Belichick: No time to re-write the playbook

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Belichick: No time to re-write the playbook

FOXBORO -- In the words of Bill Belichick, Tuesday was a Friday at Gillette Stadium, as the Patriots deal with a short week and prepare for the New York Jets on Thursday night.

It makes sense. But it also means their preparation time is limited.

"It's about as quick as you can turn it around," said Belichick on Tuesday. "So, the Colts game's behind us. We're already right in the middle of the Jets preparations, and as we know, there's a lot to get ready for there."

So how do you cram it all in?

"We just review the situations," said Belichick. "These are the things we've seen them do, these are whatever happen to be their plays, their coverages, their blitzes. We talked about things that they like to do situationally, first down, second down, red area, kickoff return, kickoff coverage, those kind of things. And just consolidate it and boil it down. We were going to show 40 plays. Now, maybe we show them 10 or 15 in that particular situation this week. We just don't have the time."

Factoring into that shortened week of preparation is the loss of tight end Rob Gronkowski, who broke his forearm on Sunday.

When asked how big of a loss Gronkowski is to the Patriots offense during this shortened week, Belichick was unsure as to how it would all play out.

"Other people are going to have to contribute," said Belichick. "We'll see how it goes. I don't know. We'll see how it goes."

Belichick then sounded confident in the way his offense runs as a whole, with or without any specific individual. But then again, he has to be confident in this offense. Because there's simply not enough time to re-write the script before Thursday night.

"We're not going to put in a whole new offense in a day and a half," said Belichick. "We may make some adjustments, but we've done what we've been doing for a while, and we've had some success with it. So, we'll find a way to continue to do the things that we know how to do, and if we have to make some adjustments, we'll make some. But we can't try to change everything in a couple days."

Whether that's a good thing or not for the Patriots, remains to be seen.

Halftime stars, studs and duds: Rose looking like his old self

Halftime stars, studs and duds: Rose looking like his old self

BOSTON – The New York Knicks have been in a massive funk of late, something the Boston Celtics had to know which, not surprisingly, would result in them playing with a heightened level of desperation.

That desperation left the Celtics a bit exasperated at the half which ended with a 10-2 run by New York that put them ahead 63-54 at the half.

After falling behind by as many as nine points in the second quarter, the Celtics rallied to within a single point (53-52) following a basket by Isaiah Thomas.

The second quarter was all-New York afterwards.

It was just a one-possession game (Boston led 34-31) for the Celtics going into the second quarter, which was exactly where Boston didn’t want to be against a Knicks team whose bench ranks among the NBA’s highest-scoring second units recently. In their last three games, the Knicks’ bench has averaged 43.0 points per game which according to hoopsstats.com, ranks sixth in the NBA during that span.

At the half, they had 33 points compared to just 12 for Boston’s backups.

Boston fell behind early 9-5, but the Celtics rallied following a time-out with a 15-4 run capped off by a 3-pointer from Isaiah Thomas.

The Celtics’ lead peaked at nine points on separate occasions in the first, but the Knicks closed out the first with a 12-6 spurt that cut Boston’s lead to 34-31 at the end of the first.

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from the first half.

 

STARS

Derrick Rose

The former league MVP looked like his old self tonight instead of just old. He led the Knicks with 14 points on 7-for-11 shooting.

Isaiah Thomas

The Knicks had great success inside the paint against all the Celtics minus Thomas who did much of his dirty work offensively on drives to the basket. At the half he had 19 points on 8-for-10 shooting.

 

STUDS

Willy Hernangomez

Boston had problems rebounding the ball, and Hernangomez was the main reason why. At the half he had 10 points and six rebounds, three of which were offensive boards.

Jae Crowder

Dealing with Carmelo Anthony is enough to keep Crowder busy tonight. But he’s doing that at a high level in addition to providing a nice punch offensively with 14 points.

Mindaugas Kuzminskas

You may not know his name, but his game was pretty impressive in the first half. At the half, he had nine points.

 

DUDS

Al Horford

We’ve seen him air-ball a 3-pointer, miss a lay-up and strguggle to get any shots to go down tonight. At the half, he had three points while missing nine of his 10 shot attempts.

Avery Bradley (Achilles) will not play vs. Knicks

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Avery Bradley (Achilles) will not play vs. Knicks

BOSTON – Both New York and Boston will take to the floor tonight minus a starter courtesy of a sore Achilles injury.

For Celtics guard Avery Bradley, tonight will be the fifth time in the last six games that his right Achilles injury will keep him sidelined.

Meanwhile, New York’s Kristaps Porzingis will miss his fourth straight game with a sore left Achilles injury.

The 7-foot-3 Porzingis averages 19.4 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game.

Porzingis’ absence tonight was established well before tip-off.

“I’d say I’m 90 percent ready; still not there yet,” Porzingis told reporters prior to the game. “But I’m getting closer … hopefully the next game or after the next game.”

As far as Bradley is concerned, he was a last-minute matter.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens was asked about his roster earlier tonight, and indicated Tyler Zeller (sinus) and James Young (ankle) would be on the inactive list tonight with injuries.

Without Bradley, the Celtics are expected to start Marcus Smart who has filled in as the team’s starter previously when the 6-foot-2 Bradley was unavailable.

 Bradley is the Celtics' second-leading scorer with 17.7 points per game this season, along with a team-high 6.9 rebounds per game and 2.4 assists.