What now for Celtics?

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What now for Celtics?

BOSTON -- Because Jeff Green failed his physical, the 9 million contract he signed with the team earlier this month is voided. However, that doesn't mean the Celtics now have 9 million to spend elsewhere.

Because the C's are well over the league salary cap of about 58 million, the only thing they can offer free agents is a veteran minimum contract.

And the market, as one NBA executive told CSNNE.com on Saturday, is "extremely thin."

With only the veteran's minimum to offer, it becomes even less likely that the C's will be able to find a player not currently on the roster, to help replace Green's contributions.

Some of the possibilities for the C's include former Celtic James Posey, Al Thornton and DeShawn Stevenson.

For now, the Celtics will try to make due with the current roster.

Because the 6-foot-8 Green could play both forward positions, a team source said the C's are likely to rely on multiple players to fill the void he leaves behind.

At the small forward position, you can expect to see more of Marquis Daniels and Sasha Pavlovic, two players who have played major minutes for quality teams in the NBA.

Daniels seeing more playing time was a given, if he stays healthy.

Pavlovic, however, is a player the C's believe will step up and make the most of this opportunity.

Only 28 years old, Pavlovic was a starter on the Cleveland Cavaliers team that advanced to the NBA Finals.

Throughout that playoff run, then-Cavs coach Mike Brown often assigned him to defend the opposing team's top perimeter scorer.

"He's bigger, stronger, and more athletic than what people think," Brown told CSNNE.com prior to becoming the Los Angeles Lakers' head coach. "You look at Sasha, you don't realize how big and athletic he is until you get up close to him. And then you watch him play. In the right system, you can utilize that length and strength to your advantage. I think he can be a nice piece coming off the bench for the Celtics."

His biggest problem then - and it is now, actually - is being consistent with his play.

A team source said there's also a very good chance that we'll see more of rookie Jajuan Johnson as well.

Like Green, Johnson is a guy who can play power forward with the kind of shooting range that extends beyond the 3-point line.

Indeed, it is that versatility from one player that the Celtics will miss more than anything else.

Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

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Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

FOXBORO -- The Patriots will head into Sunday's AFC title game with seven players listed as questionable, including three receivers. 

Danny Amendola, Malcolm Mitchell and Chris Hogan have all been limited in practices this week due to their injuries. Amendola has been dealing with an ankle issue since a Week 13 win over the Rams, while Mitchell has not played since injuring his knee in Week 16 against the Jets. Hogan suffered a thigh injury against the Texans and left the game in the third quarter.

Both Hogan and Mitchell indicated this week that they were moving in the right direction in terms of their recoveries. One would think that the Patriots would need at least one, if not both, to help stress the back end of the Steelers secondary this weekend.

Hogan has been the team's most consistent down-the-field threat this season, averaging a whopping 17.9 yards per catch during the regular season. Against the Texans, before his injury, he reeled in four passes for 95 yards. 

Mitchell, meanwhile, had a very productive second half of his rookie season before he was hurt. He compiled 25 catches for 306 yards between Weeks 11 and 16, establishing himself as one of Tom Brady's go-to targets. 

The overall health of the Patriots receiving corps -- which will also include Julian Edelman and Michael Floyd -- will bear watching when the Patriots and Steelers kick off in two days.

The injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Steelers game:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

QUESTIONABLE
WR Danny Amendola (ankle)
TE Martellus Bennett (knee)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Dont'a Hightower (shoulder)
WR Chris Hogan (thigh)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (knee)
DL Jabaal Sheard (knee)

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

QUESTIONABLE
TE Ladarius Green (concussion/illness)
LB James Harrison (shoulder/triceps)
RB Fitzgerald Toussaint (concussion)

NOT LISTED
RB Le'Veon Bell (not injury related)
K Chris Boswell (illness)
LB Anthony Chickillo (ankle)
S Sean Davis (shoulder)
C B.J. Finney (illness)
WR Darrius Heyward-Bay (illness)
DE Ricardo Mathews (ankle)
QB Zach Mettenberger (illness)
S Michael Mitchell (not injury related)
QB Ben Roethlisberger (not injury related)
LB Vince Williams (shoulder)