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Jerry weighs in on a very exciting and sometimes ridiculous nature of the current Boston sports scene.

One team is too old and injured yet a game away from playing for the championship, the other team is in last place despite having one of the best records over the last 40 games, and our 38 year old Vezina trophy winner is taking a year off from his sport….. Makes sense to me!

Even if you don’t want to follow Boston sports, I fear you may not have much choice, for it seems every time you turn around lately, one team or another is getting the major Sportscenter treatment for one reason or another. This past week or so is a perfect example of this. The Celtics seem to be defying logic, or at least conventional thinking, by pushing the younger, more athletic Miami Heat to the brink of elimination; by diving for loose balls, making improbable plays, and – wait for it- playing defense. Let’s face it, the play of game five was Rondo’s deflection pass of the Wade block shot, right into the hands of Michael Pietrus, (13 points) who then hit the second of his three-pointers! Given that neither Rondo (3-15) nor Paul Pierce (6-19) were shooting very effectively, hustle was a key ingredient, as it helped to spark their 15-1 run in the third quarter that turned the game around. Kevin Garnett continues to flourish since his move to the five position, with 26 points and 11 rebounds. Although he occasionally forgets and drifts out to the 3 point line, he’s been at his best when he stays near the paint. Let’s hope he remembers that.

With any luck at all, by the time you read this, the series will have been decided and the Green will be off to face the winner of the West**. The Heat, and particularly LeBron James, have  at times, reacted strangely to pressure, so I’m hoping they’ll do a fade in game six. Despite some decent offensive numbers by Chris Bosh (9 points, 7 rebounds in 14 minutes), I don’t believe he is totally healthy. He was something like a minus-12 for the game, and clearly was not able to play defense. I have to assume that he tightened up after playing in the first half, and they didn’t want to chance his return. Ray Allen, on the other hand, seems to be getting stronger. Although only 2-9 from the field, he was 8-8 from the free throw line, hitting some big ones late. At any rate, I’m sticking with my prediction with slight adjustments. In a recent comment, I had predicted that the winner would either be the Heat in six, or the Celtics in seven. When you think about it, the numbers may be right, just the teams are backwards. Stay tuned.

‘BARD’ FROM THE ROTATION

Daniel Bard’s struggles finally forced the Red Sox hand. (Abelimages/Getty Images)

Despite playing some good baseball of late, the Sox are still in last place in the East. Granted they would probably be in second place in just about every other division in baseball, but the fact remains that they are in last place in their division. They are getting good starting pitching from Josh Beckett and Felix Doubront, with improvement being shown by Clay Buchholz, which is encouraging, but Jon Lester and Daniel Bard have lacked consistency. Bard to the point that he was sent to Pawtucket to work out his troubles. The general feeling with Bard seems to be that he thinks too much. I don’t know for sure, but I have to believe that if you can throw a baseball 100 miles per hour; what’s there to think about?

AND NOW THE RIDICULOUS

Is time off really what Tim Thomas should be doing at his age? (Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images)

Under different circumstances, I might have something good to say about a 38 year old athlete who was leaving his game at the height of his ability, with his mind and body intact, having made his fortune, to spend time with his family. But not this time….For one thing, Tim Thomas is not talking retirement, he’s talking time off, as if a 39 year old man can be away from the game for a year and then just step back and be the same player. (Don’t talk to me about Andy Pettitte, pitching is different. Besides look how it went for Roger Clemens.) I would have thought Thomas would have pushed for one last big contract, or at least an extension, It took him a long time to get to this point, and walking away seems a bit ill-advised. Granted he collected about $17 million on this contract (Why do I think he didn’t pay much in the way of taxes?) but it seems he’s leaving behind the opportunity to truly secure his family’s future.
It appears that it is now officially ‘Tuukka Time’ in Boston!

** Jobu’s Note: Unfortunately, Lebron had a monster game six (45 points, 15 rebounds, 5 assists) and the Heat have extended the series to a seventh game. We’ll find out this Saturday night, just who will play the Oklahoma City Thunder in the finals.

Featured image courtesy of: Jim Rogash / AFP

Jerry Ballgame

About Jerry Ballgame

The personification of "old school", Jerry Ballgame was born in the shadow of Dr. Naismith's peach basket, and baptized in that "Dirty Water." Designated by his "Uncle" Ted, to keep an eye on things, he's here to tell everyone what his view is like from the Hub of the Universe.

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