Celtics

Wakeup Call: The market for Youk is heating up

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Wakeup Call: The market for Youk is heating up

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Monday, December 3:

BASEBALL
The Kevin Youkilis market appears to be heating up. (CSN Chicago)

Sounds like Ichiro -- or at least his agent -- is irritated with the Yankees. (CSN Baltimore)

Brian Wilson may have wanted to stick it to the Giants by joining their archrivals in Los Angeles, but the Dodgers apparently don't want any part of it. (CSN Bay Area)

From the "Succumbing To The Obvious" file, Brad Lidge has decided to retire. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

What? Edgardo Alfonzo was still playing?? (AP)

Forget the 519,203 someone spent for Ozzie Smith's Gold Gloves. I want to know who'd lay out 75,205 for a 70-plus-year-old bat that belonged to Lou Gehrig. (AP)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Saint Louis dedicated Sunday's win over Valparaiso to former coach Rick Majerus, who died of heart failure on Saturday. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Here are some storylines to help you while away the time before Notre Dame and Alabama collide 35 days from now. (NBC's College Football Talk)

Just like we anticipated a few weeks ago, Oregon and Kansas State are going to play each other. Just not for the national title is all. (AP)

C'mon, Louisiana Tech. Haven't you ever heard that old saying about a bird in the hand? (AP)

The Skip Holtz Era at South Florida is over. (AP)

HOCKEY
Donald Fehr's enthusiasm for the players-owners-only meeting on Tuesday may be tempered once he finds out Jeremy Jacobs is one of the owners who'll be attending. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL
The Magic stunned the Lakers in the teams' first meeting since Dwight Howard jumped from Orlando to Los Angeles, and Howard responded with the type of class and dignity we've come to expect. (AP)

A kinder, gentler 'Sheed? Yeah, right. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

But ball don't lie; the Knicks won anyway and remain undefeated at home. (AP)

It's a rip -- in the foot -- for Rip. (CSN Chicago)

PRO FOOTBALL
It was an emotional day in Kansas City, as the Chiefs beat the Panthers slightly more than 24 hours after the murdersuicide involving linebacker Jovan Belcher. (AP)

Romeo Crennel -- understandably -- won't talk about witnessing Belcher commit suicide Saturday morning, but he told SI.com's Peter King that "I wasn't able to reach the young man" as he attempted to prevent Belcher from shooting himself. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Um . . . this Andrew Luck guy is pretty good. (AP)

The AFC North race, and the battle for AFC playoff seeding, got jumbled as Charlie Batch and the Steelers beat Baltimore. (AP)

The real problem for the Ravens is that Flacco was a very ordinary Joe yesterday. (CSN Baltimore)

Uh, oh; Terrell Suggs may be hurt again. (Pro Football Talk)

On the other side of the field, so's Ike Taylor. (Pro Football Talk)

The Colin Kaepernick-to-Canton bus went off the road in St. Louis, though Jim Harbaugh did his best to put the blame on himself. (CSN Bay Area)

So did David Akers . . . and he may have had a point. (CSN Bay Area)

Tony Romo's in the record books, and Dallas is in the win column. (AP)

Whaddya know? The recording -- "Mark Sanchez is our quarterback. This is a recording." -- finally stopped yesterday, and, as a result, the Jets got a win. (Pro Football 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