FOXBORO -- Bill Belichick realizes how long Aqib Talib has been able to practice with the Patriots. And he understands that it hasn't been very long.
So to see Talib's 59-yard interception return for a touchdown on Sunday against the Colts, Belichick was pleased. But he also knows that Talib has more work to do.
"I think Aqib did some good things in the game," said Belichick. "There's other things that he'll work on and hopefully he can improve on. I think as our group plays together this week and the next game and so forth, then hopefully our overall execution as a unit can improve. Obviously we haven't had a chance to do that with him, other than a couple days last week. So, we'll see how that goes.
"Again, it's a team sport, and whatever any individual can or can't do is still impacted, to a great degree, on the rest of the unit: the secondary, the pass rush, coverage disguises, checks, and so forth and so on. There's a lot of, hopefully, room for growth there, more consistency, better execution on all of us when you add a new player in there. And hopefully that will get better."
Tonight’s pregame number is 133. That’s the total number of made 3-point field goals made last season by the players starting for the Bulls tonight. Whatever the Bulls reasons for signing Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade were this offseason, floor spacing was not one of them.
Wade’s career mark of 28.4 percent from distance is the third-worst percentage among active players with 600+ career attempts, while Rondo’s 28.9 career 3-pt FG% is seventh worst. And, for what it’s worth, the new-look Bulls shot 31.8 percent from beyond the arc (21st in the NBA) this preseason, while hitting 7.7 3-pointers per game.
Despite allowing 15 3’s last night vs the Nets, perimeter defense should once again be a strength for the Celtics. Last season, the Celtics were fourth in the NBA with an opponent 3-pt FG% of 33.6. They were 38-15 when holding opponents to eight or fewer 3’s.
With the NBA continuing to trend towards more 3-point shooting, it will be interesting to see how Fred Hoiberg’s offense looks this season, and especially tonight vs the Celtics.
Thursday's practice participation/injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Bills game:
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
TE Martellus Bennett (ankle)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Jamie Collins (hip)
WR Julian Edelman (foot)
DL Woodrow Hamilton (shoulder)
LB Shea McClellin (concussion)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (hamstring)
LB Elandon Roberts (ankle)
DL Vincent Valentine (back)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE
LB Zach Brown (illness)
TE Cordy Glenn (ankle)
WR Marquise Goodwin (concussion)
G Richie Incognito (illness)
RB LeSean McCoy (hamstring)
S Aaron Williams (neck)
DT Corbin Bryan (shoulder)
TE Charles Clay (knee)
DT Marcell Dareus (hamstring)
RB Mike Gillislee (foot)
LB Jerry Hughes (hand)
LB Lerentee McCray (knee)
G John Miller (shoulder)
WR Robert Woods (foot)
T Seantreal Henderson (back)
OFF THE LIST
LB Lorenzo Alexander (non-injury related)
DT Adolphus Washington (illness)