The Bruins and Celtics have shared space in Boston since 1946 and have never played Game 7 in a row. Dallas, believe it or not, has two Game 7s on Sunday (both on the road), with the Mavericks taking on the Suns in Phoenix and the Stars taking on the Flames in Calgary.
Saturday’s showdown in Raleigh, North Carolina puts the Bruins 15-14 in Game 7. They’ve only won one Game 7 on the road, and that was in Vancouver in 2011, when Bergeron and Brad Marchand scored all the goals in a 4-0 victory to clinch the Stanley Cup.
The Celtics are the NBA’s green godfathers from Game 7, with a 24-9 record. Bill Russell, the capo di tutti capo of game 7, won 10 of the 10 ultimate confrontations.
The 2021-22 Celtics and Bucks lived up to Russell’s legacy in their frantic fortnight ode to Ali-Frazier. Road teams have won four of six, with no team winning two in a row. The Bucks appeared to cut the Celtics’ hearts out late in Game 5 on Wednesday, only to be gutted by Jayson Tatum on Friday at Fiserv Forum. The Tatum-Giannis Antetokounmpo duel in Game 6 brought back memories of Larry Bird versus Dominique Wilkins (1988) and Paul Pierce versus LeBron James (2008).
Looks like these Celtics are ready to take it to the next level. They are Game 7 favorites and look set to face the Heat in the Conference Finals.
The alternative is unthinkable. No question that Boston can lose two Game 7 in two days. Our local sports, the seventh heaven, cannot be the seventh circle of hell.
▪ Hall of Fame scribe Bill Madden reports in the New York Daily News that former Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino is building a group to buy the Washington Nationals.
▪ Gino Cappelletti was a prince. He should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was Mr. Patriot and we all loved him. TO TEAR.
▪ Stand up and boo the Astros when they come to Fenway if you want, but you’re wasting your time. Few of the cheaters from 2017 are still around, the Red Sox were also caught and punished for cheating (nothing at the Astros level) around the same time, and the Astros have been a much better organization than the ups and downs. Bostons over the past six seasons. Houston entered Saturday night with a 22-11 record and 11 straight wins. The Astros have reached the World Series in three of the past five seasons, becoming the second team in history to play in five straight American League Championship Series. They replaced Carlos Correa and look set to win the AL West for the fifth time in six seasons. They managed to draft, develop and spend — just like the former Red Sox in the days of Theo Epstein — before Boston ownership headed down the Tampa Bay Way.
▪Quiz: Name 11 Baseball Hall of Famers who didn’t play a game before 1975 and played their entire career with one team (answer below).
▪ Last week we learned that Tom Brady — who rarely said anything interesting — was going to be paid $375 million over 10 seasons to provide commentary on Fox NFL games as soon as he’s finished to play. Swell. So what happened to Tom “spending more time with the family”? And how much money is ever enough? What if he’s terrible at it? It’ll be nice to have Tom in the press box with us (I wonder how he’ll like hot dogs at halftime), but something tells me it’ll be a short-lived career or he won’t. may never happen.
▪ Stid, we barely knew you.
▪ With the Heat and Panthers alive in their respective playoffs, Miami has the best chance of becoming the first sports market to win the Stanley Cup and the NBA championship in the same spring. Hard to believe this has never been done. Boston’s best chance came in 1957, when the Red Auerbach/Bill Russell/Bob Cousy Celtics won their first championship and the Bruins reached the Stanley Cup Finals before losing to (who else?) Montreal . The 1958 Celtics and Bruins both made it to the Finals and lost. In 1974, the Celtics beat the Bucks for the NBA championship, but Bobby Orr and the Bruins lost the Cup Finals to the Flyers in six.
▪ Colliding Worlds: In November 1993, young Montreal Expos general manager Dan Duquette acquired 22-year-old Dodgers pitcher Pedro Martinez for quick second baseman Delino DeShields. Both Pedro and DeShields have ties to professional basketball. When Al Horford was around 10 years old, his mother, Arelis Reynoso – a television journalist in the Dominican Republic – interviewed Pedro while Martinez was still with the Expos. DeShields’ daughter, Diamond DeShields — a 6-foot-1 guard — won the WNBA championship as a member of the Chicago Sky last October, just 21 months after having a spinal cord tumor removed.
▪ When does Deshaun Watson have time for football? The new Browns quarterback is being sued by 22 women who have accused him of sexual misconduct. He testified in the depositions of seven of the plaintiffs. That’s seven down, 15 to go.
▪ Next year, Denver’s Nikola Jokic will try to become the fourth NBA player to win three consecutive MVP awards. The only three to do so are Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain and Larry Bird. Which means Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson have never won consecutively.
▪ Adreian Payne, a 31-year-old former NBA center, was shot and killed in Florida last weekend. Payne was part of the Michigan State team that beat Tommy Amaker’s best team (27-5) at Harvard, 80-73, for a spot in the Sweet Sixteen in 2014.
▪ Veteran Globe photographer Jim Davis had a great week on the sidelines covering the Celtics-Bucks. The photo Davis took the next day of a horizontal Jayson Tatum taking a one-handed shot inches from the pitch reminded several good Globe readers of Orr’s iconic Mother’s Day goal shot that has become a statue. outside the garden. Tatum’s shot of Davis was published in the sports pages on May 10, 52 years to the day that Orr won the Stanley Cup with his aerial game.
▪ Paul Luther, a seventy-eight-year-old Celtics fan, remembers being hitchhiked by Russell in 1960: “After basketball practice at Matignon, I walked to Alewife Brook Parkway and hitchhiked the 8 miles to Stoneham. One night a new Cadillac pulled up for me and it was Bill Russell! He asked me where I was going and took me straight home. We talked about basketball all the time. He told me that I should study hard and stick to it. These days, Luther teaches Level 1 ESL to adult immigrants in Lawrence.
▪ Still think it was worth trading for Chris Sale? Sale, who will not be vaccinated and whose return has been postponed until after the Red Sox’ next trip to Toronto, has won 11 games in four seasons since signing his five-year, $145 million contract. Meanwhile, 26-year-old Michael Kopech — one of the prospects sent to the White Sox for sale — entered this weekend with a .93 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 29 innings over six starts. Yoan Moncada, also acquired for Sale, is back off the injured list and plays third base every day for Chicago. Switch-hitter Moncada is a career .261 hitter who has a 25-home run season on his resume, which would make him Jimmie Foxx in the 2022 Red Sox roster.
▪ I can’t wait to get my hands on “In Scoring Position”, a new book by Bob Ryan of The Globe and statistics guru Bill Chuck. Ryan, the de facto commissioner of basketball, is a baseball scholar and has counted every game he’s been to since he was the Globe’s Sox batter in 1977. Hope there’s a special section dedicated to Reggie Cleveland’s infamous 18 hits. comprehensive win over the Tigers in 1977. I guarantee Ryan used the phrase “18 scatter” in his playing history.
▪ Lookalikes: How about Grayson Allen as young Ted Cruz (who inspires the most anger?). What about Tony La Russa and Johnny Cash?
▪ Kudos to Bob DeFelice, who took over as Bentley’s baseball coach for a salary of $1,500 in 1969, the year man first walked on the moon. The Winthrop native retired last weekend with 848 wins in 54 years as Bentley’s sole manager. Seven decades. That’s a lot of bus rides. DeFelice is in nine Halls of Fame.
▪ Answer to the quiz: Barry Larkin (Reds), Cal Ripken Jr. (Orioles), Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio (Astros), Edgar Martinez (Mariners), Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera (Yankees), Tony Gwynn (Padres), Kirby Puckett (Twins), Alan Trammell (Tigers), Chipper Jones (Braves). Note: Jim Rice played 24 games with the 1974 Red Sox and did not qualify.