See which NBA team is interested in Greg Oden

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See which NBA team is interested in Greg Oden

From Comcast SportsNetCLEVELAND (AP) -- Greg Oden's next comeback could be with the Cavaliers.A person with knowledge of Cleveland's interest said the team is exploring the possibility of signing Oden, the former No. 1 overall pick whose NBA career has been sabotaged by injuries.The Cavs are doing their due diligence while looking at Oden, said the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Tuesday because the team's interest is contingent upon the center's health.CBSSports.com first reported the Cavs and Miami Heat were leading the pursuit of Oden, who hasn't played since 2009 and has undergone three microfracture knee surgeries -- two on his left knee.Before watching No. 11 Ohio State's 58-49 win over Wisconsin on Tuesday night in Columbus, Ohio, Oden said he hopes to be healthy enough to take another shot at pro ball."I don't know when, but I'm taking this year off. I'll play next year," said Oden, who led the Buckeyes to the Final Four as a freshman in 2007.Oden's agent, Mike Conley Sr., could not be reached for comment.A defensive force during his one college season, the 7-foot Oden was the first player taken in the 2007 draft by Portland, who chose the soft-spoken big man over All-Star Kevin Durant. Oden was limited to just 82 games with the Trail Blazers, averaging 9.2 points and 7.3 rebounds. Oden has not played since 2009, and he had his last operation on Feb. 20 last year.Portland waived Oden last March, ending a troubled five-year run with a player who entered the league with superstar potential.Any team that signs the 25-year-old Oden would be taking a risk. But for a rebuilding team like the Cavs, who are looking to add pieces around All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, the possibility Oden could develop into a productive player is enticing.Oden said he has no preference on which team he plays for."Right now I'm not worrying about where," he said. "I'm only worried about my knee."

Dominique Wilkins reflects on his rivalry with Larry Bird

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Dominique Wilkins reflects on his rivalry with Larry Bird

During our series discussing the 1986 Boston Celtics, we have sat down with many players from that championship, along with members of the media that were close to the team.

This week features a few of the opponents that were very familiar with the 1980’s Celtics  - Atlanta Hawks legend Dominique Wilkins, former Celtics coach (and Hawk) Doc Rivers, and Lakers great James Worthy.

Bogaerts continues to battle through struggles with bat

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Bogaerts continues to battle through struggles with bat

BOSTON -- Early in 2016 praises were sung around the league that Xander Bogaerts was the best hitter in baseball.

Rightfully so. For a good portion of the season he led the league in both batting average and hits. But between Mookie Betts’ ascension and Bogaerts’ drop in average from .331 on 7/29 to .306 after Monday night’s game, he’s taken a back seat.

But the Red Sox shortstop’s month-long dry spell hasn’t been a straight decline. Although he was held hitless Monday, Bogaerts went 6-for-13 (.462) against Kansas City.

In fact, the 23-year-old doesn’t even consider the recent month of struggles the worst stretch of his career.

“2014 probably,” Bogaerts said, “yeah I had a terrible, terrible few months -- probably three months.”

That was of course the season a lot came into question surrounding the now All-Star shortstop, so he was pretty spot on. In 2014 Bogaerts went from hitting .304 through 5/31, to .248 by the end of June, .244 after his last game in July, all the way down to .224 by the last day of August.

Bogaerts would hit .313 that September and finish with a .240 average -- but more importantly, an appreciation of what he’d experienced.

“That definitely helped me become a better person, a better player -- and understanding from that and learning,” Bogaerts said.

From that experience, he gained a better understanding of the importance of maintaining a consistent day-to-day routine.

“That has to stay the same,” Bogaerts said without question in his voice. “The league adjusted, they adjusted to me. It kind of took a longer time to adjust to them. They’ve just been pitching me so differently compared to other years.”

Bogaerts has had the point reinforced to him throughout, with Red Sox assistant hitting coach Victor Rodriguez serving as one voice of reinforcement.

“When you have a routine from the mental side, physical side, when you struggle that’s when you really need that,” Rodriguez said. “He’s been so good with his daily preparation, it doesn’t matter the result of the game. He can always go to something that feels comfortable.”

“He’s been so comfortable and confident with his daily routine and preparation that it allows him -- when he doesn’t get the results he wants in the game -- to have some peace knowing that the next day, we’re going to go back to doing that again.”

It’s clear Bogaerts needs to maintain his daily routine to help work through slumps -- and maintain hot streaks -- but Rodriguez made it clear, consistent preparation from a hitter doesn’t magically cure every problem.

“That doesn’t mean that because you stick with the routine you’re going to have results,” Rodriguez said. “What it means is, [because] you know and believe in that routine that you know you’re going to get out of it.”

Which means in addition to sticking to his normal routine, Bogaerts also had to identify flaws elsewhere in order work through his problems. He came to realize the problem was more mechanically based than mental -- given he’d done everything to address that.

“They pitched me differently, and some stuff I wanted to do with the ball I couldn’t do,” Bogaerts said. “I just continued doing it until I had to make the adjustment back.”

Bogaerts isn’t fully out of the dark, but he’s taken steps in the right direction of late -- and is nowhere near the skid he experienced in 2014. He and Rodriguez fully believe the All-Star’s ability to maintain a clear mind will carry him through whatever troubles he’s presented with the rest of the way.

“The more stuff you have in you’re head is probably not going to help your chances,” Bogaerts explained, “so have a clear mind -- but also have the trust in your swing that you’re going to put a good swing on [the pitch] regardless of whatever the count is.”

Nick Friar can be followed on Twitter @ngfriar.