Celtics

Welker regrets, Rex doesn't -- Who's right?

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Welker regrets, Rex doesn't -- Who's right?

By Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com

If Wes Welker could go back in time, he wouldn't make fun of Rex Ryan.

If the Patriots receiver could rewind to the happy days before Jan. 16, he wouldn't mention feet once in his press conferences, let alone 10 times.

If Welker could return to the schoolyard where Ryan and Antonio Cromartie were pushing around his buddy Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick, he wouldn't push back. He'd walk away.

"It's just not worth it," he said.

Not after losing to Ryan's team in the playoffs, anyway. No, Welker has officially joined the wave of second-guessing that's washed over New England.

Belichick might regret benching Welker; Vince Wilfork does regret the benching of Welker, Patrick Chung regrets the fake punt; Brady regrets the pass that David Harris intercepted; Brady should regret the hair and the Uggs; the Patriots all now regret their lack of urgency.

Pretty standard stuff after getting pushed off the road to Dallas.

Except the Jets don't regret a damn thing.

Rex Ryan burdened his team with such lofty expectations that they could only end up owners of the ballsiest Super Bowl prophecy in recent history, or inevitable failure. He boasted, he joked, he taunted, he made threats, and he promised a Lombardi Trophy to the city of New York.

They beat the Patriots, sure. But then they beat themselves.

On Sunday, the Jets lost to Pittsburgh in the AFC Championship. There are plenty of things -- not just on that day, but throughout the season -- that the heartbroken Ryan could have regretted. But he never backed down, not from anything.

"Our goal for next year, Ive got news for you, it wont change," the coach said. "It will never change. Were going to chase that Super Bowl. Were going to chase it until we get it. Then, well chase it after that again.

"I would change the outcome of this game and thats the only thing I would change. We dont need to apologize to anybody. Well be back, youll see."

So the contrast between franchises followed both teams to their graves this season.

And who would you rather be? The guy with the hangdog mug, spilling regrets during his presser? Or the guy who hides failed promises under new vows more pressure-laden than the last?

With both teams bounced from Super Bowl dreams, there's really only one answer: Everyone regrets Uggs. Everyone.

Now, it gets real for revamped Celtics

Now, it gets real for revamped Celtics

CLEVELAND – For the Celtics, the preseason went about as well as expected.
 
No serious, long-term injuries.

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They won every preseason game, even one in which the team’s second unit played the role of starters.
 
And the chemistry concerns with so many new players, while very real, didn’t seem to be that big an issue.
 
Still, as good as the Celtics may feel about where they stand, they know it means absolutely nothing unless they get it done against elite, NBA-caliber competition.
 
The Cleveland Cavaliers.
 
Opening night.
 
It doesn’t get much more challenging than that.
 
And for the Celtics, win or lose, this is going to be a game for them to build upon going forward this season.
 
“I’m just ready to get going,” said Gordon Hayward. “A lot of things have happened this summer, a lot of buildup. I’m ready to get to the game. It’s going to be a fun matchup, for sure.”
 
Among the summer happenings was Boston and Cleveland pulling off one of the biggest blockbuster deals of the offseason with the Cavs trading Kyrie Irving to the Celtics for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic while also conveying Brooklyn’s 2018 first-round pick and Miami’s 2020 second-round pick to complete the deal.
 
Having spent his first six seasons with the Cavaliers, there’s a certain amount of corporate knowledge that the 25-year-old Irving brings to tonight’s matchup.
 
“I know a lot about them, they know a lot about me,” Irving said. “There’s plenty of film on all of us, but specifically going back and understanding the way we played last year when I played with them and now how they’re playing with the new guys, understanding how to implement themselves into their new system plus me implementing myself into this system...There’s definitely some benefits on our end, there are some benefits on their end. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
 
Part of the challenge for the Celtics will be developing the kind of on-court cohesion to be successful, which is easier said than done when you’re talking about getting nearly a dozen players on the same page in just a few weeks.
 
“We have good chemistry as a group,” said Al Horford. “We still have a ways to go as far as keep getting comfortable with each other and keep figuring out our spots. But we feel good with what we have. Our young guys, it’s been remarkable how quickly they’ve been able to come along and be up to date with everything. And our new guys as well. They’re up to date, they know what we need to do. They understand the game plan. It’s been good.”
 
Players aren’t the only ones eager to get to tonight’s game.
 
“To have to go into Cleveland with that level of intensity, with that level of attention, distraction, etc. is great,” said Celtics coach Brad Stevens. “It’s great to experience that in game one, a tremendous learning experience for our group, so we’re preparing to play as well as we can. And we know that they’re really, really good. But this is..I’m looking forward to it because I want to find out where we are.”
 

'People took it the wrong way,' Isaiah says of his Ainge comments

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'People took it the wrong way,' Isaiah says of his Ainge comments

Isaiah Thomas told Sports Illustrated last week that he "might never talk to Danny [Ainge] again." And he sounded pretty bitter about his trade from the Celtics to the Cavs.

Now, on the "Road Trippin" podcast with new teammate Channing Frye and ex-Cav Richard Jefferson, Thomas, who is out until at least January with a hip injury, said those comments were misunderstood.

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“People took it the wrong way,” Thomas said. “I understand the business, I understand that we’re in position to get traded and sent to other teams and things like that. It’s just how it went down that I didn’t respect. As a man, I feel like if you respected me as much as you say you did, you would have at least informed me about what was going on before it happened. And that’s all I was talking about.

“I’m not tripping off the trade like I got traded to the Cavs and we’re going to win a championship. And at the end of the day, I’m going to be fine with that,” Thomas said. “[Ainge] sent me to an even better situation with a bigger platform. I’m blessed to be in the position, I’m grateful and I’m excited.”

The Cavs host the Celtics tonight in the season opener. 

Jae Crowder, who came to Cleveland from Boston, was also on the podcast and when Frye talked with him about players deserving communication from the front office, Thomas could be heard in the background, saying, “That’s what I’m talking about.”

“I already said what I’m doing," Thomas told Crowder about what he'll do should he run into Ainge. "I’m going to keep it pushing like he kept pushing when he traded me, I’m not going to disrespect him. He’s a man and I’m a man, too. Like, I’m going to go my way. I play for the Cavaliers and that’s what it is.”