Blakely: Celtics loss to Heat proves they're still a work in progress

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Blakely: Celtics loss to Heat proves they're still a work in progress

MIAMI There was no spilled blood or mangled body parts at America Airlines Arena as the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat kicked off the first chapter of what should be yet another brutal annual rivalry Tuesday night that ended with a 120-107 Celtics loss.

It was just the first of many battles to be waged between these foes, but there was no mistaking that this game meant more to all involved than it being just one of 82 games which they have been trying to sell folks on for weeks.

Nobody is buying that.

The Heat were out to prove that they were a wiser, smarter bunch than the franchise's first title winner in 2006 that opened defense of their crown by getting smashed by the Chicago Bulls in the opener.

And the Celtics were set on establishing that their depth, experience and all those cut-and-paste small ball lineups Doc Rivers can use, would truly be "lethal" in the games that really mattered.

However in their first game, the C's second unit managed to be outscored by the Miami backups, 32-29.

And during a stretch early in the third quarter, Miami pushed its lead to double digits with both LeBron James and Dwyane Wade on the bench.

"That should never happen," said C's coach Doc Rivers. "You can see they're ahead of us in continuity and all that."

And that lack of continuity is among the many reasons why the Celtics, while disappointed, are far from discouraged.

"We're not where we want to be," said C's newcomer Jason Terry. "But we will eventually."

It was refreshing after the game that most of the focus was on the actual game played, and not all the various subplots that had been dissected in the weeks leading up to the season opener.

Aside from a few hard fouls and what appeared to be some lingering hard feelings, the game was relatively free of drama.

The only moments where the tension was clearly noticeable came in the first quarter when Ray Allen tapped the shoulder of Kevin Garnett who was on the C's bench at the time, and Garnett ignored him.

"You guys know KG," Allen told a handful of Boston media. "Did you expect him to react? Kevin, he's an intense competitor. On the bench, he's in a different world; he's in a different zone. The five years I played with him, you have to respect that."

But breaking down whatever reasonsissues KG had for doing - or in this case, not doing anything - is pointless.

The C's have bigger, more important issues to worry about.

Doc Rivers had expressed concerns about his defense throughout the preseason, and they were in full blown, nowhere-to-be-found mode against a Heat team that racked up 93 points in just three quarters.

"That's not who we are; the way we defended tonight," said Paul Pierce.

All those small ball lineups that Doc Rivers loves to unleash, all came up small most of the game.

Jeff Green, arguably the best player for the C's in the preseason, was a non-factor and far too often looked lost, confused and when guarding LeBron James, flat-out abused.

"It all starts on the defensive end," Green said. "I didn't feel I was as aggressive on the defensive end as I should have been."

He wasn't alone.

Defense. Small ball challenges. Lots of first-half turnovers.

Yes, it was the first of 82 regular season games.

But this one means more not because of the outcome, but the opportunity it presents.

"Tonight was a good measuring stick for us," Pierce said. "We played against a team that's the best team in the NBA; they are the champs. There's a good chance for us to see where we're at. We got a lot of work to do. Obviously it's Game 1. We're not going to be the same team. As the year goes on, we understand it's a work in progress."

Breuer identifies picture as Patriots staffer Jastremski: ‘Absolutely’ him

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Breuer identifies picture as Patriots staffer Jastremski: ‘Absolutely’ him

Toucher & Rich try to get to the bottom of comedian Jim Breuer's ‎Deflategate story. Breuer IDs a picture of Patriots equipment staffer John Jastremski as the man he met last year at a resort in Mexico who told him he was the key guy in the controversy.

Watch the video for more. 

Before first open OTA practice, a quick look at Patriots media policy

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Before first open OTA practice, a quick look at Patriots media policy

FOXBORO -- The Patriots will hold their third OTA session of the spring on Thursday. It will be the first that is open to the media and will run for about two hours starting at 10:55 a.m. 

Because the Bills made headlines this week with their media policies during OTAs, below is a quick reminder of what is allowed and what isn't at Gillette Stadium during OTAs.

The policies have gone essentially unchanged since last year. Live tweeting or blogging during the practice is prohibited during a closed practice like Thursday's, but tweets following the session are allowed. (During practices that are open to the public, like training camp sessions with fans in attendance, some live updates are permitted.)

Here are the rules in detail, courtesy of the Patriots media relations staff . . . 

Media attending practices during OTAs are asked to cooperate in observing the following practice policies:

1. Please do not report on strategy. This includes describing formations, personnel groups, first-team/second-team groupings and non-conventional plays.

2. Live streaming of any video during practice or open locker room periods to the Internet or any other social media platform while on team premises is prohibited. 

3. Please do not quote, paraphrase or report the comments made by coaches or players during a practice session.

4. Please do not provide any live report updates during practice, this includes tweeting, blogging or posts to any social media platforms.

5. Please do not report on players who line up in positions different from the one listed on the roster.

If there are any questions regarding these policies during a practice session, please ask for clarification from a Patriots media relations representative in advance. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

The Bills irked the Pro Football Writers Association earlier this week when it unveiled its new media policy for OTAs. 

The team has prohibited referencing plays run or game strategy, including trick plays or unusual formations. It has also banned media members from reporting on personnel groupings, sub-packages, players who are practicing with individual units (first-team, second-team, goal-line offense, nickel defense, etc.), special plays, who is rushing the passer, dropped passes, interceptions, quarterback completion percentage and other statistical information.

PFWA president Jeff Legwold wrote an email to the Associated Press this week that called the policy "a vast overreach of the guidelines in the [NFL’s] current media policy" and "not only unnecessary, it is not in compliance."