Johnson could see increased minutes down the line

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Johnson could see increased minutes down the line

TORONTO With Jeff Green out for the entire 2011-2012 season, there is indeed a void that could be filled in some capacity by Celtics rookie JaJuan Johnson.

One of the things the C's like about Green was his ability to stretch the floor with his perimeter shooting skills, a trait that Johnson also possesses.

"JaJuan can shoot the heck out of the basketball," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "And he can really run the floor. Defensively, he's gotta get stronger, mentally and physically. And that'll come."

Although he played limited minutes in Boston's 76-75 preseason win over Toronto, Johnson chipped in with three rebounds and did a decent job defensively.

The idea that Johnson won't play much shouldn't be all that surprising, especially when you look at Rivers' track record with first-year players.

However, Johnson's lack of playing time will have less to do with his game, and more to do with the fact that there are a number of players, veteran players, ahead of him right now.

"The other guys are pretty good, (Brandon) Bass and Kevin (Garnett) and those guys," Rivers said. "We needed to get them first. It's great to want the young guys to play. But guys, we got two preseason games. He'll get his chance."

Like most NBA players, Johnson wants to play immediately.

But he's wise enough to know that his time to shine, may not necessarily be right now.

"I just feel like, obviously, the more reps you get at things, the more comfortable and the better you get at it," Johnson said. "Once I get more comfortable, get more reps - just in game situations - the better I'll be."

He added, "I understand with the talented players we have on this team, you gotta pay your dues. But I learn something everyday. And I'm always going to stay positive about it, and keep working."

Patriots address OL depth with Joe Thuney

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Patriots address OL depth with Joe Thuney

The selection of Joe Thuney with the 78th overall pick means the Patriots hit a need position at offensive tackle.

Thuney played tackle on right and left side and, while he’s small relative to the Patriots mountainous starting tackles (6-5, 295 pounds), he will likely have a redshirt year to get used to the pro game. That’s what happened with left tackle Nate Solder when he was drafted in 2011 and Matt Light was still manning left tackle.

With Vollmer getting closer to the end, Thuney could conceivably play on the edge but he also has the versatility to play all five offensive line spots. The Patriots don’t need him at all five. They are two deep at center with Bryan Stork and David Andrews, seem set at guard with Tre Jackson, Josh Kline and Shaq Mason.

The depth behind Solder and Vollmer is where the concern is. Marcus Cannon hasn’t developed any consistency and Cameron Fleming is entering his third season but remains nothing to get excited about. L’Adrian Waddle was an in-season pickup the Patriots re-signed but he’s in the same boat as the other two. Keavon Martin and Chris Barker are end of the roster guys.

Thuney’s got a huge brain. He earned his degree in three years and is working on another in international studies with a minor in Spanish. While he’s seen as an aggressive, lunch pail guy with good feet but a little bit of body stiffness and no natural position, he’s got a lot of the traits the Patriots adore in terms of smarts, aggressiveness, versatility and coachability.

Quotes, notes, and stars: "No sign" of Ortiz slowing down

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Quotes, notes, and stars: "No sign" of Ortiz slowing down

Quotes, notes, and stars from the Red Sox' 4-2 win over the Yankees.

QUOTES:

* "He gathered himself and got a little rhythm as the night went along.'' - John Farrell on Henry Owens.

* "That's a rarity for Betances to leave his breaking ball up like he did. Once David saw it up, he attacked.'' - Farrell on David Ortiz's game-winning homer.

* "There's no sign of him slowing down. Tonight is a prime example of it. Key moment, big hit when we need it. There's a long resume there and it's continuing to build.'' - Farrell on Ortiz's ability to deliver in the clutch.

* "There were some mechanical adjustments that I made. I came out a little erratic, trying to do too much, maybe focusing too much. But as game went on, I kind of got into a rhythm.'' - Owens on his start.

* "I saw him throw a lot of breaking pitches to Mookie. The one they hit stayed up a little longer than usual. He's the kind of pitcher that, if you go up there looking for everything he's got, you're done.'' - Ortiz on his game-winning homer off Dellin Betances.

NOTES:

* Over his career, David Ortiz has hit 29 go-ahead homers from the eighth inning on.

* Ortiz has eight homers in his last 24 games against the Yankees.

* The win was the first this season for the Red Sox in a game in which they were tied or trailing after seven innings.

* The Red Sox have won five of their last six and seven of their last 10.

* The Yankees have been limited to three runs or fewer in their last six games.

* In 21 games, the Yankees have faced 10 lefty starters; in 22 games, the Red Sox have faced two.

* Masahiro Tanaka has issued just one walk in his last three starts.

STARS:

1) David Ortiz

With one swing of the bat, Ortiz untied a 2-2 game in the bottom of the eighth with a game-winning two-run homer.

2) Jackie Bradley Jr.

Bradley's penchant for delivering a big hit continued as he rapped a two-run double to left in the seventh to erase a 2-0 Yankee lead.

3) Masahiro Tanaka

He shut the Red Sox for six innings before allowing three hits and two runs in the seventh.

2016 NFL Draft: Patriots select QB Jacoby Brissett

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2016 NFL Draft: Patriots select QB Jacoby Brissett

You knew the Patriots were in the market for a quarterback. With Tom Brady staring at a four-game suspension to start the season, they had to add someone behind Jimmy Garoppolo for depth. 

What you didn't know was if that quarterback was going to arrive via the draft. And if he did, you certainly didn't know the round in which the pick would be made. 

Those questions were answered late on Friday night when the Patriots grabbed North Carolina State's Jacoby Brissett with pick No. 91 overall in the third round. 

At 6-foot-4, 231 pounds, he has a frame that's ready to absorb hits at the NFL level and an arm that should be allow him to make whatever throw he's asked. What may have made him particularly attractive to the Patriots is that he finished his college career with a 46-to-15 touchdown to interception ratio, showing that he understands the importance of good decision-making. 

He's not the most accurate down-the-field thrower, and he'll need some polish before he's trusted as a primary backup, but he has the physical tools to succeed as a pro.

Brissett is also thought of as a good teammate. His left tackle from last year Joe Thuney had nothing but praise for the confidence Brissett exuded in the huddle.

According to CBS Sports draft analyst Dan Brugler, Brissett's leadership qualities extended off the field as well. He wrote hand-written letters to his offensive teammates before each game, and he baked his offensive linemen desserts.

Only time will tell if he'll be able to work avocado product into his culinary repertoire for his new teammates.