Former Celtic Johnson may return


Former Celtic Johnson may return

SACRAMENTO, Calif. You can add former Boston Celtic Chris Johnson to the growing list of players that the Celtics will consider bringing in to add depth to their frontcourt.

Johnson, a 6-foot-11 forwardcenter, was recently waived by the Portland Trail Blazers after appearing in 20 games for them this season. He spent part of last season with the Celtics, appearing in four games while playing on a 10-day contract.

Although he didn't play much, he left a favorable impression on the franchise and C's head coach Doc Rivers.

Rivers especially remembers Johnson's play in a Boston loss at Denver, which just so happens to be Boston's next opponent after tonight's game against the Sacramento Kings.

In that game, Johnson had six points and three blocked shots.

"We thought about signing him for just tomorrow, because he had that sensational game last year in Denver," Rivers said. "We were going to sign him and just say, 'run like a gazelle again.'"

While there's not necessarily a favorite for the C's to land, Rivers made it clear that Johnson was a player that was under serious consideration.

"We're looking at everybody," Rivers said. "But Chris is an absolute option, no doubt."

For the season, Johnson has averaged 1.6 points and 0.9 rebounds. spoke with him last week when the C's were hosting the Trail Blazers.

Johnson said he tried to pick the brains of all of the Big Four during his brief but productive time with the Celtics.

"From KG, how to play defense and man-up, one-on-one in the post. You get advice from Paul, Ray and future Hall of Famer Rondo," Johnson told "It was a bunch of good guys."

Which is why he was disappointed that they didn't keep him around.

"I understood the move they had to make, by getting (CarloArroyo)," Johnson said. "You can control what you can. All I can control is working hard, trying to get better everyday."

First half Patriots observations: Brady and Long up, Garoppolo and Solder down


First half Patriots observations: Brady and Long up, Garoppolo and Solder down

The Patriots had their share of good and bad in the first half of their preseason game with the Panthers on Friday. Here's who we saw as some of the team's top performers, as well as some of the players who may have to make some corrections in the second half. 

* Tom Brady was only 3-for-9 in his four series, but he completed his passes for 76 yards and a touchdown. His touchdown pass to Chris Hogan might have been the best throw of the preseason for any Patriots quarterback as he hit Hogan in stride, over the shoulder, for a 33-yard gain. Brady was close to having a second touchdown pass, but it glanced off the out-stretched hands tight end Martellus Bennett in the back of the end zone. Brady was nearly picked on his final drive, again trying to hit Bennett. He was sacked on his final play of the half.

* Jimmy Garoppolo had a difficult time early in this one. He was 5-for-9 for 37 yards, and he picked up an intentional grounding penalty. Garoppolo also was strip-sacked by Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis, but James White recovered. 

* Chris Long had a standout half with two pressures, a pass-breakup that led to a Devin McCourty pick, and he drew a hold. The veteran defensive end has shown a good motor and a knack for getting to the quarterback in each of New England's first three preseason games. 

* Logan Ryan also had a strong first half in his preseason debut. His first five targets in coverage resulted in no completions, an offensive pass interference penalty and an interception. His former college teammate Duron Harmon also had a pick of Panthers backup Derek Anderson.

* Nate Solder allowed the pressure that eventually led to the sack of Brady by Kony Ealy. He also was flagged for a false start. Being that it's the third preseason game -- when starters typically go deep into the game -- he'll likely have a chance to redeem himself in the second half.