Rivers: Holiday a 'dangerous' player

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Rivers: Holiday a 'dangerous' player

PHILADELPHIA Jrue Holiday is not a household name when you talk about the top point guards in the NBA.

But there's at least one coach - Boston Celtics czar Doc Rivers - who could envision that changing soon.

Holiday comes into tonight's game averaging 18.2 points and 9.3 assists - both career highs.

Rivers has seen Holiday's game evolve on several levels, none being more apparent than his scoring ability.

"His shot set him free," Rivers said. "He struggled early on, inconsistent ... people were going under on all his pick and rolls."

But since he began making that shot - similar to what Rajon Rondo has done this season - Holiday has emerged as one of the top up-and-coming players in the East.

"His shot is what allowed him to see the floor more, and makes him so much more dangerous," Rivers said.

But aside from the talent, Rivers believes his most endearing quality is his toughness.

"He comes in to compete, every night," Rivers said. "That doesn't mean a perfect game, but he's a tough guard for us and everyone. He's stronger; you can visually see that. He's just a tough kid, really good player, an all-star player."

Rivers added that as Holiday's game has expanded, so has the way in which the Celtics - and all teams for that matter - prepare to face him.

But Rivers didn't need to see him have a breakout season like this to know that he's a player the Celtics have to concern themselves with tonight.

The approach to dealing with him now is no different than it was when these two met in the playoffs last season.

"We believed in him last year," Rivers said.

Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

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Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

FOXBORO -- The Patriots will head into Sunday's AFC title game with seven players listed as questionable, including three receivers. 

Danny Amendola, Malcolm Mitchell and Chris Hogan have all been limited in practices this week due to their injuries. Amendola has been dealing with an ankle issue since a Week 13 win over the Rams, while Mitchell has not played since injuring his knee in Week 16 against the Jets. Hogan suffered a thigh injury against the Texans and left the game in the third quarter.

Both Hogan and Mitchell indicated this week that they were moving in the right direction in terms of their recoveries. One would think that the Patriots would need at least one, if not both, to help stress the back end of the Steelers secondary this weekend.

Hogan has been the team's most consistent down-the-field threat this season, averaging a whopping 17.9 yards per catch during the regular season. Against the Texans, before his injury, he reeled in four passes for 95 yards. 

Mitchell, meanwhile, had a very productive second half of his rookie season before he was hurt. He compiled 25 catches for 306 yards between Weeks 11 and 16, establishing himself as one of Tom Brady's go-to targets. 

The overall health of the Patriots receiving corps -- which will also include Julian Edelman and Michael Floyd -- will bear watching when the Patriots and Steelers kick off in two days.

The injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Steelers game:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

QUESTIONABLE
WR Danny Amendola (ankle)
TE Martellus Bennett (knee)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Dont'a Hightower (shoulder)
WR Chris Hogan (thigh)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (knee)
DL Jabaal Sheard (knee)

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

QUESTIONABLE
TE Ladarius Green (concussion/illness)
LB James Harrison (shoulder/triceps)
RB Fitzgerald Toussaint (concussion)

NOT LISTED
RB Le'Veon Bell (not injury related)
K Chris Boswell (illness)
LB Anthony Chickillo (ankle)
S Sean Davis (shoulder)
C B.J. Finney (illness)
WR Darrius Heyward-Bay (illness)
DE Ricardo Mathews (ankle)
QB Zach Mettenberger (illness)
S Michael Mitchell (not injury related)
QB Ben Roethlisberger (not injury related)
LB Vince Williams (shoulder)