Green ready to prove his game is priceless

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Green ready to prove his game is priceless

WALTHAM He wears No. 8, but the only numbers associated with Jeff Green as of late are four and 36 million.
Green signed a four-year, 36-million deal with the Celtics prior to this season, a move that raised plenty of eyebrows around these parts.
Why the skepticism? Well, Green didn't show much in his 26 games with the Celtics. He was looked at as being soft, and immediately known as "the player the Celtics traded Kendrick Perkins for". Perk's toughness was well documented, and Green was no Perk. The Celtics fell apart shortly after, which certainly didn't help matters.
But that was then, and this is now. Now, there's more hope for Green, who stood out above every other Celtics player during preseason. Green is moving past the "then."
"You have to," Green said. "I mean, I came in a situation where the team was already solid. They had been together for five years. So it was tough to come in and try to pick my spot where I'm supposed to be and know my role. It takes time to do that when you're coming into an organization like this with players like Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce, and Rajon Rondo. So it took time and I had to sit out a year. It allowed me to sit back and watch and pinpoint where I could be with this team. Now I'm able to play again and I'm using things that I saw and putting them together on the floor."
The NBA seems to be getting away from the traditional positions its used to trotting out. Heck, the All-Star ballot just eliminated the "center" position. Teams are going smaller. They're putting in players who are interchangeable.
Green is that player, and the Celtics are better off now than with Perkins because of it.
"There's a lot of teams playing small ball right now," Green said. "You got to be able to match up with them if you want to be able to win. We have the ability to do that and like I said we can match up with any team, if that's what they want to do we'll be prepared."
When the Celtics went all the way in 2007, they found success with James Posey in with the starters. Last season, the Heat went with their best five players as well, throwing positions out the window.
With that mentality, it's looking like Green will wind up as one of Boston's most-used players. Before he was traded to the Celtics, he was logging 37 minutes a game. He should be back up in the 30-minute range again this season, switching between the two forward positions, as Doc Rivers has been experimenting with all camp.
It also helps that he's now earned the trust in his coach and teammates.
"He's been great. Getting better every day," Rivers said. "Our guys' confidence in him skyrocketed from the beginning. They didn't know, like you guys, I didn't know when you asked me what to expect. So it's been good."
It's true, we didn't know. We went with what we saw, and clearly, we didn't see enough. The only person who did know was Green himself.
"I mean, I've been working hard, that's all I can say," Green said. "I put in the work, and the results came. I was ready to play. I was prepared, I prepare myself I had eight months to do that. This is the first time you guys have really seen me play, so I think that's why everybody is like, 'he's doing this, he's doing that'. But I'm just going out there and playing hard."
It certainly helps that he's on the court with a group of players that are just as talented in their own ways as he is. But when asked why he stuck around last year and really wanted to play for Boston, he told everybody to turn around and look at a player taking shots on the court.
"That guy, right there. Rajon. I wanted to play with him," Green said. "He's the best point guard in the league. I mean, who doesn't want to play with a good point guard? Then you got guys in the locker room like KG (Kevin Garnett), Paul Pierce, with the addition of JT (Jason Terry) and Brandon Bass coming back. And you got Courtney Lee."
The respect from Rondo is mutual, who should have plenty of fun running the floor with Green for the foreseeable future.
"Jeff's always had talent. He's always had a lot of expectations, high expectations, and it's no different this year for us," Rondo said. "He's been playing very good for us, he's buying into the system, buying into his role and he's working hard every day."
He's working hard for himself and for his teammates. He's working hard to show he's not the player we once thought he was. But most of all, he's working hard with the ultimate goal in mind.
"We have a hell of a team, man," Green said. "I mean who doesn't want to be a part of something special like this? We have a great opportunity to win the championship. I want to win, and this is a great chance for me to do that."

Patriots place Lewis and Vollmer on reserve/PUP, cut three to get to 75-man limit

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Patriots place Lewis and Vollmer on reserve/PUP, cut three to get to 75-man limit

FOXBORO -- The Patriots were able to trim their roster to 75 players by Tuesday's 4 p.m. deadline without making any eye-opening cuts. 

The team placed right tackle Sebastian Vollmer and running back Dion Lewis on the reserve/physically unable to perform list, which will make them unavailable for the first six weeks of the regular season. The Patriots also released linebacker Ramon Humber, tight end Steven Scheu and offensive lineman Keavon Milton.

Neither Vollmer nor Lewis were expected to be healthy enough to begin the season. By placing them on reserve/PUP, the Patriots are no longer dedicating active roster spots to those players, but they have also kept the option open for one or both to return later in the year. Guard Tre' Jackson was also placed on reserve/PUP on Monday. Receiver Danny Amendola is the lone player to remain on active/PUP, meaning he will continue to count against the active roster and can re-join the team to practice at any time.

Veteran center Dominic Moore among Bruins signings

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Veteran center Dominic Moore among Bruins signings

The Bruins announced some organizational signings and one surprise dip into late summer free agency with a one-year, $900,000 contract for 36-year-old depth center Dominic Moore.

The B’s also announced one year, two-way contracts for forward Brian Ferlin, along with defensemen Chris Casto and Alex Grant, and all three of those players will serve as young, organizational depth players in Providence.

Moore has spent each of the last three seasons with the New York Rangers amid a career 765 NHL games played as a solid face-off and penalty-kill player that has fourth line candidate written all over him.

The Bruins will be former Harvard center Moore’s 10th NHL team. He’s coming off a season where he posted six goals and 15 points in 80 games for the Blueshirts, and has previously played for Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Toronto, Buffalo, Florida, Montreal, Tampa Bay and San Jose along with the Rangers.

While Moore is a solid candidate for fourth-line duty that will provide leadership, good face-off work, solid and gritty penalty-kill work and all kinds of NHL experience, he is also a 36-year-old on a team that has a ton of center candidates headed into camp. 

Moore’s presence could be problematic if he’s standing in the way of developing young centers Austin Czarnik and Noel Acciari. The expectation is that B’s coach Claude Julien, as he always has in the past with safe veterans like Chris Kelly, will go with a player like Moore over the youngsters if times start getting tough for the Black and Gold.

Ferlin, 24, completed his second professional season with the AHL's Providence Bruins in 2015-16, producing six goals and eight assists for 14 points with 27 penalty minutes and a plus-nine rating in 23 games. He was sidelined for much of last season in Providence by a concussion.

Casto, 24, completed his third full AHL season with Providence in 2015-16, establishing career highs with seven goals and 16 assists for 23 points with 47 penalty minutes in 68 games.

Grant, 27, spent the 2015-16 season with the Arizona Coyotes organization, splitting time between the Coyotes and their AHL affiliate in Springfield. He recorded seven penalty minutes in five games in the NHL, while compiling 11 goals and 31 assists for 42 points with 57 penalty minutes in 69 games in the AHL.  

 

 

Tuesday’s Red Sox-Rays lineups: Pedroia returns, Pomeranz on mound

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Tuesday’s Red Sox-Rays lineups: Pedroia returns, Pomeranz on mound

Dustin Pedroia returns to the lineup after missing two games to attend a family funeral as the Red Sox play the middle game of their three-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays tonight at Fenway Park.

Pedroia is back at second base, batting leadoff, as the Red Sox look to make it two in a row coming off a 9-4 victory on Monday night.

Brock Holt, who filled in a second in Pedroia’s absence, moves to left field and Bryan Holaday catches left-hander Drew Pomeranz (10-10, 2.95 ERA) for Boston. Pomeranz struck out a career-high 11 in his last start against the Rays, last Thursday in St. Petersburg. 

Right-hander Jake Odorizzi (9-5, 3.53) starts for the Rays.

The lineups:

RAYS

Logan Forsythe 2B

Kevin Kiermaier CF

Evan Longoria 3B

Brad Miller 1B

Matt Duffy DH

Tim Beckham SS

Scott Souza Jr. RF

Corey Dickerson LF

Luke Maile C

Jake Odorizzi RHP

 

RED SOX

Dustin Pedroia 2B

Xander Bogaerts SS

David Ortiz DH

Mookie Betts RF

Hanley Ramirez 1B

Travis Shaw 3B

Brock Holt LF

Bryan Holaday C

Jackie Bradley Jr. CF

Drew Pomeranz LHP