Ranking the top 20 Boston sports performances of the 2000s

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COMMENTARY

When the NHL suspended operations in March, not solely did it curtail a promising spring for the Bruins collectively, it additionally dropped a hiatus into what was changing into a historic season for David Pastrnak. His 48 tallies have been tied for the league’s most, giving him a respectable shot to be the primary Boston skater to steer the league in objectives in 45 years. With a flurry on the end, by the top of this marketing campaign he may’ve ranked behind solely Phil Esposito on the Bruins’ all-time single-season goal-scoring listing.

There’s an opportunity he nonetheless may get that shot, theoretically, if the NHL returns with out skipping straight to the playoffs — however on the very least, certainly one of current reminiscence’s finest seasons has been interrupted, if not solely misplaced. Same goes for the season Jayson Tatum was placing collectively as he transitioned from a possible centerpiece right into a real-life star, with the NBA reducing issues off with the Celtics ahead within the midst of a 16-game surge when he was averaging 29.6 factors per contest.

Baseball may come again quickly, however a probable truncated slate gained’t give Xander Bogaerts an opportunity to completely construct on an excellent 2019 whilst he strikes into the meat of his prime. And who is aware of whether or not or not soccer shall be useful sufficient this fall to see if Stephon Gilmore can repeat his efficiency because the NFL’s premier defensive participant, or if New England’s subsequent star may escape within the Patriots’ first post-Tom Brady season.

On prime of shutting whole leagues and groups, the novel coronavirus has additionally price particular person athletes the chance to show in these forms of legendary seasons that may elevate their standing and stay on in our regional sports activities lore. And New England’s fan base has had no scarcity of alternatives to get pleasure from such performances over the course of celebrating the 12 championships which were pushed by an ongoing deluge of star energy.

There have been MVPs, Cy Youngs, dozens of All-Stars, and a handful of Hall of Famers. But which have been the very best of the very best? Here’s one tackle rating Boston sports activities’ 20 finest single seasons of the previous 20 years.

20. 2001-02 Paul Pierce

Statistics: 12.9 win shares, 26.1 PPG

Playing greater than 40 minutes per sport, Pierce made his first All-Star sport that season, establishing himself because the franchise constructing block. His 12.9 win shares are nonetheless tied for essentially the most by a Celtic in these 20 years.

19. 2011 Jacoby Ellsbury

Statistics: .321 BA, .928 OPS, 32 HR, 39 SB, 46 2B

So a lot went incorrect for the Sox in 2011, this monster season from the middle fielder virtually goes forgotten. Then once more, a lot of his Boston profession goes forgotten, save for his stellar postseasons in 2007 and 2013.

18. 2002 Taylor Twellman

Statistics: 23 G, 28 GP

Major League Soccer’s all-time main scorer, Chris Wondolowski, has averaged 0.52 objectives per 90 minutes in his profession. In his first season, Twellman averaged an unimaginable 0.86 scores per 90, setting the stage for one of many league’s most prolific careers in its 25 years.

17. 2011 Tom Brady

Statistics: 39 touchdowns/12 interceptions, 5,235 yards, 8.6 yards/try, 327.2 yards/sport

The mixture of Brady, Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski, and Aaron Hernandez put up some large numbers by the air — and carried a protection that was relying on cornerback Julian Edelman to the Super Bowl.

16. 2016-17 Isaiah Thomas

Statistics: 12.5 WS, 28.9 PPG, 16th in assists

The total numbers have been spectacular, they usually don’t even account for all his fourth-quarter heroics and his inspirational playoff efficiency that yr.

15. 2013-14 Patrice Bergeron

Statistics: 30 goals-32 assists-62 factors, plus-38, Selke Trophy

A participant like Bergeron is so well-rounded that it’s typically onerous to quantify or categorize his greatness — however this was a season the place the manufacturing and accolades mirror the best way he does every part at each ends of the ice at a persistently elite stage.

14. 2006 Asante Samuel

Statistics: 10 interceptions, 24 passes defended

The cornerback had “Get Rich to This” tattooed on his shoulder, and when he put the pads over stated shoulder he made good on his ink. His outstanding knack for getting his fingers on the ball helped him stay as much as these phrases only a couple years later.

13. 2016-17 Brad Marchand

Statistics: 39-46-85, +18

Hockey-Reference.com calculates level shares based mostly on a participant’s contributions at each ends. Until Pastrnak posted his brilliance this season, Marchand’s 2016-17 marketing campaign was the Bruins’ better of the 21st century. It’s value noting, too, that in what’s been a heck of a decade for the Bruins, Marchand has had sufficient statistically glorious seasons that there could must be a dialog sooner or later about put on No. 63 charges within the black and gold’s all-time pantheon.

12. 2003 Ty Law

Statistics: 6 INT, 23 PD, landing

The yr itself was spectacular, and worthy of the All-Pro honors that helped land Law within the Hall of Fame. But the cherry on prime got here within the AFC Championship, when he picked off Peyton Manning thrice in what stays a signature victory for Bill Belichick, Defensive Mastermind.

11. 2013 Koji Uehara

Statistics: 1.09 ERA, 43 baserunners in 74.1 innings

He was unhittable all yr, notably from the time he took over the nearer’s position within the early summer time by the ultimate whiff of the World Series. It may’ve regarded completely different, however he was each bit Dennis Eckersley of his Cy Young/MVP season.

10. 2008-09 Zdeno Chara

Statistics: 19-31-50, +23, 121 blocked pictures

The captain performed greater than 26 minutes an evening, was an element on the offensive finish — particularly on the ability play — and gained the Norris Trophy because the NHL’s finest defenseman. A celebrity season signifying a complete residence run of a signing for a corporation in transition on the time.

9. 2011 Rob Gronkowski

Statistics: 90 receptions, 17 TD, 1,327 yards

The tight finish was a red-zone risk as a rookie. It was this season, his second, that he began to look as unstoppable because the quick observe he’ll journey to Canton, Ohio.

8. 2007 David Ortiz

Statistics: .332/.445/1.066, 35 HR, 52 2B, 117 RBI

This is definitely not the yr when he reset the Red Sox document e book together with his 54 homers. That was a yr earlier. This 2007 season was a tour de power that noticed him have extra RBI and earn extra walks than he had strikeouts from the center of the order on a championship crew.

7. 2004 Curt Schilling

Statistics: 21-6, 3.26 ERA, 1.063 WHIP

He got here to city with one function, that being to ship a World Series title. He did it immediately, pulling his truck as much as the gamers lot and  proper in yr one establishing himself because the ace in what had been Pedro Martinez’s rotation, then continuing to dominate all through. Schilling loves to speak — however it’s onerous to consider a man who has walked the stroll greater than he did in 2004.

6. 2007-08 Kevin Garnett

Statistics: 12.9 WS, 18.Eight PPG, 9.2 rebounds per sport

While we’re on the subject of men coming in and taking on instantly, Garnett arrived in the summertime of 2007 and put his stamp on the entire Celtics operation. The tradition modified immediately, he was a significant factor on the offensive finish, and he was the league’s defensive participant of the yr, too. His No. 5 goes to the rafters for this season alone.

5. 2018 Mookie Betts

Statistics: .346 BA, .640 OBP, 1.078 OPS, 32 HR, 30 SB, 129 R

In phrases of WAR, Betts has the 2 finest seasons by a Red Sox place participant prior to now 20 years, and three of the highest seven, in response to Baseball-Reference. His 2018 season earned him a batting title in addition to an MVP award — and was practically flawless.

4. 2007 Randy Moss

Statistics: 98 REC, 23 TD, 1,493 yards

The numbers are absurd, and his presence helped change the best way we’ve checked out Brady ever since. As a tandem they have been virtually unstoppable, and, oh yeah, if not for David Tyree and Eli Manning, Moss’s closing scoring seize of that season may’ve been the one which gained the Super Bowl.

3. 2010-11 Tim Thomas

Statistics: .938 save proportion, 2.00 objectives towards common, 9 shutouts

Take the postseason out of the equation and this season has the makings of legend. Thomas was the NHL’s finest netminder that season, delivering a top quality begin in 41 of his 55 alternatives en path to the Vezina Trophy. By June, he’d added the Conn Smythe to his case, too, because the Stanley Cup’s most useful participant.

2. 2007 Brady

Statistics: 50 touchdowns, eight interceptions, 4,806 yards, 68.9 completion proportion, 8.Three Y/A, 117.2 score

Others have since thrown for extra touchdowns, extra yards, a better completion proportion, and all that. But that is the gold commonplace of quarterbacking seasons, particularly for those who consider that the QB’s main job is to win.

1. 2000 Pedro Martinez

Statistics: 18-6, 1.74 ERA, 284 strikeouts, 0.74 WHIP

In the throes of the Steroid Era, the typical ERA within the American League that season was 4.92. Pedro was greater than three full runs under that — and he was virtually two full runs higher than Roger Clemens, who completed second within the contest for the ERA title that season. The common pitcher allowed 1.493 baserunners per inning, whereas Martinez allowed a shade lower than that for each two innings of labor. His 284 strikeouts have been 72 greater than the next-most, and of the six losses he was charged with he went at the very least eight innings in 5 of these video games. (The clunker within the group noticed him go solely seven.) Pedro was certainly one of a sort — amongst pitchers, amongst his friends, and among the many finest Boston seasons of the previous 20 years.

(Honorable point out: Nomar Garciaparra, 2000; Glenn Murray, 2002-03; Joe Thornton, 2002-03; Corey Dillon, 2004; Manny Ramirez, 2004; Dustin Pedroia, 2008; Wes Welker, 2011; Betts, 2016; Craig Kimbrel, 2017; Gilmore, 2019)