WALTHAM The Boston Celtics have a roster spot available that they could easily fill with a big man to help with the team's porous rebounding.
But Danny Ainge said there's no movement in that direction right now.
Ainge remains confident that the C's rebounding woes can be cured from within the team's current roster.
The Celtics have shown flickering moments of being a good rebounding team this season. In their 116-110 overtime win at Orlando on Sunday, the Celtics out-rebounded the Magic 51-42. Orlando came into the game as one of the NBA's better rebounding clubs. The Magic are currently 12th in the league in rebounding.
But far too often, the Celtics have allowed themselves to be pushed around and bullied without putting up the kind of fight and resistance needed.
"It's focus. It's effort," said Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations. "It's five guys doing it. It's like that old cliche, all it takes is one guy to not be doing his job. That's sort of where we are. We're not getting everybody to lock in on every possession. Until we do, we'll be ordinary."
The Celtics currently rank dead-last (out of 30 teams) in rebounding with 37.1 per game. Their opponent tonight, Portland, isn't that much better. The Blazers are grabbing 39.4 per game which ranks just ahead of the C's, at No. 29.
Tom Brady and David Ortiz have shared the spotlight in this region for more than a decade now as the faces of their respective franchises. They have a unique perspective on what it takes to the longevity that eludes most other athletes, and they know what it's like to be among the most recognizable faces in this part of the country.
There seems to be a certain level of mutual respect between the two local stars, something that Ortiz made quite clear in an interview with SI.com. Asked about Brady and Deflategate, the Red Sox slugger pulled no punches.
"I think it’s stupid, to be honest with you," Ortiz said. "Put it this way: You’re talking about the one player that everybody wants to watch play. We’re not just talking about any player. We’re talking about Tom Brady. If I turn on the TV on Sunday to watch a Patriots game and I know that Tom Brady is not playing, I would turn off the TV. I don’t want to watch that game."
Brady's four-game suspension was upheld by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this offseason, but the quarterback and the NFLPA recently filed a petition to request a rehearing. The Patriots organization submitted an amicus brief to the court last week that criticized the NFL's process and supported Brady's request to have his case heard once again.
As good as things have gone for the Red Sox so far in 2016, their 2017 prospects took a bit of a blow over the weekend.
Sam Travis -- one of the organization's top prospects, and someone who opened a lot of eyes with an impressive spring-training showing this year -- suffered a torn ACL on Sunday while playing for the Pawtucket Red Sox and will be lost for the rest of the season. He was hurt while playing first base, collapsing as he chased down an opposition baserunner during a rundown play. He had to be helped off the field, and the extent of the injury was announced on Monday.
With David Ortiz retiring at the end of this season and Hanley Ramirez expected to replace him as the full-time designated hitter, the door was open for Travis to become the Red Sox' first baseman next year. Playing at Triple-A for the first time, the 22-year-old Travis -- honored by the Red Sox as their Minor League Offensive Player of the the Year in 2015 -- was hitting .272/.332/.434 with 10 doubles, 6 home runs and 29 RBI in 47 games.
Now, however, it's almost a complete certainty Travis won't be able to start next season in Boston. And depending on what the Red Sox do in the offseason to replace Ortiz, such as a signing a free agent to a multiyear contract, Travis' path upward in the Sox organization may become less wide open . . . if not blocked.
The one thing we know from last summer’s NHL Draft: Anything can happen. See how the first round looks in Joe Haggerty's latest mock draft.
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