Celtics spank Heat … Ozzie Guillen suspended, Petrino fired + Free Plays

Bulls gain split with the Knicks, Lamar vs Mark Cuban, Kobe sits tonight vs Spurs

Ten days ago, the Celtics used stifling defense to hold the Heat to season lows in shooting percentage and points in a 92-73 win at TD Arena. Last night, Boston shot a lights out 43-71 (9-14 from downtown) good for 60% in a 115-107 win at Miami. Paul Pierce had 27 points and 7 rebounds, Kavin Garnett had 24 points and 9 rebounds, and Rejean Rondo had 18 points and 15 assists for the Shamrocks. It was Rondo’s 18th straight game with double-digit assists. Lebron had 36/7/7 and DWade 20 points for the Heat. Boston is 18-7 since the All-Star break and have all but locked up the Atlantic Division and the three seed in the East.

On Monday, the Mavs deactivated Lamar Odom for the rest of the 2011-2012 season. On Tuesday it came out that Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Odom got into a back-and-forth during halftime of a Saturday loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. According to sources, the crux of the heated halftime confrontation was Cuban asking Odom if he was “in or out.”
Odom, 32, has had the worst year of his professional career, by far, averaging 6.6 points and 4.2 rebounds in just 20.5 minutes per game for the Mavericks, who acquired him via trade from the Los Angeles Lakers in December. Dallas, fighting for a playoff spot, beat Sacramento 110-100 in their first game without Odom. The Mavs had been 0-7 in games without Odom this year.

On the court, the Bulls gained a split in their home-and-home with the Knicks with a 98-86 win at the United Center. Luol Deng led Chicago with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Carmelo followed up Sunday’s 43 point performance with 29 markers. Derrick Rose missed his 23rd game of the season, this time with an ankle injury, his fourth different injury this season. Cleveland sent Charlotte to their 13th straight loss with a 103-90 mauling at The Quick. Washington beat Orlando as Dwight Howard sat it out for the Magic with a bad back. Philadelphia got a much need 107-88 win over the Nets in Newark overcoming 20/10 by New Jersey’s Kris Humphries.

Ozzie Guillen suspended five games for Fidel Castro comments

The Florida marlins have suspended manager Ozzie Guillen for comments regarding Fidel Castro.

Guillen sparked a firestorm when he told Time magazine recently that he respected Castro for being able to lead Cuba for six decades.

“I respect Fidel Castro,” Guillen said in the article. “You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that son of a bitch is still there.”

Guillen couldn’t have made a poorer choice in words as the new Marlin ballpark was built in Miami’s Little Havana in an effort to embrace the Latina community, Cubans in particular. SP3 doesn’t get into politics or “freedom of speech” diatribe but this is clearly an issue of where athletes should stick to sports but … with Ozzie Guillen, what you see is what you get. Guillen has never been known for holding his tongue.

Bobby Petrino out at Arkansas

Even a 21-5 record and first ever BCS Bowl bid was not enough to save Razorback HC Bobby Petrino. Petrino was fired Tuesday after lying to the school and the police about a weekend motorcycle accident involving Petrino and a 25-year-old woman with whom he had been having an affair. Petrino suffered broken ribs in what he reported as a “single passenger” crash.

Petrino’s news conference after the crash

The new conference announcing Petrino’s termination.

Viral Petrino song parody

Petrino will by no means be leaving the cupboard bare. Arkansas returns a bunch of starters from last year’s BCS team and figures to start the year ranked in the top ten.

The NHL playoffs start tonight

The NHL playoffs start tonight with three games, Philadelphia at Pittsburg (Pitt -175, 5.5 over -130), Detroit at Nashville (Nashville -130, 5.5 over -135), and the LA Kings at Vancouver (Vancouver -170, 5 under -145).

These are the series prices, all are best-of-seven

In the East

#1 NY Rangers vs #8 Ottawa Senators (NYR -225, Ottawa +185)
#2 Boston Bruins vs #7 Washington Capitals (Boston -225, Washington -180)
#3 Florida Panthers vs #6 New Jersey Devils (Florida +150, NJ Devils -170)
#4 Pittsburg Penguins vs #5 Philadelphia Flyers (Pittsburg -200, Philly +170)

In the West

#1 Vancouver Canucks vs #8 LA Kings (Vancouver -185, LA +160)
#2 St Louis Blues vs #7 San Jose Sharks (St Louis -160, San Sose (+140)
#3 Phoenix Coyotes vs #6 Chicago Blackhawks (Phoenix +105, Chicago -125)
#4 Nashville Predators vs #5 Detroit Red Wings (Nashville -125, Detroit + 105)

Free Plays

(NBA) Knicks +4 over Milwaukee

(NBA) Oklahoma City -7.5 over LA Clippers

(MLB) Washington (Stasburg)/NY Mets (Santana) Under 6.5 (Note that this is a 1:05 PM EST matinee)

(MLB) Houston (Rodriguez) +122 over Atlanta (Delgado)