Green's struggles mirror his team's

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Green's struggles mirror his team's

BOSTON This is a rough time for both Jeff Green and the Celtics.

Both sides understand how important each is to the other.

Green needs an opportunity to get his feet underneath him, to be more comfortable on the floor after missing all of last season after to heart surgery.

Boston needs him to produce at both ends of the floor, but especially on defense.

Green is simply not getting it done right now.

He knows this.

And so do the Celtics.

Still, in dealing with Green, the C's are taking a similar position to how they're handling their early season struggles - showing patience.

"It's a dilemma," admitted Doc Rivers who has been both Green's biggest critic and biggest cheerleader. "But he's going to be a good player for us this year. And sooner than later, I'm hoping."

The 106-100 loss to the Sixers on Friday night was yet another game in which Green's impact was for the most part, non-existent. In about 18 minutes, Green had four points on 1-for-5 shooting along with four rebounds and one blocked shot.

But the versatility that the Celtics (2-3) have been banking on him to provide, has not shined through just yet. There are occasional flashes of him being the player that the Celtics coveted, but those moments are too few and too far between.

A visibly disappointed Green has been through so many ups and downs the past year, it's hard to imagine that a string of not-so-stellar games will dampen his spirits too much.

That said, it's pretty obvious that his own personal struggles on the floor coupled with the Celtics underwhelming performances is starting to get to him.

"I'm not frustrated," he said after the loss. "It's only five games in. I'm not frustrated."

While those may be the words he is choosing to speak, his body language - and the words of Rivers - tell a much different story.

"Right now he's just absolutely frustrated," Rivers said. "You can see it in his play."

But as much as Green has to be an integral part of his recovery from his early season swoon, Rivers acknowledges that the Celtics as a team must do a better job of figuring out how to get him on track.

"Jeff's the easy target right now," Rivers said. "Jeff's part of this team, just like everyone else. And we have to do a better job of getting him going. He's probably got to do a better job of getting himself going."

While Green understands that there has to be a greater sense of urgency on his part as well as his teammates, he's not looking to change too much from his play of late other than improving the results.

"Greatness takes time," Green said. "It's a long season. We have to stay positive."

Bennett back at practice, but admits injuries hurting his play

Bennett back at practice, but admits injuries hurting his play

FOXBORO -- Martellus Bennett is willing to admit it. 

"Last week was probably my worst game as a Patriot," he told reporters in the locker room on Thursday. "But, you know, you have a bad game here and there. This week, come back grinding, and get ready."

Never was it more clear than on Sunday that Bennett has been hobbled by the injuries he's dealing with. He's coped with an ankle injury since Week 5 in Cleveland that has earned him the respect of his teammates and coaches, but against the Rams it appeared to severely impact his performance. 

He saw four targets and caught two for four yards. As a blocker -- the facet of his game that stood out more than his receiving ability early this season -- he was called for two holds and had difficulty keeping his assignments in check, both in the run game and in pass protection. 

Asked if he may benefit from a week off, Bennett said he planned to continue to play.

"I never thought about that. I just keep going," he said. "I'm like the energizer bunny. I just try to find a way. Sometimes it's [expletive] when you're out there playing with different injuries. You can't do a lot of things that you want to do. You have [expletive] plays. You might have a string of bad plays in a row just because youre dealing with different things . . . 

"But throughout the game you kind of find a way to get the job done. I think that's the biggest point. It may not be pretty all the time, but try to figure some kind of way to get it done. Sometimes it's adjusting as the game goes on."

He added: "The thing about this sport is it's always something. You never go throuigh a season without having some kind of nick or tear, but there's a lot of guys playing with different things. But some guys are able to play through different injuries, and [with] some of the same injuries, you see guys around the league . . . go on IR and things like that. But it just depends on the person and their pain tolerance."

Bennett was back at practice Thursday after he wasn't spotted there on Wednesday. He may be helped by the long week leading up to Monday's game against the Ravens. It could mean an extra day of rest and recovery.

Sometimes, he said, it's difficult not to be out there.

"Sometimes. Sometimes it's like, thank God. I needed that today," he said. "It varies each week. . . I'll fight through whatever and I think that's something that my teammates and coaches know about me that I'm going to try to give them everything I got no matter what."

Tim Thomas ranked one of top 40 goalies on very weird list

Tim Thomas ranked one of top 40 goalies on very weird list

The NHL Network is terrific. Its programming is the best of any of the four major sports leagues’ channels, its talent is outstanding and it shows a lot of cool games across various leagues.  

Players mess up though. 

In the network’s recently released ranking of the 40 best goaltenders of all time, the Bruins were well-represented, but so too was insanity. We’re talking Jonathan Quick in the top 20 (No. 16!), Marc-Andre Fleury top 25 (No. 21!) and Corey Crawford top 30 (No. 26!). Those are just a few of the head-scratchers. 

Tim Thomas was one of seven Bruins on the list, coming in at No. 27. Other Bruins ranked were Bernie Parent (No. 12), Frank Brimsek (No. 23), Rogie Vachon (No. 25), Tiny Thompson (No. 28), Gerry Cheevers (No. 29), Andy Moog (No. 36). Here's the full list, per Mark Lazerus. 

Statistically, Tuukka Rask deserves a place on this list if Fleury and Crawford are going to be that high, but we’ll save the Rask arguments for literally every other second of my life. 

[OK, real quick: Rask has the highest career save percentage of all time. Quick sits No. 17 and Fleury is 32nd. This doesn’t need to be completely statistics based, but it also shouldn’t be completely how-many-Cup-teams-were-on-based. Honestly, I can’t tell what this list is based on at all. Like Cristobal Huet had a better career save percentage than Fleury has.]

Anyway, everyone else hated the list, too.