Wakeup Call: Will Jets cut their losses with Tebow?

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Wakeup Call: Will Jets cut their losses with Tebow?

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Thursday, November 1:

AUTO RACING
The Chase for the Cup looks like a two-man battle between Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski. (AP)

BASEBALL
It was a parade of love in San Francisco for the World Series champs. (AP)

The confetti was still lining the streets when free agents-to-be Marco Scutaro, Angel Pagan and Jeremy Affeldt began pondering their futures. (CSN Bay Area)

Speaking of Pagan, he helped pass out some of the tacos he won for everyone in the country with his Game 2 stolen base. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

The Angels checked one item off their offseason to-do list, trading Ervin Santana to the Royals. (AP)

Let the A-Rod rumors begin. Today's entry: The Phillies. (CSN Philly)

Rafael Soriano figures it's time to cash in on his 42-save season as Mariano Rivera's replacement. (AP)

Dan Duquette says he likes Mark Reynolds, but doesn't like his 11 million price tag for 2013. So he'll see if he can't bring Reynolds back for a little -- or a lot -- less than that. (CSN Baltimore)

The Rays are keeping James Shields, Fernando Rodney and Jose Molina -- or at least they're picking up their 2013 options -- and letting Luke Scott go. (AP)

The Marlins' managerial search continues. The latest interviewee: Tigers coach Lloyd McClendon. (AP)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Michigan has suspended leading scorer Trey Burke for its exhibition opener because of what coach John Beilein is calling "out-of-character" decisions. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Pete Carroll on Steve Spurrier's claim that Alabama could beat some of the worst teams in the NFL: Get real, will ya? (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

But not to worry there, Saban: Alabama's playing LSU this weekend, not the Jaguars or the Panthers. And it looks like Amari Cooper will be good to go. (NBC's College Football Talk)

To keep him away from the general prison population, Jerry Sandusky's going to serve his sentence on death row. (AP)

GOLF
Phil Mickelson can't shake that horrific Ryder Cup defeat. (AP)

PRO BASKETBALL
I know it's early, but what a Dwightmare it's been for Lakers so far. (AP)

They're certainly making Mark Cuban's wish come true. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

Nice takeoff for James Harden with the Rockets. (CSN Houston)

Stephen Curry has a four-year, 44 million contract extension to take his mind off his bum ankle. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL
Even when the Jets have a bye week, Tim Tebow's in the news. (AP)

The Giants say they aren't going to let the damage and destruction of Hurricane Sandy take their minds off preparation for this week's game against the Steelers. (AP)

The Redskins figure no news is good news regarding a possible suspension for DeAngelo Hall after his blowup with the referees last week. But they haven't taken into account the hurricane, which closed the NFL offices in New York this week. (CSN Washington)

The NFL office also wants to talk to Emmanuel Sanders about that convenient leg cramp -- remember when he dropped like he was shot while the Steelers were trying to avoid using a time out in the fourth quarter against the Bengals, then returned one play later? -- he suffered a few weeks ago. (AP)

Told you this was coming! (CSN Baltimore)

The '85 Bears are remembered as one of the greatest teams of all time, but some -- like Richard Dent -- think they're actually a symbol of unrealized potential . . . and that it's Mike Ditka's fault they didn't win more than one Super Bowl. (CSN Chicago)

You may have to pass a faith test if you want to play for the Colts. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Celtics expectations at a new high in Stevens' fourth season

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Celtics expectations at a new high in Stevens' fourth season

WALTHAM, Mass. – As Amir Johnson made his way to the podium during the Boston Celtics’ Media day on Monday, he didn’t waste any time addressing the biggest change from last season this time.

For the first time under fourth-year coach Brad Stevens, the Celtics have  expectations – high expectations – for the upcoming season.

“A lot of expectations I hear around here,” Johnson said. “'Celtics got this,'  'Celtics got that!' Talk to me!”

Well he’s right.

The expectations are at a level we have not seen under Stevens, and its players like Johnson and his play that have helped fuel such speculation.

Vegas lists Boston as one of a handful of teams whose over/under win total is over 50. 

Last season the Celtics were 48-34 which was tied for the third-best record in the East.

Arguably Boston’s greatest strength last season was their depth; the kind that seemed to have a serviceable player at every position times two (or in some instances).

While Boston’s depth this season isn’t any greater in terms of quantity, the quality of Boston’s starters and backups is indeed of a higher grade which is why defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers are the only team at this point that’s without question better than the Celtics.

Being a team that’s expected to be among the top teams in the East is new for this crew. In fact, you have to go back to the days when Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen were around to find another time when Boston was thought of so highly in the Eastern Conference.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens is well aware that there’s an increased level of external support that believes his team will be among the top squads in the NBA.

But he also recognizes his team’s best path towards success is to remain true to who they are and what they do best.

When asked what success for the Celtics will look like this season, Stevens was succinct in his response.

“My expectations never change,” Stevens said. “It’s all about getting better tomorrow, making sure we’re as good as we can be. That’s’ a very simple, boring process but that’s the way that I go about it. The results take care of themselves.”

After winning just 25 games during his rookie season, Stevens-coached teams in Boston have increased their win total each season.

So the growth both he and the Celtics as well as their fan base are seeking, has been pretty obvious.

And while most of the players tried to be as non-committal as they could on what would a successful season look like, Jae Crowder left nothing to the imagination when he laid out what a good season in his eyes looked like.

“Our first goal was to make it to the playoffs,” Crowder said. “We’re beyond that point now.

Crowder added, “Success is home court advantage going into the playoffs, getting past the first round. Two years in a row we got the same result. We have to progress from that. That’s what we’re shooting for.”

Being one of the hunted will be a new experience for the Celtics, one that Danny Ainge is excited about this season.

“We expect our team to be better,” said Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations. “We expect each of the players to be better. We have a lot of guys that are not yet in their prime that are moving in that direction. I do expect it to be better.

Ainge added, “You can have some goals with numbers but overall there’s a lot of factors in determining success. We want to be better at the end of the year than we are at the beginning of the year, however good we are at the beginning of the year. We want to compete against the best teams.”