Celtics

Wakeup Call: A Pyrrhic victory . . . or is it just a sprain for RGIII?

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Wakeup Call: A Pyrrhic victory . . . or is it just a sprain for RGIII?

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Monday, December 10.

BASEBALL
Looks like there'll be no TitoYouk reunion, as the Indians -- who reportedly grew tired of waiting for Youkilis to make a decision -- have reached agreement with Mark Reynolds to play first base. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Nor are Francisco Liriano and the Twins getting back together. (Hardball Talk)

The way A-Rod sees it, the last time he had hip surgery he made it back and the Yankees won the World Series. So . . . (AP)

It's a deal between the Phillies and Rangers, and Michael Young's now in Philadelphia. (AP)

Hardball Talk's Matthew Pouliot says the Royals-Rays trade is a case of "a general manager putting his own best interests ahead of those of his team", since Dayton Moore a) knew he'd probably be fired if the Royals didn't show improvement in 2013, and b) the price tag was waayy too high for two players who will only lift K.C. into the 82-85 win range.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Undefeated, and No. 1, Indiana received its first bit of bad news, as sophomore forward Austin Etherington is lost for the season. And because of an injury suffered against Central Connecticut State, no less. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
They say when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. Things must be pretty weird at Temple, then, because the Owls -- in attempting to fill the head coaching vacancy created when Steve Addazio bolted for Boston College -- are looking at Eagles defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. (CSN Philly)

And Giants assistant Matt Ruhle. (NBC's College Football Talk)

The theme continues: Is anyone weirder than Nick Saban, who's now being linked to the Browns? (College Football Talk)

And more weirdness: Going from a Big 12 school to one in the Big East? But that's what Tommy Tuberville's doing, as he's leaving Texas Tech for Cincinnati. (AP)

Manti Te'o's Heisman snub didn't go down too well at Notre Dame. (CSN Chicago)

Jerry Sandusky's "fight is 100 percent back", says his lawyer, and they're pressing ahead with his appeal. (AP)

HOCKEY
Let's start the merry-go-round once again. (AP)

PRO BASKETBALL
They may not be winning, but at least the Lakers are hustling and working hard. Oh, wait . . . (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

It's 180 degrees different in the Big Apple. (AP)

Pretty sure Steven Jackson himself wrote the first Twitter post, and -- 25,000 later -- his representatives wrote the second. (AP)

Also 25,000 lighter these days: Cavs coach Byron Scott. But it was for a more traditional, postgame bashing of the refs. (AP)

Derrick Rose gives an update -- of sorts -- on his ACL rehab. (CSN Chicago)

When Kevin McHale returned, Jeremy Lin's playing time shrank. But Lin says he understands. (CSN Houston)

PRO FOOTBALL
It may have been a pyrrhic victory, but it was a victory nonetheless -- and a big one -- for the Redskins. (AP)

Hard to believe RGIII has just a sprained knee. Yet that's the story . . . for now. (CSN Washington)

Now that the games are big, the Ravens are coming up small. (CSN Baltimore)

But what, them worry? (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

It was an emotional win for the grieving Cowboys. (AP)

Desperate times call for desperate measures: The Eagles broke their eight-game losing streak with a play Nick Foles drew up in the dirt. Figuratively, that is. (CSN Philly)

The Bears ran up "perhaps the most meaningless 438 yards of total offense in recent memory" in their 21-14 loss to the Vikings. (CSN Chicago)

And they're now in second place in the NFC North as a result, as the Packers beat the Lions and took over the top spot. (AP)

Now this is the Brandon Jacobs we know. (CSN Bay Area)

David Wilson had a nice coming-out party -- and at the right time, too -- for Jacobs' former team. (Pro Football Talk)

I guess Greg Hardy was right. (AP)

Quite the story unfolding in Indianapolis, isn't it? (AP)

Arizona's humiliating meltdown at Seattle -- eight turnovers, 154 yards total offense, a 58-0 loss -- was one for the ages. (AP)

Interesting fallout from the Jovan Belcher murdersuicide: Peter King reports that at least seven NFL players have turned in their guns to team security personnel, with one player telling his team that he doesn't trust himself. (Pro Football Talk)

Moving to power forward 'presents a different challenge' for Horford

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Moving to power forward 'presents a different challenge' for Horford

PHILADELPHIA – For the third time in as many games, the Boston Celtics will field a different lineup.

It will have a domino effect on Boston’s usual starters, but no one more than Al Horford who will slide over to power forward with Aron Baynes inserted into the starting lineup where he’ll be charged with trying to defend Sixers 7-footer Joel Embiid.

Meanwhile, Horford will be assigned to defend Robert Covington who is one of Philadelphia’s better perimeter scorers.

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“I feel like one of my strengths is being able to play multiple positions,” Horford told NBC Sports Boston. “It presents a different challenge for me, which is making sure I do a good job of covering him out on the perimeter, staying between him and the basket.”

In Philadelphia’s 120-115 season-opening loss to Washington, Covington led all Sixers with 29 points which included him going 7-for-11 from 3-point range in addition to grabbing seven rebounds.

While Covington will be Horford’s first defensive assignment, he knows he will also be called upon at times to defend Embiid who ranks among the best centers in the NBA despite having played just 32 games over the course of three NBA seasons.

In the loss to the Wizards, Embiid had a double-double of 18 points and 13 rebounds.

Horford’s defense will be critical for Boston (0-2) to get its first win of the season, but the Celtics will also need him to take advantage of scoring opportunities as well.

“We have some guys down, but that creates opportunities for other guys to step up and contribute,” Horford said. “It’s going to all of us, the veterans, the young players, all of us to get that first win.”

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens agreed.

“I think that’s how we have to look at it,” Stevens said. “We’re going to have to make a few tweaks on how we do things, obviously. Hey, it’s gonna be something that we’re going to have to do really, really well on the fly.”

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