Celtics

Wakeup Call: L.A. apparently means 'Losing Always'

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Wakeup Call: L.A. apparently means 'Losing Always'

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Wednesday, October 31:

BASEBALL
No, no, baseball Gods! That D-word you might have heard . . . it didn't come from San Francisco! We swear! (CSN Bay Area)

Attention, dinosaurs: The Giants' victory wasn't a repudiation of Moneyball, despite what some of you seem to think. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Did you really think Jim Leyland wouldn't manage the Tigers in 2013? (AP)

They say offense sells tickets but defense wins championships. If so, we now have a clearer understanding of the Orioles' surprising surge in 2012. (CSN Baltimore)

Available: Former dominant closer. True handyman's delight. (CSN Houston)

Maybe Ricky Romero's struggles weren't John Farrell's fault, after all. (AP)

Dodger catcher A.J. Ellis, his wife, and his newborn daughter have a story they can tell for the rest of their lives. (Hardball Talk)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Rick Pitino achieves Coach for Life status -- just about -- at Louisville. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Urban Meyer is down with the NCAA's tough new sanctions on rule-breakers. (AP)

Bill O'Brien gets an A-plus from his boss for his first year on the job at Penn State. (AP)

Attention, Stanford: It's never a good sign when you plan to start alternating quarterbacks nine games into the season. (AP)

The iron curtain isn't soundproof, Bill Snyder. Thanks to social media, we now know that Kansas State linebacker Tre Walker is out for the season. (AP)

HOCKEY
At last, some money coming in! (AP)

Raffi Torres is under fire for a blackface Halloween costume, but he insists it was just a tribute to Michael Jackson, "one of my fave artists," and anyone "saying its racist is crazy!" (NBC's Pro hockey Talk)

My, things sure are different in Moscow, aren't they Alex? (CSN Washington)

The lockout has turned ex-Bruin Joe Corvo into his "wife's personal assistant." With the kids, with the kids . . . (Pro Hockey Talk)

Tyler Seguin's new teammate, Patrick Kane, has a nice Swiss League debut. (Pro Hockey Talk)

The Czech team whose fans directed racial taunts at Wayne Simmonds has been fined . . . though for what, I don't know. (Pro Hockey Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL
Well, well. We're now into the regular season, and the Lakers are still winless. (AP)

David Stern finds it tough to tell these massive hurricanes apart. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

Yeah, Dan, you probably should have thought that one through a little. (AP)

But at least this year's off to a good start, right? (AP)

A sore knee has Danny Granger out indefinitely. (AP)

Four more years! Four more years! For Ty Lawson, that is. (AP)

Stand proud, Anthony Davis: You know you've made it when Ludacris goes out for Halloween dressed as you and your unibrow. (NBC's Off The Bench)

PRO FOOTBALL
The Steelers don't anticipate any changes to their scheduled 4:25 p.m. kickoff in New Jersey against the Giants Sunday, despite the devastation that Hurricane Sandy delivered to the area. (AP)

The vultures circling the reeling Panthers have their eyes on Steve Smith. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

The reeling Jaguars, meanwhile, have sent Mike Thomas to Detroit as a replacement for Nate Burleson. (AP)

As for Steven Jackson, he's staying put. Or so say the Rams. (AP)

49ers to NFL: C'mon. Give Alex the record. (Pro Football Talk)

Ravens offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie has his financial problems, it's true. But he says a 375,000 tab at a strip club isn't one of them. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

SOCCER
Who says there's no offense in soccer? (NBC's Pro Soccer Talk)

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics back in win column

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics back in win column

0:41 - The Celtics returned to their winning ways with a 118-103 victory over the Orlando Magic. Tom Giles, Phil Perry and Rob “Hardy” Poole break down the win.

6:58 - Tom Giles and Hardy discuss the Bruins’ four-game winning streak and how the success of Anton Khudobin has helped keep the team afloat.

11:39 - Is the Patriots' Week 12 matchup with the Dolphins a trap game? Tom Giles, Phil Perry and Hardy discuss where Miami ranks among NFL teams and how the Patriots should approach the game.

17:07 - With Black Friday upon us, the Boston Sports Tonight crew discusses what big-ticket item they would choose to buy for any Boston sports team. 

 

Morris out, Brown questionable for Pacers game Saturday

Morris out, Brown questionable for Pacers game Saturday

BOSTON – Boston made strengthening their depth at the wing position a priority during the offseason.

Well, that depth will be put to the test with the possibility of at least one and maybe two of their top wing players being out for Saturday’s game at Indiana.

Shortly after Boston’s 118-103 win over Orlando on Friday night, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens announced that Marcus Morris (left knee) would not travel with the team for Saturday’s game against the Pacers.

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Also, Jaylen Brown will be attending the funeral of his best friend (Trevin Steede) in Georgia on Saturday and isn’t sure if he’ll be back with the team in time for Saturday’s game.

“My intention is to make it back. If I can, I’ll definitely be playing,” Brown said. “But we’ll see.”

The absence of Brown would be a huge blow for the Celtics.

Boston only returned four players from last season’s team, none of whom have improved their overall game as much as Brown did during the offseason.

He came into the season focused on being a lock-down defender.

But Gordon Hayward’s left ankle injury was a game-changer for all the Celtics, including Brown.

Not only would Brown be charged with being an elite defender, but Boston now needed the second-year wing player to become more of a scoring threat.

And to Brown’s credit, he has risen to the challenge.

In 20 games (all starts) this season, Brown has averaged 15.9 points per game which is second on the team to Kyrie Irving (22.9). In addition, Brown’s defense has been among the keys to Boston’s 17-3 start which is the best record in the NBA thus far this season.

His defensive rating of 95.0 is fifth among players to appear in at least 10 games this season, and tops among all second-year players. And of the four players ahead of him, two – Aron Baynes and Marcus Smart – are teammates.

But just like the Celtics gave Isaiah Thomas all the time he needed in dealing with the death of his sister right before the playoffs last season, a similar approach has been taken with Brown which he is admittedly appreciative of the organization for doing.

“Brad (Stevens) has been great in this process,” Brown said. “Just somebody to talk to, allowing me to deal with it in the best way our family and their family feels we can deal with it. He’s been great; we’ll see how it goes. Hopefully I can make it to Indiana; if not, I just have to re-group with my family and I’ll see you guys next game (against Detroit on Monday).”

While there's a chance that Brown will play against Indiana, the same can not be said for Morris who is definitely out.

Morris, who missed the first eight games of the season with left knee soreness, has been on a minutes restriction all season in addition to not being allowed to play in back-to-back games.

Following Friday’s game, Morris said the knee feels good but he understands the need to be cautious.

“It’s frustrating,” said Morris who acknowledged the decision was made by the coaching and medical staff. “I’m a competitor, so I want to be out there.”

He added, “Like I said, at this point I pretty much don’t have control over it when I’m playing. It’s a long season. I just want to be ready for June.”

With Morris out and Brown potentially out as well, the Celtics will be extremely thin and inexperienced at the wing position. Look for Marcus Smart and Aron Baynes to be in the starting lineup if Brown is out along with Morris.

Also, Stevens will likely use Terry Rozier and first-year forward Semi Ojeleye more in addition to increased spot-duty for another rookie, Abdel Nader. On Friday, Rozier had a career-high 23 points while Ojeleye and Nader had seven and three points, respectively.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE