Stiemsma, Allen look forward to Milwaukee return


Stiemsma, Allen look forward to Milwaukee return

The Boston Celtics visit to Milwaukee for Thursdays game against the Bucks will be a homecoming for rookie Greg Stiemsma and a return to where it all began for veteran Ray Allen.

Stiemsma grew up in the small village of Randolph outside of Milwaukee and played college basketball at the University of Wisconsin. As a hoops fan, he watched Allen light up the court for over six years with the Bucks. Now as a member of the Celtics, Stiemsma has spent his first NBA season sitting next to Allen in the locker room.

Growing up in Wisconsin, we kind of ride around our sports teams a little bit, Stiemsma told How can you not like a guy like Ray? He plays the game the right way, one of the purest shooters the game has ever seen. Hes a hard guy not to like and look up to, no matter what position you play.

Meeting Ray kind of was surreal at first, Stiemsma continued. But I kind of tried to, not hide those feelings, but I tried to be professional about this whole situation. I was a big fan of KG (Kevin Garnett) and all these guys. Even through college, when I watched the NBA I liked watching these guys play because theyre the best in the business. To be a part of it and to be on the floor with them at the same time, its an honor. But at the same time its my job, too.

Allen appreciates the long road Stiemsma has taken to the NBA. After playing professional basketball overseas, the 26-year-old rookie finally has the opportunity to play in front of a home crowd that has supported him since he was a high school standout, leading his team to three straight Division 4 state titles.

I think just the simple fact that he played overseas and was in that predicament trying to get to the NBA, he doesnt hold a privileged mentality about being here, Allen told He has a grateful disposition. Hes happy to be here, so he listens to everything you tell him. You always notice when you tell young guys, sometimes they dont want to listen to you. They have that type of approach or disposition about them that it makes you not want to tell them anything. But Greg is always open and receptive because I guess he does know where he comes from and he wants to stay around.

Stiemsma has become more comfortable with his teammates as the season goes on. Allen has encouraged him to ask questions and reach out to the veterans around him on a daily basis.

The knowledge is invaluable as Stiemsmas role has increased due to the season-ending losses of Jermaine ONeal (wrist) and Chris Wilcox (heart condition). Over the last five contests he is averaging 3.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks in 16.6 minutes per game compared to his average of 2.0 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks in 10.7 minutes.

I think it helps the adjustment, getting used to it and being one of the guys, not feeling like an outsider or the rookie or the young guy, said Stiemsma. Theyve all been more than welcoming.

There will be a large crowd of fans cheering for their hometown success story on Thursday in Milwaukee. And there will be another group of supporters on the court as well.

Greg knows the way I give you my information, Im not doing it to make myself sound good, look good, or I want to hear myself talk, said Allen. I want you to do well, be successful, make a lot of money, be around for a long time. He definitely should be around for a long time.

Thursday, Oct. 27: Chara top D-man on All-Graybeard team


Thursday, Oct. 27: Chara top D-man on All-Graybeard team

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while saying RIP Vine but not really feeling it since it’s a rabbit hole I never really delved down into. 

*Down Goes Brown celebrates the “NHL’s old guys”, and yes, that means a gratuitous shout out to Zdeno Chara as the top defenseman on the All-Graybeard squad. 

*Hampus Lindholm has signed a long term deal with the Anaheim Ducks, so now that deal leaves everybody to wonder who is leaving the Anaheim roster in the eventual salary cap crunch. It will be interesting to see if this hastens any Cam Fowler trade talk as far as the Bruins are concerned because it looks like they need the help.  

*Pro Hockey Talk has the Oilers off to their best start since the Wayne Gretzky Era and people in Edmonton finally getting to see the hockey they’ve been waiting for over the past few years. 

*In honor of the Halloween season that we’re in, here are a few cool and scary goalie masks with a bit of spooky flair. 

*Arizona Coyotes GM John Chayka is confident that his young team is going to rebound after a rough start to the season. 

*Speaking of creative uniforms, it’s a most wonderful time of the year for hockey when they bust out their Oktoberfest sweaters. 

*For something completely different: this matchup of Peanuts and Stranger Things hits all the right notes for fans of both. 


Van Noy: 'I was shocked" to be traded from Lions to Patriots

Van Noy: 'I was shocked" to be traded from Lions to Patriots

FOXBORO -- It's not often that NFL teams make deals before the trade deadline. Seeing starters get dealt before the deadline is a veritable rarity. It's no wonder linebacker Kyle Van Noy, who started in all seven Lions games this season, reacted the way he did when he was dealt to the Patriots earlier this week.

"I was shocked to go from starting there to traded," Van Noy said during his first back-and-forth with Patriots reporters. "I was shocked. I respect everybody with the Detroit Lions, they'll all be my guys there. Just grateful for the opportunity to come here and get it going."

Van Noy has been working closely with Patriots linebackers and linebackers coach Brian Flores since his arrival, even getting some last-minute notes from Flores before meeting with reporters and heading out to Thursday's practice. 

The 6-foot-3, 243-pounder wasn't completely unfamiliar with the operation in New England before being sent to Foxboro along with a seventh-round pick in exchange for a sixth-rounder. He admitted he had "a lot" of contact with the Patriots before being taken in the second round by Detroit.  

Now he's playing "catch-up" to learn the Patriots playbook, which could include learning multiple positions within the team's defense. He played mostly as an off-the-line linebacker in Detroit, but when he entered into the league out of BYU, he was considered to have the tools to be a productive pass-rusher as a pro. 

Van Noy, who lost about 15 pounds going into this season, indicated that the Lions didn't get the most out of him because of how he was used. 

"I mean, they didn't know where to put me," he said. "Here, they want me here, and I'm happy to be wanted." 

Van Noy was injured for much of his rookie season and had a hard time making an impact last year. He was relied upon to fill a more substantial role this season, playing in 60 percent of the team's defensive snaps. It's unclear just how Van Noy will fit in as a member of the Patriots, but he says he's willing to do whatever it takes to work his way back up another depth chart.

"I'm here now, and I'm gonna do whatever they have me [do], and whatever they want my weight to be at," he said. "Whatever they want me to do I'm gonna do it because I want to win and be part of this team."