Celtics

Wakeup Call: Will Jets cut their losses with Tebow?

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Wakeup Call: Will Jets cut their losses with Tebow?

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Thursday, November 1:

AUTO RACING
The Chase for the Cup looks like a two-man battle between Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski. (AP)

BASEBALL
It was a parade of love in San Francisco for the World Series champs. (AP)

The confetti was still lining the streets when free agents-to-be Marco Scutaro, Angel Pagan and Jeremy Affeldt began pondering their futures. (CSN Bay Area)

Speaking of Pagan, he helped pass out some of the tacos he won for everyone in the country with his Game 2 stolen base. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

The Angels checked one item off their offseason to-do list, trading Ervin Santana to the Royals. (AP)

Let the A-Rod rumors begin. Today's entry: The Phillies. (CSN Philly)

Rafael Soriano figures it's time to cash in on his 42-save season as Mariano Rivera's replacement. (AP)

Dan Duquette says he likes Mark Reynolds, but doesn't like his 11 million price tag for 2013. So he'll see if he can't bring Reynolds back for a little -- or a lot -- less than that. (CSN Baltimore)

The Rays are keeping James Shields, Fernando Rodney and Jose Molina -- or at least they're picking up their 2013 options -- and letting Luke Scott go. (AP)

The Marlins' managerial search continues. The latest interviewee: Tigers coach Lloyd McClendon. (AP)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Michigan has suspended leading scorer Trey Burke for its exhibition opener because of what coach John Beilein is calling "out-of-character" decisions. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Pete Carroll on Steve Spurrier's claim that Alabama could beat some of the worst teams in the NFL: Get real, will ya? (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

But not to worry there, Saban: Alabama's playing LSU this weekend, not the Jaguars or the Panthers. And it looks like Amari Cooper will be good to go. (NBC's College Football Talk)

To keep him away from the general prison population, Jerry Sandusky's going to serve his sentence on death row. (AP)

GOLF
Phil Mickelson can't shake that horrific Ryder Cup defeat. (AP)

PRO BASKETBALL
I know it's early, but what a Dwightmare it's been for Lakers so far. (AP)

They're certainly making Mark Cuban's wish come true. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

Nice takeoff for James Harden with the Rockets. (CSN Houston)

Stephen Curry has a four-year, 44 million contract extension to take his mind off his bum ankle. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL
Even when the Jets have a bye week, Tim Tebow's in the news. (AP)

The Giants say they aren't going to let the damage and destruction of Hurricane Sandy take their minds off preparation for this week's game against the Steelers. (AP)

The Redskins figure no news is good news regarding a possible suspension for DeAngelo Hall after his blowup with the referees last week. But they haven't taken into account the hurricane, which closed the NFL offices in New York this week. (CSN Washington)

The NFL office also wants to talk to Emmanuel Sanders about that convenient leg cramp -- remember when he dropped like he was shot while the Steelers were trying to avoid using a time out in the fourth quarter against the Bengals, then returned one play later? -- he suffered a few weeks ago. (AP)

Told you this was coming! (CSN Baltimore)

The '85 Bears are remembered as one of the greatest teams of all time, but some -- like Richard Dent -- think they're actually a symbol of unrealized potential . . . and that it's Mike Ditka's fault they didn't win more than one Super Bowl. (CSN Chicago)

You may have to pass a faith test if you want to play for the Colts. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Marcus Smart upgrade to questionable for Game 5

Marcus Smart upgrade to questionable for Game 5

BOSTON –  Once considered a long shot to return by Game 7 of Boston’s first-round series with the Milwaukee Bucks, Marcus Smart may be on the floor as soon as Tuesday night's Game 5 matchup.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said there was no update on Smart following the team’s practice on Monday, but the team has since upgraded Smart's status to “questionable” for Game 5 – the first time he has been listed as anything other than “out” since he had his right thumb surgically repaired last month.

In the past couple of weeks, Smart has increased his workload and made it clear that he was inching closer to getting back on the floor possibly ahead of schedule. 

Prior to Boston’s Game 4 loss, Smart discussed his potential return. 

“I feel ready, I feel strong enough to get back out there,” Smart said at the time. “I’m just waiting for the OK.”

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It appears his most recent visit to the doctor went as planned with Smart now likely cleared to practice – and with that clearance, available to play. 

The return of Smart would be a huge plus for a Celtics team that has struggled mightily in this first-round series against Milwaukee from a defensive standpoint. 

During the regular season, Boston had a league-best defensive rating of 101.5. But against the Bucks, Boston’s defense has slipped to second-to-last among playoff teams which has heavily factored into the series now being tied at two games apiece. 

You can count Boston's Jaylen Brown among the Celtics eager to get Smart back into the fold. 

“When he gets in there he changes the whole game on defense,” Brown said. “He’s definitely missed so when he comes back that’ll make a lot of our jobs a whole lot easier.”

Stevens had similar sentiments about Smart. 

“Marcus is one of our most reliable players for the last four years,” Stevens said. “No question Marcus as been a huge part of us.”

Smart has appeared in 54 games for the Celtics this season, averaging 10.2 points, 4.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds while playing 29.9 minutes per game.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Jaylen Brown's crucial flub in Game 4 was actually officiating error

Jaylen Brown's crucial flub in Game 4 was actually officiating error

BOSTON -- The NBA’s two-minute report on Boston’s Game 4 loss at Milwaukee revealed a trio of incorrect non-calls in the closing moments of play, two of which went against the Celtics in their 104-102 loss. 

With Boston ahead 100-99 with less than a minute to play, Jaylen Brown lost the ball on a driving lay-up attempt. 

No call was made on the play, one that Brown thought he was fouled on. 

The two-minute report confirmed “that (Khris) Middleton makes contact to Brown's arm that affects his driving shot attempt.”

Had the call been made, Brown would have gone to the free throw line with 43.5 seconds to play with the Celtics already ahead by one point. 

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But on the ensuing Milwaukee possession following the non-call, Malcolm Brogdon drained a 3-pointer that put the Bucks ahead 102-100.

With 47.9 seconds to play, the two-minute report also indicated that an offensive foul should have been called against Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo. The two-minute report indicated that, “Antetokounmpo extends his arm and wards off (Semi) Ojeleye's arm, affecting his ability to contest the shot attempt.”

And with 1:14 to play, Antetokounmpo was fouled by Jayson Tatum although no call was made. On the play, the two-minute report says that, “Tatum clamps Antetokounmpo's arm and pushes him, affecting his (freedom of movement) and ability to receive the pass.

On the ensuing possession following the non-call, Tatum hit a jumper that put the Celtics ahead 100-99 with 52.4 seconds to play. 

Celtics coach Brad Stevens has been asked about officiating quite a bit in the last few days. And his response in each instance remains relatively the same.

"I'm not going to ever say anything bad about referees because they have a really tough job," Stevens said. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE