Did Marcus Smart Intentionally Miss Free Throw At End Of Celtics’ Win?


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Missing free throws during basketball games is a well-known strategy, but it can be risky when contests are tight.

The Boston Celtics took that gamble Tuesday night with a one-point lead over the Portland Trail Blazers late in the game at Moda Center. Marcus Smart was fouled by Robert Covington with 3.5 seconds on the clock, giving him two free shots from the charity stripe.

Smart missed the first shot, but surprised some when he missed his second.

Was this move intentional?

Of course.

But head coach Brad Stevens said it is not something the team has practiced.

“It’s obvious they’re going to get a 3-point shot up in 3.5 seconds with no timeouts, most likely,” Stevens told reporters during his postgame press conference. “So, we want to make it as hard as possible so it wouldn’t matter if we were up one or two at that moment. It would be different if he made the first, we probably would have tried to make the second. You have such a better chance of taking time away with them catching the ball and going towards their basket.”

The Celtics ultimately won the game, but the decision to keep it a one-point game left plenty of fans on the edge of their seats.

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Did Marcus Smart Intentionally Miss Free Throw At End Of Celtics’ Win?

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Celtics Wrap: Boston Beats Trail Blazers, Stretches Win Streak To Four


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This might be one of the closest games the Celtics have played in a while.

And in the end, Boston emerged victorious.

The Celtics stretched their win streak to four games Tuesday night with a 116-115 win over the Portland Trail Blazers at Moda Center. Boston now is 2-0 on its west coast swing.

Jayson Tatum led all scorers with 34 points. He had nine rebounds and five assists as well.

All of Boston’s starters scored double figures once again. Kemba Walker and Tristan Thompson contributed eight rebounds apiece in the effort. Walker and Smart had seven assists each.

The Celtics improved to 29-26 while the Blazers dipped to 31-23.

Here’s how it all went down:

STARTING FIVEPG: Kemba WalkerSG: Marcus SmartSF: Jaylen BrownPF: Jayson TatumC: Robert Williams

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A GAME OF RUNSMomentum swang in both directions early.

Boston took a 14-11 lead less than four minutes into the game, with Williams scoring six of the Celtics’ points. But Portland put on the jets and went on a 12-0 run over the next three minutes.

The Celtics outscored the Blazers 9-2 in the next three minutes, but Portland managed to take back its lead and push it to eight by the end of the quarter.

Walker posted an impressive 12 points in the first 12 minutes on top of five rebounds and two assists. Williams (eight points, two rebounds, one assist) was a big help on offense while Tristan Thompson was a monster at the rim.

Rim protection brought to you by @RealTristan13 🚫 pic.twitter.com/wGlDglGc9u— Boston Celtics (@celtics) April 14, 2021

The Celtics had 10 assists on 10 field goals in the first. Boston shot at 43.5%. though Portland was more accurate at 56.5%.

STILL BACK-AND-FORTHNeither team was able to maintain a lead in the second quarter.

The Blazers held a slight advantage over the Celtics until midway through the quarter. The teams traded leads, but Portland ultimately entered halftime up 60-57 thanks to a quick 9-0 run.

The Celtics hit 20 of 49 shots attempted (40.8%) in the first half to the Blazers’ 21-of-43 (48.8%). Boston was much more successful from 3-point range than they were Sunday against the Nuggets, completing 8-of-18 attempts (44.4%).

Carmelo Anthony looked like his younger self in the second, banking 12 points in just eight minutes.

🍷 to 🍷 the 🍷 dome 🍷@carmeloanthony | @GEICO pic.twitter.com/zSe1I501Ww— Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) April 14, 2021

Meanwhile, Kanter had four points, six rebounds and an assist in his first minutes against his former team.

TIGHT GAMEThe Blazers had a slight edge for most of the third but wound up trading leads with the Celtics yet again.

Boston’s resilience remained on full display as Portland tried to put things away. Tatum heated up in the final five minutes of the frame and wound up with 17 third-quarter points on 6-of-8 shooting.

JT is heating UP in the 3rd quarter 🔥#Celtics Rewind is presented by @tmobile pic.twitter.com/toYNb3dvsD— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) April 14, 2021

The Celtics entered the fourth up 92-87 courtesy of a 10-2 run led, of course, by Tatum. All of Boston’s starters had scored double figures to this point.

It was not the Blazers’ accuracy that led them to lose their lead. Oddly enough, Boston’s five extra completed free throws pushed them over the pot.

Otherwise, the teams were relatively even shooting-wise through the first three quarters. Both hit 33 shots from the field, 11 of them threes, and missed five free throws.

HOW ABOUT YOUR NAIL-BITTERIt was the Celtics’ game to lose, but luckily, they hung on.

Boston’s lead hovered around eight for much of the quarter, but Portland made it a one-point game with just under three minutes to play.

A big layup by Williams made it a 3-point game, but Damian Lillard hit an even bigger triple to tie it up at 109 with 2:03 left.

Portland went up one at 1:01 on a C.J. McCollum three. But Tatum gave Boston the lead back, and then some with two free throws and a three of his own late to make it a four-point game.

My goodness, JT pic.twitter.com/XWdxAi9PH3— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) April 14, 2021

The parade of threes continued with Norman Powell’s shot with 5.4 second on the clock. This trimmed Boston’s lead to one, and that’s where it would remain.

The Celtics went on to win 116-115.

PLAY OF THE GAMESiri, define “hustle.”

Just absurd hustle by Marcus Smart pic.twitter.com/JnOA1BGsng— Boston Celtics (@celtics) April 14, 2021

UP NEXTThe next stop on the Celtics’ road trip is Los Angeles, where they will play the Lakers on Thursday. Tip-off is slated for 10 p.m. ET.

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Did Marcus Smart Intentionally Miss Free Throw At End Of Celtics’ Win?

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Jeremy Swayman Emotionally Remembers Red Gendron After Win


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Jeremy Swayman was playing for the Boston Bruins with a heavy heart Tuesday night.

The 22-year-old goalie strung together impressive back-to-back starts, including a 40-save performance in his NHL debut. After another strong showing that Thursday, he was hit was hit with devastating news when he learned of the death of Dennis “Red” Gendron, who died unexpectedly.

Gendron coached Swayman for three seasons at the University of Maine, and Swayman spoke highly of Gendron just last week.

It was an option for Swayman to not play in Saturday’s game after Gendron’s sudden death, but he still took his place between the pipes against the Philadelphia Flyers.

After Tuesday’s 3-2 shootout win, Swayman was asked about Gendron. He gave an emotional response about the impact the UMaine coach had on him.

“Obviously we all know how impactful Red was to the hockey community, especially my life,” Swayman said. “I loved Red so much. The things he taught me, I’ll have for the rest of my life. My heart reaches out to (his wife) Jan, (daughters) Katie and Allison. It’s a beautiful family that I consider my own. I’m just so grateful for the experiences I had with him. He’s definitely going to be a role model for the rest of my life.”

Swayman’s third win came by way of the shootout, his first in both the NHL and AHL. As he has in his four starts, Swayman looked poised and confident.

“I know that he would want me to be even-keel,” Swayman said. “He’s that kind of a leader. No matter how he felt, he would always have a smile on his face. It was honestly incredible. He always knew what to say, even in the most trying times. It’s something that I want to continue, to honor him. If I can teach someone else what he taught me, I think that would be a pretty incredible gift.”

When Jake DeBrusk ended the shootout, Swayman pointed to the sky to honor Gendron.

“… I wasn’t alone out there,” he said. “It was pretty emotional at the end.”

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New England Revolution Notebook: It’s Officially Match Week In MLS

It is officially the first New England Revolution match-week of 2021 with the Revs taking on the Chicago Fire on Saturday in their MLS regular-season opener. The kick-off for the match is 8:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcasted with the team’s new television partner CBS Boston. For most viewers, the match can be found on WBZ-TV but for those of us in Rhode Island, the match will be carried on MyRITV. Radio stays the same with the game being broadcasted on 98.5 The Sports Hub.

#NERevs poll: How will the switch to CBS Boston affect your ability to watch the team? #MLS— Tanner Rebelo (@TannerRebelo) April 12, 2021

Ahead of the MLS regular season, the league has once again partnered with Twitter for team hashtags. New England’s will be #NERevs for English and #VamosNERevs for Spanish.

Leading into the regular-season opener at Soldier Field will be the first Revs II home match of 2021. Revs II will host the Richmond Kickers at Gillette Stadium with a kick-off slated for 5:00 p.m. ET. The match will be broadcasted on ESPN+.

Sean O’Hearn Named USL League One Player Of The Week

With only one match on the league schedule in week one, it was a no-brainer that a Revs II player was tapped by USL League One for player of the week. On Monday the league announced that Revolution II defender Sean O’Hearn was the Player of the Week for week one of the season. O’Hearn, the 38th overall pick in the 2021 MLS SuperDraft by the Revs, started in New England’s 1-0 win over Fort Lauderdale.

O’Hearn was credited with winning 5 of 6 duels, 3 of 3 tackles, seven clearances, and an 86% pass success rate in his professional debut.

Arnór Traustason Arrives In Foxboro

Icelandic forward Arnor Traustason arrived in Foxboro after receiving the proper paperwork to come to the United States. Upon landing in New England on Monday he made his way over to Patriot Place to check in with the team and undergo the standard intake procedure.

Traustason has yet to train with the team but is in season form after partaking in Iceland’s European World Cup qualifier matches

Monday Start Of Season Press Conferences

With a full week of media availability in MLS ahead of the regular season the starter to kick things off was MLS Commissioner Donald Garber. Nothing big came out of Garber’s press conference outside of saying that Sacramento, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and San Diego are cities in the running for an expansion franchise after the first bid in Sacramento fell apart. Garber also noted that they are hopeful that the sale of Real Salt Lake will take place by the end of 2021.

Following Garber there was a few other notable press conferences and here were the takeaways:

MLS SVP Dimitrios EfstathiouLeague-wide HomeGrown Player total represented 21.6% of the total player pool in 2020, +0.5% from 2019 while representing 14.0% of total minutes played, +3.3% versus 2019. League is expected to announce the new U-22 DP initiative on TuesdayPRO Referee Howard Webb96% of goals in 2020 had no VAR interventionTotal of 41 reviews in 2020, just two missed callsThe average time for review was 2.04 in 2020, -8 seconds versus 2019

Revolution Week Schedule

New England is training at their practice facility behind Gillette Stadium this week in preparation for Saturday’s match. Below are the notable local media availabilities coming up.

Tuesday: Matt Polster & Brandon Bye

Thursday: Carles Gil, Matt Turner, & Bruce Arena
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NHL Rumors: Bruins To Acquire Taylor Hall, Curtis Lazar From Sabres


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Taylor Hall is reportedly about to become a member of the Boston Bruins.

The Bruins reportedly have acquired Taylor Hall and Curtis Lazar from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for Anders Bjork and a second-round draft pick, according to SportsNet’s Elliotte Friedman and TSN’s Darren Dreger.

The Athletic’s Pierre Le Brun reported the Sabres will also retain half of what’s left on Hall’s $8 million salary. He is set to become a free agent after the season.

Hall, the No. 1 pick in the 2010 NHL Draft, had 19 points (two goals, 17 assists) in 37 games for the Sabres during the 2020-21 NHL season. The 27-year-old forward also has played for the Arizona Coyotes and New Jersey Devils, with whom he won the Hart Memorial Trophy for the 2017-18 season.

Lazar had nine points (five goals, four assists) in 33 games with Buffalo this season. The 26-year-old forward previously has played for the Calgary Flames and Ottawa Senators, who drafted him in 2013 with the No. 17 pick.

The NHL trade deadline is Monday at 3 p.m. ET.

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Jayson Tatum Believes Celtics Finally Are Headed In Right Direction


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Let’s be honest, this is not the season anyone expected of the Boston Celtics.

But has the team finally found its spark?

The Celtics are winners of three straight games on the back of Sunday’s crazy comeback victory over the Denver Nuggets. Boston got off to one of its classic sluggish starts, but turned things around with a 22-3 run to start the fourth quarter following a 9-0 run to finish the third.

This win is just one example of Boston’s improved resilience of late. After all, the team is notorious for blowing leads this season.

But that did not happen Sunday afternoon.

Jayson Tatum believes the win is a sign of good things ahead.

“(The season is) certainly going in the right direction,” Jayson Tatum told reporters during his postgame video press conference. “We’ve still got some things to improve on, but hopefully we can just continue to build off this.”

Hey, it’s progress.

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Patrice Bergeron Enjoyed Bruins Fans’ Response To Zdeno Chara Tribute


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The Boston Bruins already had done a tribute video for Zdeno Chara when he first returned to TD Garden as a member of the Washington Capitals.

But for the former captain, he deserved to have things done right.

The Bruins welcomed Chara back to Boston on Sunday for an 8-1 loss to him and his new team. It was the first time he got to play in front of fans at TD Gaden, as the city only recently has let them return to games.

So the team honored the legendary defenseman yet again, and former teammate Patrice Bergeron is glad he got to have that moment with 12% of Bruins nation.

“It was great for him to have that with the fans, you know, I think they played a video last time around but there was nobody in the building,” Bergeron said after the game.

“It doesn’t have that same feel. I know it’s only 12% capacity but, he deserves that. He’s done so much for for the organization and for the game of hockey and he’s still doing that, so I thought the fans had a great response and I was happy for him.”

Well said by Chara’s successor as captain.

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Connelly’s Top Ten – Sox Hot, Characters and Hot Pretzels

1. Red Sox 

* Red Sox now on pace to win 108 games

* Last year JD Martinez had 23 extra base hits in 54 game games / this year he is on pace to have 80 extra base hits in 54 games

* Old Red Sox hitting – Bradley 2-24 / Benintendi 5-25 / Holt 3-12 / Moreland 4-24 / Owings 8-15

2. Surprised these players didn’t do this: 

* Jon Lester never won 20 games with the Red Sox

* Pedro never threw a no-hitter

* Larry Bird, John Havlicek, Paul Pierce (no Celtic) – never won a scoring championship

* Ted Williams never had 200 hits in a season (he walked too much)

* David Ortiz never hit 3 home runs in a game

* David Pastrnak does not have a short handed goal 

3. Masters 

* On the bucket list

* Matsuyama from Japan – the 14th nation to represented 

* Loudest bird chirping since Hitchcock’s – The Birds 

4. Most prominent Boston Sports Characters: 

* Carl Everett

* Jimmy Piersall

* Ricky Davis

* Big Baby Davis

* Bill Lee* Ken Harrelson

* ML Carr

* Gronk

* Irving Fryar

*Taylor Twellman

* Brad Marchand

* Gerry Cheevers

* Derek Sanders

*Shalrie Joseph

* Pie McKenzie 

5. Ronny Perry versus Andrew Toney in college: Perry (Holy Cross) – 1977-1980 – 2,524 points / 23.2 points per gameToney (Louisiana)….1977-1980 – 2,526 points / 23.6 point per game  

6. U Mass Hockey versus U Mass Football last three years * Football….Winning % .178 / 3 year coaching salaries – $2,000,000

* Hockey…..Winning % .734 / 3 year coaching salaries – $1,000,000 

7. Amazing Stats – Patriots touchdown receptions 

* Stanley Morgan…………………………67

* Troy Brown and Julian Edelman….67 

8. Old School – In Jack Nicklaus’s 6 Masters championships he won a total of $269,000 which is 13% of what Matsuyama won for winning this year’s Masters 

9. Just a Little Bit Outside – Local players who made at least $100,000,000 in Boston – not sure how much the community got back from the $850,000,000 made from the five players: 

* Tom Brady………..$235,000,000

* Paul Pierce………$168,000,000

* David Ortiz……….$158,000,000

* Manny Ramirez…$145,000,000

* Dustin Pedroia….$139,000,000 

10. Randomocity  

* Robert Deniro has been in 74 movies

* Eggs over-rated / biscuit sandwiches under-rated

* Give me Isaiah Thomas’ 52 points over Jayson Tatum’s 53 all day long

* Hot pretzel with spicy mustard – yes

* Trade Pastrnak and Tatum right now – teams are going no where as constituted
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J.C. Jackson Hints At Patriots Contract Dispute In New Instagram Story


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Is tension mounting between JC Jackson and the New England Patriots?

The star cornerback posted an Instagram story early Sunday morning that hints at a contract dispute with the Patriots. Jackson, who has emerged as one of the better cornerbacks in the NFL, is a restricted free agent and a year away from unrestricted free agency. He and the Patriots thus far this offseason have not agreed to a contract extension.

“Gotta feed the fam,” Jackson wrote in the post. “This bigger than me.”

Take a look at this screenshot provided by Providence Journal reporter Mark Daniels, who also offered his take on the Jackson situation:

My take on JC Jackson’s Instagram story is he’s saying he’s working hard in order to maximize his value. I’d predict he plays this season on his tender hits free agency in 2022. He has a legit chance to create generational wealth with another good season. He knows that. pic.twitter.com/yjkLPO5noP— Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) April 11, 2021

New England last month placed a second-round tender on Jackson, meaning any team that signs the 25-year-old to an offer sheet would have to compensate the the Patriots with a second-round draft pick. The Patriots have the ability to match any team’s offer sheet for Jackson, should a rival club submit an offer.

Typically, teams place first-round tenders on players they intent to retain at all costs. Thus, New England’s decision to use a second-round tender was viewed by some as an indication the team might be willing to move on from Jackson. That is pure speculation, however.

Jackson signed with the Patriots in 2018 as an undrafted free agent. He amassed 17 interceptions in his first three seasons, including nine (second in the NFL) in 2020.

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Bruins Trade Targets: Pros, Cons Of Potential Deal For Rickard Rakell


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The Boston Bruins find themselves right in the thick of the East Division playoff picture with the April 12 NHL trade deadline right around the corner.  

Rumors have linked a number of players in potential trades to Boston. We’ll examine a few possible Bruins trade targets and offer a verdict on whether the team should make the move. Next up: Anaheim Ducks winger Rickard Rakell.

We know what you’re thinking: Rickard Rakell is still on the Ducks?

That’s right. Despite the seemingly annual tradition of the Anaheim winger popping up in trade rumors, the 27-year-old Swede is, in fact, still a member of the Ducks.

But Anaheim is in the midst of a rebuild, and won’t be in a position to compete this season and possibly next. They’re obvious sellers at the deadline, and Rakell arguably is their top trade chip.

So, could he be a fit with the Bruins? Let’s assess.

Here are the details.

Player: Rickard RakellPosition: Right Wing2020-21 stats: 7 goals, 15 assistsContract status: Signed through next season with a $3.79 million annual cap hitHas he already been linked to the Bruins?: No

ProsHis numbers are down a little bit, but nevertheless, the guy loves to shoot. If the Bruins were to acquire him, he’d have the third-most shots on the team this season behind just David Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron.

With even strength offense being tough to come by for the Bruins’ bottom nine at times this season, getting a shot-happy winger who has a demonstrated ability to score at the NHL level checks off important boxes. It’s a plus that he also cares about playing defense.

Rakell’s peak was 2017-18, when he put up 34 goals and 35 assists in 77 games, but he still has routinely been a 40-plus point guy most seasons since becoming a full-time NHL player.

ConsHis cap hit isn’t insignificant, and he is signed for one more year. Sometimes general managers like going after rentals at the trade deadline, and the Bruins are about to open up a bunch of cap space this offseason. It might be off-putting to add a guy with term who is making just shy of $4 million.

The other present concern is health. Rakell is dealing with an apparent head injury suffered in late March, and hasn’t played since then. One thing the Bruins don’t need is to add someone who will be unavailable.

VerdictIf he’s healthy, then yes. Rakell is a dynamic player who is useful in all three zones. He might come with a semi-hefty price tag, but the Bruins can make it work, so long as they’re getting a player who is medically cleared to play.

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