Hot! Triple Play: Tortorella, Celtics, Brees

Hello boys and girls, my name is Nicholas Kostopoulos and every Thursday of each week I will be posting an edition of my column “Triple Play.” I will pick three sports topics (with a bias towards those that are off the field) and offer a paragraph of commentary.

John Needs to Re-Tort Better

The New York Rangers suffered yet another game 2 loss in their road to the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals after losing to the New Jersey Devils. Coach John Tortorella was not pleased. Tortorella is an outstanding coach and the Rangers would not be where they are without his guidance, but his handling of last night’s post game press conference was unacceptable. The entire press conference was less then a minute and Tortorella refused to answer any specifics including why Marian Gaborik was benched in the 3rd period. Tortorella would only reveal that he was going to keep his opinions in-house and stated that the Rangers needed to play better as a hockey team. The fans love John Tortorella’s disciplinary and aggressive approach, but he painted himself and the team negatively by shutting out the media as he did. I may be one of those fans that likes Tortorella’s style, but even I thought he proved himself a sore loser last night and must handle adversity better when under the public microscope.


Celtics Easy Sell as Eastern Conference Favorites

The Boston Celtics have taken a 2-1 lead over the Philadelphia 76ers in their playoff matchup. PF Kevin Garnett lead the team with 27 points and 13 rebounds while PG Rajon Rondo and SF Paul Pierce each contributed 20+ points. Heading into the playoffs it was considered a foregone conclusion that the 1st seeded Chicago Bulls and 2nd seeded Miami Heat would meet in the Eastern Conference Finals. Untimely injuries to last season’s MVP PG Derek Rose and defensive stalwart C Joakim Noah left the Bulls helpless against the 8th seeded 76ers, who pulled off the upset. Now with PF/C Chris Bosh out indefinitely with a strained abdominal and with the Celtics aging players seemingly sipping from the fountain of youth, Miami is sure to be feeling the heat. Making matters worse for Miami is that they are currently down 2-1 in their matchup against the Indiana Pacers. Assuming the Celtics and Heat move on to the next round and if the Heat are unable to get back a healthy Bosh, I believe the Celtics will be able to pull off the upset and face either the Oklahoma City Thunder or the San Antonio Spurs in the finals. The Western Conference champion will be considered the favorite no matter who advances in the East, but the Celtics should be proud if they make it that far.


Saints Contract Negotiations With Star QB Far From a Brees 

The New Orleans Saints have had one of the worst NFL offseasons in league history. Between Bountygate and the reported use of audio recorders to steal opposing teams play calls, the Saints reputation has been tainted. Head coach Sean Payton is out for the season as is MLB Jon Vilma. Franchise QB Drew Brees who is coming off a record setting year and has lead the Saints to the playoffs three straight seasons was slapped with the exclusive rights franchise tag. This guarantees a 1 year contract for Brees but both the team and the elite QB have been negotiating a long term extension that was expected to be easy. Given the desperation the Saints must feel to restore their pride, Brees statistical success since becoming a Saint, and recent contracts being handed out to other elites such as Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, the framework for a long term deal is  already established. How the Saints haven’t completed a deal is astounding. The feeling is that Brees is asking to be paid similarly to the elite and rightfully so. I’ve always believed Brees is more a product of the Saints offense than he is an elite QB, but even if that were true whatever he is doing in New Orleans is working. Long term contracts with gigantic signing bonuses are supposed to be given to sure things like Drew Brees. With Brees at the helm, the Saints are a favorite to make the playoffs every season, so the fact they are dragging this process out is an absolute joke.


Nicholas Kostopoulos

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