We Want the Cup! Bear Force One Shirts On Sale Now!

This old weird techno jam has become the anthem of the Bruins Stanley Cup run and really should be their new goal song. It bangs. Well, just in time for Game 1 we designed a brand new B’s t-shirt. Bear Force One. BUY! BUY! BUY!

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The Encore Casino in Everett Just Got Approval to Serve Booze Til 4 AM

WILD times we live in folks. Remember, this is Massachusetts; the state that legalized weed, yet I can’t get 2-for-1 beers at Happy Hour because someone got in an accident 30 years ago. Now I can drink in Everett til 4 am?

I’m all for it by the way, except for the fact that I work near the casino and it is most definitely going to obliterate traffic in the area and force me to quit my job. The New York City hard asses can relax with the “all our bars are open til 4 am every night kid” talk too because you ever drink til 4 am?

Sure when I was working security at a bar down in Faneuil it was the norm because we wouldn’t get off work until 2:30 anyways. So myself and Joey B invented “after bar, bar” but that was out of necessity. Nowadays I would much rather day drink and then go home when the sun goes down so I can still get my 8 hours in.

I pulled an all-nighter in Vegas when I was out there a few weeks ago and my body is still in shambles. The one place I would want to drink til 4 am though? The Taco Bell Cantina on the Vegas strip. That place is magical.

Casino opens next month. Godspeed to all my degenerate townie friends.

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This Mail Lady is the Ultimate Hype Man Delivering Nothing But Good Vibes

This is why the internet was actually invented by Al Gore. Not to bitch and moan about politics or slap a filter that makes you look like a goddamn dog on your Snap. No, the internet was invented to share truly awesome little minutiae like this. Just some mail lady hyping up this high school kid while in the middle of her 9-5. I’ll be perfectly honest, I’m a miserable prick at my day job most of the time so this lady throwing out all the good vibes was awesome to see.

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An Anthony Davis-less Plan for the Celtics Offseason

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This had to be the single most disappointing Celtics season of my lifetime.

Now, to be clear, I am not saying that this is necessarily the “worst” season I’ve ever seen the team have; 2005-2007 were some dark times, and 2013-14 was pretty brutal, too. (The late 1990s were also an abject nightmare, but fortunately I was young enough not to have been nearly as invested in the team then as I am now.) The team also still finished as the four-seed in the East this year, and they made it to the second round of the playoffs. Fine.

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Rondo was there for the good times and the bad.

But this was supposed to be one where the Celtics would run away with the Eastern Conference – after being mere minutes away from doing so just last year without their supposed best player AND another All-Star, both of whom were back this season. All of that was supposed to be a foregone conclusion before what seemed like a guaranteed trip the Finals. They were supposed to be THE top dog east of the Rockies, and only the juggernauts out on the West Coast could dare hope to challenge them.

Well, ummm, that didn’t happen. At all. And instead we were treated to perhaps the most underperforming, inconsistent, and outright whiniest team in recent Boston sports history. At times, it felt like I was following a shitty MTV reality show about a group of spoiled AAU players as opposed to a professional team of adults. I am truly indignant right now as a die-hard fan of this team. This year was just completely unacceptable. We should all be mad. Truly.

It’s easy to get all over Kyrie Irving and place the lion’s share of the blame on his shoulders. And yes, teams like Milwaukee, Toronto, and Philly were really, really good this season. But to be honest, Brad Stevens deserves almost just as much flak for not being able to manage this group with any sort of consistency or aplomb, regardless of how difficult the guys on the team made it for him to do so.

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You’re not getting away that easily, Brad.

Because in reality, the end result for the Celtics this year had nothing to do with talent; there should be no doubt that this team can still match up with the vast majority of other rosters in the league from top to bottom. Instead, it was out-of-control egos, piss-poor attitudes, and an overall toxic culture that brought the team down.

So how do we fix that? Do we go all in on Kyrie this offseason and then trade away all of our assets to chase what could ultimately amount to just one year of Anthony Davis? Do we instead throw all the money at Kevin Durant, who was oh so close to signing here just three years ago?

NOPE. We shouldn’t do either of those things. This team instead needs an infusion of guys who are committed to winning, playing team ball, and who are willing to put aside all future contract aspirations and personal endeavors. If you really look at who’s been winning in the NBA lately, it’s still all about team ball and players who understand their roles within a well-oiled machine. The Celtics are already loaded with guys who just need to find their place within such a system – without the presence of a selfish superstar who will only suppress them and dominate everything, both on and off the court.

It’s a multi-pronged approach, which will call for a number of different factors to fall into place. But it’s possible. And here’s just how I think they could actually end up pulling it off in a few simple steps:

Trade Gordon Hayward for Mike Conley

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Now, before anyone tries to call me out for plagiarism due to the fact Bleacher Report wrote a feature with this very idea just this morning, I can assure you the idea is not their own. Nor is it mine. Rather, it almost makes too much sense – from both a basketball and financial standpoint – not to happen, and it’s an idea that’s been floated around for a few weeks now.

Conley is EXACTLY what this team needs: an experienced floor general who can both score and has no problem distributing the ball to talented guys around him. A 12-year veteran who is still only 31 years old, Conley has only been getting better with age. While some of this might have to do with the dearth of talent surrounding him in Memphis over the past few seasons, he’s seen his PPG increase by almost five points over his past two fully healthy campaigns. He’s now a nightly 20-point, six-assist player. He’s also a career 38-percent three-point shooter.

But what about Hayward? Remember how everyone (myself included) was all over his you-know-what during the last month of the season after it looked like he was finally finding his groove once again? Yeah. Then the playoffs rolled around, and it was U-G-L-Y. In all reality, I do believe that Hayward did make great strides toward the end of the season, but on this team he simply blends in with the rest of the wing talent on the roster.

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A change of scenery could honestly be a good thing for G-20.

Conley, on the other hand, can facilitate an actual offense and help propel guys like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown to reach their true potential. He doesn’t need to put up a ton of buckets every night, and his presence and leadership is desperately needed in this locker room. Furthermore, this is a guy who’s probably super hungry for a chance to win after struggling to ever do much of anything down in Memphis, even during the team’s “good” seasons.

Memphis is also trying to tank hard and rebuild from scratch, and the Celtics have a lot of enticing assets they can offer to a team in such a situation to get this deal done. Also, most people expect the Grizz to pick stud guard Ja Morant with the No. 2 overall pick next month, making Conley pretty expendable. And above all, both Conley and Hayward have stupid high annual salaries, so the numbers work out, too. (And while, yes, Hayward does indeed have All-Star-level talent, I don’t believe he alone will inflate the Grizzlies’ win total all that much. Memphis will likely just want to trade one monster contract in Conley for another in Hayward – who is set to come off the books entirely in 2021 – while at the same time picking up a few more solid building blocks.)

Again, this one really just makes too much sense for all parties involved not to happen.

Let Kyrie and Terry Rozier Walk

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BYE, FELICIA.

No, seriously. These two can both take a fat hike. I don’t care how good Kyrie is. He’s not the end-all be-all that everyone is making him out to be. This team absolutely faded when it mattered most under his leadership, and who in their right mind would ever believe that’s going to change just because he gets paid this summer? In fact, couldn’t that potentially make it even worse??!! Don’t buy into the hype that we NEED a superstar like Kyrie to win in this league. The dude simply isn’t worth it. At all.

And “Scary” Terry? Yeah, it was pretty effing scary to watch him on the court this season. He was truly horrible in almost every facet of the game, no matter how you spin it. I’ll always remember how key he was in the playoffs in 2017-18, but he fell off a cliff this year. Then he goes out after the season and airs all the team’s dirty laundry on ESPN just because he’s salty that he didn’t get to play as much as he wanted? Again, BUH-BYE.

Go Hard After Bojan Bogdanovic

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Some of you might be staring blankly at your computer screens right now, but I promise you this dude is actually pretty good. After quietly averaging between 11-15 points per game over the previous three seasons, the 29-year-old Croatian exploded onto the scene with Indiana this past year. Not only did he average 18 PPG overall, but he shot nearly 43 percent from deep and is a 38-percent career three-point shooter. And there, my friends, is where the true value with him lies.

The Celtics were already a top-10 three-point-shooting team this year. They finished sixth in terms of three-pointers made and seventh in terms of three-point percentage. Adding a guy like Bogdanovic will only further enhance the Celts ability to kill opponents from deep. Rather than trying to dominate the ball or run the iso, Bogdanovic can instead focus on finding his spot and getting as many open looks as possible.

Why is that so important? Here are the six teams that finished ahead of the Celtics in terms of three-pointers made this season (in order): Houston, Milwaukee, Golden State, Portland, Los Angeles (Clippers), and Toronto.

I rest my case.

(Side note: I wouldn’t necessarily mind going for J.J. Redick instead, because he’d actually likely be much cheaper. However, he’s also five years older, and I just like Bogdanovic more overall. But if B.B. is gone, then by all means, Danny!)

And, if there’s enough money left over…

Bring Back Marcus Morris

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This dude was an absolute monster at times for the Celtics this season, and a lot of people think he’s about to get PAID on the open market. If that’s the case, then it’ll be tough to make this one work.

But, if he’s willing to take a slight hit in the pocket in order to keep chasing a ring with a team on which he’s proven he can be a key contributor, it could be a huge win for both sides. From Thanksgiving through the first half of January this season, the man was on fire, averaging over 17 points per game and serving as the team’s best three-point shooter over that stretch. And while his play wasn’t quite as prolific the rest of the way, he still put up numbers and was perhaps one of the only bright spots for the team this postseason.

He’s also one of those guys, much like Marcus Smart, who plays with grit-and-balls every night and can serve as a key enforcer in the toughest moments. I’ve always been a huge fan of Marcus Morris, and I’d love to see him in green again next season.

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Seriously, though, this dude can ill-grill with the best of ’em.

While everyone in Celtics Nation seems to be chomping at the bit for a Kyrie/A.D. dynamic duo next season, I might be one of the only ones hoping it ultimately doesn’t happen. While LeBron duped everyone into believing that placing all your eggs into the basket of one superstar is the way to go, teams like the Warriors, Blazers, Sixers, and Bucks (yes, Giannis is nasty but that team is also loaded around him) are proving that much more team-focused play is making a big comeback.

So here’s to hoping Danny doesn’t fall into the trap of bringing back Kyrie and trading away the farm for a guy who could literally dip out with nothing to show for it in only a year’s time. Indeed there was a time when I thought this was the way to go, too, but we’ve spent too much time building up such incredible assets to piss them all away on nothing but a hope and a prayer. Plus, with the way this team went down in flames this season, we need a little bit more of a shakeup. (And let’s also not forget that we STILL have Memphis’ lottery pick in one of the next two offseasons after this year, too!)

What do you think, Celts Nation? Who do you think we should go after? Be sure to let us know in the comments or on Facebook!

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Patriots Sign Julian Edelman to Two Year Contract Extension

ESPN – The New England Patriots have signed star receiver Julian Edelman to a two-year contract extension that includes an $8 million signing bonus and $12 million in guaranteed money, a source told ESPN on Tuesday.

The extension through the 2021 season includes $19 million in “new” money, and gives the 32-year-old Edelman, the MVP of Super Bowl LIII, a chance to finish his career where it started.

The Patriots just locked up their No. 1 wide receiver and local cult hero Julian Edelman with a two year extension, which will kick in next year and secure JE11 through 2021. This is a move the Pats kind of had to do after trying everything from drafting athletic freaks like N’Keal Harry in the 1st round for the first time in Belichick’s New England tenure to taking flyers on veterans coming off injuries like Demaryius Thomas. The Pats have been plugging the holes in their receiving core with bubblegum and duct tape so it only made sense to lock up their top receiver.

However, this contract looks to me more like a deal to reward Edelman financially more so than a longterm guarantee. Just look at how its structured: $12 million guaranteed for 2 years with an $8 million signing bonus. Granted I wouldn’t expect the Pats to cut Edelman with a year left on his deal if he’s healthy and productive, a cap hit of just $4M gives them the flexibility to do so while also rewarding their best receiver of the past decade with a nice raise.

Edelman has been on an absolute steal of a contract and was due to make just $2 Million in base salary this year with incentives that could bump that up another few hundred grand. So its well deserved. Normally handing out extensions to 32-year-old receivers with ACL surgeries on their resume isn’t the best business plan, but Edelman ain’t your average receiver. As you all remember, in the first season back from his ACL surgery Edelman caught 74 balls for 850 yards and 6 touchdowns (in 12 games) and oh ya know also won Super Bowl MVP. The only guy ahead of him in playoff receptions is Jerry Rice. Thats it.

Plus have you *seen* him recently?

Here’s to you bub, you earned it.

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The Pats Might Be Going After Kyle Rudolph

This is the two-sided coin of being a Pats fan in a nutshell. It is stressful watching Belichick avoid any big splashes in the early days of free agency. We bite our nails as contributor after contributor is snatched up on contracts ranging from “way too much” to “that makes sense why the fuck are we staying put?” The doubt, whether we want to admit it or not, begins to creep in about next year and concerns starts to swirl around the holes in our roster.

Then, slowly but surely, things, start to turn around. Like a time lapse of a flower blooming. The front office make a smaller move or two, like the Austin Sefarian-Jenkins pick up earlier this spring. Then the draft comes and the team makes a number of solid picks, including a few selections of unspectacular but ready-now players that can immediately contribute and fill a hole or two that glared at us back in March (K’Neal Harry, who actually is spectacular but is also ready-now, Chase Winovich).

Things slowly come into focus, for the 866th time in a row you realize that Belichick and Nicky Twoguns have had a plan all along. And then the next few, significant moves are made and you can’t even read a story about OTAs without standing and screaming “let’s gooooo”. And that is what being a Patriots fan is.

First we signed Dontrelle Inman, a Brandon LaFell-contribution level type of receiver that should immediately be in the mix for the rights to be one of TB12’s top options. We signed the controversial but talented DT Mike Pennel. Then we resigned Danny Shelton, who had an up and down season last year but if nothing else STILL has loads of potential and can give you a number of good snaps per game at DT. And now, as continue to try and plug a Gronk-sized hole at TE, it looks like we’re chasing the very “gettable” Kyle Rudolph. Who knows if we’ll close this deal and if so, there are questions surrounding what the 29 year old Rudolph can contribute at this point. Regardless, this is Belichick chess at its best. Find some pieces, put them on the board, see how they can move, and either keep them on and cultivate a strategy using them or cut them. Simple as that. Do it slowly, do it wisely, do it without losing you shirt. Who knows, you might get six Super Bowls out of out.

I for one believe Rudolph can still give you about 500/5 from the TE position. He is also a solid blocker and a good guy to have in the locker room. I can’t imagine adding him can hurt. It’s possible the only thing in this trade’s way is the Vikings foreseeing playing us, and Rudolph, in the Big Game some time soon. But lets assume Belichick lands him or a similar tight end in the next few weeks. It would be just the latest example of a master class in roster building. They should teach it at West Point. Army Assembling By The Greats.

Might get LIV tattooed tomorrow.

-Joey B.

 

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Godspeed, Koji Uehara

So unbeknownst to probably anyone Koji was still an active player until yesterday. He is 44 and didn’t come to the bigs until he was 34 after a 10 year career in Japan.

He is most known for his 2013 run with the Sox when he was the polar opposite of Craig Kimbrel and others we’ve had tasked with recording our final three outs. He was unflappable, reliable, and most of all, giddy as all hell as he posted a 1.61 era as our closer that year.

So happy trails, o ye of the many high 5s. Thanks, in no small part, for the ring.

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