KG could be the 'center' of attention

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KG could be the 'center' of attention

WALTHAM Kevin Garnett is used to being the center of attention.

According to Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers, we can look for Garnett this season to be the center period.

Even though the future Hall of Famer has spent the bulk of his career at power forward, Rivers doesn't believe it'll be that big an issue.

"When he was younger, that might have been a problem," Rivers said. "But now it's a pretty good place for him."

The idea of having Garnett play more in the middle is both out of necessity - Jermaine O'Neal is the team's only center with NBA experience, and he may be traded any day now - and the reality of what Garnett, 35, can provide at this stage of his career.

"He's older; he's bigger, stronger," Rivers said. "He can play both positions. He can spread the floor for us at that position. You can play him and (newly acquired) Brandon Bass together. Both of them can shoot the ball; either one of them can guard the five or the four. It makes us pretty versatile."

The idea also speaks to how thin the NBA free agent market is for reasonably-priced centers. Once you get past Tyson Chandler, Nene and Samuel Dalembert, the chances of finding an impact player at the center position are slim.

Rivers added that the idea also takes into account how there are very few physically imposing, dominant centers today which means Garnett wouldn't endure an unusually high amount of wear and tear beyond what he's used to.

The C's will continue to keep an eye out for opportunities to add another center to the roster. But it doesn't appear to be as much of a necessity now, primarily because of the additions of Bass and Chris Wilcox who are both power forwards with the ability to play some at center.

When asked whether the Celtics needed to add another center, Rivers responded, "we do and we don't. If we don't have one, I'm not that upset by it. I'll always take one, so if you can find one for me, please help out. But I think we have enough fours (power forwards) who can play both, and if we have enough fouls, we can get away with it."

Gronkowski nominated for Walter Payton Man of the Year Award

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Gronkowski nominated for Walter Payton Man of the Year Award

FOXBORO -- Rob Gronkowski is up for one of the NFL's most prestigious awards, and it's not simply for what he's done while on the football field. 

The Patriots tight end is the team's nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, it was announced on Wednesday. Each year the award recognizes one player for his excellence on and off the field.

“We’re proud to honor these outstanding men who represent the NFL’s best on and off the field,” said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. “Our players have a unique platform to make a difference far beyond the field of play. We salute these individuals who are exemplary in their commitment to making a positive impact in communities across the globe through their dedicated service and philanthropic efforts.”

The winner will be announced in Houston on the night before Super Bowl LI.

Gostkowski named AFC special teams player of week

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Gostkowski named AFC special teams player of week

FOXBORO -- It's been an uncharacteristically erratic season for Stephen Gostkowski, but on Sunday the Patriots Pro Bowl kicker was dialed in. And his four field-goal performance against Los Angeles earned him AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors. It is the second time this season and the fifth time in his career that Gostkowski has been named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week, having also won the award after the first game of the season at Arizona. 

Gostkowski's missed four field goals so far this season. He hasn't missed four in a year since 2012 when he missed six field goals. He's also missed three extra points. While the Patriots were a little downcast about the inability of their offense to close out drives against the Rams, an ancillary benefit was undoubtedly Gostkowski having a day that should boost his confidence going forward.