Terry, Lee starting to make it work together on court


Terry, Lee starting to make it work together on court

BOSTON In the absence of Rajon Rondo, the Boston Celtics didn't find that one playmaker to run the team ... they found two in Courtney Lee and Jason Terry.

While the two have played together often this season, it wasn't until they had to play a couple Rondo-less games did each seem to figure out how to be an effective playmaker with the other on the floor.

"They've been together, but it was like neither one of them really wanted to run the position," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "And when they were forced to, they realized there were sets we can run where they don't have to be the point and be very effective. Now they're doing it."

And the impact it has on the C's can't be measured solely by assists and points, either.

One of the keys to Boston's 104-94 victory over Minnesota was their play in the second and fourth quarters.

They were the starting backcourt to begin the second quarter, and were instrumental in Boston erasing a three-point deficit and turning it into a three-point lead before Rondo returned.

After taking a seven-point lead into the fourth, the duo once again delivered early as Boston opened the quarter with an 11-3 run to go up by 15 points - their largest lead of the night at that point - before Rondo checked back into the game.

"We've built up some good chemistry, he (Lee) and I," Terry said. "It took a while but we've gotten there now."

Added Lee: "We're definitely getting a better feel for each other's game, and how to play off one another better."

Terry is a 6-foot-2 combo guard while Lee is a 6-5 combo guard who can also play some at small forward. That versatility has the potential to impact games on various levels; among them, being a reliable backup for Rondo.

"We both can handle the ball, we both can get us into our offense early and we both like to fly out in transition," said Terry who had a season-high 11 assists against Milwaukee on Saturday which was one of the games Rondo missed while serving a two-game suspension.

And while neither is a tradition bring-the-ball-up kind of point guard, it's clear that the league is gravitating more and more away from those type of playmakers as backups or key reserves.

That's why Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, has insisted that he's not seeking to add another ball-handler to the mix anytime soon.

And because both know each other's games better, Terry says it's easier to just play now rather than try to play and be the team's point guard, too.

"In Doc's system and in this system a multitude of ball handlers can be on the floor at any given time, so that's why our skillset plays right in for each other," Terry said. "If I see him (Lee) get the outlet, I'm gone. If he sees me, he's gone. So there's no hesitation. There's definitely a much, much smoother burden on each other."

Patriots 'steel' a win in latest edition of TB Times


Patriots 'steel' a win in latest edition of TB Times

The New England Patriots beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-16, and the latest edition of The TB Times was quickly distributed to the Facebook world.

This time, Tom Brady, Chris Long and Malcom Brown are spotted sneaking out of Heinz Field with a steele "W," the headline reads "Pats Steel one in Pitt."

PATRIOTS 27, STEELERS 16: Curran's Best and Worst | Troy Brown: Pittsburgh didn't capitalize on Pats' mistakes


Gostkowski: 'I stink right now...That's just the bottom line'


Gostkowski: 'I stink right now...That's just the bottom line'

Stephen Gostkowski is one of the most successful kickers in NFL history, and he's currently the higest-paid kicker in the league. He has set a certain standard for himself, and he told reporters on Sunday that he's not reaching it. 

Gostkowski spoke to members of the media after missing one of the four extra points he attempted in New England's 27-16 win over Pittsburgh. It was the second consecutive game in which Gostkowski missed a point-after try.

"I'm not happy with the way I'm playing," he said. "Mechanically, I need to be better. Just not playing good enough for this team right now. Keep my head down and keep working. I'm putting the work in. I'm trying the best I can. Need to figure out how to switch it up so I can be more consistent."

He added: "I don't really talk about reasons why I make or miss a kick. No one knows, nor cares to understand. I stink right now. That's just the bottom line. It'd be nice to be able to enjoy these wins a little more with the team. But it's not about me. The team's played great. Luckily the team keeps picking me up, I guess."

Gostkowski has now missed five kicks on the year, including field goals against the Miami, Buffalo and Cleveland.

"Obviously there's something going on and I'm gonna work my hardest to fix it," he said. "That's all I do. This is my job, I take it seriously. No one feels worse about screwing up than I do. It stinks to come in when you win and that's all you talk about is the one bad play you had. But that's the nature of the position. You deal with it . . .

"I've always held my head high, and I will always go out there with confidence, no matter if I miss 100 in a row so that's just the way I'm put together. I'm gonna keep working hard to do the best. Talk about a few feet here or there, we're not having the conversation. Just gotta tighten it up and be more consistent."

Gostkowski was asked if he was at a point with his confidence where he still wanted to take crucial kicks late in games.

"I always want to help the team win," he said. "I'm not scared to screw up. I've screwed up plenty of times in my career. Just kind of piling on right now. At my position, you only get so many opportunities. That's part of it mentally is taking advantage of the opportunities you get. I know that's the deal coming in. It's not like a news flash. This is my eleventh year doing it. Right now I just stink, and I need to figure out how to get better. It's just not working out. Kind of piling on, but I'm gonna hold my head high, keep working hard, keep doing the best I can as long as I keep getting the opportunities."

Gostkowski did not get into any of the mechanical issues he might be dealing with, and he did not explain whether or not he sees a kicking coach to help him with his form. Though this would certainly qualify as one of the most difficult stretches of his professional career -- if not the most difficult -- he said he's dealt with bad spurts of play in the past, and he's hoping to come out of this one soon.

"Being a professional athlete is tough," he said. "When you're doing good or you're doing bad. A position like mine, there's no hiding when you screw up. It's just part of it. You gotta learn to roll with the punches. I've seen guys that have been really good have tough stretches, and I've seen guys come out of them. I mean, I've played bad before. You play long enough, you're going to have stuff like this. Just timing-wise it just kind of stinks. If there was one thing to point to to fix it I would've done it by now. But I need to be better."