Patriots

D-League possibly in Johnson's future, but not now

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D-League possibly in Johnson's future, but not now

BOSTON With JaJuan Johnson seeing so little time this season for the Boston Celtics, head coach Doc Rivers told CSNNE.com that there have been conversations about sending him to the D-League and there will likely be more in the future.

But Rivers quickly added that it won't happen anytime soon.

Based on Johnson's play on Wednesday night, it's understandable why Rivers wants to keep him with the Big boys.

"I know I've said this before, and I'm going to say it again, this kid can play," Rivers said. "And he'll get his chance to play for us, sooner or later; I'd say probably sooner rather than later."

Rivers' confidence in Johnson was validated to some degree in Boston's 100-64 blowout win over Toronto.

Johnson entered the game well after its outcome had been decided, and managed to score 11 points (5-5) in just under 10 minutes of playing time.

Said C's guard Ray Allen: "If there's garbage minutes in the fourth quarter, I said, 'take them seriously. Don't come in thinking that, oh, this is just play-time and we're up by how ever many minute..' And I said, 'Go out there and really play as though the score is 0-0 and you guys make it better. You've got an opportunity to prove to coaches and get more minutes.' And JaJuan went out there and did that tonight."

While there's no way of knowing if Johnson could play that well if given more minutes when the game was undecided, it bodes well for both his confidence and the C's confidence that he can contribute if called upon.

"We're one injury away from JaJuan starting; really," Rivers said.

Johnson, a first-round pick of New Jersey who was traded to Boston on draft night last June, is eager to play more than mop-up duty.

But if there's anyone prepared to handle the highs of being a college American, to being a seldom-used NBA power forward near the end of the bench, it's Johnson.

The 6-foot-10 forward was not a basketball prodigy like so many of his NBA brethren.

He didn't begin playing organized basketball until the 7th grade, and back then he was on the 'B' team.

The mindset at that time was no different than it is now - learn as much as possible, and make the most of every opportunity.

"The thing that I got the best joy out of, just improving so much," Johnson told CSNNE.com. "That's the thing I enjoy the most, just improving and getting better. And just the progress really showing when I get to play."

Johnson said the only time he became frustrated with waiting, was when he was a high school sophomore

"I didn't play varsity until I was a junior," Johnson said. "That's when it really started to bother me. I felt I was better than some of the guys in front of me. I was pretty much waiting, the guys in front of me were older. Just dealing with that kind of stuff early, kind of prepared me in a way for things like this. I look at the big picture. Everything has its purpose."

After splitting time as a freshman at Purdue, Johnson was selected as a first-team All-Big Ten pick as a sophomore.

"So I know if I wait, good things will come if I just continue to work at getting better, and be patient," he said.

In the meantime, Johnson will continue to feed off of the knowledge being doled out by his older, more seasoned teammates.

"I might not be getting that much experience on the court, but being around the guys that we have, you learn valuable lessons about basketball; about life, too," Johnson said. "Everyday, I pretty much learn something."

But Johnson is quick to add - and moments later, add again - that he wants to play.

"Any competitor wants to play," he says. "It's tough, but I have to look at the bigger picture; not just this year, but my whole NBA career. Things I'm learning from these guys, is priceless."

Patriots-Dolphins injury report: Tom Brady sits out with Achilles injury

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Patriots-Dolphins injury report: Tom Brady sits out with Achilles injury

FOXBORO -- Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski both sat out of the entirety of Wednesday's practice at Gillette Stadium. 

Brady is dealing with an Achilles injury, per the injury report released by the Patriots. The Boston Herald has reported that Brady will play despite the issue. It's unclear when exactly Brady suffered the injury, but Brady was hit low by Raiders pass-rusher Khalil Mack in the fourth quarter on Sunday, and Mack was called for a roughing-the-passer penalty.

Gronkowski, like teammate David Andrews, is dealing with an illness. Patrick Chung, who left Sunday's game briefly, has an ankle issue. 

Here's the full injury report for both the Patriots and Dolphins . . . 

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
C David Andrews (illness)
QB Tom Brady (Achilles)
OT Marcus Cannon (ankle)
S Patrick Chung (ankle)
TE Rob Gronkowski (illness)
WR Chris Hogan (shoulder)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
WR Danny Amendola (knee)
TE Marellus Bennett (shoulder/hamstring)
DT Malcom Brown (ankle)
CB Eric Rowe (groin)
WR Matthew Slater (hamstring)

MIAMI DOLPHINS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
LB Stephone Anthony (quadriceps)
G Jermon Bushrod (foot)
QB Jay Cutler (concussion)
DE William Hayes (back)
T Laremy Tunsill (illness)

FULL PARTICIPATION
RB Senorise Perry (knee)
S Michael Thomas (knee)

 

Morning Skate: Dad's texts and emails reveal enforcer's sad story

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Morning Skate: Dad's texts and emails reveal enforcer's sad story

Here are the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while wishing everybody a safe night before Thanksgiving. Be careful out there, people.

*The New York Times has a very sad story on former NHL enforcer Stephen Peat, as told to the Times through a series of emails and texts from Peat’s dad as he struggles with a number of seemingly concussion-related issues in his post-hockey life.

*There’s nothing better than some Benn on Benn brotherly crime as Jordie Benn lays a hit on Jamie Benn in the Stars vs. Habs game.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Marc Spector has the Edmonton Oilers hitting a new low after they quit in a loss to the St. Louis Blues.

*Duncan Keith said he wants to play until he’s 45 and defy the odds as one of the few that get a chance to play pro hockey for that long.

*Dylan Larkin is flourishing with the Detroit Red Wings as he’s adding more responsibility to his chores in Hockeytown.

*A Happy Thanksgiving to the Boychuks and all the other great people around the NHL, including Matt Beleskey with the Bruins, who take time out of their days to help make sure everybody has a good meal on Turkey Day.

*For something completely different: Excited for my kids that there is going to be more Trolls in their future starting with a Christmas special on Friday.