What Are You Doing at 7:00?

Keep that remote ready and prepare for one of the busiest Friday nights in Boston sports!  The Bruins are trying to sweep the Flyers in Philly tonight, the Red Sox begin a 3-game series vs the Yanks, and the Celtics take on the Cavs at home in a critical game 3 matchup.

When the Semifinal Round of the Stanley Cup Finals began, I was predicting the Bruins in 5.  The Flyers are trying to prove me wrong apparently, and with their last performance on home ice, they seem to be throwing in the towel.  I doubt that Philly will totally fold and they may get a gift if the Bruins decide to not show up and clinch it on home ice.  If I were Julien I would pray the latter not happen.

Playoff hockey requires such a heightened level of play and an intensity that drains a team.  A win tonight would allow the B’s to rest their players, rest in which they desperately need. 

With yet another forward out for the playoffs, a win here would no doubt help Marc Savard in getting his legs underneath him. David Krejci will certainly be missed, however this team has shown that it can pick up the slack when someone goes down, but why couldn’t it have been Wideman?  Granted Bouchere is no Ryan Miller, but the offense is executing much better in this series and Philly defense is, in my opinion, better than Buffalo’s, who hides behind its great shot blocker.  A loss tonight will in no way shape or form hurt Boston, but a win will be a tremendous advantage moving forward.

Will the real Josh Beckett please stand up? 

The Boston Red Sox have clawed their way back to .500.  They are going into a 3-game series vs the New York Yankees and are in position to make up some key games early in the season. 

Beckett will face off against Phil Hughes who has a sub 1.5 era this season.  As the “ace” of the staff, Beckett will need to put forth a solid effort and start this series on a good note.  The offense has been starting to come around and starting pitching needs to follow suit. 

Game one is, on paper, the best matchup from a starting pitching standpoint.  Sabathia squares off against Buckholtz, the most consistent starter to this point in the season, in game 2, and Burnett will face Jon Lester in game three.  If the Sox can keep the bats swinging in this series they have the opportunity to pick up a lot of games in the division. 

After this series they will host the Blue Jays, and will face the Yanks again in a 2-game series the following week. The Tampa Bay Rays series at the end of the month could be for first place and would give the Sox a chance to start the summer on a high note.

If I hear one more “elbow update” I might go mad! 

 Tonight’s game for the Celtics is a great opportunity to keep the momentum in this series.  The Celtics need to keep the pressure on the Cavs and they need to keep playing hard.  The key to the game 2 victory was rebounding.  The Celtics outrebounded the cavs 43-32.  The key to game three in my opinion is the truth!

Paul Pierce has not been performing at a high level in this series to put it lightly.  He needs to provide a little R&R to Rajon and Ray in game 3.  Paul is shooting 33% from the field and 27% from beyond the arch.  He has been careless with the ball and had some foul trouble last game.  His scoring and rebounding are down this series and a big time performance in game 3 could be just what tis team needs to take control of this series.

Look for Rasheed to get some more time in this game after his 7-8 shooting performance in game 2.  Sheed was able to pick up the slack last game, and if he can become a fraction of the player he was during Detroit’s playoff prowess, it would free up Ray Allen on the edge and provide more passing lanes so KG and Perk can go to work inside. 

I would really love to see the Celtics take after their coaches personality when he played for the Knicks.  If Lebron were playing in the 80’s against the Celtics or the Knicks, and especially the Pistons, you can bet he would be knocked down every time he came into the lane.  With the excessive whistles in Cleveland this was obviously not possible, but I would love to see James taste some parque’ tonight. 

My attention will most certainly be on the basketball game because the Bruins will eventually win this series and I will be able to watch the baseball game after the Celts’.  This is either going to be a great start to the weekend, or a bike ride with no seat.

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