Cherington excited to see Valentine, Sox in action

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Cherington excited to see Valentine, Sox in action

BOSTON -- Its been almost two months since Bobby Valentine was named manager of the Red Sox, and general manager Ben Cherington has been using that time to get to know his manager better.

Nothings really surprised me, Cherington said before Thursdays Boston baseball writers dinner. Hes a creative guy, open minded. Its been helpful to work with someone who has an open mind as to how our roster comes together because we had to have an open mind this off-season and he certainly has that. So I dont know if that surprised me but its been nice to work with someone who thinks about those things.

Other than that, no surprises. Hes working really hard. Hes been in Boston a lot, working out of the office, watching video all day long to get to know our players better, obviously talking to players a lot, meeting players. So I think hell be as familiar with this team as anyone could be by the time we get to Fort Myers.

Cherington expects some changes in Valentines spring training camp, compared to what the team had for the last eight seasons with former manager Terry Francona.

There are aspects of the game he feels very strongly about, which I think well see some emphasis on, Cherington said.Hes working with bench coach Tim Bogarand the rest of the staff to schedule those days. Well have a better sense when we get down there but I think the days will be a little bit different.

I think that he also believes in getting the work done as efficiently as possible, and not just being out there standing around to waste time. But there may be aspects of the game that he wants to emphasize more, certainly fundamental aspects of the game that he wants to spend more time on in spring training. Theres usually a way to do that without extending the day too much.

Im really looking forward to seeing him and the staff in actionand the new facility I think will provide some energy for us I hope and most important, this goes back to the beginning of the off-season, but I truly think our players are ready to put last year behind them and spring training in front of them. To do that, at least in a formal sense. So I think thats something were all looking forward to. We still have some work before we get down there.

Highlights: Devin Booker puts up 70 points but Celtics get the win

Highlights: Devin Booker puts up 70 points but Celtics get the win

Highlights from the TD Garden as Devin Booker had a historic performance where he scored 70 points, but it wasn't enough to get the win over the Celtics.

Thomas on Suns: 'We’re worried about the playoffs; they’re worried about the lottery'

Thomas on Suns: 'We’re worried about the playoffs; they’re worried about the lottery'

BOSTON – Stacking wins on top of wins is the mindset of the Boston Celtics right now, so the players who did speak to the media following Friday’s 130-120 win over Phoenix drove that point home emphatically.

But inside the locker room, it was unusually quiet, the kind of silence you expect following a loss.

Considering how the Celtics’ defense was absolutely thrashed by Devin Booker’s franchise record 70 points, there’s no question at a minimum the Celtics’ pride overall was stung.

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And when Suns coach Earl Watson began calling time-outs and having his team commit fouls at the end of the game, there’s no question it rubbed a few Celtics the wrong way.

“I don’t think anybody has ever seen that; continuing to call time-outs, continuing to foul when we are up 15. But I mean, it was obvious what they were trying to do. They were trying to get him (Booker) the most points possible. Hat off to to him (Booker). He played a hell of a game.”

Following the game, Watson defended his late-game decision making.

“Calling time-outs at the end kept the game close,” he said. “It’s basketball; I’m not coming to any arena to be liked. If people don’t like us while we build … so what? Do something about it.”

The Suns (22-51) never came any closer than 10 points, which was the final score margin.

Al Horford acknowledged that there was some aggravation following the game.

“You can be frustrated when somebody is doing that to you,” he said. “It’s not to one guy, it’s to the team so I think we’re probably more aggravated at ourselves, at least personally I feel that way. I probably could have done a little better, maybe done some different things to prevent it. We got to give him credit, 70 points, I don’t care it’s 70, he got 70. It’s impressive.”

But there will be some inside the Celtics locker room and among their fan base, who were bothered by the Suns’ late-game actions which seemed more focused on Booker getting numbers than anything else.

When asked about being disrespected by the Suns’ late-game strategy, Thomas wanted no part of that conversation.

“It is what it is,” Thomas said. “We won the game. We’re worried about the playoffs; they’re worried about the lottery.”

 Boom!