Pierce puts struggles behind him


Pierce puts struggles behind him

BOSTON -- Paul Pierce has been around the league long enough to know you cant get too low about a loss. Learn from your mistakes and improve upon them for the next one.

After shooting 3-for-17 in the Boston Celtics' 87-74 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Friday night, Pierce didnt hang his head over his performance. Hes looking to do better the next time on the court.

I felt good, he said. I thought I took a lot of good shots, they just didnt fall tonight. I can live with that.

Pierce scored 10 points in a season-high 37 minutes, a drop from 24 points on Wednesday against the New Jersey Nets and 21 points against the Washington Wizards on Monday.

He was human, said Doc Rivers. I thought he tried to do too much off the bounce, especially early, and then I thought he got frustrated a little bit. Thats going to happen. But thats where somebody else we needed to pick up, and nobody could. Without Ray (Allen) shooting today, we wouldve shot 20 percent.

The Celtics shot 39.4 percent from the field (26-for-66 FG), with Allen scoring a team-high 23 points. Kevin Garnett finished second to Allen with 12 points.

I think both teams really struggled offensively. said Pierce. It was one of those defensive, grind-it-out games, but I think they really beat us on what we like to call the 50-50 plays, where theres loose balls, offensive rebounds, and they made timely baskets.

With a veteran outlook, Pierce is looking ahead to performing better in their next contest. After playing four games since Sunday, the Celtics will not play again until Wednesday against the Dallas Mavericks.

This will give the Celtics much-welcomed time for practice, especially for Pierce who missed the first three games of the season with a foot injury.

It will give us a chance to get some good practice time in, he said. I havent had any practice this year, so itll be good for me to get back in and refreshed with some of the things were doing. Add to our playbook, which we havent been able to do because of our lack of practice, plus itll be a good rest for us. Were playing every other day, so get our feet back up under us and regroup and get back on next week.

McAdam: Doesn't take long for second-guessing of Farrell to resume


McAdam: Doesn't take long for second-guessing of Farrell to resume

Three takeaways from the Red Sox' 6-4 loss to the Yankees on Tuesday night . . . 

1) Long relief may be short for the Red Sox in the postseason

The news that Drew Pomeranz won't start Thursday and is dealing with forearm soreness was ominous -- to say the least. While the Sox aren't concerned enough to order up an MRI for the lefty, it seems a fair bet that he won't pitch again this season. Pomeranz wasn't going to crack the postseason rotation and would likely have been relegated to relief duty. Now, even that seems a stretch.

Add that development to the continued absence of Steven Wright and the Red Sox are missing 40 percent of their rotation from late July and early August.

Healthy, both would have been stretched-out and available to provide multiple innings in the postseason.

Of course, most teams would prefer to not have to rely on long men in the postseason, since their very appearance in a game would signifiy that a starter got knocked out early.

When that happens, however, it's nice to have experienced, dependable arms to cover innings and not impact the bullpen's high-leverage pitchers.

Now, in such a scenario, the Sox will likely have to turn to either Robbie Ross Jr. or Heath Hembree.

2) Is Aaron Hill heating up?

In the month of September, Hill has posted a line of .381/.409/.571. On Tuesday night, he blasted a pinch-hit homer.

Admittedly, that's a relatively small sample size. But Hill has had better at-bats of late, especially against lefties.

It's doubtful that he'll take over third base -- now or in the postseason -- full-time, since John Farrell has two left-handed hitting options, with Travis Shaw and Brock Holt. Shaw certainly more power and has shown the ability to go on hot streaks at the plate.

But Hill is a veteran player, albeit one with little postseason experience (11 at-bats in the Division Series for Arizona in 2011) for a 12-year veteran.

And one other benefit: Hill is a .373 career hitter as a pinch-hitter, making him a valuable part off the bench in games started by either Holt or Shaw.

3) One loss is all it took for the second-guessing to resurface

The Sox had won 11 straight before Tuesday's loss, which quickly re-introduced criticism of Farrell.

Starter David Price had given up four runs through six innings, but the Sox rallied for two runs off Tommy Layne in the seventh to tie things at 4-4.

At 76 pitches, Price went back out for the seventh and promptly yielded a two-run homer to Tyler Austin, giving the Yanks another two-run lead.

Price hadn't been sharp in the first six. With expanded rosters, plenty of available relievers and a rested bullpen after a day off Monday, why stick with Price?

Offered Farrell: "You go with a right-hander they’re going to go with [Mark] Teixeira and [Brian] McCann with that right-field porch,” Farrell said. “Wanted to keep the (right-handed hitters) in the ballgame, (but Price) mislocated over the plate.”

Patriots re-sign DT Anthony Johnson to practice squad


Patriots re-sign DT Anthony Johnson to practice squad

FOXBORO -- The Patriots have re-signed defensive tackle Anthony Johnson to their practice squad, the team announced. 

Johnson, 23, made the Patriots out of training camp after putting together an impressive preseason in which he recorded five quarterback pressures and was in on two sacks. In two regular-season games, he played 43 snaps as an interior pass-rusher, registering one quarterback hit and one hurry. He was inactive for New England's Week 2 game against the Dolphins. 

The 6-foot-2, 295-pounder was released earlier this week in order to clear room for free-agent defensive lineman John Hughes to be added to the roster. Hughes checks in at 6-2, 320 pounds and would serve more as a space-eating defensive tackle than Johnson, who was used as more of a penetrating pass-rusher. 

In order to make room for Johnson on the practice squad, the Patriots released offensive lineman Ian Silberman.