Celtics

KG could be the 'center' of attention

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KG could be the 'center' of attention

WALTHAM Kevin Garnett is used to being the center of attention.

According to Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers, we can look for Garnett this season to be the center period.

Even though the future Hall of Famer has spent the bulk of his career at power forward, Rivers doesn't believe it'll be that big an issue.

"When he was younger, that might have been a problem," Rivers said. "But now it's a pretty good place for him."

The idea of having Garnett play more in the middle is both out of necessity - Jermaine O'Neal is the team's only center with NBA experience, and he may be traded any day now - and the reality of what Garnett, 35, can provide at this stage of his career.

"He's older; he's bigger, stronger," Rivers said. "He can play both positions. He can spread the floor for us at that position. You can play him and (newly acquired) Brandon Bass together. Both of them can shoot the ball; either one of them can guard the five or the four. It makes us pretty versatile."

The idea also speaks to how thin the NBA free agent market is for reasonably-priced centers. Once you get past Tyson Chandler, Nene and Samuel Dalembert, the chances of finding an impact player at the center position are slim.

Rivers added that the idea also takes into account how there are very few physically imposing, dominant centers today which means Garnett wouldn't endure an unusually high amount of wear and tear beyond what he's used to.

The C's will continue to keep an eye out for opportunities to add another center to the roster. But it doesn't appear to be as much of a necessity now, primarily because of the additions of Bass and Chris Wilcox who are both power forwards with the ability to play some at center.

When asked whether the Celtics needed to add another center, Rivers responded, "we do and we don't. If we don't have one, I'm not that upset by it. I'll always take one, so if you can find one for me, please help out. But I think we have enough fours (power forwards) who can play both, and if we have enough fouls, we can get away with it."

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Jayson Tatum vs. Markelle Fultz debate

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Jayson Tatum vs. Markelle Fultz debate

0:41 - Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith give their reactions on the Celtics getting their first win of the season and a comparison between Isaiah Thomas and Kyrie Irving in the 4th quarter.

7:17 - Phil Perry joins BST to break down the tale of the tape between the Falcons and the Patriots as he breaks down the quarterbacks, offense, defense, coaching, and intangibles between the two teams.

11:57 - Our crew on BST discuss number 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz and number 3 overall pick Jayson Tatum going up against each other and debate who seems like the better pick so far. 

16:35 - In this segment of Irrelevant Questions, Tom Curran interviews Patriots WR Phillip Dorsett as he asks him a bunch of random questions. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

ALCS: Verlander, Astros beat Yankees 7-1 to force Game 7

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ALCS: Verlander, Astros beat Yankees 7-1 to force Game 7

HOUSTON -  Justin Verlander remained perfect with Houston, pitching seven shutout innings when the team needed him most, and Jose Altuve homered and drove in three runs as the Astros extended the AL Championship Series to a decisive Game 7 with a 7-1 win over the New York Yankees on Friday night.

Acquired in an Aug. 31 trade, Verlander has won all nine outings with the Astros. And with his new club facing elimination in Game 6 against the Yankees, he delivered again.

After striking out 13 in a complete-game victory in Game 2, Verlander threw another gem. The right-hander scattered five hits and struck out eight to improve to 9-0 with 67 strikeouts since being traded from Detroit. George Springer helped him out of a jam in the seventh, leaping to make a catch at the center-field wall and rob Todd Frazier of extra bases with two on and Houston up 3-0.

Game 7 is Saturday night in Houston, with the winner advancing to the World Series against the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE