Shanoff's WUC: Panic Time for Celtics Fans?

Today's Calls: Magic vs. Celtics, Kendrick Perkins vs. the NBA, Glen Davis vs. Dwight Howard's elbow, Suns bench vs. Lakers D, Red Sox wins vs. Celtics losses, Stephen Strasburg vs. Tim Lincecum, Roy Oswalt vs. Ubaldo Jimenez, Dwayne Bowe vs. "Importing," Zach Randolph vs. the Kansas athletic department, Alabama as No. 1 vs. Oklahoma as No. 1 (vs. Boise State as No. 1), Lee DeWyze vs. Idol history and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: Is it time for Celtics fans to panic? Why, yes. Yes, it is. ↵

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↵Big Baby's woozy walk up the court after taking a Dwight Howard elbow to the head couldn't have provided a more apt symbolism for the state of the Celtics. ↵

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↵Like the former boxing champ who starts strong, way up on points, only to get clocked in the head and begin to wobble. ↵

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↵Make no mistake: Theoretically, the Celtics still control the series. All they have to do is win Game 6 at home in Boston. ↵

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↵All they have to do... sure feels like a lot to ask for at this point. ↵

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↵The C's legs are rubbery. Their D is relenting. Their starting center technically should miss Game 6 (but will likely get a reprieve from the NBA, unless the league would rather see a Game 7 in the East than Celtics-Lakers in the Finals). Their backup center might play, but is coming off a concussion (let the discussion about concussions move from football to the NBA, stat). ↵

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↵Not even when the Red Sox won Game 5 against the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS -- expect a lot of that nostalgia -- did the momentum feel as shifted as things feel right now between the Magic and the Celtics. This context isn't nearly as dramatic as it was in 2004, but "first NBA team to lose a 3-0 playoff series lead" is not the coda that Boston fans want for their former champs. ↵

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↵Magic PG Jameer Nelson put it best: ↵

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↵"They have the pressure on them now." ↵

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↵If you are a Celtics fan and you are not panicking, it is only because you have already given up on your team. ↵

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↵Lakers-Suns Game 5: All eyes are on that Suns bench, which lit up the Lakers for 54 points in Game 4. The Suns don't need to win this game, but they are unlikely to have more momentum than they have right now. Even if they lose, they have to show that they can keep it close enough in LA to give them a puncher's chance when the series comes back for Game 7. ↵

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↵MLB Talking Points: ↵

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↵• It is as if the Celtics lost their mojo... ever since the Red Sox started rolling. ↵

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↵• Um, no, I don't think the Nats would trade Strasburg for Lincecum. ↵

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↵• Speaking of trades, Roy Oswalt helped his trade value a bit (9K, 0 ER). ↵

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↵• Most unlikely result of the season: The Mets shutting out the Phillies for the 2nd straight game. ↵

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↵• Quote: "Sometimes he thinks people pay to watch him umpire." Ejected Ozzie on ump Joe West. ↵

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↵• Walk-Off Watch: Jerry Hairston HR lifts Padres over Cards. ↵

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↵• Stud: Ubaldo! 9th win after 8 shutout IP, lowering his ERA to 0.88. Enough said. ↵

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↵NFL Offseason: Is anyone really surprised that "importing" happens? ↵

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↵CBB Offseason: Uh-oh, Kansas. Ticket-scalping scams are the new recruiting violations. ↵

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↵CFB Offseason: Alabama is SN's preseason No. 1 and pick to repeat as national champs. But that's not the fun part; the fun part is scanning SN's Top 100 list, which has Boise State -- my pick -- sitting on the outside looking in at No. 3. ↵

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↵(Meanwhile, Phil Steele's season preview is always an offseason highlight. I respect his analysis tremendously, but Oklahoma as preseason No. 1? Not feeling it. FWIW, SN has OU at No. 10.) ↵

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↵Stanley Cup: Marian Hossa could be the name of the playoffs -- 3 straight Stanley Cups with 3 different teams. Check out his backstory here. ↵

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↵World Cup: Herculez Gomez is on the USMNT World Cup roster. Now, can we please get his jersey to say "Herculez" on the back, rather than "Gomez?" Recently hobbled Brian Ching, a vet of the 2006 USMNT Cup squad, is not. ↵

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↵Scandals: Umm... Z-Bo? ↵

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↵The Last Word: Lee DeWyze winning "Idol" is the biggest competition win for the city of Chicago since the last Jordan-Bulls title in 1998. (BTW: That show will never be the same without Simon.) ↵

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↵Dan Shanoff writes The Wake-Up Call every weekday morning for SportingNews.com and blogs daily at DanShanoff.com. Got any comments, questions or feedback? Email Dan at shanofftsn-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/danshanoff. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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