New York Giants at the Linc, Eagles Looking for Seven Straight

New York Giants at the Linc, Eagles Looking for Seven Straight

Jeremy Maclin said it best. "[The Giants] have no business talking, because they haven’t done anything the last six times."

Of course, the Mets felt the Phillies had no business talking in 2007, because they hadn't done anything the previous 12 times when Jimmy Rollins delivered his famous remarks in 2007.

Funny thing what results do for credibility.

Right now, the New York Giants have none. This is a shell of the team that clutched their way over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, the air rushing out of that balloon with the speed -- and timing -- of a bullet fired from a 40-caliber glock.

From that point on, the score changed for the Birds. Now they own the G-men, whether they need 20 points or 45, no matter if they are in the lead or trailing by 21 in the fourth quarter, even when it's the regular season or the postseason.

To make matters worse, every effort New York's front office has taken to add talent and put a stop to this embarrassing streak this year has been rebuffed by the injury bug, which has laid waste on the roster's population like an incurable disease.

Which is why we don't expect the score to change today, only increase. Unless this supposed superbug transforms the injured into Zombie Giants. That would be bad... although perhaps unlikely.

No, what the Football Giants need today is a change in fortune. They need Michael Vick to cough up the ball. They need Eli Manning to snap out of his funk.

They need something.

Hey, it's any given Sunday, and this is a heated division rival. Make no mistake, the Eagles have to walk out to that field and play 60 minutes worth of football.

But if they do, they can expect to win -- both the game, and the war of words.

Quick Vick
So, Mike Vick is going to play after sustaining a concussion in last Sunday's loss to the Falcons, the very possibility of which certain sportswriters and media personalities were railing against throughout the week.

Indeed, we are still learning about the long term consequences associated with head injuries, so it's natural to be concerned for Vick, especially considering the beatings he takes on a weekly basis. Having said that, the NFL has placed such an emphasis on protecting its players from playing through the trauma, there is no doubt in my mind he is okay.

The question I would pose to worriers is when would it be acceptable for Vick to return? Next week? Next season? Never? If he is cleared to play by the Eagles' training staff and an independent doctor, then he is cleared to play -- it's really that simple.

Howie Kendrick hit by pitch twice, removed from rehab start at Triple A

Howie Kendrick hit by pitch twice, removed from rehab start at Triple A

Howie Kendrick experienced a painful rehab start on Thursday night.

Rehabbing with Triple A Lehigh Valley, Kendrick was hit by a pitch twice before being removed after the sixth inning of the IronPigs' 8-4 loss to Indianapolis at Coca-Cola Park.

Kendrick was plunked both times in the upper left arm, according to Tom Housenick of the Morning Call.

There was no update on if Kendrick was injured or taken out for precautionary reasons. Thursday marked Kendrick's second rehab start as he recovers from an oblique strain that has sidelined him since April 15.

The Phillies' leftfielder started at third base Thursday. At the start of his rehab assignment, Kendrick was expected to play four games and see time at third and first base, as well as in left field.

Kendrick made a throwing error at third on Thursday and finished 0 for 1 with a run scored. In his two games, he's 0 for 3 with two strikeouts.

Kendrick hit .333 with four doubles, a triple and five RBIs in 10 games with the Phillies prior to landing on the DL.

When he returns, he could see time at third base instead of left field if Maikel Franco continues to struggle (see story).

NBA Playoffs: LeBron James makes history as Cavaliers roll into Finals

NBA Playoffs: LeBron James makes history as Cavaliers roll into Finals

BOX SCORE

BOSTON -- LeBron James scored 35 points and passed Michael Jordan to become the NBA's all-time playoff scoring leader as the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Boston Celtics 135-102 on Thursday night to claim their third straight Eastern Conference title and a return trip to the NBA Finals.

Kyrie Irving added 24 points and Kevin Love finished with 15 for the Cavs, who never trailed and led by as many as 39 points in one of their most dominating wins of the series. The Cavs set an NBA record by winning their 13th consecutive series closeout opportunity.

Cleveland's 4-1 series' win gives it a 12-1 record this postseason and sets up a third consecutive matchup with Western Conference champion Golden State, the team it beat in the Finals last season to claim the franchise's first championship.

It will mark the seventh straight trip to the Finals for James.

Avery Bradley led Boston with 23 points.

The Cavaliers basically conceded the East's top seed to the Celtics at the end of the regular season by opting to rest its starters in advance of the playoffs. But they displayed their superiority over the final two games to wrap up the series.

After allowing the Celtics to seize the early momentum in Game 4, the Cavs barely gave them the chance in Game 5.

Led by its Big Three, Cleveland quickly built a 21-point lead in the first quarter, while getting lots of contributions from their teammates.

Love continued to knock down shots from the outside, Irving sliced his way into the lane to the rim and James got free for several of his one-handed, tomahawk dunks.

It was a very welcomed sight in Irving's case, after he rolled his left ankle in the third quarter of Cleveland's Game 4 win. He showed no signs of lingering issues, though, beating several defenders off the dribble and handing out seven assists.

Meanwhile, J.R. Smith and Kyle Korver all helped spread out Boston's defenders by connecting on several wide-open scoring opportunities.

Deron Williams, who had been quiet for most of the series, also got in on the act with a series-best 14 points for Cleveland.

The Celtics did their best to keep up, but the consistent outside shooting, bench scoring and defense they relied on to stun Cleveland in Game 3 wasn't there Thursday night.

Tip-ins
Cavaliers: James has scored 30 or more points in 11 of Cleveland's 13 games this postseason. ... Improved to 36-5 against Eastern Conference opponents in the playoffs since 2015. ... The 43 points Cleveland scored in the first quarter set a team postseason record for points in a quarter.

Celtics: Injured point guard Isaiah Thomas led his teammates in a pregame huddle before they took the court for warmups. Thomas sat out the rest of the series after aggravating a hip injury in Game 2. ... Held a pregame moment of silence for the victims of the Manchester bombing. ... Were whistled for 16 fouls in the first half.