C’s in a golden state!

Phew! That was a close one.

Try as they might to give away the last two games with repeated sloppy play and disappearing stars in crunch time the Celtics managed to hold on to win Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals 100-96.

Outside of the final two games, it wasn’t all bad. But beating the Heat in Miami was not easy.

It earned the C’s their first trip to the NBA Finals since 2010. But before we get to the three-time champion Golden State Warriors here’s a quick review of surviving the seven-game series with Miami.

Give Miami Credit for Toughness: With Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry limping, they looked dead in the water after a Game 5 Celtics beat down. But somehow they pulled it together, which is what admirable teams do, to be a missed Butler 3 from being in the lead with under 30 seconds to go. Ditto if an eagle eye at the scorers table hadn’t disallowed a crucial Max Strus 3 after seeing his heel catch the sideline in an after-the-play review to see if it was a 3 or a 2.

Tatum’s Hall of Fame Berth Back On Hold: While he’s certainly had some high highs, he didn’t deserve the MVP, because the play in this series was so erratic. And as I said before the playoffs you only get into the Top 10 players group if you dominate in the playoffs. But in Game 6 he disappeared in the fourth quarter and in Game 7 he had the softest 28-point (with at least four missed lay-ups) game I’ve ever seen. Fortunately he has the Finals to erase that. Word to the wise: Ditch the Kobe wristband, ’cause he looked like Kobe when he shot 40 percent from the field and 31 percent on 3’s in the 2010 Finals.

Why Let Marcus Smart Take The Last 5 Shots With Game 7 Slipping Away? Because with Tatum shrinking from the moment somebody had to take them and as ineffective as he was, Marcus had the stones to take them. Plus he was wide open on the 3’s.

That’s The Derrick White We Were Sold: He’s had his ups and downs since arriving in February. But he was the best guy off the bench vs. Miami in making huge defensive and offensive contributions in games 4 through 7.

Bravo – Jimmy Butler: He played through pain. Put his team on his back to score 47, 41 and 35 in the way many expected Tatum to and Tatum didn’t. I’m fine with the 3 he took in the final minute. Strength or not he broke Boston’s backs in Game 6 with 3’s. Standing O for Jimmy.

The Main Event: What to expect from the Warriors.

Previous 2021-22 Games: GS won a tight one in Boston before the January turnaround and C’s blew them out in March in SF in the game Curry got hurt.

Players to Watch

Steph Curry: After all the early playoff hoo-ha over Kyrie Irving, we get to see the real deal here instead. A two-time MVP, three-time champ and the best shooter who ever lived. He kills you with 3’s and off the dribble is a leader and a winner. All the things Kyrie ain’t. So watch out for this dude.

Klay Thompson: After two painstaking years rehabbing tears of an ACL and Achilles that cost him two seasons he’s back to form shooting 38 percent from deep and averaging 20.4 per. The only really bad thing to say about Klay is his father, Mychal, played for the Lakers in the ’80s heyday.

Jordan Poole: He’s their version of Rob Williams. A low first-round pick who came on strong in Year 3 to average 18.5 per game and can go for 30 on any given night.

Who Should You Boo: This is a pretty hard team to not like. So thank goodness for Draymond Green. Loud, abrasive, nasty and borderline dirty. Guaranteed he will raise the ire of Celtics Nation more than once for sure. And, oh yeah, he’s very good, which is what makes his act most annoying.

Best Match-up: Marcus Smart vs. whoever he guards. Because they have a lot of guys who can score and he can cover all of them. Just not at once.

Issues

3-Point Shooting Battle: Both teams can blow you out shooting 3’s. GS takes 40 3’s a game and makes 36 percent. Draymond shoots under 30 percent, so be my guest.

The Boards: GS rebounds collectively as a team with team leader (with 596) Kevon Looney the only one who can hurt the C’s on the offense glass consistently.

Strategy

Celtics on Defense: Tight, tight, tight D to make the GS guards put it on the floor and take it inside the line. Even if it means them scoring off the dribble, because giving up two is better than getting blown up with a barrage of 3’s, which they can do when Curry and Thompson get it going. The D can get away doing that with Al Horford and Lob it to Rob Williams back there protecting the basket.

Celtics on Offense – Who To Attack: The GS guards. The Warriors are not a big team and have no real shot blocker, so Tatum and Jaylen Brown need to use their size advantage to shoot at the rim and get the foul shots that come with that.

Key Stat: The Celtics hold opponents to shooting 31.9 percent from deep, while for Golden State it’s 36 percent. If that stat holds, edge to C’s because it will throw GS a bit off its game.

Golden State Wins: If the Celtics let the secondary players capable of doing real damage like Poole and Andrew Wiggins have big scoring series to supplement what Curry and Thompson generally do.

Boston Wins: If they control it offensively and defensively around the basket, consistently force GS deep shooters to put it on the floor, while Tatum plays Curry even and Brown outscores Thompson.

All smiles

NHTI dentistry student receives national recognition

Brieana Comeau of Nashua, a soon-to-be graduate of NHTI’s Dental Assisting class of 2022, has been awarded the American Dental Assistants Association’s Student Achievement and Merit Scholar Awards.

What drew you to the dentistry field?

I carry around this little hygiene kit with me everywhere I go, and one day, when I was still trying to decide what I wanted to do, my friend said, ‘You should go into dentistry. You’re so passionate about telling me about how important it is to floss.” I looked into careers as a dental hygienist and as a dental assistant, and I really enjoyed the description for dental assistant, so I applied for the [Dental Assisting] program [at NHTI] … after I got my associate’s degree … in science and general studies with a concentration in health.

How did it feel to receive these awards?

When I heard about the first one, I was overwhelmed with happiness, and it was definitely a proud moment for me. I didn’t actually expect to receive it. Then, when I heard that I had won both awards, it was just so wild to me. When you work hard, you don’t expect to be recognized all the time, so receiving these awards meant a lot to me because it showed me how much my efforts were seen, and that felt really good.

What are you doing now?

I’m done with all my classes, and I graduate on June 25. Right now, I’m doing what we call an ‘externship.’ … I work as a dental assistant at Nashua Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry. I started out as a sterilization technician for processing instruments. I’ve been working there for a year, and I’ve loved every minute of it. They’ve helped me grow and have taught me so many things. They’ve been patient with me. It feels like a home, and I’m really excited about that, because I was scared, going into dentistry, that it wasn’t going to be something that I felt right doing, but after working there, I know it’s exactly what I want to do.

What has been the biggest challenge so far?

The biggest challenge is definitely knowing all of the little things that you have to do. There are a lot of different types of materials; a lot of things that you have to remember about each patient; a lot of steps in each procedure; a lot of knowing what the dentist wants to have next and knowing what is best for the patient’s needs.

What do you enjoy most about being a dental assistant?

I enjoy talking with the patients and getting to know them. … I fell in love with dentistry because each patient has this problem that they come in for — either something that causes them extreme pain or something that they just don’t like the way it looks — and you get to work with them, whether it’s in just one appointment or over multiple appointments, and see that joy on their face when they finally get that problem fixed. Some of them just have this overwhelming gratitude, and it’s so nice to see that we can make a change in people’s lives like that. … I also just love working at the office that I currently work at. I love my coworkers and my employers. They’re just so supportive and sweet. … I just feel really lucky to have found something that I’m so passionate about.

What is your personal approach to your work?

I just believe that every patient comes in with valid problems. Whether they’re afraid of the needle, or they’re really upset because something in their mouth is hurting, I just tried to put myself in the patient’s shoes and make sure that they’re the most comfortable they can be, and that they’re getting their point across and communicating properly and being heard. … You have to speak up for the patient when they can’t speak up for themselves. … I think that dentistry is about more than just fixing crooked teeth; it’s about [giving people] confidence, as well.

What are your future plans?

I want to work at Nashua Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry for as long as they’ll have me. Eventually, after a couple of years, I would like to go for my Expanded Functions Dental Assisting certificate. That would allow me to do a couple more things than a regular dental assistant can do, like making sure all the decay is gone after the dentist has carved the cavity, and placing the restorations on and shaping them up on my own so that the dentist can move on to the next patient.

Featured photo: Brieana Comeau.

News & Notes 22/06/02

Covid-19 update As of May 20As of May 27
Total cases statewide 321,042 324,373
Total current infections statewide 5,216 4,544
Total deaths statewide 2,520 2,534
New cases 4,351 (May 14 to May 20) 3,331 (May 21 to May 27)
Current infections: Hillsborough County 1,451 1,257
Current infections: Merrimack County 484 403
Current infections: Rockingham County 1,191 1,063
Information from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.

Covid-19 news

On May 26, state health officials reported 3,920 new positive Covid-19 test results between Thursday, May 19, and Wednesday, May 25, as well as seven additional deaths due to the virus occurring during the previous week. As of May 26 there were 33 hospitalizations statewide.

Finding formula

Babies up to 12 months of age should only be fed breast milk or infant formula, despite the ongoing formula shortage. According to a press release from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, hospitals across the state are helping pediatricians with formula for their infant patients as much as they are able. “First and foremost, parents and caretakers should check with their infant’s pediatrician before switching formulas,” DHHS Commissioner Lori Shibinette said in the release. “Your child’s doctor can assist in finding an available and comparable alternative.” The state’s Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children has temporarily expanded the brands, container sizes and forms of baby formula so parents and caregivers enrolled in WIC have access to all possible substitutions. And DHHS is urging families to avoid potentially dangerous alternatives — for example, diluted formula can cause nutritional imbalances in infants; homemade formulas do not meet an infant’s nutritional needs; cow and goat milk and non-dairy alternatives like soy and almond milk lack nutrients an infant needs; and formula purchased online that is shipped internationally is not regulated by the FDA and may not be safe, the release said.

File now

The filing period for candidacy for the state primary election and general election is now through June 10 at 5 p.m. According to a press release from New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlon, Democrat or Republican candidates filing for the state primary for all offices except State Representative or delegate to the Republican State Convention must file with the Secretary of State’s Office. Those running for Representative to the General Court or Delegate to the Republican State Convention must file at the clerk’s office in their town/city of residence. All of these candidates will have to file a Declaration of Candidacy and a Statement of Financial Interests, and pay the administrative assessment fee or submit the required Primary Petitions accompanied by an Assent to Candidacy, while candidates for Delegate to the Republican State Convention will be required to file a Declaration of Candidacy. Candidates for all offices who intend to run in the general election as unaffiliated with a recognized political party and political organizations that intend to run a slate of candidates must pay the administrative assessment fee and file a Declaration of Intent and a Statement of Financial Interests with the Secretary of State, the release said.

Shaker history

Efforts are being made to designate Canterbury Shaker Village a National Historic Area. According to a press release, Sen. Maggie Hassan recently visited Shaker Village to tour the property and talk about how she is leading this effort. “This designation would allow this cultural staple to receive up to $1 million annually in federal funds and show our country the pride that New Hampshire takes in our rich history,” Hassan said in the release. Hassan toured the Meeting House, Dwelling House and Laundry, and she got a sneak preview of “Wilderness: Light Sizzles Around Me,” an exhibition by renowned artist Lesley Dill that runs through Sept. 11, featuring sculptures and two-dimensional works. Canterbury Shaker Village interprets Shaker life through exhibits, buildings, gardens and programs and is a member of the NH Heritage Museum Trail, which connects the public with culturally rich heritage institutions in New Hampshire, the release said.

U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan along with U.S. Reps. Annie Kuster and Chris Pappas attended the Memorial Day ceremony at the New Hampshire Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen on May 30, “to recognize and honor the sacrifice that generations of Granite Staters have made in service to our nation,” according to a press release.

The Eversource Walk & 5K Run, on Thursday, June 2, at 6:30 p.m. at Veterans Park in Manchester, is back in person this year. According to a press release, the event is a fundraiser for Easterseals NH and is family-friendly, with a free kids’ fun run at 5:30 p.m. and Wellness Alley, featuring local vendors offering free demonstrations, giveaways and more.

Dr. Mario Andrade will serve as the next Superintendent of Schools for the Nashua School District. According to a press release, the Nashua Board of Education voted 7-1 in favor of hiring Andrade at a special meeting May 26; he will replace Dr. Garth McKinney, who has served as interim superintendent since Dr. Jahmal Mosley stepped down in January 2021. Andrade served in three roles at the Nashua School District during the 2020-2021 school year, first as assistant principal at Nashua High School South, then as principal at Elm Street Middle School, and finally as Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Schools, each in an interim capacity, the release said.

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