From Comcast SportsNetTORONTO (AP) -- John Gibbons was hired as manager of the Toronto Blue Jays for the second time Tuesday, returning to a team that just invigorated its roster after a blockbuster trade with the Miami Marlins.Gibbons managed Toronto 2004-2008 and had a 305-305 record, making him the third winningest manager in franchise history.He succeeds John Farrell, who spurned Toronto for his dream managing job in Boston. Gibbons, however, takes over a very different team from the one Farrell managed.The surprise announcement came a day after the Blue Jays completed a mega deal in which they acquired All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes and pitchers Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle from Miami. Toronto agreed to the trade last week and Commissioner Bud Selig approved it Monday. The Blue Jays, extraordinarily busy in this offseason, also announced the signing of free agent outfielder Melky Cabrera.Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos had said he wanted someone who was familiar with the organization and city. Anthopolous was an assistant GM when Gibbons managed Toronto. Gibbons joins Cito Gaston as managers serving two stints with the Blue Jays.His best season was in 2006, when Toronto went 87-75 to finish second in the division -- the same season he had a well-publicized blowup with players Shea Hillenbrand Ted Lilly.Gibbons most recently managed the San Antonio Missions of the Texas League (AA) in the San Diego Padres' organization last season. He also had three seasons as the Kansas City Royals' bench coach.Gibbons joined the Blue Jays' coaching staff in 2002 as a bullpen catcher and was promoted midseason to first base coach. He served in that capacity until replacing Carlos Tosca in 2004. Before joining the Blue Jays the first time, Gibbons spent 11 seasons working with the New York Mets.
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BOSTON -- The last time Boston saw the Charlotte Hornets last month, both teams were streaking in the wrong direction with each coming in having lost three in a row.
Both come into tonight’s game streaking, although in two very different directions.
Boston (25-15) has won 12 of its last 15 games to firmly establish itself as the third-best team in the East behind Cleveland and Toronto. Meanwhile the Hornets (20-20) are on the cusp of falling below .500 for the first time this season after losing their last four games.
Still, Celtics coach Brad Stevens has seen enough of this Hornets team to know that a win tonight won’t come easily.
“This is a good team,” Stevens said. “We all know Charlotte. They don’t beat themselves. We’ve had to play really well against those guys. This is going to be a tough one, as we all know.”
Figuring out why these two teams are trending in opposite directions isn’t all that complicated.
For the Celtics, their success of late has hinged heavily on their ability to make 3-pointers. Meanwhile, Charlotte’s problems have had a lot to do with a tough slate of road games (all four of their recent losses were on the road) and their inability to make shots which has been an issue in some form for them all season regardless of the opponent.
Look at the last four games, all of which the Hornets lost while the Celtics won three of their four games in that span.
The Hornets rank 21st in scoring with a 101.5 points per game average while the Celtics average 110.8 points which ranks 8th in the league.
Charlotte ranks dead-last in the league the last four games when it comes to shooting the ball (40.5 percent), while Boston comes in 18th at 46.0 percent.
But it’s the 3-point shot and its impact on having an effective field goal percentage, that really separates these two.
Boston has averaged a league-best 15.3 made 3-pointers in the last four games while the Hornets and their 9.8 made 3’s ranks 20th.
And as far as its impact on eFG%, Boston comes in with the eighth-best eFG% in the league (54.8 percent) while the Hornets next-to-last in the NBA with an eFG% of .462.
So what does that mean tonight?
Boston will look to continue being fueled offensively by good ball movement and attacking the rim which in turn should result in lots of good looks from 3-point range which is clearly a strength of this team.
Charlotte will search for other sources of offense besides former UConn star Kemba Walker who is on the short list of candidates for a spot on this year’s Eastern Conference all-star roster.
As was the case in Charlotte’s 102-93 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday, an off-night shooting for Walker (17 points, 7-for-23 shooting with three assists) left the Hornets extremely vulnerable to defeat. Similar struggles tonight will provide a similar ending for Charlotte which would allow both teams to continue streaking along … something the Celtics wouldn’t mind at all.