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The Celtics, Bruins, Red Sox, and the art of the channel flip

Posted by Adam Kaufman  May 2, 2013 11:43 AM

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Three games. One start-time. One TV.

By now, you know that the Celtics forced a Game 6, the Bruins dominated Game 1, and the Red Sox started May just the way they spent most of April. But do you know what it felt like to be at all three games at once? The emotion of simultaneously seeing both everything and nothing?

Welcome to my living room for a retrospective minute-by-minute look at a banner night for the boys from Boston. Buckle up.

7:00 p.m. (Comcast SportsNet New England) -- Mike Gorman and Tom Heinsohn are previewing a must-win affair for the C's at Madison Square Garden, while I settle in on my couch with my laptop, remote and otherwise complete concentration. Not even twitter was gifted a tab in my browser. That kind of sounded dirty.

7:03 (NESN) -- Jack Edwards and Andy Brickley are discussing Phil Kessel and his hot finish to the regular season, along with the Maple Leafs' struggles against his former Bruins team. Like it or not, Phil, it's still a story.

7:05 (NESN Plus) -- Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy are calling games for the team du jour after an 18-8 April, as the broadcasters ponder who will lead the team in May. Time for the batting order. Stephen Drew's profiled with his .300 average and 3 RBI over his last three games, begging the sarcastic question, who's Jose Iglesias? Mark Buehrle's on the hill, and he's not enjoying his return to the AL. Try to spin a 1-1 record in 5 starts with a 6.35 ERA. Cue Jerry's, "Buenos noches, amigos!" Adios, RemDawg!

7:07 -- Doc Rivers says the Celtics need to limit the Knicks' shots. Whatever, man, just score more points.

7:08 -- Rene Rancourt's serenading the Garden with the national anthem as a more tempered crowd sings along quietly from the stands. My wife's singing while she swiffers the floor, followed closely by a shedding dog. Rene finishes with two pumps and a point. That definitely sounded dirty.

7:10 -- Tommy's breaking down his keys to the game. "Play free and easy, get it and go, don't worry about turnovers,'' he says. Meanwhile, sideline reporter Greg Dickerson is all over the Knicks' latest fashion statement: Wearing black means we're going to kill you. It's also very slimming.

7:12 --  Already a penalty on Patrice Bergeron?! Well, at least the Leafs are 1-for-11 on the power play against the Bruins this year and the B's have converted 87 percent of the time on the pena-- oh, C'MON! James van Riemsdyk just scored 1:54 in after a pair of nice stops by Tuukka Rask. This could be a long night.

7:20 -- Oh, right, there's a baseball game on. Clay Buchholz walked Colby Rasmus. I don't care anymore; it's the playoffs.

7:21 -- Celtics trail 9-0, while Iman Shumpert and his 3-foot tall flattop dominate my screen. Don't worry, he Ain't Gonna Hurt Nobody. Brandon Bass travels right out of a timeout, the team's third turnover in four minutes. I want to cry. My 9-month-old son already is.

7:23 -- Well, well, the C's are finally on the board after a couple of Bass free throws. It's 11-2, New York, 4:30 in. Maybe there's a run coming?

7:27 -- Bruins still down 1-0 with 12 minutes to play in the first. I think Milan Lucic just hit a guy! Maybe I'm imagining things.

7:28 -- Jaromir Jagr has such great hands and puck control, and the B's seem to be moving their feet and skating well. Call me crazy, but I'm actually feeling good about this game if the Bruins keep up their physical, aggressive play.

7:29 -- Brad Marchand with a nifty stick-handle, but he lost the puck trying to find Tyler Seguin. Flashback to summer 2011 when never lost his buddy in the bar. Admittedly, hockey's harder.

7:30 -- The C's are getting something going. Knicks lead 19-14, and Tommy and Mike are debating whether Kevin Garnett sold a foul. Which way do you suppose Tommy's leaning? KG knocks down the freebies and his team is down three.

7:32 -- Home run Stephen Drew into the second deck! Somewhere JD nods feverishly in approval, then naps after hitting his emotional ceiling. It's 2-0 Red Sox in the second inning.

7:40 -- All three games at a commercial. I don't know what to do. Maybe I'll go to the bathroom. Rats, hockey's back. Time to cross my legs.

7:42 -- Wade Redden scores! Tie game with 3:40 to go. Now would be a good time to see how Dougie Hamilton's doing on the press level.

7:44 -- Seguin's hacked, and the B's are heading on the power play. Good puck movement -- James Reimer lost his stick! Get the puck to the net! Hey! You! IN FRONT! THEY DON'T HEAR ME! THEY DON'T HEAR JACK! MY DOG'S BARKING! KASPARS DAUGAVINS IS BARKING! Leafs take it the other way -- THEY HIT A POST! HAS REIMER FOUND HIS STICK? B's return fire -- REDDEN SCORES AGAIN! WHAT JUST HAPPENED?! KEEP HAMILTON AWAY FROM THE DESSERT CART!

7:48 -- They're reviewing the goal to see if Nathan Horton tipped the puck in with a high stick -- there was definitely contact. It's low enough, the goal counts, and credit it to Horton. Redden with a 2-point game, and somewhere Connecticut Whale fans are going wild. 2-1, Bruins with 11.7 seconds to play.

7:50 -- Commercial break for the Celtics. A check of the Sox. The Bruins' first period ends and NESN brings in the split-screen to connect the four announcers. #Synergy. Red Sox on top 2-0 in the bottom of the third inning. This game is moving. Dare I say, Clay is molding the strike zone? Yeah, I'd stop reading, too.

7:53 -- Garnett has 6 points and 6 rebounds and the Celtics are down 28-26 with 8:14 to go in the second quarter. More potential retirement talk. Personally, I'd be shocked if KG's not back in Boston next year.

7:55 -- From what I've seen, Brandon Bass is the best player on the floor. No idea what the stats are, but he's in the right spot for rebounds and playing with confidence.

7:57 -- Pierce -- FOR THREE! The Celtics with their first lead of the night at 34-33 with 5:30 to go in the half.

7:58 -- Still the bottom of the third inning in the Sox-Jays game. Seems I jinxed the speed. Buchholz just struck out Brett Lawrie and he saunters away to get another tattoo. 2-0, Boston.

8:02 -- Avery Bradley's having a rough series for the C's. He just missed two quick shots. Remember, at the start of the year, when most of us refused to really evaluate the Celtics  season until they had a healthy Bradley? Ah well. Hey, as I type that, a lay-up! Tommy point!

8:05 -- Tuned to the Red Sox in time for a replay of a Mike Napoli home run -- but I didn't miss Daniel Nava! Back-to-back jacks and it's 4-0, Sawx. That's the fourth time the team's hit consecutive long-balls this year and the third time Nava's been involved. Thanks to Don and the guys in the truck for the nugget.

8:08 -- Final two minutes of the half, Celtics up 38-37. WOW. Paul Pierce with a pass to KG that came straight outta 2007.

8:12 -- JET LANDING! Jason Terry buries a shot from long-distance to give the C's a 45-39 halftime advantage, thanks to an 11-2 run. MSG is a very quiet building. Don't worry, Rod Stewart's coming to town in December.

8:17 -- The Leafs haven't had an offensive opportunity since I flipped this on. Wait, Kessel just found the back of the net. Literally, he went into the net, back-first. Does that count?

8:17 -- Adam Lind's up for the Blue Jays. Fun fact: he played for the Single A Auburn Doubledays when I called their games back in 2004. A smooth-talking, chill kid from 'Bama who loved LeBron James sneakers. He also preferred walking to the plate without intro music at home games because he didn't have it on the road and he was hitting better away from Falcon Park. Total silence. You may have heard, athletes are superstitious.

8:20 -- NESN is promoting the Bruins Beard-A-Thon. Far and away, my favorite tradition in the playoffs across sports. Remember those crazy beards the B's had back in 2011? It's 2-1 Bruins with about 13 minutes to play in the second. In case you forgot from when you started reading this last month, Wade Redden has two points in this game. Just seems like that should be noted every once in a while.

8:24 -- Big save by Rask on a Tyler Bozak breakaway! Still 2-1. Note to Tuukka, if you want that $5.5-6.5M annual salary, keep making plays like that!

8:25 -- Why did David Krejci just pass on that opportunity in front of the net? He left it for Horton, the puck bounces to Lucic, pops to Krejci -- and FATE INTERVENES! B's go up 3-1 with 9:35 left in the period.

8:27-- Maybe good teams can just flip a switch in the playoffs? Huh.

8:34 -- Back to the Celtics in time for a Bass lay-in and it's 49-42 with 10:17 to go in the third quarter. What a couple of games this guy's stringing together. Hope it's not too late.

8:36 -- Pierce with another 3-pointer! C's up 8, while they're 5-for-10 from behind the arc.

8:38 -- Jeff Green traveled. Spike Lee called him out to Joey Crawford. No one likes a snitch, Spike.

8:39 -- Uh oh. Suddenly a 2-point game. Celts are cold from the field and Raymond Felton is raining buckets. Timeout, Doc, timeout.

8:40 -- Turned to the Red Sox in time for Drew to hit into a double play. Has anyone else batted tonight? Sox lead, 4-0, middle of the 6th.

8:42 -- The Bruins now lead the Leafs 4-1 with about 2 minutes to go in the second. Apparently I missed a Johnny Rocket! The Bs are running away with this thing. I predicted a series win in six games. Looks like it won't take that long.

8:45 -- Terry knocks down another 3-ball and the C's lead by 5 in the middle of the third quarter. It took almost 90 games, but the old man is coming around. Who needs Ray Allen?

8:51 -- J.R. Smith is 0-for-6 from the field. My heart bleeds for him.

8:51 -- Hey, more synergy on NESN with another cross-continent chat. Red Sox up 4-0, top of the 7th. Buchholz must be having himself a game. Buehrle is not, and he was just pulled.

8:54 -- Pierce has 10 of his 16 points in the third quarter and the C's lead by 6. Melo (no, not Fab) is struggling at 1-for-10 from the field.

8:58 -- Terry with another 3 to make it 69-60 after 36 minutes. Hard not to feel good about this one, but it's the NBA and, as we know, everyone goes on a run.

8:59 -- David Ortiz brings his .500 average, .917 slugging percentage and 15 RBI to the plate with two men on. Wild pitch, 5-0 Sox. A dejected Mark Buehrle in the dugout thinks back to the glory days playing for Ozzie Guillen.

9:03 -- NAPOLI CLUBS HIS SECOND HOME RUN OF THE GAME after Ortiz is intentionally walked! Did the caps lock get your attention? Sox, 8-0. Why am I still watching this game? And is Napoli the best bargain in baseball?

9:04 -- Celts still lead by nine and Smith is 0-for-10 from the field.

9:09 -- Bruins ahead 4-1. Jack Edwards points out this has arguably been Boston's best 45-minute stretch all season. Brick notes, the B's still have a long way to 60.

9:21 -- This C's-Knicks game could come down to the wire. Mike Gorman just said the Celtics haven't scored in 3:13. Great, here we go.

9:23 -- Bass brings the lead back to 10 with 5:30 to go, followed by ANOTHER Terry trey. Advantage, 13. Knick confidence, fragile.

9:25 -- The Bruins narrowly missed scoring chances by Krejci and Lucic and it's still 4-1 with 10:33 to go. Odd-man rushes benefit the Bs, 7-2. Odd players are a wash.

9:26 -- Celtics up 80-71 with 3:45 to go as Green is fouled going to the basket. I'm still not a big fan of the guy, but you can't deny his athleticism. It's nice to see his confidence evolve since Rajon Rondo went down. He's no longer afraid to charge the bucket without a clear lane. 

9:29 -- J.R. Smith's 3 is sandwiched by a pair of Green long-ball's and the C's are on top by 12 with about 2 minutes left. O-V-A.

9:30 -- Buchholz is out after seven 2-hit, 8-strikeout innings and Lawrie triples in a run off Alex Wilson to cut the Jays' deficit to 8-1. Seriously, I still have no idea who Alex Wilson is. Back to the games that matter.

9:31 -- Jack Edwards notes we've got him on the call for at least the first 5 games, so break out your Bingo cards. Down to the final 8 minutes. Gregory Campbell's line, by all accounts, has been great. Lots of energy early when the team needed a wake-up call. As Nick Cage would say, that's high praise.

9:34 -- Remember when the B's trailed 1-0? Me either.

9:35 -- Remember when you started reading this? You may have to shave again.

9:36 -- Celts by five with 65 seconds left in New York. What the heck happened here? Now Rondo's coaching. Never mind, he was just signaling to his teammates that they've still got a 20-second timeout to burn. Or he was directing Knicks fans to the exits? Jumper for KG with 48.3 to go. 90-83. What retirement?

9:38 -- Another monster game for Garnett. He's got 14 points and his third straight 17 rebound contest. He's never done that as a Celtic. Footnote: he's 36.

9:40 -- Smith missed another shot, and Garnett gets the board. A Bass bucket here and you'd have a pretty fair representation of the game.

9:41 -- Game over. Celtics win, 92-86. They trailed 11-0, you know. Game 6 Friday in Boston.

9:44 -- Garbage time wraps up for the Bruins and it's another game over as the Bruins win 4-1 to take the opener. The shots were 40-20 in favor of the good guys and it was indeed a 60-minute effort. Ya hear Redden had 2 points?

9:46 -- The Sox lead 9-1 now in the top of the ninth. I missed Mike Carp's second homer of the season and the fifth for Boston on the night. Don and Jerry are talking about trips to Subway in Toronto. This is the baseball broadcast equivalent of Red Auerbach lighting a cigar.

9:48 -- RBI single for Nava to drive in Napoli and it's 10-1.

9:49 -- Drew singles to give him a three-hit game. He's now finally batting (.193) higher than his weight (190 pounds).

9:53 -- Lind walks to start the bottom of the ninth. Please don't drag this out. Don and Jerry are really making me hungry.

9:59 -- Clayton Mortensen strikes out Henry Blanco after a Mark DeRosa double play. Game over. Red Sox with a 10-1 final, a 6-0 Buchholz, and a perfect night across the Boston sports landscape, all in a tight 3-hour package.

10:00 -- Finally, I can go to the bathroom. If you had time to read this, you were probably in there, too. Glad we're bonding.

Follow me on Twitter at @AdamMKaufman

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
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About this blog

Adam Kaufman is a writer and broadcaster who can also be heard regularly on 98.5 The Sports Hub, WBZ NewsRadio 1030, the national CBS Sports Radio Network, and broadcasting Boston College hockey games. The Massachusetts native is a Syracuse grad and a pop culture fanatic who offers a unique and entertaining look at your favorite Boston sports teams. Please don't hold his love for Jean-Claude Van Damme movies against him.

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