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May 3, 2013

Crunch Time

Move pays off

Bruins head coach Claude Julien’s decision to sit Rich Peverly and Dougie Hamilton in game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals was fairly controversial, but it paid off. At least the decision to play Wade Redden over Hamilton did. The veteran defenseman had a solid game in his own end and chipped in a goal and an assist in the Bruins 4-1 win.

Hamilton, who won the Bruins’ seventh player award this season, is a future star but a healthy Redded was the better play from the start as he outplayed the rookie down the stretch in a similar role.

Pervely’s replacement, Kasper Daugavins, didn’t do anything that Peverly can’t do. Hopefully the slumping Bruins forward will be back in the lineup for game two, but on a short leash.

Shades of 2004?

Maybe the talks of the Celtics pulling off a comeback down 3-0 the same way the Red Sox did in 2004 is a bit premature, but given the Knicks track record it’s definitely a possibility.

New York has a lot of players with fragile personalities. We’ve all seen Carmello Anthony hurt his team with his selfish play, see the Celtics sweep of the Knicks in 2011, and players like J.R. Smith and Kenyon Martin could implode at any time. Combine that with the Celtics ability to play through adversity and get in an opponents head and you have all the makings of a comeback.

Unfortunately, this Celtics team won’t have enough in the tank to pull it off. Combine that with shortcomings in the ball handling and rebounding departments and its clear that the Celtics still have a lot of work to do before anybody can get too excited at the prospects of a comeback.

They will probably force a game seven, but the younger and fresher Knicks, who may be immature and fragile, ride their youth and top of the line scorer in Anthony to a game seven win.

Rays, ump fined

Rays pitchers David Price and Jeremy Hellickson along with umpire Tom Hallion were fined in the aftermath of an altercation last week.

Hallion ejected Price from the game after arguing balls and strikes. Price was irate and accused Hallion of cursing at him during their exchange and was backed up by Hellickson.

-Compiled by Nick Curcuru

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