Celtics

Bruins keep eyes on the scoreboard, look to extend lead

710162.jpg

Bruins keep eyes on the scoreboard, look to extend lead

EL SEGUNDO, CA The Bruins know theyve got a golden chance to wrap things up after two months of struggle.

All of the players, coaches and management in the Bs organization freely admit theyre checking the scores at dinner, and Tyler Seguin admitted he has the TSN application on his blackberry to check the standings and scoreboard. The Bruins know theyre three points ahead of the Ottawa Senators in the Northeast Division, and they also know that they gained another potential game in hand when Ottawa dropped a 5-1 decision to the Montreal Canadiens on Friday night.

That makes it three losses in a row for a Senators team that magic carriage appears to be turning into a pumpkin at the end of the regular season. Now only a few wins from the Bruins could sew things up for the Northeast Division tile.

With cell phones now youre always at dinner checking your phone for the scores. Its not too easy getting hockey here in LA with the basketball games going on right now. This time of year youre always scoreboard-watching, said Julien. Thats a natural thing. Ottawa has given us an opportunity here, and weve got to seize it. They lost last night and now weve got another game in hand. Weve got to win those if we want to finish in that position.

With the new rules in effect that place importance on regulationovertime wins as the first tie-breaker while excluding the shootout wins its another nuance within the box score that the Bs coach is paying close attention to in this final handful of games.

Florida is right behind us as well and Buffalo is pushing from underneath now too. Its on us to take advantage of the opportunities given to us. Its in our control. The real interesting thing this year is the regulation and overtime wins, said Julien. Youre watching those too because theyre going to count this year as a tie-breaker if it goes down to that kind of stuff.

Clearly the Florida Panthers are still close at hand with a chance to overtake the Bruins for the No. 2 seed in the East, but that should only add to the urgency this weekend with tonights tilt against the Kings followed by Sundays showdown with the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center. After dropping the first game on the West Coast with an offensive no-show against the San Jose Sharks, the urgency has heightened for the California weekend of hockey.

This is a good opportunity for us, said Tyler Seguin, who was among the Bs forwards that never found their legs Thursday night in San Jose. We looked at this trip as an important one before we left Boston. With the time changes, the flights and the quality of the teams we were playing against, we need to play good hockey and hopefully that will be reflected in the standings.

The Bruins now have their chance to crush down those teams attempting to catch them from behind in the standings, and this weekend will tell the tale of whether they take advantage of it.

Plenty of on-the-job training for Celtics' rookies

Plenty of on-the-job training for Celtics' rookies

BOSTON – With all the changes the Celtics went through over the summer, seeing more rookies on the floor this season was a given.
 
But six?
 
Yes, only three games into the season and the Celtics have played more rookies than any team under fifth-year coach Brad Stevens.

MORE: 

 
And in the 102-92 victory at Philadelphia on Friday night, the Celtics (1-2) played almost as many first-year players (five) as veterans (six).
 
The youth movement here in Boston has been sped up a bit by the season-ending injury to Gordon Hayward, compounded by a left ankle sprain to Marcus Smart that Smart said won’t keep him out any more than Friday night in Philly.

Even if Smart is back in the Celtics lineup Tuesday night against New York, that doesn’t change the fact that Boston will continue to need rookies to step up and contribute going forward as they did on Friday.
 
And while there’s an old adage about experience being the greatest teacher, Boston’s youngsters are going to have to fast-forward past some of those on-the-floor growing pains for the Celtics to stay among the top teams in the East.
 
“Everybody talks about young players having to learn by going through experience,” said Stevens. “Why don’t we just watch film and learn? Learn from things we can control and in the interim, let’s beat the age thing. Let’s not talk about the age thing. Let’s talk about how we can be better at what we can control and how we can learn and grow every day and expedite the learning curve.
 
Stevens added, “because they are going to get opportunities all the way down the line, let’s not focus on trying to learn from experience; let’s focus on learning from every day and see if we can get a little bit better every day.”
 
The one rookie who has had no problem adjusting to the NBA game early on has been Jayson Tatum.
 
Selected with the third overall pick last June, Tatum has been among the NBA's most productive rookies in this first week of the season.
 
Tatum’s 35.3 minutes played per game is tops among all rookies. His 12.3 points and 9.0 rebounds rank seventh and fourth among his first-year brethren.
 
Stevens loves what he has seen thus far from Tatum, but believes he’s capable of making an even greater impact sooner rather than later.
 
“I like him to shoot it on the catch more,” Stevens said. “Because he has tremendous touch. When he shoots it in rhythm with confidence, the ball finds the net. He’s one of those guys; he’s a natural scorer. But his ability to read the game … he’s very intelligent. It’s been more evident on the defensive end. He’s gonna pick his spots offensively now. But we want him to be aggressive and first and foremost, be a threat to shoot it every time he catches it.
 
Stevens added, “I guess it should feel pretty good when you’re 19 years old and your coach is begging you to shoot it.”
 
How quickly Tatum and the rest of Boston’s youngsters grow into the roles they will be asked to play this season can do nothing but help the Celtics adapt to what has already been a season with major changes needing to be made.
 
“You saw [against Philadelphia], we had Shane [Larkin], we had Guerschon [Yabusele], we had guys coming in that played the game at a high level and we need them to contribute,” said Boston’s Kyrie Irving. “For me to see that and witness that, it makes me nothing but proud and happy to have teammates that are ready to play. It’s not always going to look perfect because we’re still gaining knowledge about one another. But as long as we’re out there competing, having each other’s backs, that’s all that matters.”
 

AFC EAST: Cutler hurt, Moore leads Dolphins to 31-28 comeback win over Jets

miami-dolphins-qb-matt-moore-102117.jpg

AFC EAST: Cutler hurt, Moore leads Dolphins to 31-28 comeback win over Jets

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. - Matt Moore replaced an injured Jay Cutler and threw two touchdown passes in the final 12 minutes, and the Miami Dolphins pulled off another comeback win by erasing a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the New York Jets 31-28 on Sunday. Click here for more.