This Week in Boston Sports 3/30/2011
Published: Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 19:03
The Bruins kicked off the week with a solid 4-1 win over the New Jersey Devils at the TD Garden. It was a night of milestones for Boston: Zdeno Chara scored his 400th career goal in the second period and Milan Lucic scored his 30th goal of the season in the third period. The remaining two goals were scored by Shan Thornton in the first and Mark Recchi in the third period. After the Devils scored their first and only goal in the first period, the Bruins' trusty net minder Tim Thomas blocked the rest of New Jersey's 30 shots.
In their next game, the Bruins not only shut out the Montreal Canadians, but they also scored an impressive number of goals to beat them 7-0 at the TD Garden. The massacre began when Johnny Boychuk scored Boston's first goal one minute into the game. Gregory Campbell and Nathan Horton each scored two goals in the first and third periods. Adam McQuaid and Tomas Kaberle scored the other two goals in the third period. Thomas also blocked all 24 of Montreal's goal attempts, bringing his record to 31-10 for the season.
The Bruins themselves were then shut out in their following game against the New York Rangers. The 1-0 loss was the sixth shut out Boston has suffered this season. New York scored the game's only goal in the first period and Boston was unable to come back to tie it. The Bruins' goalie Tuukka Rask blocked 22 of the Rangers' 23 shots and this was the 35th career shutout and 400th game for the Rangers' goalie Henry Ludqvist.
The excitement of the rivalry between the New York Knicks and our Boston Celtics was intensified with Boston's 96-86 comeback win over New York in Madison Square Garden. The Celts started off slowly in the first and second quarters, scoring 22 and 15 points, respectively, and falling behind the Knicks 51-37 by halftime. Boston battled back with intensity in the second half however, scoring 59 points and allowing New York only 35. Violence ensued in the third quarter when Ray Allen, who had 15 points, took an elbow to the head courtesy of Knicks player Jared Jeffries. Blood streamed down his forehead, but it was nothing a Band-Aid couldn't fix. His mother, who is a usual presence in the stands, did not look happy.
A comeback could not be completed in the following game against the Memphis Grizzlies, in which the Celtics lost 90-87. Although they were up 45-44 at halftime, Boston lagged in scoring in the fourth quarter, leading to the loss. They scored 17 points in the fourth quarter, but blew their chances at securing the win. Rajon Rondo had the ball with seconds left and instead of passing to Paul Pierce to make the shot, Rondo took the three-point shot himself and missed. "I didn't see Paul," he explained. "I thought I had a floater." Glen Davis also put up a shot that he wasn't supposed to and it bounced off the rim as well. Despite these errors, Coach Doc Rivers blamed himself for the loss. "It starts with Doc Rivers first," he said. "Then it starts with the whole team."
The Celtics fell once again, this time to the Charlotte Bobcats. The 83-81 loss at the TD Garden showed a glaringly evident slump for some of the Celtics players. They were winning 42-37 at halftime and still ahead 66-53 after the third quarter, but it was in the last quarter of the game that it slipped from their grasp. Charlotte was able to put up 30 points in the fourth quarter, double what the Boston was able to score, to secure the win for themselves. Hopefully this game will serve as a wake-up call for the Celtics so they can get their act together and play at their full potential in the remaining 11 regular season games.
While some new additions to the Celtics may feel intimidated by the close bonds that have been cemented between the teammates, recent Boston acquisition Nenad Krstic has had no trouble fitting in with the rest of the team. This seven foot Serbian was added to the Celtics in the Perkins/Robinson/Daniels/Erden trade and is already stepping up and doing his part to help the team secure wins.
Krstic began his professional career in 2001 with Serbian basketball team KK Partizan, helping them win three consecutive national championships. In 2002, he was picked 24th overall in the NBA draft by the New Jersey Nets, but chose to continue to play in Serbia until the 2004-2005 season when he joined the Nets for a remarkable rookie season. He averaged 10 points and 5.3 rebounds per game and made his debut in the playoffs against the Miami Heat, in which he averaged 18.3 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. In December 2006, Krstic fell during a game, tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. He was out for the rest of the season, but showed his tenacity and strong will when he returned to play ahead of schedule in the 2007-2008 season. That season did not go well for him, as his injury continued to inhibit his playing. He then went back to Europe for the 2008-2009 season to play in the Russian Super League for the Triumph Lyubertsy. In January 2009, Krstic returned to the United States to play for the Oklahoma City Thunder, with whom he played 123 games over two seasons.
On February 24th, Krstic and teammate Jeff Green were traded from Oklahoma to Boston to play for the Celtics. In his first game with Boston against the Los Angeles Clippers, Krstic scored nine points and grabbed six rebounds to help his new team secure the win.
His celebrity status was cemented in his homeland when he was named Serbia's third most eligible bachelor by the country's version of People magazine. His clean-cut image was marred slightly in August 2010 when, while playing in the Acropolis Tournament in Greece, he was involved in a brawl with Greek player Giannis Bourousis, whom he threw a chair at. Bourousis was not badly injured, but Krstic ended up spending the night in jail and was released the next day. He is married to wife Tanja with whom he has one daughter. Fans are hopeful that Krstic and his family like Boston enough for him to stay for a while and use his talent to help the team in seasons to come.