It seems kind of strange to have one of your star players part of the PAT team, but that's the case with Rob Gronkowski.
Bill Belichick goes to great depths to say that everybody is equal on the Pats. But don't you have to be careful with the star players? Troy Brown has his answer:
"You can sit here and say no all day long, but I think we all know better than that that there are guys out there that you really don't want to have -- in certain situations you would prefer to have someone else out there," Brown said. "It is the Patriot Way, you try to make people feel like they're just as important as everybody else."
Dan Shaughnessy wonders if Gronk really needs to be on that team.
"It's more of the idea that he's on the PAT team," he said. "If he's going to be on that team, I understand him being out there for that play. Should he be on that team? How important is that? And obviously with the score what it is, do you need him for that?"
Mike Felger, on the other hand, doesn't want everybody treated the same on the Patriots, but Troy Brown has a different perspective.
"I do feel like that as a team player, it's extremely important to have everybody feel like they are an integral part of your football team. That's extremely important. You can't have guys going out there, and coming into practice, and going into games feeling like, 'Well, they can do without me.'"
BOSTON – Here are a few odds and ends to keep an eye on heading into tonight’s game against the Sacramento Kings:
· The Celtics have won eight in a row over the Kings in Boston, with the last loss to Sacramento at the TD Garden coming on Jan. 19, 2007. Current Celtic Gerald Green was in the starting lineup that night.
· Only six times in franchise history have the Celtics launched 38 or more 3-pointers in a game, four of which came in the month of November this season.
· Speaking of 3-pointers, 36.2 percent of Boston’s shots are 3s. That ranks fifth in the league behind Houston, Cleveland, Brooklyn and Golden State.
· Don’t be surprised if Avery Bradley gets off to a good start tonight, especially from 3-point range. He’s shooting 59.1 percent on 3s in the first quarter which ranks second in the league.
· Isaiah Thomas tallied 395 points scored in November, the most by a Celtic since John Havlicek had 406 points in November during the 1971-1972 season.
· Boston leads the NBA in points scored (46.3 per game) by second-round picks. The Celtics’ second-round picks include Isaiah Thomas; Jae Crowder; Amir Johnson; Jonas Jerebko; Demetrius Jackson and Jordan Mickey.
· The Celtics are 5-0 this season when they outrebound an opponent.
· Tonight’s game will be Boston’s fifth set of back-to-back games this season. In the first game, they are 3-1 this season. On the second night, they are 2-2.
BOSTON – When it comes to defense, the Celtics are quick to claim that it is indeed the foundation for which their team is built upon.
Still, far too often this season, we have seen cracks in their usually Teflon-tough defense, the kind that ultimately means the difference between winning and losing.
The Celtics’ defense will once again need to step up and play well tonight against a Sacramento squad that has shown it can fill it up offensively of late.
Sacramento (7-11) has scored 100 or more points in eight of their past 10 games. In that span, their 107.2 points per game ranks ninth in the league.
In that same span, the Celtics have allowed opponents to score 100.3 points per game, which ranks 10th in the NBA in fewest points allowed.
And when it comes to winning, limiting teams to less than 100 points has been huge in Boston’s win total.
The Celtics have held eight opponents to 100 points or less this season.
Their record in those games? 8-0.
Within that limited scoring, Boston must also make sure teams don’t get into a nice groove shooting the ball.
Boston is 0-5 this season when an opponent shoots 48 percent or better from the field.
While there are several things Boston must do to be successful, having the right kind of defensive disposition ranks at or near the top of that list in their efforts to play with the kind of defensive success that gave so many hope that this would the year Boston would hold court among the top teams in the Eastern Conference.
“We have to get a little more nastier on the defensive end and not let a team come in and get comfortable,” said Boston’s Jae Crowder.