Garnett approaching Ewing on all-time scoring list

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Garnett approaching Ewing on all-time scoring list

BOSTON -- Kevin Garnett would take the basketball and disappear. Down the street to a different place in his neighborhood . . . and in his mind.

As Garnett closes in on passing Patrick Ewing for 16th in scoring in NBA history, the big man went back to a time when he cared more about the ball in his hand than in the basket.

"I used to get up early in the morning and just dribble," he said prior to the Boston Celtics game against the Charlotte Bobcats. "As I got older, I continued to keep that skill with me. Dribbling used to do something for my mind for some reason. It was like reading a book. I could get lost in dribbling. Before you knew it, I had gone up three blocks, didn't even know where I was. Some people use drawing or reading a book, I would take my ball and just kind of get lost in the neighborhood, so it was kind of like my therapy, if you will. I just never lost that skill. I inadvertently kept it."

Garnett needs 14 points to pass Ewing's career total of 24,815. He was unaware of the mark, and was not going to alter his game plan to reach it. Scoring was always more of an obligation than a priority.

"When I was young I watched for blocks because I was always taller than a lot of the kids, assists, because I was a huge Magic (Johnson) fan coming up," he said. "I really wasn't into the points because the majority of the people around me wanted to score, put the ball in the basket. I was no different from that, but I always took a liking to trying to do everything, if not want to be good at everything . . . (Scoring) was something I had to do. If you're the biggest kid out there, at some point everybody expects you to score the ball. I had to get off all the passing the ball, stealing the ball."

Garnett has averaged 19.2 points, 10.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.5 blocks, and 1.3 steals per game over his 18-year career. His role has changed since his days as a non-stop dribbler, but he can still hold his own. How would he compare to Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo?

"Rajon is a point guard. I'm above average size," Garnett noted. "Obviously he has splendid ball handling, but he's not 6-11. He's more like 5-11-ish."

Garnett will shape his game to fit the needs of the Celtics, whether the team leans on him for scoring, rebounding, or a combination of his versatile skills. If it were up to Garnett, he would post a stat line that encompasses everything he loves about the game.

"(My) ideal game would be 30 points, 30 rebounds, 15 blocks, and 10 assists with a Celtics blowout," he said. "That's an ideal game."

Brady legal team adds former Solicitor General Olson

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Brady legal team adds former Solicitor General Olson

Tom Brady’s legal team has added another heavy hitter with Supreme Court experience and has filed a motion for more time to mull another appeal.

Former US Solicitor General Ted Olson, who has argued more than 60 cases before the Supreme Court, has been added as counsel in the wake of the Patriots quarterback’s Deflategate suspension being reinstated. 

Sports Illustrated legal analyst and University of New Hampshire law professor Michael McCann calls the move the "clearest sign yet they will exhaust their appeals rather than give up."

In addition to filing a notice Friday that added Olson, the NFLPA, on behalf of Brady, requested an extension of the window to appeal the Second Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision that reinstated the four-game suspension imposed by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The window is normally 14 days and this motion requests and additional two-week extension. 

From the court filing:

”The Court's opinion will affect the rights of every player in the NFL. Accordingly, the NFLPA and its members would benefit from additional time to analyze the implications of the decision for labor-management relations between the NFL and the NFLPA."

Olson, 75, was assistant attorney general from 1981-84 and Solicitor General under President George W. Bush from 2001-04. He has won 75 percent of his Supreme Court cases, which include two Bush v. Gore cases.
 

Friday's lineups: Red Sox vs. Yankees

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Friday's lineups: Red Sox vs. Yankees

BOSTON -- Henry Owens will be on the mound tonight, making his second start of the season, as the Red Sox play the Yankees for the first time in 2016.

The lineups:

YANKEES:
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Brett Gardner LF
Carlos Beltran RF
Mark Texeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Brian McCann C
Starlin Castro 2B
Chase Headley 3B
Didi Gregorius SS
---
Masahiro Tanaka P

RED SOX:
Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Travis Shaw 3B
Brock Holt LF
Ryan Hanigan C
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
---
Henry Owens P

After up-and-down rookie season, Hunter looks to get stronger

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After up-and-down rookie season, Hunter looks to get stronger

WALTHAM, Mass. – R.J. Hunter no longer has to worry about summer days spent with his nose inside a textbook (or tablet) while taking summer school classes.
 
But make no mistake about it.
 
The Celtics rookie knows he has a lot to learn in what will be an important offseason in his growth as an NBA player.
 
There were many things to like about Hunter, who was selected by Boston with the 28th overall pick in last June’s NBA Draft.
 
But like most rookies, Hunter’s play was an up and down affair throughout the season.
 
He appeared in 36 regular-season games, averaging 2.7 points and 1.0 rebounds in 8.8 minutes per game. In the playoffs, he appeared in five games and averaged 1.0 points, 1.2 rebounds in 8.2 minutes.
 
He had flashes of big-time talent like the 12-point performance against the Atlanta Hawks in November. But those type of games were few and far between as that would serve as his only double-digit scoring game of the season.
 
“It was up and down, but a lot more ups than downs,” Hunter said following his exit interview on Friday. “I was further along than I thought I would be. It’s kind of cool to see what I have to work on for the summer and not have summer school or any other summer obligation. I think it’ll be a fun summer.”
 
The big thing for Hunter this summer is to, well, get bigger.
 
He came into the NBA amid concerns that his lithe frame would not withstand the physical rigors of the NBA.
 
And while there’s no question Hunter had his problems at times defensively due to not being stronger, he seemed to know where he needed to be and what to do most of the time when he was no the floor.
 
That’s why for him to solidify himself as a viable option for the Celtics next season, it’s important that he put in the time to improve his overall strength.
 
Hunter said he will be doing that throughout the summer with half of his time spent here in Waltham.
 
“That takes time and a lot of dedication,” Hunter said. “But I’m definitely up for it.”
 
In addition to strengthening his body, he’ll also look to improve his understanding and knowledge of the game through studying video.
 
Among those he will study is Atlanta Hawks guard Kyle Korver, a player Hunter said he has been watching video of all season.
 
“You look at how hard Kyle Korver cuts all game long,” Hunter said. “It’s things like that. It’s about getting conditioning, getting stronger and doing a lot of preparation before the shot.”
 
Hunter said this will be the first time he has watched video in the summer months.
 
“That should put me two or three steps ahead to when the season starts,” he said.
 
Which would then put Hunter in strong contention to see his role next season expanded, especially when you consider his strength – shooting the ball – is arguably the biggest weakness on this Celtics’ roster.