Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Top 10 Moments of 2011: Part 2

Scroll down for the first part of this series; our honorable mentions and numbers 10 and 9.

#8 Celtics Sweep Knicks

Last June, New York's increasing relevance in professional basketball hit a high for the new millennium following the signing of Carmelo Anthony. Although Boston won the division by 14 games the Knicks had been seemed to gel at the right time with all of their pieces in place. Now equipped with two superstars in th
eir prime, as well as former Finals MVP Chauncey Billups, New York brazenly announced their presence as a contender.

Experts predicted if the C's were to win the series it would have to be a 6 or 7 game triumph. What ensued was a dominanting defensive effort from the banged up former champs in the first two games at TD Garden. 5 combined points separated the teams in the first two games, both going to the home team. Coach Mike D'Antoni's offensive scheme was shut down, as the Knicks were held to 85 and 93 points in the first two games.

When the series shifted to MSG, the expectation was that the excitement of having playoff ball back at the Mecca would give New York a decided advantage to get back into the ser
ies. Paul Pierce's 38 point night coupled with Rajon Rondo's 20 assist effort in game three put
the series away in a 17 point thrashing. Five C's reached double figures in game 4 as the Celtics completed the sweep.

#7 TIE: Drew Bledsoe's Induction into Patriots Hall of Fame
His internal bleeding was the greatest thing that ever happened to the organization, but no player had a bigger impact in turning the team from the worst in the NFL to what we have today. He took the team from dead last in the entire league to the Super Bowl in just four years. He never gets enough credit for how he handled losing his job due to that injury but the ovation he received at halftime during the Chargers game was enough to give any longtime Pats fan goosebumps.

#7 TIE: Tim Wakefield's 200th Career Victory

This probably would have been higher if it didn't happen halfway into the worst month of my life
as a Sox fan. It also would have carried more weight if it didn't take 29 tries to do it with the wild card on the line and the Sox blowing huge leads, specifically that game in late August in
Toronto. But with only 89 pitchers in the history of the game reaching this milestone, and having one be such an icon of class and success for this generation, you just can't make a list without Wake. And the tribute on the jumbotron after the game had to find its way into the blog.

TOMORROW: #'s 6 and 5 feature a record setting performance and an overtime thriller.

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