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."
The guys react to what Don Banks had to say and get into some more thoughts on Deflategate. Are McNally and Jastremski ever going to break their silence and give their side of the story? Price says yes ... eventually.
Don Banks talks with the NFL Sunday boys about his reaction to Brady's appeal, where we go from here and the NFL's motives and decisions throughout the process. He also gets into the Pats offseason so far and their weakness at CB. Don gives his take on the AFC East this year and how some of the Pats' rivals have improved.
Greg and Price discuss their thoughts on some of the reports that have leaked after Tuesday from Brady's appeal hearing. The boys talk about what the reaction will be if Brady decides to accept a 1-game suspension. Fans want a complete exoneration, but there's a good chance that they won't get that - how will they react? They also talk with Mike Petraglia and get his thought on the appeal and more.
Sam is joined by Jared Weiss from The Garden Report and CLNS Radio to breakdown game 4 of Cavs-Warriors, preview game 5 on Sunday, and analyze the Celtics needs this off-season.
Greg Dickerson and John Tomase discuss the amazing season for the Celts and if they have any chance against Lebron and the Cleveland Cavs in a seven game series. If they do, HOW ... how do they get it done?
Brian "White Mamba" Scalabrine joins the guys to talk about the Celtics playoff push, the development of Marcus Smart and James Young, and the prospect of Brad Stevens leaving the Celtics for a college job.
Joe & Dave talked to the Sox third baseman, who hit a homer and knocked in two runs in the win in Tampa Bay.
Joe & Dave talked to the Sox center fielder, who was a single short of the cycle in the blowout win in Kansas City.
Joe Castiglione talked to Justin Masterson and Bob Kendrick after the annual team trip to the museum.
Don Sweeney, who was hired as the Bruins general manager yesterday speaks with Dale and Holley about his new position and where the Bruins go from here.
The awesomely knowledgeable Fluto Shinzawa calls DJ, Naoko and Pete to talk about his thoughts on the future of the B's. He discusses his column from earlier this week on Cam Neely wanting to give Claude the ax earlier in the season but not getting the ok. Fluto shares his thoughts on Chiarelli's firing, the future for Claude and where the Bruins should go from here. He also gives his opinion on potential moves the team can make, who would fit in here, his thoughts on the NHL playoffs so far and more.
In the final hour of the "midseason finale" as DJ likes to call it, the crew discuss more about the future of the Bruins franchise, the possible power struggle in the front office and who should be the head coach going forward. They talk to intelligent and talented Fluto Shinzawa about all of these thing and more in an excellent interview, and finally, DJ says THANK YOU!
Doug defended the merits of Boston 2024.
Chris Dempsey explained why Boston 2024 does not make sense for our city.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Gary Tanguay.
The show opens up talking about the Bruins going from "re-tooling" to "re-building" very quickly as they traded away Milan Lucic and Dougie Hamilton and drafted 3 guys in the first round that are years away from contributing.
Pierre McGuire joined the show to talk about Doug Hamilton and Milan Lucic being traded, the 3 picks the B's made in the first round, Adam McQuaid, and generally what the front office may be thinking with this approach.
Greg Wyshynski talk about the negative reviews of the Lucic and Hamilton trades, and the subsequent draft picks on Friday.
They're the topic of the town again, and probably for the wrong reasons. Dale, Michael and Jerry discuss where the Bruins went wrong, what direction they may be heading, and how it may or may not get better.
We wrap up the day with some of the best in sound that you may have missed throughout the weekend.
We go north of the border and try and find out what the heck the Bruins are doing with John Shannon of Rogers SportsNet
Danny's early thoughts on Celtics drafting Terry Rozier at the 16th pick
Planet Mikey, joined by Chris Villani, Lenny Megliola, and the Textress Lucy, discuss whether Mikey Adams should have tipped Best Buy's Geek Squad after delivering his new TV. Also, the state of the Red Sox after losing another series to the Baltimore Orioles.
Minutes after the Boston Celtics selected Louisville guard Terry Rozier with the 16th pick in the NBA Draft, WEEI's Greg Dickerson joined Mikey Adams, Chris Villani, and Lenny Megliola to give their thoughts.
Dino, Gerry and Gary discuss which celebrities make the most money.
Joe Kelly and Rusney Castillo are down. Jackie Bradley Jr. and Deven Marrero are up. Can you tell Pawtucket's roster from Boston's? Ken Laird and Ryan Hannable discuss a busy week on the farm with special guests Rob Bradford and affiliate voices Josh Maurer, Mike Antonellis, Kevin Burke, and Cameron White. Plus prospect profiles with Portland's Jantzen Witte and Carlos Asuaje.
After a disappointing and confusing NBA Draft, Chris Forsberg joins Sam to discuss the draft and the Danny Ainge's strategy moving into Free Agency.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Gary Tanguay.More from this show
The guys discussed Jim Bowden's column on trade possibilities for the Red Sox and Hanley.More from this show
Pierre McGuire joined the show to talk about Doug Hamilton and Milan Lucic being traded, the 3 picks the B's made in the first round, Adam McQuaid, and generally what the front office may be thinking with this approach.More from this show