Celtics

Wakeup Call: This is why celebrities sit in luxury boxes

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Wakeup Call: This is why celebrities sit in luxury boxes

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Wednesday, December 5.

BASEBALL
Now this is friendship: Robin Yount shot Dale Sveum -- with pellets, in the right ear and back -- on a recent quail hunt in Arizona, and the Cubs manager laughed it off. (AP)

It didn't take long for the Cliff Lee-for-Justin Upton trade rumor to get blown up. By both sides. (CSN Philly)

That's quite the rotation in D.C. now that Dan Haren is aboard. (CSN Washington)

The marriage of A.J. Pierzynski and the White Sox might be saved, after all. (CSN Chicago)

And why not? Marco Scutaro and the Giants saved theirs. (CSN Bay Area)

The Orioles are looking to find someone to play first base, and Michael Morse might fit the bill. (CSN Washington)

Or maybe it'll be Mark Reynolds, just like last year. (CSN Baltimore)

There'll be no Yunel EscobarJohn Farrell reunion -- which was the rumor for a while Tuesday -- as the ex-Blue Jays shortstop is headed to Tampa Bay. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
John Thompson III may not be very happy with Georgetown's offense, but when you allow only 41 points, well, you don't need much offense. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Bret Bielema is taking his talents to Arkansas. (AP)

And they're none-too-happy about it in Wisconsin . . . to the point that they may not let Bielema coach the Badgers in the Rose Bowl. (NBC's College Football Talk)

Elsewhere on the coaching carousel, it's Gus Malzahn taking over at Auburn. (AP)

And Darrell Hazell heading to Purdue, reportedly. (AP)

Meanwhile at Cincinnati, Butch Jones is said to be "weighing his options", though one of those options -- Purdue -- apparently has disappeared. (AP)

GOLF
No surprises here: Rory McIlroy is voted PGA Tour Player of the Year. (AP)

So can Tiger Woods challenge him for that title in 2013? After a year of progress, the jury is still out. (AP)

Nice job earning your Tour card, Si Woo Kim. Too bad you're not old enough to use it. (AP)

HOCKEY
"Cautious optimism" is the catchword of the day in the NHL labor talks. (CSN Philly)

In fact, NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr thinks Tuesday's marathon negotiating session might have been "the best day we've had," though he was quick to add that's not saying much. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL
The Wizards went all Rodney Harrison -- "NOBODY thought we could do it!" -- before the game, and whaddya know? It worked! (CSN Washington)

It happens, shrug the Heat. (AP)

The Rockets' Hack-a-Dwight strategy worked to perfection as they rallied from 13 points down with 10 minutes left to beat the Lakers. (CSN Houston)

And afterwards, both Howard and Mike D'Antoni were a little defensive. (AP)

That's six straight, and counting, for the Thunder. (AP)

The New Orleans Pelicans makes a lot more sense when you realize that was the name of the city's minor-league baseball team . . . though you have to be at least 60 to have ever seen the baseball Pelicans play. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

PRO FOOTBALL
See, this is why celebrities sit in luxury boxes. (NBC's Off The Bench)

Jon Gruden-back-to-the-Raiders would be a nice story if it made any sense . . . which it doesn't. (CSN Bay Area)

Thanks for everything, Charlie, but Ben Roethlisberger might be back this Sunday. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Just as Ben returns, Ike Taylor goes down. (AP)

Chuck Pagano's chemotherapy is over and he may return to the Colts in Week 17. (Pro Football Talk)

The Redskins' other Griffin -- cornerback Cedric -- is hit with a four-game PED suspension. (AP)

That Braylon Edwards thing didn't work out too well, did it, Seahawks? (AP)

Losing Brian Urlacher is not what the Bears need as they head down the stretch, but . . . (AP)

More details are emerging about the Jovan Belcher murdersuicide. Among them: While at the University of Maine, Belcher had several incidents involving domestic violence; he and Kassandra Perkins, whom he shot and killed, had a "strained" relationship and were separated for a time before reconciling around Thanksgiving; and Belcher may have been involved with another woman, whom he told police he was attempting to contact early Saturday morning. (AP)

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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