Collins suddenly at the center of things


Collins suddenly at the center of things

MILWAUKEE The spotlight for a reliable backup for Kevin Garnett has now landed on Jason Collins.
Once considered an end-of-the-bench addition to the roster, Collins has been the first big man off the bench for the C's the last few games to sub in for Garnett.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers made it clear following Boston's 91-88 loss at Milwaukee on Saturday night that the decision to go with Collins ahead of Wilcox was not in connection with Wilcox's health.
Wilcox was unable to finish out Boston's loss to Brooklyn last week, in addition to missing a practice and the team's morning shootaround prior to defeating Portland on Friday, due to an illness.
"Jason gives us size and he's playing well," Rivers said.
It has been well documented how the Celtics struggle whenever Garnett leaves the floor.
After opening Saturday's game with a flurry of baskets and defensive stops, the C's had a 17-2 advantage when Collins entered the game for Garnett.
For a change, Boston actually increased its lead by a single point as Garnett spent the remainder of the first quarter on the bench while Collins helped the C's end the first with a 27-11 lead.
He finished Saturday's game with season highs in minutes played (14) and rebounds (5). It was the third straight game in which Collins played 10 or more minutes.
Meanwhile Wilcox had one rebound and one blocked shot while playing less than three minutes. It was the fewest minutes he has played since he logged three minutes against the Bucks on Nov. 2.
The use of Collins does not mean Wilcox won't have a role, although it's clear that Wilcox's minutes will be trimmed.
"He helps out," Rivers said of Collins. "Chris does his things, too. I got a feeling it will be back and fourth all year."
Whether he's playing as Garnett's primary backup or just another big man in the mix, Wilcox said he has no problem playing whatever role Doc Rivers asks of him.
"I just want to help this team win, man," Wilcox told "That's what everybody here wants to do; is win. When you have a team full of guys that are all about winning, you don't think a lot about role and things like that. Because end of the day, that doesn't matter. Competing, winning games; that's what you want."

Morning Skate: Tempered expectations for Bolts' rookie Sergachev


Morning Skate: Tempered expectations for Bolts' rookie Sergachev

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while simply shaking my head at David Price. What a typically soft, boorish ballplayer not meant for a big market where more is expected of those wearing the Red Sox uniform.

*There are tempered expectations for rookie defenseman Mikhail Sergachev as he gets things going with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

*Keith Yandle believes that Dale Tallon being back in charge of the Florida Panthers is going to bring unity and solidarity to the Panthers once again.

*Kevin Shattenkirk believes that the New York Rangers are right on the cusp of challenging for a Stanley Cup title.

*Here 20 thoughts from the just-concluded Chicago Blackhawks prospect camp, where there’s some pretty strong, young talent.

*Even as the highest-paid player in the NHL, Connor McDavid is underpaid for what he brings to the table, says Ron MacLean.

*Interesting look at the Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog situation in Colorado, where both players have watched their performance fall off a bit. This is why I’d be very nervous about giving up the farm to trade for either of these players if I’m the Bruins. The jury is out on whether they’re in decline as players, or if it’s simply the mess in Colorado getting them down.  

*For something completely different: What a sweet interaction between "Wonder Woman" Gal Gadot and a young, emotional fan all decked out in WW gear.  


Report: Celtics have called Cavaliers about potential Kyrie Irving trade

Report: Celtics have called Cavaliers about potential Kyrie Irving trade

Celtics fans aren’t the only ones thinking of ways Kyrie Irving could end up in Boston.

Even though it would be hard to imagine last season’s No. 2 seed in the East trading one of the best players in the league to last season’s No. 1 seed in the East, ESPN’s Zach Lowe wrote Monday that the Celtics have indeed called the Cavs about the 25-year-old point guard. 

Wrote Lowe:

Most teams, including the asset-rich Celtics, have placed the obligatory call letting Cleveland know they would like to be kept in the loop, sources say. Boston could offer Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder and one of their golden picks -- Brooklyn's pick next season, or the Lakers/Kings pick they got from Philly in the Markelle Fultz deal. It's unclear if they would dangle all of that, but those picks could represent the young stud Cleveland needs. Regardless, a deal between the East's two best teams seems unlikely.

While nobody’s counting on Irving joining the Celtics, a trade of Irving elsewhere could still swing the balance in the East in Boston’s favor depending on what Cleveland gets back. Irving reportedly requested a trade from Cleveland earlier this month.