TOST Question of the Week: Is there anything else to talk about this week while all of New England is afflicted with Stanley Cup fever

Todd: Of course.  But on the hockey front, I have to say what a fantastic series Bruins/Blackhawks has turned out to be, with plenty edge-of-your-couch moments left to be played.  While we wait for a parade to commence next week on either Causeway or Madison Street, let’s talk about some other sports.

First, leave it to the Celtics to try and get some press even while their winter sport counterparts are stealing the spotlight.  Are Kevin Garnett AND Doc Rivers actually getting traded to the LA Clippers??  Let’s be realistic here, folks.  Even if the Bruins fall short of their second Cup in three years, the Celtics have officially become the fourth team in town, and I think by a pretty significant margin.  There is much rebuilding to do, and if you’ve followed the NBA any time over the last two decades you know how gargantuan a task Danny Ainge has ahead of him.

Remember how much had to fall perfectly in place for the C’s to win Banner 17 five short years ago?  Danny’s number one plan that previous offseason was having the ping pong balls bounce in the C’s favor on draft lottery day so they could take Greg Oden, the next great big man.  Funny how that worked out—Oden is still trying to kick-start his NBA career while Ainge audibled about as well as Tom Brady in a two-minute drive with trades for Ray Allen and KG.  What are the odds Danny can pull that off again?  Mike will appreciate the following comment: maybe the Celtics and Clippers should just swap back their franchises like they did some 35 years ago.

Speaking of Mike, I know he’s not watching the NBA Finals (neither was I until Tuesday night).  But to all five of our loyal readers, if you are a genuine sports fan you had to appreciate all of the dramatic twists and turns that was Game 6 down at South Beach.  Holy Ray Allen/Mookie Wilson!  As a long-time Red Sox follower, it was easy to flash back to the 1986 World Series while watching just how close the San Antonio Spurs were to winning their fifth title without actually winning it, right down to the championship trophy about to be wheeled out to center court with the Spurs up by five and under thirty seconds left in regulation.  After that kind of loss, what do the Spurs have left for Game 7?  I say this veteran team is both physically and emotionally spent (more of the former) and will probably lose by double digits to LeBron and the Heat tonight.  In the words of failed fictional bombardier Dick Dastardly, drat and double drat!!

So how about those Red Sox?  Here we are two weeks from July 4th and they’re in first place in the AL East while also possessing one of the best records in MLB.  What’s more amazing is that the Sox are doing all this while Clay Buchholz is on the disabled list, Jon Lester has struggled mightily for the last month and Andrew Bailey is producing more heart attacks than high cholesterol.  But unlike last year, the 2013 club has become an extremely likeable bunch because nearly every night a different player steps up and helps contribute to a team win.  To point, earlier this week the Sox swept a day/night doubleheader from Tampa Bay with Alfredo Aceves and Felix Doubront as their starting pitchers.

No one probably epitomizes the hard-working plugging spirit of this year’s Sox more than Daniel Nava.  Did you know he is currently ranked in the top five amongst all American League outfielders in runs batted in, runs scored and on-base percentage?  In fact, his .387 OBP is the best of any AL outfielder.  Chew on that for just a moment.  How many Sox fans expected Nava to make this year’s team coming out of spring training?  The Sox themselves didn’t even think enough to list him in this year’s media guide with their other prospects.  After hitting the first major league pitch he saw nearly three years ago into the Fenway bullpen for a grand slam, Nava’s baseball career has almost become an afterthought.  If I still haven’t offered enough reasons to write this guy’s name in to your 2013 AL All-Star ballot, remember that Nava’s college baseball career began at Santa Clara University…as the team’s equipment manager!

I normally would prefer to end on a high note like that, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Patriots.  From last week’s signing of Tim Tebow to this week’s ongoing developments involving Aaron Hernandez, I'm not sure we will ever witness such a bizarre and surreal juxtaposition of events involving one team.

Mike: As I write this, the Aaron Hernandez situation is still up in the air, so I believe the less said about that, the better, at least until we know exactly what is going on.

As for the Celtics, I do agree with you Todd, I think they are the fourth team in town now, and there isn’t a real strong sign that is going to change anytime soon.

This deal with the Clippers (thanks for the link, I do remember that deal well), is truly one of the more bizarre things that I’ve seen in a long time. The Celtics are going to trade their COACH?

If this deal goes down (and at this point, it looks like it will), this will definitely tarnish Doc Rivers’ legacy in Boston. Sure, the team is in a rebuilding mode, but he is still under contract to coach the Celtics, while at the same time, he’s clearly looking at other jobs. This never works out well. See “Parcells, Bill” if you have any questions.

And you are right Todd, other than a few minutes, I have not been watching the NBA Finals. I just don’t find them compelling enough to stay up that late (games starting at 9? Ridiculous!) to watch teams that I really don’t care about. And frankly, the few minutes I have watched haven’t been that interesting to me, especially when compared to the edge-of-your-seat NHL playoffs.

But, just because I haven’t been watching doesn’t mean that I won’t have an opinion. I agree with you Todd, I think the Heat win Game 7 going away.

And somewhere, David Stern will be smiling an evil smile…

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