In Boston you can be mediocre and play hard or you can be an a-hole, but you have to be awesome. You can’t be both on the Red Sox.

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Marcus Smart Returns to Energize Celtics in Game 5 Win Over Bucks

The Celtics remained undefeated at home this postseason by taking a near must-win game 92-87 over the Bucks last night. The C’s led by as many as 16 at one point, but the Bucks crawled back into it to make it a game down the stretch. Al Horford had arguably his best game as a member of the Celtics too with 22 points and 14 rebounds. Horford doing everything he can to bury that Average Al nickname.

The story of the day though was the return of Marcus Smart. It came out Tuesday morning that Smart had been physically cleared to play, but it would “be up to him” and how he felt at shootaround before the C’s would announce anything official. So ya there was no way Smart was missing Game 5.

It was Smart’s first game back since getting surgery to repair a torn ligament in his thumb in mid-March. He didn’t waste any time stirring up some shit either as he literally bumped two Bucks walking onto the court. He was a terror all night long.

This dude was everywhere last night with 9 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and THREE blocks. He was routinely blocking the 6’11” Giannis Antetokounmpo for christ’s sake.

He does still takes shots he has no business taking, but its stunning how much tougher and nastier this Celtics team is with Marcus Smart back on the floor.

This was a different team on Tuesday, plain and simple. Of course being back on their home court helps, but Smart gave this team another gear that we haven’t seen in a long time. We even saw Shane Larkin picking Giannis’ pocket for a fast break layup, although Giannis’ was chasing him down like a heat seeking missile.

To top it all off Mike Gorman legit had me dying laughing with his “completely unfazed, but totally over it” description of yet another Marcus Morris circus shot.

I think I might have to slap that on a T-shirt for the stretch run right?

The Celtics will look to close it out in Game 6 on Thursday night in Milwaukee, but they have yet to win on the road in this series. So I wouldn’t be too surprised to see this go seven, but I’d really rather not find out what The Greek Freak Game 7 mode looks like.

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The First Look at Tom Hardy’s Venom Leaked and I Am ALL IN

It looks like the best Marvel villain not named Magneto is finally getting the treatment it deserves and I am all sorts of jacked up about it. I am declaring myself ALL IN, six months before it even comes out.

As a comic book nerd I am still angry about the absolute disaster Spider-Man 3 was with Eric Forman as Venom.

Don’t get me wrong, I love That 70s Show. Its a highly underrated sitcom, but holy hell who thought casting this guy:

to play the psychotic badass villain Venom was a good idea? The character that Wikipedia describes as:

“According to S.H.I.E.L.D., [Venom] is considered one of the greatest threats to humanity, alongside Magneto, Doctor Doom, and Red Skull…Venom was ranked as the 22nd Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time in IGN’s list of the top 100 comic villains.”

I could handle Tobey Maguire as Spidey, but Topher Grace as Venom was just a bad fit from Day 1. But I digress.

When Tom Hardy was announced as the star in Sony’s latest take on the symbiote my nerdgasm could be seen from space. You knew Hardy would nail the darker, grittier tone that Sony was going for, but then rumors started coming out that you might not even see the Venom suit in the movie. Coupled with an ambiguous and underwhelming teaser trailer and I was a little nervous. But then this shit leaked last night:

My goodness. This isn’t Captain America where you had Chris Evans pack on some muscle and put him in the right costume or even the Hulk, which you can just CGI the shit out of. This was going to take some serious work to get it right, as we saw in previous iterations just how wrong it can go.

And they absolutely NAILED it.

October 5th cannot come soon enough. Full trailer below.

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Celtics Marcus Smart Physically Cleared to Play in Game 5 Tonight

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks when they heard Marcus Smart is coming back early.

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Bruins Do Just What You Thought They’d Do and Blow It to Force Game 7

This is starting to have a very 2010 feel to it when the Bruins blew a 3-0 series lead to the Flyers and then a 3-0 lead in Game 7 to lose that series. That was one of the most stunning collapses I’ve ever seen. Granted it spurned the B’s on to winning a Stanley Cup the following year, but I’d rather not repeat that type of implosion here.

After dominating the first 2 games it looked like the B’s might actually sweep Toronto. Seriously, they dominated the Maple Leafs beating them 5-1 and 7-3 before splitting the next two. Throw in an incredible 31 save night from Tuukka in Game 4 (did you know you need your goalie to steal a game in the playoffs?), which he immediately followed up with getting pulled in Game 5.

If he has a bad game tomorrow night I fully expect ol’ Milk Crates to come out.

Now the Bruins, who were challenging for the No. 1 seed in the East until the final day of the season, and seemed set to cruise through the first round, are suddenly faced with playing a Game 7 they want no part of. Thank god its at home, but quotes like this from Toronto are what worry me the most:

Thats the problem. The Bruins have allowed Toronto to get comfortable.

Ridiculous plays like this from Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen did not help either, especially with half the fans ready to bench Rask.

The longer this series goes on the worse I feel and last night I started to feel that creeping sense of doubt. These guys might actually blow this thing.

There has also been some questionable officiating, which actually went both ways for the B’s last night. They dodged a bullet when the refs called a goal back after replay showed the Leafs player basically punting Tuukka’s blocker out of the crease. But then they got hosed late in the game after they’d already pulled the goalie to get the extra man and the refs swallowed their whistles on a clear interference. I still don’t understand that.

For a team thats been so good all year long it would be a huge disappointment to bow out in the first round, especially in this fashion. The Bruins are clearly built for the long term as Don Sweeney somehow rebuilt this team on the fly infusing the veteran core with young studs like Charlie McAvoy, Jake DeBrusk, Brandon Carlo, and Ryan Donato. But this could be the last serious playoff run with guys like Chara, Krejci, Bergeron, Marchand, and Tuukka all playing together at a high level. Don’t waste that.

Speaking of young studs, I think its time to make some changes Bruce…unleash the baby faced assassin.

Welp for better or for worse we have the most exciting night in sports coming to Boston on Thursday: Game 7.

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Tom Brady’s Agent Don Yee Says He Expects Brady to Play in 2018

ESPN – Despite a certain level of uncertainty within the New England Patriots’ organization, Tom Brady’s agent, Don Yee, said he expects his client Tom Brady to return for the 2018 season. “Tom’s intentions have not changed,” Yee said Monday. “He’s consistently said he’ll play beyond this contract and into his mid 40s, or until he feels he isn’t playing at a championship level. I understand the constant speculation, but this is one point he’s been firm about.”

Hallelujah. For all the snarky folks on Twitter saying Tom Brady is under contract and shouldn’t have to announce he’s going to play, it should be expected. Well, sure I mean technically you’re right, but here in reality we’re dealing with a 41 year old player who has been ominously tight lipped about his employment status for 2018. So while it shouldn’t be required, its definitely helpful for my sanity because if we’ve learned anything this offseason its to expect nothing without confirmation.

I don’t need any kind of tacit, unspoken agreement right now, I need someone to come out and tell me without a shadow of a doubt that Tom Brady will be under center this coming season. And while this isn’t quite that, its without a doubt the closest thing we’ve heard to date. Especially with this little thing called the NFL Draft coming up in 3 days. So yea it helps to know we’ll have a QB this year and the Patriots don’t HAVE to draft a new signal caller on Day 1. They still might, but at least we have Plan A ready to go. The last thing you want is to go from one play away from winning the Super Bowl immediately into the succession plan 7 months later with a rookie QB.

There is only one thing we say to Tom Brady retirement rumors.

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RIP Gil Santos

Sad news last night with the passing of Gil Santos. It’s hard to believe his last season in the broadcast booth was 2012. It doesn’t feel that long ago that Gil and Gino were calling the action from high above Gillette Stadium.

Gil Santos was the best Boston sports radio play-by-play man of my lifetime. Even with all of the success Boston sports teams have enjoyed over the past 17 years, it is Santos’s call of the tuck rule review (and reversal) that remains one of my favorites.

The Super Bowl that year wasn’t bad either.

We’ll miss you, Gil.

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