Celtics

Report: Red Sox and Pirates agree to Hanrahan trade

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Report: Red Sox and Pirates agree to Hanrahan trade

UPDATE: Saturday 10:15p - According to Gordon Edes, Mark Melancon could also be included in the trade for Joel Hanrahan.

Melancon recorded a 6.20 ERA in 45 relief innings with the Red Sox last year.

Saturday 4:35 - According to Jim Bowden, the Red Sox and Pirates have agreed on a deal.

Joel Hanrahan will head to the Red Sox, while Jerry Sands and pitching prospect Stolmy Pimentel will head to Pittsburgh.

Sands was acquired from Los Angeles in the deal that sent Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, and Carl Crawford to the Dodgers.

In two seasons with the Dodgers, Sands hit .244 with 4 home runs and 27 RBI.

As for Pimentel, he spent the past two seasons in Double-A Portland where he went 6-16 with a 5.96 ERA in 166 innings.

Saturday 4:10 - According to Jim Bowden of ESPN, the Red Sox and Pirates are finalizing the deal that would send Joel Hanrahan to the Red Sox.

Jerry Sands will, in fact, be part of the deal as Jon Heyman reported earlier in the day.

Saturday 3:50pm - Jerry Sands could be part of the deal, according to Jon Heyman.

Saturday 2:25pm - Jim Bowden revealed that the Red Sox would not include Xander Bogaerts, Matt Barnes, Jackie Bradley, Allen Webster, Rubby De La Rosa in a possible Hanrahan deal.

Additionally, Jon Heyman reported that Jose Iglesias is not part of the Red Sox current offer.

Saturday 1:12 - More bullpen help may be on the way for the Red Sox.

According to Gordon Edes, the Red Sox are close to a deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates that would bring Joel Hanrahan to Boston.

Hanrahan has saved 76 games for the Pirates over the past two seasons.

Also according to Edes, one official has reported that there is "still work to be done" in a possible deal.

The Pirates have previously shown interest in Red Sox shortstop Jose Iglesias as part of any package for Hanrahan.

More to come...

WATCH: Celtics vs. Hawks

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WATCH: Celtics vs. Hawks

Tune into NBC Sports Boston to watch the Celtics play the Hawks in Atlanta. You can also click here to watch the Celtics livestream presented by Nissan on the NBC Sports App. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live Presented by ACE Ticket.

- Game preview: C's defense looks to keep up historic pace

- Channel Finder: Make sure you know where to watch

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Celtics-Hawks preview: C's defense looks to keep up historic pace

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Celtics-Hawks preview: C's defense looks to keep up historic pace

As the wins continue to pile up for the Boston Celtics, so does the praise and adulation from others throughout the league. 

It’s a double-edged sword if you think about it. 

Acknowledging how good the Celtics are, is indeed a sign of respect. 

But it also means Boston plays every game with a large target on its back unlike any of Brad Stevens’ previous Celtics teams. 

And that means every game they play, even those like tonight’s matchup at Atlanta where they will be heavily favored, are dangerous matchups.

Because for some teams, the next best thing to competing against the champ (Golden State) is facing the team with the best record who just knocked off the champ. 

That will be one of the dynamics at work tonight when the Celtics (14-2) kick off a three-game road trip against a trio of sub-.500 teams beginning with the Hawks (3-12).

Boston has shown tremendous focus and attention to detail during their 14-game winning streak. But in that span, the Celtics have never had a trio of teams right behind each other that struggled as much as the Hawks, the Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks have this season. 

Not including games played on Friday, Boston’s next three opponents are a combined 11-33. 

All three of those teams would love to be the one to knock off the Celtics, the kind of victory that could significantly shift the direction of their respective franchises from their current downward spin. 

Meanwhile, the Celtics will look to continue to play with the kind of defensive temperament that has catapulted them to the top of the NBA’s defensive standings in several categories. 

“The way they’re beating teams it ain’t pretty,” a league executive texted NBC Sports Boston. “But they win. Last I checked, that’s what matters most.”

And that success has to a large degree, put a bigger bullseye on the Celtics than ever. 

“Now that we have a reputation, I think everyone is coming for us,” said Boston’s Jaylen Brown. “Now we have to come play even harder, and I think we can do that. I think we are more than capable.”

Especially if they continue to defend at a level we haven’t seen in years. 

Boston has a league-best defensive rating of 95.4. A key component in Boston’s strong play defensively has been their ability to win the battle of the boards. They come into tonight’s game with a .530 rebounding percentage which is second in the league to Portland (.539).

And that defense, while praised for how it functions collectively, it also consists of some pretty good individual defenders as well. 

Among guards averaging at least 20 minutes per game, Boston has four players ranked among the top 10 in defensive rating (Marcus Smart, 93.5 defensive rating, 2nd); Jaylen Brown (93.6, 3rd); Terry Rozier (95.0, 5th) and Kyrie Irving (96.4, 8th). 

When you look at forwards, Brown headlines a trio of forwards that includes himself, Al Horford (94.2, 3rd) and Jayson Tatum (96.1, 7th). 

Aron Baynes has the best defensive rating (90.6) among centers, followed by Horford (94.2).

“Our guys are locked in and really trying and again we can really play some pretty ugly basketball at times,” Stevens said. “But I do think that we are competing which is really good.”