All posts by Jolie Davis

New England sports fan, overall sports fan

ICYMI: What a Night for Boston Sports

Last night was filled with potentially exciting scenarios for the Celtics and Bruins. It was also the last game for the Sox before they headed home to get ready for the home opener on Thursday. Oh and guess what? Even the Patriots made a splash yesterday. Let’s recap:

Celtics Fall to Desperate Bucks

The Celtics lost last night to the Bucks 106-102. It was unfortunate, seeing as the Cavs tatum boston heralddefeated Toronto earlier that night, putting the Cs only 1.5 games back. If they had won, they would only have been 1 game back, setting up an exciting showdown tonight in Toronto. But… it didn’t happen. Stevens and his crew are back to being 2 games out of 1st. Though, they fought as hard as they could last night, considering they didn’t have Rozier (ankle) and Larkin (sick). Tatum and Brown tried to carry the team, but they definitely missed a potential 20+ point night from Rozier. Not to mention Morris didn’t have an as explosive game as we’re used to seeing. We still sit in 2nd, while the Bucks cling to 8th. But the more exciting new: the Wizards are in 7th! Now that’s a doable series.

Shout out to Tatum who now holds the record for most threes by a Celtic’s Rookie with 102.

Bruins Get Struck by Lightning

Now, I don’t know much about hockey and I’m not going to pretend to. But I do know that this was supposed to be an important match up considering the Bruins had recentlybruins boston globe taken over the #1 spot in the Atlantic. I figure the were looking to keep the Lightning at bay but failed. They lost 4-0 and as a result both teams are now tied with 110 points. I don’t get it: Tampa has a better record but still has the same amount of points as the Bruins? See, I told you I don’t get it, but I understand the scenario enough to regurgitate. The Bruins go to play the Panthers next, who they just defeated 5-1 on March 31st. With the season coming to a close, it looks like it’s going to be close!

Sox Win… In 13!

The Sox played their last game against the Marlins before heading home to Fenway. Chris Sale was on the mound and seemed to look a bit different than we’re used to. I think one of the commentators said it best: he didn’t look as sharp (paraphrasing here). He gave up a run in the second but after that, nothing. Sale went for 5 innings and struck out six, throwing 93 pitches. From there it was up to the bullpen: 6 different pitchers came out to help get the win. Late game heroics by Benintendi in the 11th was almost enough, but then the Marlins tied it back up in the bottom of the inning. But it was Hanley, the former Marlin, that saved the day with a 2 RBI double in the top of the 13th. Hembree closed it out on the mound for the Sox and the win. Now we have to wait until Thursday to see our guys, but it’s all good. They need the rest anyways!

Belichick Continues to Let Go and Dismantlecbs sports cooks

As if we already hadn’t let go of enough key pieces, Brandin Cooks was traded yesterday to the Rams, along with a 4th round pick. In return, the Pats received a 1st round pick and a 6th round pick. The idea is that Brady will have a healthy Edelman back and guys like Hogan and Gronk will be more than enough. Then there’s this ridiculous idea that Bill is making room for OBJ. Here’s what I have to say:

  1. Edelman is the man. I love him and I love the other guys we have. But to let go of Cooks AND Amendola? And I don’t care what anyone says about Gronk. I’ll be 100% convinced when he shows up to camp. Look, it’s not even the fact it was Cooks. I’m just feeling uneasy about them letting all these key pieces go. But I know better; the Pats don’t really like to spend money, which brings me to my next topic.
  2. Even if we trade for OBJ, he isn’t going to get paid what he wants. We don’t spend nbc objmoney like that. You know what your compensation is for coming to New England? A Super Bowl Ring; and not to mention the opportunity to play with the greatest quarterback of all time. So OBJ, what do you want more: a ring or that paper?

Now realize this 1st round pick at 23rd overall is more than likely for Brady’s replacement, so I guess I can understand the sacrifice of Cooks.

Eventful night for Boston. It’ll continue to be will the playoffs coming up for the Celtics and Bruins. Plus…baseball is back!

boston discovery guide

Sox Leading the AL East

The Sox finished up their four-game series against the Rays yesterday and are now getting ready for the Marlins. They are 3-1 and sit atop the AL East early in the season. Really, the Sox should be 4-0, but we can’t dwell on what we can’t change.

Starting Pitching

Chris Sale, David Price, Rick Porcello and Hector Velazquez all had quality starts for the Sox.

  • Sale went six inning on opening day, only giving up one hit, three walks and striking out nine. Unfortunately, he received a no decision after a very poor 1/3 of an inning from Joe Kelly, in which he blew the 4-0 lead. On the bright side, it was a great start for Sale and he’s a consistent guy, so I expect similar performances throughout the season.
  • David Price also pitched a gem in his start. It was a battle between him and Rays nbc sports pricepitcher Roe, but he never broke. He went seven innings, giving up four hits and striking out five. Oh, and ERA: 0.00.
  • Rick Porcello got off to a decent start this year, which I felt was really important. He went 5.1 innings, giving up six hits, one walk, one earned run and striking out four. Another good sign: that run wasn’t given up early. Porcello usually gets in jams early but this time he was in control.
  • Hector Velazquez hung in there for the Sox, giving up only five hits, one walk, one earned run and striking out five over 5.2 innings. The Sox were able to take the lead after he gave up that one run early, giving him the win.
  • The bullpen looked pretty good in this series despite Joe Kelly’s fluke in the first game. Matt Barnes has had a strong 2.2 innings in which he has relieved for the Sox. He’s given up only two walks and has recorded three strikeouts and an ERA of 0.00. Craig Kimbrel gave a beautiful closing performance in games two and three. Overall: two innings, three strikeouts, one walk, and an ERA of 0.00.

X-Man the X-Factor

Although Xander’s bat was pretty cold come game four of the series, it seemed he was the only one really doing some damage in the first three games. His stats over that span: 8-12 with five doubles, a home run, two RBIs and four runs scored. Going into the Miami series, he is batting .471 with a SLG of .941 and an OPS of 1.412. I’d say the new hitting/batting coach is working out. I mean, I know a lot of people expected this type of start from J.D., but there’s nothing to worry about. It’s only been four games. He’ll heat up soon; everyone is different. But shout out to Xander for getting it done this series.

The Sox now head to the Jeter-owned Marlins for a two games series before heading home for their opener at Fenway. This is a new look Marlins team, who no longer has their superstars; essentially a start-from-scratch team. Hopefully the Sox can sweep this series and go home 5-1. Brian Johnson will pitch the first game, while Sale goes for the second.

Tune in to NESN tonight for the first game. First pitch: 7:10 pm!

nesn kimbrel

Sox Drop Season Opener

The Red Sox opened up the season yesterday against the Tampa Bay Rays. They led for much of the game until the bottom of the 8th. Unfortunately they ended up losing 6-4, giving Chris Sale a no decision. Imagine going six innings, striking out nine and not giving up any runs; but it didn’t matter in the end.

Who’s to Blame: Bullpen or Umpires?

Well, quite frankly both. But I want to specify ‘bullpen’ because it was only really one person: Joe Kelly. Kelly came in and only recorded one out, while also walking four straight batters. I mean, that’s a pretty difficult situation to get out of unscathed, so Carson Smith did what he could. BUT… I also said the umpires had a hand didn’t I? Well, when it wasn’t Kelly’s lack of control on his pitches, it was the umpire being stingy with the strikes. Several pitches that would have resulted in strikeouts were called balls, in turn making them walks. Though, we can argue that Kelly could’ve avoided the situation all together had he been able to control his pitches. He said what we were all thinking after the game: pathetic.

Forgotten Gemsgettyimages-9398288621209655445.jpg

There were some great things that happened in that game along with Sale’s performance . For example, Eduardo Nuñez hit an inside the park homerun! I mean, who expects that on opening day?! And Xander Bogaerts went 3-4 with two runs and a couple of doubles. But no one’s talking about it because they’re too busy talking about how the bullpen a.k.a Joe Kelly blew that 4-0 lead. Maybe Kelly did a little too much playing around this Spring? Being a fake reporter and all…

The Sox have three games left in the series. Price goes up against Snell tonght at 7 pm and the Sox are hoping not to drop this one.

The Celtics Latest Performance(s) and Our Expectations of Them

I have neglected my beloved Celtics for some time now, I know. Maybe because the very idea of not seeing Kyrie break ankles for the rest of the season devastates me. Or because I don’t get to see Marcus Smart’s energy and routine sacrifices on defense. It could be because one of our most dynamic bigs (who also happens to be a 25-year old rookie) has been and will be out for the rest of the season. Quite possibly—it could be all three. mass live KI, MS JB

Stepping Up Big

My depression of key pieces lost should not take away from what this team has been able to do in their absence. Since March 11th, which we can argue is when everyone started dropping like flies, the guys are 5-3. One of those losses was a thrilling double-OT against the Wizards, which was hard fought. The wins included another thriller against OKC and a come-from-behind-rally in the fourth against Portland. So who do we have to thank?

  • Al Horford: I’m not going to give you his stat line for this period because it doesn’t matter, not really. All that matters is what he brings to this team, especially when Kyrie isn’t there. This athletic PF can play C AND run an offense, which is the most important in this case. He doesn’t always have to give you 15 points to make a difference.
  • Jayson Tatum: the rookie had been climbing his way out of his slump and it looks like he’s back to early season form. His stat line for the last eight games: 17.5 pts, 2.4 ast, 6.6 rbs, and shooting 50% from the floor.
  • Terry Rozier: Its not surprise this guy continues to have an impact. He stepped up the first time Kyrie had to sit out, recording a triple-double in his first career start. Not to mention the very next game he recorded a career-high 31 points. Well, he topped that in the game against the Kings by recording 33 points. His last eight games: 18.3 pts, 4.4 ast, 6 rbs, and shooting 40% from the floor.
  • Marcus Morris: this guy has always been our dark horse. People are still surprised boston cbslocal celticsto see when he is a top scorer for the team or when he hits the game winning three. I’m not sure why because his style of play is the reason why we wanted him in the first place. His last 7 games (missed one due to an ankle): 19.7 pts, 5.6 rbs, and shooting 51% from the floor.
  • Greg Monroe: special shout out to Moose Monroe and his last eight games: 11.5 pts, 6.6 rbs, and shooting 52% from the floor. I knew he would be a great addition to the team and he’s been getting it done in the paint/post for us. Let’s hope it continues.
  • Brad Stevens: just four words–> COACH OF THE YEAR. That’s all.

I pointed out specific members of the team, but of course there are others who contribute in important ways as well. Together they succeed, not individually.

But What Expectations Should We Have?

I mentioned this a bit before in another (very) short article but I will say it again. This team has already exceeded the expectations of everyone. When Gordon Hayward went down, no one thought the Celtics would subsequently go on a 16-game win streak and hold the top spot in the East for the majority of the season. But they did, and I couldn’t be more proud. So with that being said, I’m going to be realistic. This team could more than likely make it past a first round match up and depending on the opponent, maybe a second. Though, I’m not really looking for them  to have some sort of Cinderella not really) run like they did last year. It should be seen as an opportunity to gain experience in a play off atmosphere for those who haven’t experienced it yet. So, for those who are saddened by the multiple injuries, don’t be. What has happened this season wasn’t even supposed to. But yes, we will continue to support our Celtics for as long as they stay alive. And we will also get excited for what’s to come next season: healthy roster full of talented young players.

Watch the Celtics go for 5 straight tonight against the Jazz on ESPN/ NBC Sports Boston.

bostonherald cs

A Cinderella Story: Ramblers Lead the Way into the Final Four

The Ramblers of Loyola- Chicago have shocked the world by booking a spot into the Final Four (not to mention they were the first to do so!). They will be joined by Michigan, Villanova and Kansas. It’s no surprise to many that the latter three made it this far, as they are more familiar with the tournament. Loyola however, they haven’t gotten this far in a tournament since they last won it in 1963! That beautiful little tidbit during their Elite 8 match up made their run even more special (oh and Sister Jean of Course!).

Shattering Expectations and Busting Brackets

The Ramblers won the MVC Tournament against Illinois State, making their first tourney in 33 years. They were seeded 11th and faced Miami in the first round. Now, I’m sure most people were absolutely devastated by that buzzer-beater hit by Donte Ingram, in which they knocked of the Hurricanes. But people weren’t too concerned, considering they had to play #3 Tennessee next… big mistake. This time it was a Clayton Custer jumper with about 3 seconds left that crushed more brackets, as the Ramblers won a thriller 63-62. You would think by now people would stop betting against the Ramblers— but no. This team CONTINUED to exceed expectations and bust second-chance brackets by beating #7 Nevada in another thriller 69-68 and #9 Kansas State 78-62. Marques Townes put them up against Nevada with a very late three, and the Kansas State win came a bit easier.

Can the Ramblers Win It All?

After watching this tournament, anything is possible! I mean, we’ve got an 11-seed in the Final Four, along with two 1-seeds  and a 3-seed. Villanova, Kansas and Michigan aren’t playing games, and haven’t been throughout their tournament run. They got here the same way the Ramblers did: blood, sweat and tears. Though, I could also say that being a lower seed makes for an easier road. Then again, we did see what happened to Xavier, Arizona, UNC, etc. Let’s look at some bumps that the lower seeds had:

  • Michigan was almost sent packing by #6 Houston and Rob Gray. Freshman Jordan Poole saved the day with a 3-pointer. Their highest scorers only had 12 points and they shot poorly from the floor and three: 36% and 27%, respectively. Michigan is lucky they got out alive.
  • Villanova had a small hiccup early. They almost didn’t get that 1 seed, in that they had to go into OT against Providence for the Big East Championship Title. After that, it was pretty much smooth sailing. Jay Wright and his guys have reputations to uphold.
  • Kansas’ scare came against Duke, and that should be no surprise. They won 85-81 in OT, but I’m sure they knew Duke wasn’t going down without a fight. And even with a team sprawling with freshmen, if their coach is Krzyzewski you better be on your toes.

Personally, I’m done predicting. I’m just going to watch and enjoy what’s left of this tournament. But what does everyone else think???

Also, kudos to Ramblers coach Porter Moser. You did a hell of a job this year. Let’s keep it rolling!

moser loyolaphoenix

Irving to Have Minimally Invasive Procedure

First, birthday shout out to this guy! Happy 26th and wishing you many more wonderful years to come.

Second, it has been reported that Kyrie will be having a minimally invasive procedure on his knee Saturday. He hasn’t played since March 11th, so if his knee is bothering him that much, then that’s that.

There is no time table as everyone has said, but I don’t think it matters. Personally, I think it’s time to call it. The majority of the team is super banged up right now with Theis not returning and Smart probable. Jaylen is out on concussion protocol too so, yeah.

The guys that have stepped up in the absence of the core have been great, and this had been a great opportunity for them to show what they can do/get in a rhythm playing together. There is nothing wrong with calling it this season. Not when there’s so much to look forward to next season (having a healthy Gordon Hayward, Kyrie and Al all in the line up at once!?!).

Bottom line: rehab and rest up (a continuation for some). The young guys will be able to get some experience in a playoff series so that when the time comes again, they won’t be so green (no pun intended).

Pic cred: NBC Sports

The Madness is Real!

If you did a bracket this year like I did, you may or may not be pulling your hair out. It was an exciting first round in NCAA play, no doubt, with a number of surprise upsets and struggles. In case you missed it, let’s highlight some of them:

Surprising Upsets

  • Miami let me down and dropped their match against Loyola-Chicago. Miami had the 1-point lead until Donte Ingram from Loyola hit the buzzer-beater three to win 64-62. Miami’s vice: free throws and turnovers.loyola chicago the ringer
  • Buffalo handled Arizona the way I thought Arizona was going to handle Buffalo. It wasn’t even close, with Buffalo winning 89-68. They shot 55% from the floor and 50% from three. I mean, if you’re going to play a 4-seed, you have no choice but to play this way. Though, quite frankly, Arizona just didn’t show up.

Absolute Thrillers

  • Right out the gate URI and OU blessed us with OT, and URI took the win 83-78. It was definitely a nail biter, with both teams wishing they could have performed better. URI only shot 39% from the floor AND three, but somehow still pulled out the win. I know people were hoping to see Trae Young go a bit longer but let’s be real, OU shouldn’t have made it into the tournament in the first place.
  • Houston beat San Diego State 67-65, but it wasn’t easy. Houston’s Rob Gray had 39 pts and sealed the deal with a layup, leaving just over a second left. SDS almost tied it at the buzzer, but the shot hit the rim with no hopes of getting a friendly bounce. Hard fought game by both; not even mad about this one.rob gray sportingnews

I know I missed some ‘thrillers’ but… you get the picture!

No Surprises, Just Domination

Tennessee, Kansas, Duke, and Villanova won their match ups outright. I think after the second half we knew there was no need to watch. Michigan and Florida kicked it into high gear in the second half, eliminating any chance for their opponents. Not saying these games were boring— it was exciting to see some good defense and efficient shooting. Oh yeah, and they REALLY helped out my bracket. Why bet against Duke or Villanova?

Day two of the madness kicks off today at 12:15 with Providence and Texas A&M starting us off. How will your bracket look at the end of today? Have fun streaming those games in the office, class or on a lunch break! Good luck to the teams and to all my fellow bracket-makers!