ESPN columnist Bill Simmons joined the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning to talk about the Celtics' impressive performance in their Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Cavaliers. Said Simmons: "The last two games, I feel like they've finally looked like the team that they looked like before that Christmas Day 2008 game against the Lakers, when [their record] was 27-2. Then they lose that game, they go on a little skid, [Kevin] Garnett gets hurt, the team's never really been the same. You look at this whole series, they've played better in four of the five games. And they've dominated two of them."
Simmons said Rajon Rondo's ability to dominate and LeBron James' failure to do the same is the obvious key. "It always come down to who has the best guy in a series, I always think. ... The bottom line is Rondo's played better than LeBron in this series. [Rondo's] stats weren't good in the first half of Game 5 -- I didn't feel like he was having a bad game, but in the second half I thought he dominated that game. He controlled the flow. He controls every aspect of that game. They can't match up with him. They're changing their defense to try to get him. He's in Mo Williams' head. Mo Williams is a basket case. Now LeBron's probably going to have to defend him."
Simmons also pointed to an unheralded bench player who has made a big difference for Boston. "The shocker of all shockers is Tony Allen," Simmons said. "Because this is a guy we've watched for six years. It actually started in the Miami series. He had a really good Game 1. I thought he helped them win Game 2. He and Rasheed [Wallace] were the things that kind of swing that game. Everyone was talking about Rondo in Game 4, and rightfully so, but Tony Allen -- that was the best game of his career. He's actually making layups, he's finishing, he's not doing stupid things."
On the other side of the court, Anderson Varejao's disappearing act is leading to rumors that the forward is hiding an injury. "I think he's injured. It's just really weird how he's been playing," Simmons said. "He only played 17 minutes in Game 5. And this is a guy who kills the Celtics, He's just such a bad matchup. And also when Cleveland plays well, he's playing 35-40 minutes a game. I think he's the second-most important guy. For what he's doing in this series and the minutes he's getting, I think that's one of the reasons the Celtics have a 3-2 lead."
Simmons questioned the performance of Cavs coach Mike Brown, saying, "When coaches are grasping for straws, you can see it." Then he heaped praise on Doc Rivers, a coach Simmons frequently has crititicized. "I think this has been his best series ever," Simmons said. "I just think he's had a command of the series. The timeouts -- he's called great timeouts, which he never used to do. You can feel Cleveland coming on, and he's been stopping the runs, which is nice."
The winner of the Celtics-Cavaliers series gets the red-hot Magic, but Simmons said that would be an appealing matchup for the C's. "The way they match up with Orlando, if they can somehow get by this Cleveland team for one more game, they match up fantastic with Orlando," Simmons said. "They have guys to throw at Dwight Howard. Rondo can beat Jameer Nelson. Vince Carter, who's been dribbling through the lane with impunity, they'll just knock his butt down. He's not going to be able to do that stuff against the Celtics. I think they match up so much better against Orlando than they do against Cleveland."
Dale, Michael and Jerry dig into the details of this draft for the Patriots with ESPN's Mike Reiss.
Giardi and Price discuss the Tom Brady appeal getting overturned and Roger Goodell's victory tour. The guys can't believe the victory lap and some of his behavior. The more you listen to him, the more frustrating his behavior becomes.
Giardi and Price break down how the teams in the AFC East altered their futures after the NFL Draft weekend.
Mut is flying solo the last hour, but he's giving reaction and analysis as the Celtics draft a power forward out of France by the name of Guerschon Yabusele and getting some early grades for the Celtics
Mut and Kirk are talking more about the Celtics pick of Jaylen Brown and can't seem to find anyone who thinks it's a good pick or can make a case for why the Celtics took him third overall.
Christian recaps the Red Sox 6-2 loss to the Rangers.
Joe, Tim, and Lou talk with Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts after his walk-off RBI single propelled the Red Sox past the White Sox 8-7.
Mut recaps the Red Sox 8-6 loss to the White Sox.
DJ and Pete continue to assess the season that was for the Bruins and look toward the future for the franchise and how they can improve.
DJ and Pete are together for the final Sunday Skate of the season. They get into their overall thoughts on the season, the Bruins keeping Claude Julien on as head coach and the end-of-season press conferences last week. They discuss the rebuild process, what the Bruins need and how they can obtain it. Plenty of callers have their own theories and opinions on all of these topics as well.
Butch is joined by two-thirds of the Sunday Skate show in DJ and Pete. The guys discuss the problems with Bruins including leadership and grit, who should stay and who should go and if Claude is to blame.
Who would you like to see in Dino's chair, Gary or Mut?
The debate heats up as the discussion turns towards O.J. Simpson
On a Friday edition of Headlines, Gary presents us with some thrilling erotica talk.
Jackie MacMullen talks about Jaylen Brown, the Celtics thought process, and what may happen in Free Agency.
Glenn and Christian discuss last night's underwhelming draft by the Celtics
Dale Holley and Thornton talk NBA draft.
Dale and Holley's Final Drive 06-24-16
Laroy Streat comes back at it again! Talking the Celtics Draft and his take on the Celtics 3rd Draft pick. Catch Laroy every friday with the Dale & Holley Show 5:45- 6PM.
Former Celtics General Manager Jan Volk joins Kirk Minihane for a discussion that any Celtics fan will love. Kirk and Jan talk about the legendary 85/86 Celtics and how the team was constructed and of course the decision to draft Len Bias and his tragic death.
Kirk Minihane sits down with John Tomase to talk about the current political landscape, John's desire to write about social issues, and of course Spygate is discussed.
Kirk Minihane is joined by one of his radio heroes, Artie Lange. They discuss everything from Artie's comedy career, his time with Howard Stern, his issues with drugs and prostitutes, and the comedy show to benefit slain Officer Ronald Tarentino Jr.
Ben, Russ & Alex recap the 4-0 loss the USMNT suffered to Argentina in the COPA America Centenario semifinal. Then they catch up with the EURO's, and recap if their predicted winners are still in the tournament.
This week we look back at the US Open.
Dale Holley and Thornton talk NBA draft.More from this show