Wakeup Call: Is Dempster falling into the Red Sox' lap?

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Wakeup Call: Is Dempster falling into the Red Sox' lap?

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Thursday, December 6.

BASEBALL
Ryan Dempster to the Red Sox might be becoming more plausible, as, one by one, other suitors -- the Royals, the Cubs -- are dropping by the wayside. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

The door appears to be closing for Cody Ross in Boston, and it doesn't look like it will open for him in San Francisco, either. (CSN Bay Area)

And it doesn't look like Brian Wilson wants to walk through a door that the Giants say they've left open for him. (CSN Bay Area)

Will the Winter Meetings end with a bang? If the four-team blockbuster involving the Rangers, Diamondbacks, Mariners and Indians gets completed, they will. (Hardball Talk)

Michael Bourn would seem to be a natural fit for the Phillies, but apparently they're not interested. (CSN Philly)

Michael Young, however . . . now that's a different story. (Hardball Talk)

Nick Swisher doesn't appear to be in the Orioles' future, but they say that's their choice, not his. (CSN Baltimore)

Will there be a Lance BerkmanAstros reunion? (CSN Houston)

In moves that were made, it's Eric Chavez to the Diamondbacks, Jeff Keppinger to the White Sox and Joe Blanton to the Angels. (AP)

And old friend Jason Bay to the Mariners. (AP)

Derek Jeter, recovering from his broken ankle, insists he'll be ready for Opening Day. But not Padres pitcher Andrew Cashner, who cut a tendon in his right thumb during a hunting accident and won't be able to throw for about three months. (AP)

More and more writers -- i.e., Hall of Fame voters -- are softening when it comes keeping PED users out of the Hall. But not the Hall of Famers themselves: They want the cheaters barred. (AP)

It's not bad enough Scott Boras dictates where players go; now he wants to do the same thing with teams. (CSN Bay Area)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Rutgers isn't leaving the Big East quietly. (AP)

So after last night, the question is: Just how good is Florida? (NBC's College Basketball Talk)

A Utah State player who collapsed at practice is improving. (AP)

The Notre Dame women still didn't beat Baylor, but coach Muffet McGraw is happy that her team is getting closer. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Louisville's Charlie Strong says thanks, but no thanks, to Tennessee. (NBC's College Football Talk)

Not only won't Bret Bielema coach Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl, but he's already referring to the Badgers as "they". (AP)

Louisiana Tech's Sonny Dykes is replacing Jeff Tedford at Cal. (AP)

When he gets there, Keenan Allen will be gone. (AP)

Not so fast with that Butch Jones-to-Colorado talk . . . though it sure sounds like it's going to happen. (AP)

Manti Te'o of Notre Dame may have beaten out Alabama's Barrett Jones, Georgia's Jarvis Jones and South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney for the Lombardi Award as college football's best lineman or linebacker, but he says he's still "a big fan of their highlights". (AP)

HOCKEY
You've got to figure negotiations are moving along when discussions are described as "very candid". (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

And they'll continue today. (AP)

PRO BASKETBALL
Shades of Red Barber and Ned Martin: When Houston's upset of L.A. was complete Tuesday night, the Rockets' radio play-by-play guy announced it to the world by screaming: "The Lakers have just pooped their big-boy pants!!!" (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

Their big-boy pants back on, the Lakers rebounded Wednesday by beating the soon-to-be Pelicans on a night when Kobe Bryant became the youngest player in history to reach the 30,000-point plateau. (AP)

No word yet on when Kevin McHale will return to the Rockets, though he's following the team from afar. (CSN Houston)

No 'Melo? No problem: J.R. Smith drains the game-winner at the buzzer as the Knicks win again. (AP)

If this is how Al Jefferson plays with back spasms -- 31 points, 15 rebounds -- where do we go to get back spasms? (AP)

Allen Iverson ought to practice handling money. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

Latest from the flopping front: Gerald Wallace is fined and Chauncey Billups is warned. (Pro Basketball Talk)

PRO FOOTBALL
Yeah, yeah. The Falcons are 11-1, the Panthers are 3-9. Even so, Carolina's Greg Hardy says he just knows his team is better than Atlanta. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Don't invite Joe Thomas and Peyton Hillis to the same dinner party. (AP)

Mark Sanchez' banishment didn't last long. (AP)

Take it from TB12, RGIII; you don't want this guy hitting you. (CSN Baltimore)

But will he have Terrell Suggs hitting him? Looks like that'll be a game-time decision. (AP)

A source insists that the Cardinals' Darnell Dockett spit in the face of teammate Kerry Rhodes during an on-field argument Sunday. Well, none of the principles will admit the spitting occured, but Dockett has publicly apologized to Rhodes . . . for something. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Arizona's eight-game losing streak has prompted coach Ken Whisenhunt to give the starting quarterback job back to John Skelton. (AP)

Plenty of mystery surrounding Percy Harvin's placement on I.R. (AP)

Ryan Grant returned to a standing ovation from the Packers. (AP)

Brandon Browner's giving up his appeal and will serve his four-game suspension for PED use. (AP)

The NFL is ordering mandatory counseling for Scott Pioli, Romeo Crennel and Gary Gibbs, who witnessed Jovan Belcher's suicide last Saturday morning. (Pro Football Talk)

With Thomas drawing attention, Stevens turns to Rozier in big moment

With Thomas drawing attention, Stevens turns to Rozier in big moment

BOSTON – Prior to Saturday’s game, Terry Rozier talked to CSNNE.com about the importance of staying ready always, because “you never know when your name or number is going to be called.”

Like when trailing by three points in the fourth quarter with less than 10 seconds to play?

Yes, Rozier was on the floor in that scenario and the second-year guard delivered when his team needed it.

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But Rozier’s fourth quarter heroics which forced overtime against Portland, did not provide that much-needed jolt that Boston needed as the Blazers managed to fend off the Celtics in overtime, 127-123.

For Rozier’s part, he had 15 points on 6-for-13 shooting.

The 15 points scored for Rozier was the most for him since he tallied 16 in a 30-point Celtics win at Orlando on Dec. 7.

But more than the points, the decision by head coach Brad Stevens to draw up a play for him in that moment, a time when most of what Boston does revolves around the shooting of Isaiah Thomas who has been among the top-3 scorers in the fourth quarter most of this season, was surprising to many.

And at that point in the game, Thomas already had 13 fourth-quarter points.

Stevens confirmed after the game that the last shot in the fourth was indeed for Rozier, but Thomas’ presence on the floor was important to its execution.

“He (Thomas) also draws a lot of attention,” Stevens said. “So I think you just weigh kind of … what kind of shot you’re going to get, depending on who it is.”

Rozier had initially screened for Thomas, and Thomas came back and screened for him.

“I was open as soon as I caught … and I let it fly,” Rozier said. “Coach drew up a play for me and it felt good to see the ball go in.”

Being on the floor at that time, win or lose, was a victory of sorts for Rozier.

He has seen first-hand how quickly the tide can change in the NBA for a young player.

After a strong summer league showing and a solid training camp, Rozier had earned himself a firm spot in the team’s regular rotation.

But a series of not-so-great games coupled with Gerald Green’s breakout night on Christmas Day, led to his playing time since then becoming more sporadic.

Rozier, in an interview with CSNNE.com, acknowledged it hasn’t been easy going from playing regular minutes to not being sure how much court time, if any, he would receive.

But he says the veterans on the team have been good about keeping his spirits up, and one in particular – Avery Bradley – has been especially helpful.

Like Rozier, Bradley’s first couple of years saw his playing time go from non-existent to inconsistent. But Bradley stayed the course and listened to the team’s veterans who continued to tell him that his hard work would pay off sooner or later.

Those same words of wisdom Bradley received in his early days, he passes on to Rozier.

“It’s big,” Rozier told CSNNE.com. “He (Bradley) tells me things like that. I felt I was ready for this (inconsistent minutes) after all that he told me. It’s big to have a guy like him that has been through it all with a championship team, been around this organization for a while; have him talk to you is big. It’s always good. That’s why I stay positive, and be ready.”

Which is part of the reason why Stevens didn’t hesitate to call up a play for the second-year guard despite him being a 33.3 percent shooter from 3-point range this season – that ranks eighth on this team, mind you.

“He’s a really good shooter,” Stevens said of Rozier. “I think with more opportunity that will show itself true, but he made some big ones in the fourth quarter. We went to him a few different times out of time-outs, and felt good about him making that one.”

And to know that Stevens will turn to him not just to spell Thomas or one of the team’s other guards, but to actually make a game-altering play in the final seconds … that’s major.

“It helps tremendously,” said Rozier who added that his confidence is through “the roof. It makes me want to do everything. You know defense, all of that. It’s great, especially to have a guy like Brad trust you."