By: Brady Gardner
Merry Christmas, sports fans! In the spirit of the giving season, here’s what I would give every major Boston sports team for Christmas if I had the power to do so.
New England Patriots – A healthy Tom Brady
This season more than ever, the Patriots need Tom Brady to be at 100% to have any shot at making a Super Bowl run. The 41-year old QB has insisted over and over that he feels great, but it doesn’t take a doctor to recognize that something isn’t right about his left knee. Brady has been shying away from contact and limiting his movement for weeks now, and his play has dipped because of it. As crazy as it is to say this about a team with Tom Brady at the helm, the Patriots’ weakest point seems to be their passing game, both through Brady’s own inconsistency and the lack of weapons around him. Tom can undoubtedly get more out of this offense than he is right now, but he’ll have to be healthy to do so
Boston Bruins – A proven second line left winger
The Bruins are finally returning to full strength, and their play is improving because of it. However, this team still has the same problem they’ve had for years; a lack of secondary scoring. The Bergeron-Marchand-Pastrnak line is a great combination, but the groups below them are not nearly as productive, even when fully healthy. The third and fourth lines should be reserved for developing young talents and injecting energy players, both of which the organization has plenty of. Therefore, the clear improvement would be to add a proven winger on the second line next to David Krecji and Jake DeBrusk, ideally for the right price. This would allow the previously-mentioned first line to remain intact, while supporting them with a bolstered second line.
Boston Celtics – A veteran rebounder
Amidst the challenges that the Celtics have faced this season, two of the most significant seem to be a lack of veteran leadership and rebounding. For the first need, the Celtics find themselves in an awkward position with promising youngsters trying to make the team theirs while confident veterans work to maintain control. A true leader uninvolved in previous team politics could help resolve this power struggle. As for rebounding, this has long been a point of weakness for the Celtics, as getting out-rebounded has killed the C’s time and time again. They don’t have to go all out on Anthony Davis or another elite big man, they just need someone who can test other rebounders and pull down rebounds consistently, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
Boston Red Sox – Pitching consistency
This is a bit of a general one, but if the Red Sox want to make it back-to-back World Series Championships, they’re going to have to get consistent pitching from April to October. To choose a few names, David Price and Nathan Eovaldi need to find a way to convert their dominant performances of the 2018 postseason into strong outings throughout the season in 2019. As strange as it feels to make an example of a guy low in the rotation, the pitching staff needs to be more like Rick Porcello. They don’t need to dazzle opponents, but they need to stay healthy and put their team in a position to win every time they take the mound. If the Red Sox’s rotation and bullpen can be consistent in both health and performance throughout 2019, they could be on their way to another deep postseason run.