Patriots

Drug dealer beaten at NBA star's home?

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Drug dealer beaten at NBA star's home?

From Comcast SportsNet Thursday, August 24, 2011

WEST LINN, Ore. (AP) -- A man who went to the Oregon home of Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph to sell marijuana said he was beaten with a pool cue in a dispute over the price of pot.

The man told sheriff's deputies at least three men assaulted him but Randolph was not among them. No arrests have been made, and authorities said none were expected on Monday.

Police identified the victim as 26-year-old James Beasley of Portland.

Clackamas County Sheriff's Sgt. James Rhodes said Randolph was in his home outside Portland when the beating occurred early Saturday. Beasley was treated for head and face injuries and released from a hospital later that afternoon, when he called police, Rhodes said.

Officers served a search warrant early Sunday. They spoke with 10 people in the home at the time and recovered pool cues and blood evidence. They did not find drugs in the home.

Rhodes said the evidence "was consistent with the victim's statement about where and how he was assaulted," and authorities were trying to figure out who was involved in the assault.

The victim told officers that he recognized Randolph and was certain he wasn't involved in the beating, but he didn't know the names of the people who assaulted him.

The victim said there were about 20 people at Randolph's home at the time.

Rhodes said detectives will probably ask Beasley to pick the suspects from a line up.

Randolph has not spoken to the officers based on the advice of his lawyer, Rhodes said. He didn't know the lawyer's name.

Attempts to reach Randolph have been unsuccessful. Nobody answered the intercom system at his gated home in West Linn on Monday. Two sport-utility vehicles drove away, and their occupants did not stop to speak with a reporter from The Associated Press.

The Grizzlies declined to comment.

There was no listed phone number for Beasley.

Randolph averaged 20 points and 12 rebounds per game with Memphis last season. He was drafted in 2001 by the Portland Trail Blazers and played there six seasons before being traded to New York. He was later traded to the Los Angeles Clippers, then to Memphis in 2009.

The Grizzlies signed Randolph to a four-year contract extension in April during the first-round of the playoffs. He became only their second All-Star during the 2009-10 season.

Randolph's past troubles also have included an arrest for driving under the influence of intoxicants after a police officer said he smelled marijuana in Randolph's car and a practice fight in which he broke former teammate Ruben Patterson's eye socket.

In 2009, he was suspended for two games for punching a Phoenix Suns player.

Patriots cut ties with Cassius Marsh, sign Eric Lee to help front-seven

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Patriots cut ties with Cassius Marsh, sign Eric Lee to help front-seven

Cassius Marsh was brought to New England to help a depleted defensive end group and play in the kicking game. The Patriots wanted him badly enough that they parted with two draft picks -- a fifth and a seventh -- to acquire him in a trade with the Seahawks just before the start of the season. 

Less than three months later, they've decided to part ways with the 6-foot-4, 245-pounder. 

Marsh played in nine games for the Patriots this season, providing the team with an edge defender and someone with special-teams experience. He blocked a kick in Week 7 against the Falcons that earned him an enthusiastic attaboy from coach Bill Belichick. 

Coming off the edge, Marsh recorded one sack and 13 hurries. Against the run, he was used more sparingly, and he was one of the Patriots on the scene for Marshawn Lynch's 25-yard run in the second quarter on Sunday. He played in just two snaps in Mexico City after missing the previous week's game in Denver due to a shoulder injury. 

Without Marsh the Patriots remain thin at defensive end. In order to help bolster that spot, the corresponding move the Patriots made to fill the open spot on their 53-man roster was to sign defensive lineman Eric Lee off of the Bills practice squad. 

Lee entered the league with the Texans last season as an undrafted rookie out of South Florida. Listed at 6-foot-3, 260 pounds, Lee has bounced on and off of the Bills practice squad this season since being released by the Texans before this season.

The Patriots got a good look at Lee during joint practices last summer with the Texans at The Greenbrier in West Virginia. In the preseason game with the Texans that week, Lee played 40 snaps and according to Pro Football Focus he had two quarterback hurries. The Patriots have a history of snagging players they've practiced against, and with Lee, that trend continues

Bruins still holding out on a goalie decision for Devils game

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Bruins still holding out on a goalie decision for Devils game

BRIGHTON -- Coming off a pair of back-to-back wins from backup goaltender Anton Khudobin, the Bruins are still undecided about what they’re going to do between the pipes Wednesday night against the New Jersey Devils.

On the one hand, the Bruins are very tempted to ride the hot goaltending hand with Khudobin a strong 5-0-2 record on the season and a .935 save percentage that currently leads all goaltenders across the league. There’s a school of thought that the B’s should simply keep plugging Khudobin into the lineup until he actually loses a game, and begins to cool down a little bit between the pipes after stopping 63-of-65 shots against LA and San Jose.

At the same time it will be over a week since Tuukka Rask has played in a game if the Bruins go with Khudobin on Wednesday night against the Devils, and Bruce Cassidy was clear to stress that Rask is still their No. 1 guy. So that’s the dilemma the Bruins are facing with Cassidy calling it “a good problem to have” based on Khudobin’s strong play from the backup spot.

That is a far cry from what the Bruins experienced a year ago with the same goalie, and a reason for optimism that their goaltending situation will be better off throughout a long season.

“Do you go with the hot hand and leave your No. 1 sitting where he’s beginning to wonder what the hell is going on? That’s the decision,” said Bruce Cassidy. “We need to keep them both in a good place, and not lose out on [Khudobin’s] good run while keeping Tuukka focused and confident in his game. That’s what we’re battling and I talk to Goalie Bob [Essensa] about it every day. We’ll make our decision [on Wednesday] and we hope it’s the right one.

“It’s a long year so no matter who we use there are a lot of starts. I don’t think Khudobin is going to go ice cold if he use Tuukka tomorrow, and I don’t think Tuukka is going to blow a gasket if we go with the hot hand. For me I don’t think it’s that big of a decision.”

Perhaps Rask blowing a gasket wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world given the way he’s played this season.

The one underlying concern for Rask beyond the .897 save percentage this season is that his game has really been in a different place for the last three seasons. While his .922 career save percentage mark is among the best in the NHL, he has been below that mark in each of the last three seasons while struggling to maintain consistently behind a changing roster that’s turning over to youth and inexperience.

It certainly seems like the Bruins feel it’s premature to label Rask as anything but their No. 1 goaltender, but the pause they’re giving on Wednesday night’s starter speaks volumes about their current confidence level in each of their puck-stoppers.

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