoine Walker’s streak in 2001.

Thomas has also attempted 11 three-pointers in five straight games which is a franchise record. There have only been three longer streaks in NBA history - Golden State’s Stephen Curry (7 straight games, 2016); Washington’s Gilbert Arenas (7 straight games, 2005) and Dallas’ George McCloud (6 straight games, 2006).

He’s also averaging 3.1 made 3’s per game which would be a franchise record that’s currently held by Antoine Walker who averaged 2.7 during the 2001-2002 season.

And all those 3’s have added up to Thomas scoring at least 27 points in seven straight games, something that hasn’t been done by a Celtic since Larry Bird had eight such games in March 1988 as well as the 1987-1988 season.