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The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

The air is crisp, leaves are falling, and the strong network of Boston sports are all up and rolling. October is the height of any Boston sports fanatic’s year. The Red Sox are on the cusp of Game One of the World Series in Boston, the Patriots are taking shape after a slow start, and the Bruins and Celtics are off and running into their regular season. As one of the few sports markets in the country with a team in the four major leagues, it is a truly unique time of year that involves many stressful evenings that end late in the dark of night while yelling at the television. With most Red Sox playoff games ending at midnight or later, workers across New England start the day weary all in the name of sport. The sporting world has all eyes on Boston, it is truly a special time to be a diehard fan. So many hopes and dreams are placed in the seasons that are unfolding in front of our eyes. Which begs the question, of the four teams, who is most likely to reach Boston sports immortality and add to the legacy of Title Town?



Photo Courtesy of Matt Durant


Red Sox:
Obviously, this is the place to start as the Sox are sitting at the doorstep of the pinnacle of baseball. Of the four Boston based teams the Red Sox are most likely to bring home the prized jewel of their sport. Just four wins away against a National League opponent that is statistically far weaker than Boston. The Sox have had a record year that has been littered with expectations of being World Series Champions. While players like Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez have led the offense for months, support players like Jackie Bradley Jr. are saving the day and hoping to lift Boston to a world championship.


My Spin:
Rationally of the four teams at this stage in the year the Red Sox are the most likely to win another title and raise a banner. The National League opponent that travels to Boston for a Tuesday Game One matchup should be far weaker opponent than the Houston Astros. Manager Alex Cora will have to get creative with the lineup card he posts in the National League ballparks as the pitcher must bat. More than likely this will mean Andrew Benintendi or ALCS MVP Jackie Bradley Junior may find some time on the bench. If the starting pitching can produce a few more quality starts, the Red Sox should have no problem wrapping up their year and placing a bow on it. The team cannot overlook their opponent, but Boston is highly anticipating a happy ending to this historic season.



Patriots:
How can you not love the Patriots as the most likely New England team to win a championship? The Patriots have been one of the most consistent teams to appear in a championship in the modern sports era. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick almost always find a way to make their way to Super Bowl Sunday. With the addition of Josh Gordon and the return of Julian Edelman, the Patriots’ offense seems to be just fine as the team pushes into November. Defensive consistency will be the main issue for the Patriots in this 2018-19 season. Dont’a Hightower has appeared sluggish throughout the first six weeks and the secondary has been less than stellar giving up forty points to the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs are one of the best offenses in the game but the defense has yet to come together and find their identity.

My Spin:
In the modern day NFL, consistent quarterback play and stellar coaching are hard to come by on the same team. Brady and Belichick have the edge here over the rest of the NFL. They have made a living off being more prepared than their opponents and executing in the most high intensity situations. If the defense can clean up their act a bit and the offensive juggernaut continues to build momentum, it is highly probable that Brady will be adding a sixth ring to his Hall of Fame career.



Celtics:
The Celtics are going to be a very impressive team in the NBA throughout the 2018-19 season. Brad Stevens has nothing short of an All-Star roster featuring Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. With Hayward being out for an entire season there will certainly be some rust to shake off for the former All-Star. The Celtics have maintained most of their roster that got them to the Eastern Conference Finals last season. Key bench players like Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier who could very well be starters elsewhere in the NBA will provide critical minutes for the team this year.

My Spin:
The Celtics are an interesting team when asking whether they have what it takes or not to win this season. If the Celtics stay healthy they are a favorite to take home the Eastern Conference, however there will be competition from teams like the Toronto Raptors and the Philadelphia 76ers. Ultimately, folks want to know how the C’s stack up against the powerhouse Golden State Warriors who have pledged that they want to win a title in their final season in Oakland. The Celtics will have to continue to grow as a team under Brad Stevens’ system if they desire to take down the Goliath of the west this season.



Bruins:
The B’s have had some up and down moments in their young season. Their first line has reemerged as one of the top units in the National Hockey League. The trio of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak will continue to turn heads as they create some dazzling highlights. The team is littered with young gunners like Ryan Donato and Jake DeBrusk that can only benefit from being around the Bruin’s talented first line.

My Spin:
Of the four teams reviewed in this article I find it most unlikely that the Bruins would be the team to raise a banner to the rafters. This Bruins team should be competitive and should make the playoffs. However, there are still many inconsistencies that are in this lineup that will make it difficult to truly compete for a cup when push comes to shove in the spring. The defensive unit has yet to win fans over yet and believe they have what it takes to pair up against some of the league's best offenses. Young talent like Charlie McAvoy will need to begin to take on a leadership role to help mold the defense for the future. Tuukka Rask has made it difficult over the years to trust him down the stretch. The veteran goaltender is in his twelfth season and at time shows flashes of sheer brilliance and presents himself as the best keeper in the game. This is rarely the Tuukka we get for the entire season as he often begins to fatigue in April. Perhaps the addition of veteran Jaroslav Halak will give the Bruin’s enough opportunities to make a run and keep both players fresh down the stretch.


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