Patriots still have shot at first round bye

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Patriots still have shot at first round bye

The playoff teams are set in the AFC: Texans, Broncos, Patriots, Ravens, Colts, and Bengals.

But what isn't set is what seed each team will have entering the postseason.

Last week, some thought the Patriots should purposely lose over the last two weeks to avoid potentially playing the Steelers. Well, the Steelers lost on Sunday to the Bengals, are are now ineligible for the postseason.

The Patriots (11-4), on the other hand, won -- albeit it in an ugly way. The Broncos (12-3) won too, beating up on the Browns, 34-12.

But it was the Houston Texans (12-3), currently the top seed in the AFC, that couldn't get the job done. Houston fell on its face, losing to the Vikings, 23-6, at home. That loss keeps the Patriots chances alive for a No. 1 seed.

The Patriots will look to finish off the season with a win at home over Miami. Houston would have to lose again next week on the road against Chuck Pagano and the Colts, and perhaps more unlikely, the Broncos would have to lose at home to the Chiefs, for New England to earn the top seed.

But if one of those teams loses and the Patriots win, the No. 2 seed is theirs. They own the tiebreaker over both the Texans and the Broncos.

If the Patriots lose, however, and the Ravens (10-5) beat the Bengals (9-6) next week, the Patriots would become the No. 4 seed and play the Colts in the first round.

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OFFSEASON

Yabusele expects to be on Celtics summer league roster

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Yabusele expects to be on Celtics summer league roster

ROXBURY, Mass. – The Boston Celtics shocked many on draft night last week when they selected French forward Guerschon Yabusele with the 16th overall pick.

Well here’s another unexpected twist involving Yabusele: He said he plans to be on the Celtics’ summer league team which begins play next week in Salt Lake City.

“My agent is working in France to do something for me, to be able to play in summer league,” Yabusele said.

Like most NBA rookies, Yabusele is eager to get on the floor and get his first taste of NBA basketball this summer.

“That’s a dream come true,” Yabusele said. “When I was young thinking about the NBA all the time. I knew it would happen at some point.”

But the 20-year-old forward isn’t focused on testing the NBA waters and returning to overseas play soon.

“Not just stay three years or four, but stay all my life in the NBA,” he said.

Yabusele made the announcement following the Boston Celtics’ rookies (minus Ante Zizic) all participating in a basketball clinic at the Madison Park Community Center as the Boston Celtics celebrated their 50th Renovation project since 2008.

The news isn’t quite as optimistic for fellow international Celtic Ante Zizic who is not likely to have his contract situation overseas worked out in enough time to join Boston for summer league play in Salt Lake City and afterwards in Las Vegas.

Still, Yabusele getting a shot to play now is huge both for his own personal growth and that of the Celtics to get a better feel for how their first-round pick stacks up against fellow rookies and young teammates like Jordan Mickey.

This past season, Yabusele averaged 11.5 points and 6.8 rebounds in 28.7 minutes with Rouen Metropole Basket in the LNB Pro A league in France. He appeared in 34 games and grabbed 10 or more rebounds 11 times while tallying eight double-doubles.