Patriots

Former Celtic Green learning in the D-League

683072.jpg

Former Celtic Green learning in the D-League

ORLANDO, Fla. It's all-star weekend, and former Boston Celtic Gerald Green is stealing all the attention.

But this is in front of a sparse crowd, the kind he has grown more accustomed to during his post-Celtic career.

It's the D-League All-Star game, one in which Green's West team won, 135-132, and he was the MVP with 28 points on 10-for-17 shooting which included 3-for-8 on 3s.

Now with the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the D-League, Green is no different than the other 19 D-League all-stars, hoping his play shined brightly enough to get a call-up to the NBA.

"He'll get another shot sooner or later," one NBA scout said. "He's too talented, and he's still young. And watching him out here, he's just a different kind of athlete than the other guys here."

And the D-League is full of athletes, for sure.

But for the most part, they come with a noticeable flaw.

Big men are often undersized; guards can shoot but often have shaky ball-handling skills; some are great playmakers but can't defend.

"There's a reason -- maybe two or three reasons -- why all these guys are here," another scout said.

And then there's Green, who has the size (6-foot-8), speed and athleticism to be on just about any NBA team's roster.

Right now, the only thing that's holding him back? Opportunity.

Teams have been reluctant to roll the dice on him again, concerned with what he admits was a lack of maturity earlier in his NBA career. After two seasons with the Celtics (2006-2007), Green bounced around the next couple years with short stints in Minnesota, Houston and Dallas. After that, Green had no choice but to take his game overseas.

While he has no regrets about entering the NBA straight out of high school, he readily admits that his youth played a role in his early struggles.

"I was young, out of high school, immature things didn't click as fast as things click to me now," Green said. "I'm a lot smarter. I'm a lot more humble than I was. I don't take things for granted anymore."

That's a common sentiment for guys who have to take their talents overseas when opportunities dry up in the NBA.

"Being overseas, that's a man business," Green said. "You can't go over there being a little kid. You're in the middle of nowhere. I grew up a lot faster being overseas, which I think is a good thing."

He added, "I had to go overseas, kind of refine myself, rebuild what I had started earlier in my career."

One of the first things he's had to do is shed the image that all he can do is dunk the ball. That comes with the territory when the most notable thing on your NBA resume was winning the Slam Dunk competition in 2007. That was a big reason why he did not want to participate in the D-League's slam dunk competition on Saturday.

Today, Green wants to be seen as a more complete player who, wisely enough, does a better job of learning more from those around him.

He had a chance to spend a week with the Los Angeles Lakers before the season, and said he paid close attention to Kobe Bryant.

"He took practices like a game," Green said of Bryant. "His focus was unbelievable. That's one thing I kind of took from that."

Those lessons, coupled with his play of late for the D-Fenders -- he's averaging 19.1 points and 4.6 rebounds while shooting 48 percent from the field and better than 46 percent on 3s -- has the 25-year-old Green optimistic that his return to the NBA will be come eventually.

"I am so happy that things are starting to look good for me," he said. "I'm just excited."

Patriots-Dolphins injury report: Cutler out for Dolphins

dolphins_jay_cutler_102317.jpg

Patriots-Dolphins injury report: Cutler out for Dolphins

The injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Dolphins game:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

OUT
C David Andrews (illness)
OT Marcus Cannon (ankle)
WR Chris Hogan (shoulder)

DOUBTFUL
TE Martellus Bennett (shoulder/hamstring)

QUESTIONABLE
WR Danny Amendola (knee)
DT Malcom Brown (ankle)
S Patrick Chung (ankle)
CB Eric Rowe (groin)
WR Matthew Slater (hamstring)

OFF INJURY LIST
QB Tom Brady (Achilles)
TE Rob Gronkowski (illness)

MIAMI DOLPHINS

OUT
G Jermon Bushrod (foot)
DE William Hayes (back)
QB Jay Cutler (concussion)

QUESTIONABLE
T Laremy Tunsill (illness)
LB Stephone Anthony (quadriceps)
S Maurice Smith (illness)

OFF INJURY LIST
RB Senorise Perry (knee)
S Michael Thomas (knee)
DT Ndamukong Suh (not injury related)

Pastrnak's third-period goal gives Bruins their fourth straight victory, 4-3 over Pens

cp-bruins-mcavoy-kuraly-112417.jpg

Pastrnak's third-period goal gives Bruins their fourth straight victory, 4-3 over Pens

BOSTON – The Bruins always hope to give their fans something good in their annual matinee on the day after Thanksgiving, and that was the case Friday.

They got off on the right foot with a great first period, then finished with an electric breakaway from David Pastrnak in the third period, and posted an entertaining, solid 4-3 win over the back-to-back Stanley Cup champ Pittsburgh Penguins at TD Garden.

Pastrnak’s 11th goal of the season was the game-winner. The Penguins had battled back from 2-0 and 3-1 deficits and tied the score, then Pastrnak was freed up by a brilliant neutral-zone pass from Riley Nash. He sped in all alone and flipped the puck over Matt Murray’s glove hand at 5:06 of the third.

David Krejci and Sean Kuraly had opened things up with goals in the first period, as the B's outshot the Penguins by a 14-4 margin. But Sidney Crosby and the Pens answered back in the second with three goals of their own, including a controversial game-tying score from Sid the Kid after Boston had moved ahead 3-1 on a goal from Charlestown native Matt Grzelcyk.

The Crosby goal came after it appeared the refs had called play dead with a whistle as the puck sat on Anton Khudobin’s waist in the crease. It also appeared to have been goalie interference, as Crosby’s stick had made contact with Khudobin while the puck was in mid-air. But on replay the officials overturned the call of no-goal on the ice, and the score was tied 3-3 after two.

That set things up for Pastrnak, who snapped a five-game goal-scoring stretch, and handed the red-hot Bruins their season-high fourth win in a row.