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.

Mingo, Branch among the Patriots sitting out of preseason game No. 3

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Mingo, Branch among the Patriots sitting out of preseason game No. 3

Barkevious Mingo has made his way to Charlotte to join the Patriots, but he will not take the field with his new club about 24 hours after being traded by the Browns. 

The 6-foot-4, 240-pounder that the Patriots acquired for a fifth-round pick on Thursday went through a workout long before Friday night's preseason game, but he was not in uniform with his teammates leading up to kickoff. 

Along with Mingo, Rob Gronkowski, Rob Ninkovich, Jabaal Sheard, Jonathan Cooper, Shaq Mason, Malcolm Mitchell, Kamu Grugier-Hill, Shea McClellin and Alan Branch were not on the field for warmups. All four players who are still on the physically unable to perform list -- Sebastian Vollmer, Danny Amendola, Tre' Jackson and Dion Lewis -- were also missing. 

Branch has been reinstated by the Patriots and re-joined the team after serving a team-imposted week-long suspension, but it appears as though he will not take the field Friday night. 

Ninkovich (triceps), Mitchell (elbow), Cooper (foot), Mason (hand, reportedly), Sheard (knee) and McClellin (undisclosed) have been dealing with injuries and were not expected to play. Grugier-Hill is a bit of a surprise absence given that he practiced for the Patriots this week. 

Keep an eye on running back DJ Foster and receiver Keshawn Martin, both of whom will see preseason game action for the first time this summer and could make late runs at roster spots. Patriots receiver Julian Edelman may also see some game action for the first time this preseason as he was on the field with the team and in uniform before the game. Logan Ryan, Nate Ebner and undrafted rookie tight end Bryce Williams may see their first game action as well. 

As Tom E. Curran reported, Tom Brady will play, though Jimmy Garoppolo will start. Brady and the team's other quarterbacks took the field together for warmups in the lead-up to kickoff.