Some things to think about as you enjoy your eggnog (and possibly some other ingredients).
-The Celtics game just ended with an 88-85 win and once again the C's proved they are a far more poised team than the Hawks. I could wax poetic about how talented Atlanta is athletically but they aren't going to go deep into the playoffs with Joe Johnson as your No. 1 option. I don't see this being a real rivalry. Just because the Hawks got hot in a series and pushed the Celts to 7 games does not mean they are on the same level.
The Hawks having highlights of their playoff loss to the Celtics on their website is the biggest joke to outsiders since the Ray Bourque rally for his Stanley Cup with Colorado. That was the lowest point for me as a Boston fan and showed a loser mentality. I would feel the same way if I were an Atlanta fan watching those highlights.
I must say, I'm a bit surprised the Celtics are playing this well this early. I thought it might take a little while for them to have sustained periods of success but they're sending a message to the NBA that last year was just the start of this group's run. Those who talked about the aging Big Three and how there was a strong possibility of decline forgot Rondo and Perkins had the chance to improve. Not only have they improved, they've carried this team at times.
That's 16 straight for the 24-2 Celtics. I still have the Globe sports section from the 18-game losing streak that lasted from Jan. 5 to to Feb. 15 back in 2007. Wouldn't it be sweet to have a paper laying beside it with an "18 Straight!" headline? I don't know if the Celts will win the title this year, especially with the Shawn Marion to Cleveland rumors floating around, but I know I'm going to enjoy this ride.
-I love Mike Lowell. When he re-signed with the Sox a year ago it gave me hope that there were still some good guys left in sports. He's a class act and without him the Red Sox obviously don't sniff the World Series in 2007.
All that said, when a team has a chance to grab as close as there is to a perfect baseball player in Mark Teixeira there really shouldn't be any debate as to whether the ramifications are worth it.
If the Sox do sign him it puts a lot less pressure on David Ortiz to return to form. Remember, guys like Teixeira don't appear on the open market very often so here's hoping the Sox are able to take advantage of the ability to sign him without giving up any of their top prospects.
Lowell would be missed and it probably won't help the Sox in future negotiations (i.e. Kevin Youkilis) when a hometown discount is brought into the discussion. I trust that the Sox brass isn't in the business of shedding tears for players, even a fan favorite like Lowell.
-I'm worried about the Pats' match up on Sunday against the Cardinals. If I were Ken Whisenhunt, I'd look at film from the Chargers-Pats from earlier this season and abuse the Pats' secondary. They lack height and often take bad routes to balls. Poor tackling doesn't help things.
Pats fans are worried about the possibilities of other teams like the Jets, Dolphins and Ravens winning or losing but they really shouldn't look past the Cardinals offense. Boldin, who wrecked my fantasy football playoff game, have the ability to light up this Patriot secondary.
Look for a shootout as I don't think the 'Zona defense can handle the Cassel-led Patriot offense either.