Patriots

Familiar formula: KG's D, Pierce's offense

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Familiar formula: KG's D, Pierce's offense

WASHINGTON The Celtics' version of Yin and Yang - known to most as Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett - were delivering some serious Celtic synergy on Saturday night.

Pierce delivering a steady dose of scoring went hand-in-hand with Garnett's stout defense as Boston held off a late Washington rally to escape with an 89-86 win.

After dropping the first two games of the season, Pierce was determined to avoid a trilogy of terrible losses to start the season.

"Aggressive" was how C's coach Doc Rivers described Pierce's play to begin the game.

While Pierce may have been more eager to make his mark offensively, Rivers believes his teammates did a better job of getting him and Kevin Garnett (15 points) more involved in the offense.

And the result was the C's racing out to a 17-2 lead.

"I reminded our guys that Paul is on our team, and Kevin was on our team," Rivers said. "I loved at halftime they had the most shots.

At the half, Boston had a 49-42 lead. Pierce led the way with 12 points on 4-for-11 shooting. Garnett chipped in 10 points on 5-of-8 shooting. The rest of the C's starters had a total of 14 points.

"In the third and middle of the fourth quarter our transition defense reverted back to where we've been all year," Rivers said. "But overall, especially in the beginning of the game, I thought we came out with great defensive energy."

And leading that defensive charge was Garnett.

"We played with a purpose," Garnett said. "We came with a little fire. That's the way Doc's teams are built. We played with an edge."

True, but the C's left more than enough room for improvement.

"We know we have to play better," Pierce told Comcast SportsNet moments after the win. "We got off to a good start, so we have to be able to maintain that. Late in the third when we got up 12, 13 points, that's a time when you have a chance to put a team away. We didn't do that. So we still have a long way to go, but I'm happy we got the win."

Tom Brady mum on hand injury, practice status

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Tom Brady mum on hand injury, practice status

FOXBORO — Tom Brady basically told the media to talk to the hand.

More specifically, Brady replied, “I’m not talking about that” to each question about his right hand injury in Friday’s press conference.

Brady stood at the podium wearing the very red gloves that have been captured in pre-practice photos the last two days. Asked why he was wearing them indoors, Brady replied, “I’ve worn them before.” 

The five-time Super Bowl champion was also mum on whether or not he participated in practice Friday, sharing only that he was “out there,” which adds no clarification given that he was on the field before Thursday’s practice but did not participate. 

Brady is believed to have suffered the injury in Wednesday’s practice. Friday’s practice report will be released this afternoon. 
 

Dion Lewis: 'Nobody's really worried' about Tom Brady

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Dion Lewis: 'Nobody's really worried' about Tom Brady

James White put it perfectly on Thursday. When asked if he was the one who injured Tom Brady's hand in Wednesday's practice, the running back replied, "The world may never know."

During an interview with NFL Network, another Patriots running back said you can't put Brady's injury on him.

"Not me," said DIon Lewis. "No, it wasn't me . . . I actually didn't see it happen, but from when I talked to other guys, I knew he was gonna be oaky. It's Tom, so regardless of any situation he's put in, he's going to make sure he's out there game day. Nobody's really worried."

That seems to be the general consensus inside the Patriots locker room. They're all expecting Brady to play. And when they're asked about how he's looked, their answers have ranged from evasive to joking about Brady's handsomeness

The focus, as Lewis explained, isn't so much on the health of their quarterback but rather the game plan they're putting in place to take on the top defense in the AFC. 

"We have a great idea," Lewis said, "of what we think we can do to have success against this defense . . . We just gotta be on point every play. We don't got plays to give away."

Might that mean a load of two-back or two-tight end sets to keep Jacksonville's base personnel on the field? Might that mean plenty of work in the screen game, as Jerod Mayo suggested on this week's Quick Slants the Podcast? Might that mean a heavy dose of Rob Gronkowski?

There are soft spots in the Jaguars defense, as talented as it is, but it will probably require Brady being able to grip a football for the Patriots to exploit them. His teammates seem confident he'll be able to do that.