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Is Matt Patricia really Bill Belichick’s successor-in-waiting

Floating down a lonesome stream of consciousness, wondering if it is too early to start fretting over whether Matt Patricia really is Bill Belichick’s successor-in-waiting …

A tidbit of unusual news landed in that stream one week after its shelf life expired. Reading about Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo’s first playoff triple-double in Game 4 against the Heat on Friday night, he had his first foul-line shot clock violation. 

Ultimately, it didn’t matter much. The Bucks easily beat the Heat in Game 1 of their best-of-seven mismatch. But it marked the first time that at least one long-time basketball fan ever heard of such a call.

The rule is unambivalent: “He shall attempt the free throw within 10 seconds of controlling the ball in such a way that the ball enters the basket or touches the ring.”

First thought: Why is the rim referred to as the ring?

Second thought: Huh?

As violations go, this is the equivalent of jaywalking. But a rule is a rule, even if it is dragged in from total obscurity with 1:06 left in the fourth quarter of a one-point playoff game.

Antetokounmpo says he’ll continue to take his time at the line. You must admire the man’s willingness to live on the edge …

You never miss crowd noise from a packed house until it blasts for the first time since the pandemic began. The Bruins opened their series against the Islanders on Saturday night and the Garden rocked as it should.

Fake crowd noise just doesn’t cut it …

Red Sox manager Alex Cora put in his bid for Father of the Year on Saturday. After Friday night’s rain-delayed game at Fenway, Cora hopped a plane to Puerto Rico to be there for his daughter Camila’s high school graduation.

Cora was back in town for Sunday afternoon’s game. Hopefully his round-trip was first-class. …

We heard it within seconds of the Patriots’ optional training session Thursday. If there is any common sense among us, we won’t hear it again.

“Jeez, that kid throws like (or thinks like, or chews gum like) Tom Brady,”

Stop that! 

Let the kid focus on taking the starting quarterback job without the expectation bar reaching the top of the stadium.

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