Garnett proving age is just a number this season

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Garnett proving age is just a number this season

CLEVELAND Kevin Garnett had 18 points. He grabbed eight rebounds. He made all eight of his free throw attempts.

Even with the stats, they only provide a glimpse into how important Garnett was in Boston's 86-83 win.

"He was our anchor," said Celtics head coach Doc Rivers. "He's just been so solid for us."

For the Celtics, a team that has been anything but solid this season, Garnett's steady play has been instrumental in this team's drop-off not being any steeper.

But Garnett's contributions go much deeper than what we saw on Tuesday, or what we've seen from him this season.

"You never seen somebody play the amount of minutes and the amount of years and still have the most energy on the court, either team," Celtics guard Keyon Dooling told CSNNE.com. "Everybody want to harp on the age and things like that, but look at him? The motor he brings everyday, you got guys 21 years old who can't bring that amount of energy every night."

But as Garnett gets older, Celtics coach Doc Rivers monitors his minutes even closer - even in practice.

Rivers went pretty hard on the guys in practice on Monday, and wasn't sure what he would get from Garnett.

"He came back and was absolutely wonderful," Rivers said.

Especially of late on offense.

And while some see Garnett as having opened the second half of the season up by stepping up his play, those who have played with him all season see him as doing nothing on Tuesday that he hasn't been doing most of this season.

"He's been the model of consistency for us throughout the whole year," said Paul Pierce.

However, Pierce said the C's are making a point of getting him the ball more on the post, which opens things up for not just him - but for the entire Celtics team.

"We're getting him the ball more, and that's the key," Pierce added. "When he's playing well, we're tough to beat."

Garnett was pleased that the Celtics got the win.

But he by no means was satisfied with the C's performance which all would agree, has to be better - much better - moving forward.

"This is going to be a grind right here, a true grind," Garnett said, referring to the second half of the season. "Physically, but mentally we have to be into it and prepare and just be ready to hoop."

How does Isaiah Thomas improve? Eating right is one step

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How does Isaiah Thomas improve? Eating right is one step

WALTHAM, Mass. -- This past season, Isaiah Thomas took a major step forward to becoming more than just a solid NBA player, but one of the game’s best.
 
He knows he won’t stay among the elite for long if he doesn’t make some changes with the most notable being to his diet.
 
“I do not eat good,” Thomas acknowledged following his exit interview this week. “I eat like a young guy, a young guy who got a little bit of money, fast food every day. But I’m definitely going to change.”
 
The change becomes necessary not only in light of how the season ended for him and the Celtics, but also for his long-term goals, which include playing in the NBA until he’s at least 40 years old.
 
“I’m not that old but the greatest players took care of their bodies the best,” Thomas said.
 
Among those cited by Thomas who excelled at taking care of their bodies was former Celtic Ray Allen.
 
But Thomas was quick to add that he won’t go to the lengths that Allen did in maintaining good health.
 
“Because he’s a little crazy with that,” quipped Thomas. “I just want to play at a high level for a long time, like Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant. You have to take care of your body. That’s half the battle of performing out there on the floor.
 
Thomas added, “This is a big summer for me to start doing that.”
 
Eating right is just part of the transformation process for Thomas.
 
He’ll also modify is offseason workouts to include some work in the boxing ring with long time friend Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
 
“I’m definitely work with him a few times, get my conditioning right, probably train, do some boxing stuff on the side, just to get in that type of shape,” Thomas said. “You get in that type of shape you won’t get tired on the basketball floor. This summer is big for me, transforming my body, getting into the best shape possible and coming back and having another all-star year.”
 
For the Celtics to improve upon this past season, they will need Thomas to continue elevating his play as well as the play of those around him.
 
It is that latter point that was among the many reasons Boston’s season is over. No matter what he did, those around him could not step their game up to a level needed in order to get past the Atlanta Hawks.
 
Chalk it up to another lesson learned for Thomas.
 
“You can’t do it on your own,” Thomas said. “There’s no way you can do it on your own. Nobody can do it on your own; and how hard it is to win playoff games, a playoff series. It’s not easy.”
 
And when you come up short, for Thomas is created an uneasiness that he never wants to experience again.
 
“I’m going to do whatever it takes to not have this feeling again,” he said. “It really hurt me. I’m going to use that as motivation to continue to get better and to work on my flaws and make those into my strengths. I promise you’ll I’ll be back better than ever next year.”
 

Saturday's lineups: Red Sox vs. Yankees

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Saturday's lineups: Red Sox vs. Yankees

Christian Vazquez is behind the plate catching Rick Porcello (4-0, 3.51 ERA), who looks to remain unbeaten, as the Red Sox continue their three-game weekend series with the Yankees on Saturday night (7:10) at Fenway Park.

The Red Sox won the series opener 4-2 on Friday night with a rally from a 2-0 deficit capped by David Ortiz' two-run homer in the eighth inning.

The full lineups:

YANKEES
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Brett Gardner LF
Carlos Beltran RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Brian McCann C
Chase Headley 3B
Starlin Castro 2B
Didi Gregorius SS
--
Michael Pineda RHP

RED SOX
Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Travis Shaw 3B
Brock Holt LF
Christian Vazquez C
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
--
Rick Porcello RHP

Taking stock of Patriots Day 3 trades and return on Chandler Jones

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Taking stock of Patriots Day 3 trades and return on Chandler Jones

FOXBORO – Late Friday night, after the third round of the draft ended, Nick Caserio was at a loss to explain how the Patriots would use all their last-day picks.

Too many selections. Not enough spots on the 90-man roster available. No vacancy.

“We’re scheduled to pick in the fourth round right now and we have the end of the draft covered with the five sixth-round picks, three of which we have to pick,” Caserio lamented. “We couldn’t trade those even if we wanted to. And then the two seventh-round picks...I think that puts us at 80 players on the roster, just if you include the players we drafted. Somewhere along the line, something’s going to have to give. We’re going to have to give some picks up or, you know, you have 90 players you can actually have on your roster at one time, so we’re going to have to see how it all fits together.”

Here’s how it fit together on Saturday. The Patriots selected Georgia wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell with a fourth-rounder (112 overall), then angled to get the hell out of their remaining seven selections with trades.

First, they sent Miami the 196th, 204th and 250th picks in exchange for the 147th pick.

Then, when their turn approached at 147, they sent that pick and the 243rd pick to Seattle in exchange for the 225th pick this year and a fourth-rounder next year.

Distilling those moves: they first turned three picks into one. Then they combined that pick with another and turned those two into one this year and one next year. And in doing so they got back into the fourth round for 2017. They NFL confiscated the Patriots fourth-rounder last year.

Selections left to be made on Saturday are these untradeable compensatory picks: 208, 214 and 221. And also 225 which can be traded.

Finally, an interesting bit of bookkeeping from the deal the Patriots made with the Cardinals earlier in the offseason.

The Patriots got guard Jonathan Cooper and the 61st overall pick back from Arizona. The Patriots traded the 61st pick to New Orleans Friday night in exchange for a third and a fourth. The Patriots got offensive lineman Joe Thuney and Mitchell from those picks.

So the deal was Chandler Jones for Cooper, Thuney and Mitchell.