David Krejci, Charlie McAvoy React To Bruins’ 5-3 Loss Vs. Penguins

The Boston Bruins showed some fight Friday night at PPG Paints Arena, but they were unable to extend their winning streak.
Pittsburgh jumped out to a 3-1 lead, but the Bruins stormed back to tie the game midway through the third period. Boston couldn’t finish the job, though, as the Penguins scored the final two goals to earn a 5-3 win.

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After the loss, David Krejci and Charlie McAvoy discussed the loss and lamented their inability to complete the comeback once the momentum had turned in their favor.
To hear from Krejci and McAvoy, check out the “NESN Sports Today” video above, presented by People’s United Bank.

Max Kellerman Lays Out Three Reasons Why Steelers Will Beat Patriots

History would tell you to take the New England Patriots over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, but Max Kellerman is going against the grain.
The Patriots have claimed victory in their last five meetings with the Steelers, and Tom Brady owns a career 11-2 record against Pittsburgh. Still, the “First Take” co-host believes there is more than one reason to like the Steelers’ chances in Week 15.
Kellerman on Friday highlighted not one, not two, but three reasons why the Steelers will take down the Patriots at Heinz Field. Let’s just say the talking head’s points certainly are up for debate.

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While the Steelers, losers of three straight, undoubtedly are the more desperate team, the Patriots have quite a bit on the line as well. New England will be looking to rebound from its ugly Week 14 loss to the Miami Dolphins, and the two-time reigning AFC champions in all likelihood will need to win their final three regular-season games if they have any hope of securing the No. 1 seed.
There’s also no denying the Patriots’ road struggles this season, but Heinz Field never really has intimidated New England throughout the Brady-Bill Belichick era. Not to mention, the Pats have claimed victory in two of the tougher stadiums for visitors this season: Soldier Field and New Era Field.
Lastly, Kellerman’s utmost confidence that Mike Tomlin will make the proper coaching adjustments against New England seems like a reach. Tomlin isn’t a terrible X’s and O’s coach, but the Steelers haven’t exactly been strangers to crumbling in big moments under his watch.
All things considered, Kellerman might have been going too far out on a limb with his Patriots-Steelers prediction.

Celtics Notes: Robert Williams Continues To Impress When Given Opportunity

It’s time to bow down to the Time Lord.
Initially, all the talk of a nickname for Boston Celtics rookie Robert Williams III seemed a tad premature.
The Texas A&M product, while possessing elite athleticism, was unlikely to see a ton of playing time for a team that is loaded with talent vying for an NBA title. But with Al Horford nursing knee tendinitis, Williams has made the most of the playing time he’s gotten and shown why he was so highly touted prior to the NBA draft.
Williams had another strong showing Friday night in the Celtics’ 129-108 destruction of the Atlanta Hawks at TD Garden. In 16 minutes, the rookie tallied five blocks, five rounds and one thunderous dunk off a lob from Kyrie Irving.
Let’s go to the tape:

Time Lord Block Party!5 blocks in 16 minutes played tonight.(@AAANe_MAnews) #AAANortheast pic.twitter.com/1XuimPIQoM
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) December 15, 2018

Here’s the dunk:

Let's try this again. Kyrie to Time Lord That sounds better…(@AAANe_MAnews) #AAANortheast pic.twitter.com/bXaOuOU5ET
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) December 15, 2018

And here’s (probably) head coach Brad Stevens’ reaction to a few of those blocks.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images
That was our reaction as well, Brad.
“He has a chance to be a really good player,” Stevens said, via The Boston Herald. “He does a lot of good things and he’s got a lot of room to grow. That’s the bottom line. The athletic ability is incredible. Everybody can see that; that’s what gets everyone excited.

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“Things he didn’t do as well on Wednesday night (in Washington), he’s in working on yesterday before our film session,” he said. “He’s talking to some of the older players about how to handle certain situations after the film session. That’s really good. He wants to be good. He’s worked hard. If he continues that, I don’t see how he’s not successful.”
When Horford returns, Williams likely will go back to splitting time between Boston and Maine, but he’s shown Stevens he can be a valuable member of this season’s team when called upon. And Stevens believes the young big man has what it takes to reach his lofty potential.
Here are more notes from Celtics-Hawks:
–The Celtics now have scored 113-plus points in eight straight games, marking the team’s longest such streak since the 1990-1991 season. Boston has scored 120 or more points in six of the team’s last eight games. The C’s are averaging 125.4 points per game during their winning streak.
— And then there’s this.

The @celtics have won 8 in a row, with a +182 point differential over that span.
That is Boston's best point differential over any 8-game span within a season in team history.
The last team to have a better point diff over an 8-game span was the Suns in April 1989.#CUsRise
— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) December 15, 2018

— Marcus Morris now has scored 20-plus points in three straight games. The veteran forward knocked down a career-high six 3-pointers in the win over the Hawks.
— Gordon Hayward returned after missing two games with an illness and didn’t seem to miss a beat, scoring 19 points before leaving the game with a cut on his tongue in the third quarter.
— The Celtics now have scored 87 points in the first quarter against the Hawks this season.

Jim Bob Howard, Billy Charley, & Floyd DeGraw: 5 Fast Facts

Jim Bob Howard, Billy Charley and Floyd DeGraw are two men who grew up in Ada, Oklahoma, and are mentioned within Netflix’s The Innocent Men in the context of the Donna Denise Haraway murder.
The three men have never been considered to be official suspects in the Haraway investigation, and all three have since maintained their innocence to Netflix in The Innocent Man. However, investigative reporter AC Shilton and private investigator Dan Clark, as well as several witness affidavits uncovered by Netflix, have since suggested that the three men could all have been considered suspects in the Haraway investigation, for various reasons.
Currently, Howard and Charley are living in the midwest, and DeGraw is an inmate at a West Virginia prison. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Billy Charley Still Resides in the Ada, Oklahoma Area; Howard’s Location is Unknown
Donna Denise Haraway
Another Ada resident, Bobby Ross, said to Netflix that he had offered Howard and Charley some money one night when they were all younger, and that they had “knocked him out” once went outside. “I was unconscious til’ three days later,” he said.
Kim Byars, another Ada resident, said, “Billy Charley was a pretty scary guy.”

2. Billy Charley Was Cited by Multiple Witnesses to Be a Close Match to the Suspect Sketch in the Denise Haraway Kidnapping
Tommy Ward Confession Footage
“Billy Charley was the person that many believed matched one of the sketches of the suspects in the Denise Haraway case,” Clark said. Shilton also cited another piece of evidence in which a boy named David Yockey told police in a sworn affadavit that he knew both Tommy Ward and Billy Charley, and that the sketch closely matched Charley’s features. What’s more, he added, “Billy Charley-moreso than anyone I knew in the 1980s- was wild enough and mean enough to have kidnapped and killed Denice Haraway.”
Charley had been arrested on more than one occasion for violent crimes, including assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and assault and battery upon a police officer. Other offenses included possession of a controlled substance, a DUI, and leaving the scene of an accident, according to Oklahoma Court Records. 
Charley also used his parents as an alibi on the night of Haraway’s disappearance; the truck that was suspected to have been used to kidnap Haraway was the same color and style of Charley’s truck.
On the phone, Ward said to Netflix, “I knew that they had mentioned Billy Charley being a suspect…but there was a conversation that Billy told me after I had seen him at McAlester [Penitentiary] where he told me that they had went down to the police whenever they had asked him to come in for questioning and that he had told them that he had been at home with his family all day. I remember him telling me that he had made a mistake He said that at the time of the disappearance that he was at Broadway Bar, drinking.”
What’s more, Clark told Shilton that although multiple people had confirmed to him that the police had interviewed Charley during the investigation, there was no proof or report that that had taken place.

3. In an Affidavit by an Anonymous Friend of Howard’s, He Claimed Howard Confessed to Shooting a ‘Young Female Clerk’
Karl Fontenot at the time of his arrest
In an affidavit shown on Netflix, a friend of Howard’s claimed that in September 2009, Howard and a man whose last name was “Stane” were drinking when Howard said he couldn’t return to Ada because of “what he had done there.”
The affidavit continues (and can be seen on the fifth episode, 29 minutes in), “He explained that he and two friends of his had done some robberies in Ada. During those robberies, they shot a young female clerk. His other two friends got in trouble for the murder but he did not.”

4. Both Jim Bob Howard & Billy Charley Are Videotaped Having Conversations With Johnny Daniels on The Innocent Man
Oklahoma State Prison SystemKarl Fontenot, 8/10/1964
Throughout episode four of The Innocent Man, Daniels has several conversations with both Howard and Charley.  “Jim Bob Howard…is still just bumming around, doing nothing,” Johnny Daniels said. When he was asked to describe what Howard was like growing up, Daniels said, “I don’t think there’s much that [Howard] would want me to say on camera.”
At one point, Howard says to Daniels, “I got messed up with them lawyers and this sh*t, and I don’t want to mess with no people at all, know what I mean?”
He continued, “I don’t know nothing about nothing, know what I mean?”
In a separate instance on the phone, Charley said to Daniels, “My name is clear. I ain’t the goddamn one in prison…I get pissed, you know? If he done it, he done it, you get me?”

5. Floyd DeGraw  Was an Ada, Oklahoma Man Who Was Convicted of Two Separate Rape Cases & One Murder
West Virginia Correctional FacilitiesFloyd DeGraw
MAN described DeGraw, another man who grew up in Ada at the time of the Haraway disappearance, as “a predator at that time.” MAN continues, “He had the wherewithal, mentally and physically, where he could have taken her and raped a young girl like that. I think it’s possible.”
DeGraw was notably picked up on a separate rape and kidnapping charge in the town of Canyon, Texas, two nights after the disappearance of Haraway. MAN notes that when police went through DeGraw’s car, they found two separate purses with ID’s of women from Ada. MAN also said that when he was questioned by police, he refused to answer any questions about the Haraway case.
DeGraw was convicted in Texas, then moved home to West Virginia where he was charged once more with raping a woman, this time also murdering her.
In a phone call with DeGraw from prison, he said to _____, “If I had anything to do with anything like that, I’d tell the police… I really ain’t got nothing to lose. What makes you think that those two guys out there didn’t do that?”
DeGraw continued, “If you are right [about Ward and Fontenot], then God bless you for getting them out and doing the right thing, but if you get them out and something else happens later on, then what’s going to happen? Just be for sure that you know they didn’t do it.”
According to West Virginia prison records, Floyd is currently incarcerated at West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation, serving out a prison sentence for first-degree murder. He does not have a projected parole hearing date or release date.

Trevor Ariza Trade: Wizards Roster & Starting Lineup After Deal

Multiple teams had reportedly been in the mix as a potential trade partner for Phoenix Suns forward Trevor Ariza. But it was the Washington Wizards who came out of left field to strike a three-team deal on Friday night and bolster their roster a bit. The deal certainly shakes things up in Washington and provides a new start for a few players.
Here’s a look at the deal, courtesy of ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. It features Ariza going to the Wizards, Kelly Oubre to the Memphis Grizzlies and Austin Rivers, MarShon Brooks and Wayne Selden heading to the Suns.

As part of a three-team deal nearing completion: Ariza to the Wizards, Kelly Oubre to the Memphis Grizzlies and Austin Rivers and two Grizzlies role players to Suns, league sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/1EmRCHrjOP
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 15, 2018

Clarify: MarShon Brooks, not Dillon.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 15, 2018

Following the deal, it creates a new-look Wizards roster and likely a starting lineup change as well. Let’s take a look at Washington’s new-look group.

Wizards Roster & Starting Lineup After Trevor Ariza Trade
*Notates projected starter
C: Dwight Howard* (injured), Thomas Bryant, Ian Mahinmi
PF: Otto Porter*, Markieff Morris, Jeff Green, Okaro White
SF: Trevor Ariza*, Sam Dekker, Troy Brown
SG: Bradley Beal*, Tomas Satoransky, Devin Robinson, Jordan McRae
PG: John Wall*, Chasson Randle
The deal certainly makes things interesting for the Wizards but came with a bit of backlash from some fans. A part of that has to do with the fact that this leaves the team incredibly thin at point guard behind John Wall. With that said, Tomas Satoransky and Bradley Beal are both capable of running the point.
This all comes shortly after the trade rumors previously swirling around Washington cooled off quite a bit. This obviously doesn’t mean the Wizards won’t remain active and possibly even move one of their key pieces, but there’s a reason to believe they got better here. Specifically, the addition of Ariza will improve things on the defensive end, and he’s also a solid outside shooter who could benefit from playing alongside Wall.
READ NEXT: Kevin Love Trade: Rockets & Blazers Linked, but It’ll Cost Them

Bruce Cassidy Laments Bruins’ Lack Of Execution In Loss Vs. Penguins

The Boston Bruins weren’t able to complete their comeback Friday night at PPG Paints Arena.
Boston trailed the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1 entering the third period, but the B’s battled back to tie the game midway through the final frame. But a crucial icing penalty allowed Pittsburgh to take a faceoff in Boston’s zone, leading to Jake Guentzel tipping home the go-ahead goal.

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After the Bruins’ 5-3 loss, head coach Bruce Cassidy was disappointed with his team’s lack of execution on the crucial icing penalty.
To hear from Cassidy, check out the “Bruins Overtime Live” video above, presented by Ace Ticket.

John Wall Trade: Wizards All Star Bradley Beal Is ‘Frustrated’ Says NBA Insider

With the news this evening that the Washington Wizards are in advanced talks on a deal to acquire Phoenix forward, Trevor Ariza, here’s the million dollar question:
Is John Wall or Bradley Beal leaving our nation’s capital as a member of the Washington Wizards. 

The Washington Wizards are in advanced talks on a deal to acquire Phoenix forward Trevor Ariza, league sources tell ESPN. Teams trying to finalize a multi-team trade tonight.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 15, 2018

“Well right now Bradley [Beal] is frustrated,” NBA Insider, Chris Sheridan told me last week on the Scoop B Radio Podcast. 
“If the Wizards want to move him they will get a high price for him. You know Beal has a big contract. John Wall has a big contract as well.”
GettyJohn Wall
The Ariza sweeptakes has heated up.
Earlier this week, the Los Angeles Lakers were seen as the highest bidder.

Hearing the third team in potential Trevor Ariza Lakers/Suns deal would be the Philadelphia 76ers.
Currently being discussed per source: LA giving up KCP & a 1st round pick, Phoenix Suns giving up Trevor Ariza, & the Philadelphia 76ers giving up Markelle Fultz, Shake Milton. pic.twitter.com/x5AH9InLl3
— Brandon Robinson (@ScoopB) December 10, 2018

A league source shared that the Philadelphia 76ers, Lakers and Suns were mulling over a trade scenario whereTrevor Ariza and Shake Milton would head to the Los Angeles Lakers, with Markelle Fultz joining the Phoenix Suns.Rounding out the deal, the Sixers will acquire Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and a future first-round pick.
That move seemed to have soured. 
On the John Wall side, talks of the Knicks becoming a player in getting John Wall was rumored.
“They don’t have anything,” Chris Sheridan told Scoop B Radio. “There’s nothing for them to give up other than Porzingis.”
Added Sheridan: “I don’t see either one going to the Knicks.

Bruins Notes: Boston’s Fourth Line A Bright Spot In Loss To Penguins

The Boston Bruins’ top trio rightfully has received the bulk of the praise this season, but it was another line that kept the Black and Gold in the thick of things Friday night.
Bruce Cassidy shuffled up his fourth line a bit for the matchup with the Pittsburgh Penguins, as Noel Acciari returned to the lineup to center Sean Kuraly and Chris Wagner.
While the B’s ultimately fell 5-3 at PPG Paints Arena, it’s safe to say the head coach’s decision paid dividends.
Boston’s new-look fourth line fought hard to earn the visitor’s first goal of the game, as the troika grinded away to keep the puck in Pittsburgh’s zone before Brandon Carlo buried his first goal of the season. The Black and Gold’s second tally featured a bit more finesse, as Chris Wagner zipped a slap shot home to spark the Bruins’ rally.
Cassidy certainly liked what he saw from the fourth line, and he shed some light on his decision making after the game.
“It frees Sean up to do a little more forecheck and play below their goal line a little bit more with the puck and not have to worry about getting 180 feet if it gets turned over,” Cassidy said, as seen on NESN’s Bruins postgame coverage. “I like his closing ability in D-zone, I also like his puck protection when he’s on. Wagner’s been good at that. Noel, coming back into the lineup, I’ve always liked him as a center iceman, trust him to play there. So hey, focus on being the low guy in our end, doing a good job there, let your wingers work. So it worked out tonight, they were very good.”
It’s unlikely the Kuraly-Acciari-Wagner line will consistently stay intact moving forward, as Cassidy never has been shy to rework his lines, especially based on the opponent. But given their performance Friday night, the B’s head coach likely will be more confident to trot them out moving forward.

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Here are some other notes from Friday’s Bruins-Penguins game:
— Carlo snapped a 116-game goalless streak when he potted the Bruins’ first tally of the game in the second period.
— Penguins goalie Casey DeSmith recorded a career-high 48 saves on 51 shots.
— It’s safe to say Jaroslav Halak enjoys himself some home cooking. The veteran goaltender owns a 6-0 record at TD Garden this season with a 1.82 goals-against average and .945 save percent compared to a 3-5-2 record on the road with a 2.77 goals-against average and .914 save percentage.
— Boston was doomed by a pair of players with local ties. Former Bruin Phil Kessel scored the Penguins’ second goal of the game, while Northeastern product Zach Aston-Reese notched two goals and an assist.
— The Bruins’ win streak was snapped at four.

Carmelo Anthony News: Something ‘Happened’ Between Houston Rockets & Melo Says Analyst

Carmelo Anthony and the Houston Rockets may have had a “falling out,” which could have led Melo and the team to part ways.
NBA analyst Chris Sheridan chatted with me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast last week and says that something happened between the team that “they don’t want out yet.”
“Still trying to figure that out,” Sheridan said via Scoop B Radio.
“I got some info about that in Brooklyn but I’m not going to share it right now. That’s actually a story that I’m working on today. I was in the arena at San Antonio the night he disappeared. They were saying he’s out with the flu. And it actually was a flu bug going around the team. The coach stated that James Harden was sniffling and Chris Paul was too. So there really was a flu bug going around during that game.”
The third overall pick in the 2003 draft, Anthony’s last appearance with the Houston Rockets came in a blowout loss to Oklahoma City on Nov. 8 when he had two points and five rebounds.
A ten-time NBA All Star, Anthony signed with the Houston Rockets this summer after clearing waivers in the trade that shipped him from the Oklahoma City Thunder the Atlanta Hawks.
So went wrong in Houston? “Something had happened that they don’t want out yet,” Sheridan told me.
“But Melo might end up somewhere around December 15 when players are trade eligible. So roster spots will open. So I think he should chill until the right roster spot is opened for him.”
Carmelo Anthony has averaged 24 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3 assists in his career with the Oklahoma City Thunder, New York Knicks, Denver Nuggets and Houston Rockets.

Casey DeSmith Makes Stellar Save On Colby Cave In Penguins’ Win Vs. Bruins

The Boston Bruins appeared to have all the momentum during the third period Friday night at PPG Paints Arena.
Boston entered the frame trailing the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1, but the Bruins tied the game with goals from Chris Wagner and David Krejci.
After tying the game, the B’s went on the offensive again and had a golden opportunity to take the lead. David Backes skated into the offensive zone and blasted a shot at Penguins netminder Casey DeSmith. The goalie made the stop but gave up a juicy rebound attempt that Colby Cave had an opportunity to put home, but DeSmith was able to slide over and make a tremendous save to keep the game tied at three.

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The Penguins responded to DeSmith’s stop by scoring two unanswered goals to take home a 5-3 win.
To see the save, check out the TD Bank Save of the Game above.