ORLANDO, Fla. The NBA season is always a series of battles, filled with collateral damage in the form of player injuries.
This season is no different, especially with the lockout-shortened season forcing the league to play a condensed schedule.
"We knew that coming in that the schedule was a monster," said Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki. "It was everyone's fault. It was the player's fault. It was thee NBA's fault. We knew this was coming for two year and we didn't do anything about it, so now we have to deal with this shortened season and just play a lot of games."
Few teams will feel the sting of the lockout-shortened season coming out of the break like the defending NBA champion Mavericks.
"We've got nine games in 12 (days) coming out of the break, which is a ridiculous number of games," Nowitzki said. "But we've just got to deal with it and go from there. We've just got to fight through it. We knew coming in it was bad, but you've just got to deal with it."
With one of the older teams in the NBA, don't be surprised if the Mavs decide to sit some of their veterans. The San Antonio Spurs did that recently. Doing so won't be easy for the Mavs who have a number of players out with injuries which includes former Celtic Delonte West (broken finger).
"We're going to need every healthy body and get through this tough stretch," Nowitzki said.
0:41 - We all know how the Patriots operate. Are they keeping all details on Brady’s hand injury quiet to mess with the media and the Jaguars? Phil Perry, Kayce Smith and Michael Holley discuss.
4:31 - The AFC Championship game is nearly upon us and while Tom Brady remains questionable for the game, his play is not the only thing that will factor into this matchup. Michael Holley, Phil Perry and Lou Merloni break down how they think the game will go on Sunday.
9:33 - Steve Buckley joins BST to discuss an excerpt from his recent column, which stated that Brady’s injury is a reminder that the Patriots should not have traded Jimmy Garoppolo.
17:33 - The Celtics are coming off possibly their worst performance of the season. Does their dip in offense this month give us a cause for concern? Michael Holley, Tom Giles, Kayce Smith and Lou Merloni discuss.
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MASHANTUCKET, Conn. — Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski may not be looking closely at the Yankees' and Astros' rosters, but chairman Tom Werner was on Friday.
MORE RED SOX
“Sure there’s pressure,” Werner said at Winter Weekend when asked about the Yankees’ pick-up of Giancarlo Stanton and the Astros’ addition of Gerrit Cole. “Houston was formidable last year. I thought we played them competitively in Fenway Park. They’ve obviously improved. But if we have the kind of performances I expect from some of our players this year — obviously we’re looking for some more improvement from certain players. Hopefully, a healthy David Price will be very important to that.
"I think we have an excellent team, but anything can happen in a short series. The Yankees have improved, there’s no question about it. They have a deep bullpen and a great offense. But I like our chances.”
At the Boston baseball writers awards dinner on Thursday, Sox president Sam Kennedy cracked a joke about Dombrowski presenting Yankees general manager Brian Cashman with an Apple Watch as a gift.
“I’m sure that when Judge and Stanton come to Fenway Park this year, it’ll be electric,” Werner said.
It’s not exactly an offseason punch-for-punch dynamic with the Sox and Yankees, though, as it was circa 2003-04.
“Not specifically,” Werner said of countering Stanton. “It’s important for us to be competitive with them, but we’re not trying to play chess with them.”