Patriots

See which NBA team is interested in Greg Oden

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See which NBA team is interested in Greg Oden

From Comcast SportsNetCLEVELAND (AP) -- Greg Oden's next comeback could be with the Cavaliers.A person with knowledge of Cleveland's interest said the team is exploring the possibility of signing Oden, the former No. 1 overall pick whose NBA career has been sabotaged by injuries.The Cavs are doing their due diligence while looking at Oden, said the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Tuesday because the team's interest is contingent upon the center's health.CBSSports.com first reported the Cavs and Miami Heat were leading the pursuit of Oden, who hasn't played since 2009 and has undergone three microfracture knee surgeries -- two on his left knee.Before watching No. 11 Ohio State's 58-49 win over Wisconsin on Tuesday night in Columbus, Ohio, Oden said he hopes to be healthy enough to take another shot at pro ball."I don't know when, but I'm taking this year off. I'll play next year," said Oden, who led the Buckeyes to the Final Four as a freshman in 2007.Oden's agent, Mike Conley Sr., could not be reached for comment.A defensive force during his one college season, the 7-foot Oden was the first player taken in the 2007 draft by Portland, who chose the soft-spoken big man over All-Star Kevin Durant. Oden was limited to just 82 games with the Trail Blazers, averaging 9.2 points and 7.3 rebounds. Oden has not played since 2009, and he had his last operation on Feb. 20 last year.Portland waived Oden last March, ending a troubled five-year run with a player who entered the league with superstar potential.Any team that signs the 25-year-old Oden would be taking a risk. But for a rebuilding team like the Cavs, who are looking to add pieces around All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, the possibility Oden could develop into a productive player is enticing.Oden said he has no preference on which team he plays for."Right now I'm not worrying about where," he said. "I'm only worried about my knee."

Five quick thoughts: Patriots put it all together against Falcons

Five quick thoughts: Patriots put it all together against Falcons

FOXBORO -- Here are some quick-hitting thoughts on the Patriots' 23-7 victory over the Falcons on Sunday night.

1) If the Patriots attacked this game believing that the best defense is a good offense . . . they were right. 

They controlled the ball for more than 18 minutes in the first half and ran for 92 yards on 18 carries (a 5.1 yards per attempt average) with four backs sharing the load. Rex Burkhead gave the team a spark with his speed and vision in his first game back since suffering a rib injury in Week 2. The success the Patriots had running the ball had the added benefit of opening up the play-action pass game and it helped protect Tom Brady. After taking two sacks in the first quarter and a monster hit (penalized for roughing the passer) from Adrian Clayborn in the second, Brady was fairly well-protected. 

PATRIOTS 23, FALCONS 3

2) Tom Brady lamented the fact that he hadn't been more accurate in the red zone of late, but he was better in that area to help the Patriots pad their early lead. 

The Patriots went 2-for-3 in the red zone through the first half, with Brady hitting on touchdown passes to Brandin Cooks (which looked more like an end-around hand-off) and James White. Brady still had moments of inaccuracy. The pass he lofted before being croaked by Clayborn was a bad one that was intercepted. (The pick was wiped after the penalty was enforced.) He threw behind Chris Hogan on multiple occasions. He also had an odd throw float well out of bounds that was intended for Rob Gronkowski. But for the most part he was on point, completing 21 of his first 29 throws for 241 yards. 

3) The Patriots defense showed up in critical moments time and time again in this one. 

They stopped the Falcons twice on fourth down, and they allowed Matt Ryan and his offense to convert on just two of their first nine third-down plays. The Falcons coaching staff deserves plenty of criticism for going for it when they did, but with a banged-up secondary, going against the reigning MVP and one of the best receivers in the league, the Patriots responded.

4) Bill Belichick's run defense was particularly impressive in the first half on Sunday night, helping keep the Falcons from getting anything going until it was too late. 

They allowed just 30 yards on nine attempts in the first two quarters (a 3.3 yards per attempt average), with Malcom Brown, Trey Flowers, Kyle Van Noy, Lawrence Guy and Deatrich Wise all making impressive stops at, near or behind the line of scrimmage. 

5) The Patriots suffered a handful of injuries to key players that will be worth keeping an eye on moving forward. 

Malcom Brown left the game in the second half with an ankle injury. Their top defensive tackle this season, Brown's absence may be one reason for why the Falcons were able to pump up their rushing yardage to triple digits by midway through the fourth quarter. Dont'a Hightower also left the game and was announced as questionable to return with a shoulder injury. Hightower has had a history of shoulder issues and so perhaps this is an older injury that was re-aggravated. Chris Hogan also left the game briefly and was evaluated for a concussion, according to NBC's television broadcast. He later returned.

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