Collins makes Celtics debut in hopes to help rebounding


Collins makes Celtics debut in hopes to help rebounding

BROOKLYN, N.Y. As Doc Rivers made his way back to the Boston Celtics locker room following the C's 102-97 loss to the Brooklyn Nets, he couldn't help but notice the small scrum of reporters that had engulfed Jason Collins.

"Guy gets five minutes," Rivers quipped.

Uh, try his first five minutes as a Boston Celtic, coach.

And to Collins' credit, he made the most of that time by doing what he has done throughout his career - be solid.

There's not much sizzle to his game, a game that's about as flashy as a 15-watt light bulb.

But as Collins displayed in his eight-plus minutes on Thursday, his game does have value - the kind of value that might get him on the floor more as the season progresses.

The Celtics remain a horrible rebounding team that at its worst can be flat-out putrid to watch and when truly playing well, is relatively competitive.

That's exactly what Collins' presence provided on Thursday. He only grabbed one rebound, but there was indeed more activity on the glass by the C's upon him entering the game.

"He kind of stabilized us a little bit," Rivers said of Collins' impact in the first half.

When Collins signed with the C's this summer, he did so knowing that his opportunities to play would be few and far between.

For some, preparing daily without any realistic chance of playing most nights would seem like a difficult concept to embrace.

To Collins, it comes down to one thing - being a professional.

"It's more mental than anything," Collins said. "Yeah it's physical, staying in shape, getting your work in in the weight room and stuff like that. But mentally you have to be ready to get out there on the court, have your name called."

And if the Celtics continue to get hammered on the boards you can expect to hear his name called more often.

While that's always an option, Rivers is more likely to only turn to Collins when facing teams with multiple muscle guys in the frontcourt like Brooklyn which features Brook Lopez, Kris Humphries, Reggie Evans and Andray Blatche.

All those players caused the C's problem on Thursday night, reinforcing to us all what the C's greatest weakness is - rebounding.

Which may open things up for a few more minutes for Collins in the very near future.

"My job is to be ready," Collins said. "I don't look at it either way. Whether I play or not, that doesn't afffect my mindset going into the next game."

Geno Smith has torn ACL; Ryan Fitzpatrick to start for Jets


Geno Smith has torn ACL; Ryan Fitzpatrick to start for Jets

The Jets’ quarterback situation took a comically typical turn Monday, as Ryan Fitzpatrick will be under center after an MRI revealed that Geno Smith has a torn ACL. 

After starting New York’s first six games of the season, Fitzpatrick was demoted to backup for Sunday’s game against the Ravens. Smith was injured on a sack by Baltimore’s Matt Judon, forcing Fitzpatrick back into action. 

After leading the Jets to a 24-16 win, Fitzpatrick made his dissatisfaction with being benched known. 

“The biggest thing in this game in order to last, is to have belief in yourself,” Fitzpatrick said in his postgame press conference. “Because when the owner stops believing in you and the GM stops believing in you and the coaches stop believing in you, sometimes all you have is yourself. That’s something that I’ve had to deal with before. That’s something I’m dealing with now.”

On the season, Fitzpatrick has completed 136 of 237 passes for 1,561 yards with six touchdowns and a league-leading 11 interceptions. 

McQuaid cleared to play, nearing return to Bruins lineup


McQuaid cleared to play, nearing return to Bruins lineup

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- It was a bitter pill for Adam McQuaid to sit out the first five games of this season, but it looks like the veteran Bruins stay-at-home defenseman is nearing a return to the lineup. McQuaid was cleared to potentially play in Saturday’s loss to the Montreal Canadiens after an upper body injury kept him shelved for the team’s first four games, and could be approaching a return in the next few days as Claude Julien mulls a number of possible lineup changes.

“It was obviously frustrating, but I’m where I’m at now and trying to move on from it. Looking forward to getting back into the lineup hopefully as soon as possible here,” said the 30-year-old McQuaid, who had a goal and nine points in 64 games for the Black and Gold last season. “The excitement level is high for me, and it is for everybody after a loss when you’re looking forward to getting back out there.

“It would have been nice to have started the season with the guys, but you can’t change that now. I’ve had some good practices, and I’m just trying to my game as simple as possible, and take it as it comes. Obviously guys have played some games and it’s been a couple of weeks for me, so I’ll just have to keep my game simple.”

The B’s bench boss indicated it was only a matter of time before McQuaid makes his 2016-17 regular season debut, but that he’s got plenty of things to decide prior to dropping the puck against the Wild.

“[McQuaid] was cleared last game. I haven’t made any decisions based for [Tuesday night vs. Minnesota]. There’s a lot of things that are up in the air, and I’ve just go to juggle those things,” said Julien. “Who knows? Hopefully tomorrow morning I’ve got a better picture [of injury situation], and if not then it will be game-time decisions. I wish I could have a better answer [on if McQuaid will play], but I’ve got no answers right now.”

With Colin Miller (minus-4), Joe Morrow, Torey Krug (a rough minus-3 against Montreal) and John-Michael Liles all minus players after the first five games of the season, there are ample options for Julien on which potential blueliner to bump up to the press box. McQuaid is just happy he’s getting closer to a return while skating with 23-year-old Rob O’Gara at practice, and he can get back to helping a B’s team that’s smack dab in the middle (ranked 15th allowing 3.0 goals per game) of the NHL for team defense this season.