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05/10/2012 - 10:21pm
Shank: Beckett, Sox blown out by Indians

In his first start since April 29, Josh Beckett delivered one of his worst starts as a member of the Red Sox at a wildly inopportune time for the pitcher and the team. With a controversy swirling over his decision to go golfing last Thursday, one day after the Sox announced that they would skip his scheduled start on Saturday to rest the pitcher's stiff lat muscle, Beckett was knocked out after allowing seven runs on seven hits in just 2 1/3 innings to the Indians, setting in motion an 8-3 loss.

The Indians sent one rocket after another around the park, as Beckett allowed six extra-base hits -- four doubles, two homers -- in an outing that was tied for his shortest ever at Fenway Park. The right-hander struck out two and walked two while seeing his ERA rise from 4.45 to 5.97. Manager Bobby Valentine received a hearty ovation as he approached the mound to pull Beckett after Michael Brantley's two-run double; Beckett, meanwhile, was pounded with boos as he...

05/10/2012 - 7:46pm
Rivers: Hollins 'is playing better'

After grabbing the backup center job with a strong second half of the season, Greg Stiemsma has been losing some minutes to Ryan Hollins in Doc Rivers' rotation. Hollins has played 41 minutes the last four games after not playing at all in Game 1 and saw the court for 19 minutes in Game 5 to Stiemsma's four.

"The other guy is playing better," Rivers said meaning Hollins. "It’s a competition, always, and Ryan is playing terrific for us. Ryan’s minutes on the floor with Kevin [Garnett] are unbelievable. When you put him and Kevin on the floor together that’s our best defensive team."

The numbers back up Rivers' assertion. In 16 defensive possessions with Garnett and Hollins in the frontcourt, the Celtics have given up just 11 points and scored twenty five.

Rivers also said that he thought about making a lineup shift to take Avery Bradley off Joe Johnson, but ultimately decided to keep things as they are...

05/10/2012 - 7:43pm
Doc on Pierce injury: 'Not the best situation'

Doc Rivers confirmed that Paul Pierce will play in Game 6 Thursday night as the Celtics try to close out the Hawks in their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series. But the coach expressed concern that Pierce is not 100 percent after being diagnosed with an MCL sprain of his left following an injury last Sunday. 

"It's not the best situation, but he's going to play," Rivers said of Pierce, who scored 16 points in 36 minutes. "We just have to see what he can do on the floor."

Pierce was clearly limited defensively in the second half as Josh Smith, Marvin Williams and Al Horford all helped the Hawks build a 12-point lead, then built a nine-point lead before another Celtics rally fell short. 

Pierce injured the left knee when he stepped on a teammate's foot in shootaround on Sunday morning before Game 4. He aggravated it in the second quarter when he collided with Josh Smith, who was setting a screen. 

...

05/10/2012 - 5:44pm
Pats shuffle staff, Patricia named DC

The Patriots announced Thursday position responsibilities for six members on the current coaching staff. Matt Patricia has been named defensive coordinator, Josh Boyer will coach cornerbacks, Brian Flores will coach safeties, Patrick Graham will coach the defensive line and Pepper Johnson will coach the linebackers. On offense, George Godsey will coach the tight ends. In addition, Joe Judge has been named special teams assistant and Steve Belichick, son of the head coach, has been named a coaching assistant. For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.


05/10/2012 - 5:40pm
Ainge: C's view Game 6 as 'must win'

Danny Ainge made his weekly appearance on The Big Show on Thursday afternoon, just hours before the Celtics and Hawks play Game 6 of their first-round series at TD Garden. Ainge was first asked about Game 5, an 87-86 Hawks win that saw the Celtics fail to execute offensively down the stretch. 

"We didn't play well, I didn't think," said Ainge. "We had good spurts to get back in the game. It probably wasn't a game we deserved, although we had chances."

As for Game 6, Ainge expects the most intense game of the series to date from both Atlanta and Boston.

"I think both teams view this as a must win," Ainge said. "You have to. Obviously you have another shot at it in Game 7, but I think our guys will approach this game tonight, and Doc will coach it, like it's the end of the season type of game, elimination game. And that's how they'll coach it and play it."

Hawks co-owner Michael...

Audio On Demand

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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.

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Ep. 33: Chad Finn, Boston…

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