Rivers: Bryant getting 'craftier' as years go by


Rivers: Bryant getting 'craftier' as years go by

LOS ANGELES Kobe Bryant is good; real good.

And the scary part?

The more you watch him play, the clearer it becomes that even after all these years, his game is still expanding.

"His low-post game has really improved," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "He's so much craftier at it."

Although Bryant has not shot the ball well from 3-point range this year (he came into the game shooting 27.9 percent on 3s this season), he's still as clutch a scorer as you'll find from anywhere on the floor.

In the fourth quarter, Bryant had 10 of his game-high 26 points which included connecting on two of his three, 3-pointers.

"His three-point shooting has always been good," Rivers said. "But when you allow him to set his feet, he's basically going to make it. He's one of the greatest offensive players or players in general to play the game."

And the even crazier part is despite this being his 16th NBA season, the 33-year-old Bryant still ranks among the NBA's leaders in minutes played.

Bryant (38.2) and his Lakers teammate Pau Gasol (37 minutes per game) are the only NBA players ranked in the top 10 minutes played, who are at least 30 years old.

"At his age, that's amazing," Rivers said of Bryant.

Bruschi to serve as honorary captain for Patriots before AFC title game


Bruschi to serve as honorary captain for Patriots before AFC title game

FOXBORO -- The Patriots will have a good-luck charm of sorts on their side before they take on the Steelers for the AFC Championship.

Former Patriots linebacker and three-time Super Bowl champ Tedi Bruschi will serve as an honorary captain Sunday, taking the field for the pre-game coin toss with Devin McCourty, Dont'a Hightower and Matthew Slater. Tom Brady is the team's fourth active captain, though, he rarely participates in the coin toss. 

"With an undefeated record in games that we have honored him, I can't think of a more perfect player to serve as honorary captain this Sunday," team chairman and CEO Robert Kraft said in a statement. "He was called the perfect Patriot by head coach Bill Belichick, and he has lived up to that nickname with an 8-0 record in games where he has been a part of the Patriots celebration."

Bruschi is 2-0 as an honorary captain in AFC Championship Games, taking part in the pre-game festivities in the conference title games in both 2012 and 2015. Bruschi was last at Gillette Stadium as an honorary captain back in Week 13, when the Patriots took on the Rams and celebrated the franchise's Super Bowl XXXVI victory back in 2002.