Rested Rondo ready to roll


Rested Rondo ready to roll

ORLANDO, Fla. Before being an injury replacement for the All-Star game, Rajon Rondo's plan was to get some rest and be ready for the second half of the season.

While his plans for the weekend may have changed, he was still able to get enough downtime to feel recharged for what he hopes will be a much better stretch of play for the Celtics.

"I had a good experience," Rondo said. "It's always an honor to be named an All-Star. I had fun; I spent a lot of time with my family, I enjoyed myself."

He added, "I'll be ready to go."

While in Orlando, Rondo said he spent some time getting shots up.

In addition to the All-Star break, Rondo also missed the Celtics' last two games as part of a two-game suspension for throwing a basketball at official Sean Wright.

"I try to get back out there so I just won't be so cold on Tuesday (at Cleveland)," Rondo said. "I got a lot of shots up the last couple of days on my own."

He certainly didn't get many up in Sunday's game.

Rondo had two points on 1-for-3 shooting.

Instead, Rondo stuck to what got him to the All-Star game - passing.

He had eight assists in just under 16 minutes. The only player for the East with more assists was Dwyane Wade, who played about 33 minutes and finished with a triple-double of 24 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds.

Those are the kind of numbers - at least the rebound and assist numbers - that Rondo is known for registering.

And while it's unclear what kind of impact the two games missed will have on his play, Rondo isn't overly concerned.

"It won't take me long to get back into the swing of things," he said. "I only missed two games. Everybody's had a break."

And while he knows he has to step his game up, Rondo said the goal for him is the same.

"I'm ready to get back and get some wins," Rondo said. "That's the only thing that matters."

2016 NFL Draft: Patriots select QB Jacoby Brissett


2016 NFL Draft: Patriots select QB Jacoby Brissett

The New England Patriots selected N.C. State quarterback Jacoby Brissett with the No. 91 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.

It sure looks like the Patriots are looking to get support at quarterback incase Tom Brady is suspended.

2016 NFL Draft: Thuney provides versatility to Patriots


2016 NFL Draft: Thuney provides versatility to Patriots

Versatility, versatility, versatility. If you want to be drafted by the Patriots, it usually has to show up somewhere in your scouting report. 

Yes, even if you're an offensive lineman. 

At pick No. 78 overall, which was acquired by the Patriots in a trade with the Saints, coach Bill Belichick and director of player personnel Nick Caserio grabbed perhaps the most versatile lineman in this class. 

Joe Thuney of North Carolina State measures in at 6-foot-5, 304 pounds and has experience at both guard and tackle. He also served as a backup center for the Wolfpack. 

Thuney is athletic enough (he recorded a 4.95-second 40-yard dash, 110-inch broad jump at this year's combine) to project at really any position along the line as a pro. Many believe he'll be best-suited as a guard or center at the next level due to his size, but he moves well enough to be able to shadow pass-rushers. 

Touted as someone with tremendous "football character," he's one of those players that Belichick and the Patriots coaching staff will appreciate because he loves the game. And to top it off, he's one of the smartest guys in the draft. He was a semifinalist for the Campbell Trophy (also known as the Academic Heisman), and graduated cum laude with a degree in accounting before his junior season. 

First impressions from the Red Sox' 4-2 win: Ortiz has flair for the dramatic


First impressions from the Red Sox' 4-2 win: Ortiz has flair for the dramatic

First impressions from the Red Sox' 4-2 win over New York Yankees...

* David Ortiz still has a flair for the dramatic.

Matched against Yankees reliever Dellin Betances, Ortiz cracked a two-run homer into the Monster Seats to snap a 2-2 tie in the eighth inning. Ortiz now has 18 RBI in 23 games -- he didn't start in four of those games - and at 40, remains the one hitter opposing teams want to face with the game on the line.

Before the homer, Ortiz was 0-for-7 against Betances, with four strikeouts.

* All things considered, Henry Owens did OK.

Owens didn't fool anybody. He couldn't command his fastball, and when the Yankees did hit it, they hit it pretty hard. He walked three and hit another. But Owens managed to limit the damage in a big way, allowing just two hits in six innings despite 10 baserunners.

Occasionally, he would get bailed out by his changeup, which seems to be the lone pitch he has that is better than average by major league standards.

* Jackie Bradley Jr. continues to hit when it counts.

Bradley got the Red Sox offense going with a two-run, two-out double off Masahiro Tanaka, when the Sox were down to their final seven outs.

In the last week along, Bradley hit an extra-inning homer; a solo homer that represented the only run of the game; a ninth-inning triple; and Friday's big two-base hit.

That he has 10 RBI from the bottom of the order suggests he can provide some sock from that spot.

* Matt Barnes continues to make strides.

Since allowing a homer to Kevin Kiermaier on the last homestand, Barnes has allowed just one run in his last four appearances, covering 6 1/3 innings, while holding opposing hitters to a .208 batting average (5-for-24).

* The Yankees bullpen gets all the attention, but in relief of Owens, Barnes, Koji Uehara and Craig Kimbrel faced nine hitters and retired them all.