HARTFORD -- The Boston Celtics traveled to Connecticut to play their third preseason game on Saturday. In spite of having two under their belts, it was their first match up against another NBA team after playing against European squads during their recent trip overseas.
Following a loss to Fenerbahce Ulker (Instanbul) and a win against Emporio Armani Milano (Italy), the Celtics fell to the New York Knicks in overtime, 98-95, in their return to the United States. Regardless of the end result, it beneficial for them to get back to NBA action.
"Obviously the Knicks are better than both the teams we played," said Rajon Rondo. "They have All-Stars and great players, so it was good to get out there and compete with a team you know you're going to go against at least six or seven times throughout the season."
For some players, this game was just another preseason match against their Atlantic Division foes, a team the Celtics frequently play each season.
"It's basketball," said veteran Brandon Bass. "It's the same."
But for the rookies on the team, the Knicks were the first NBA faces they saw in their careers. The difference between players in this league and overseas was noticeable for them.
"I got to play a little bit and I kind of got a little nervous in the game," said Fab Melo. "I think the pace is a little slower but the explosion is really fast. And they make shots, they cut, they drive all the time, so you've got to be alert all day."
The Celtics will play their next preseason game on Monday against the Philadelphia 76ers. The following night, they will hit the parquet for their preseason opener at the TD Garden against the Brooklyn Nets.
Three weeks into the season, health has dominated the conversation with the Red Sox. And it’s much more than just the flu.
A scheduled off-day Monday brought something resembling an update for three players worth roughly $63 million in salary.
Dustin Pedroia, Orioles peacemaker, was examined at Massachusetts General Hospital and remains day-to-day because of left ankle and left knee soreness. He did not undergo an MRI, with his condition apparently good enough that the team felt it was unnecessary -- even though the message delivered on Sunday by manager John Farrell was that the Sox wanted to rule everything out.
Pedroia hasn’t played since he was spiked by Manny Machado on Friday in Baltimore.
Pablo Sandoval, at some point Monday, was slated to have an MRI after spraining his right knee Sunday. A further evaluation is to come Tuesday, so his status remains unclear.
David Price, meanwhile, threw a 45-pitch bullpen at Fenway Park on his long journey back from a left elbow strain. There were simulated inning breaks and, naturally, what’s next is still to be seen. Facing hitters shouldn’t be too far away, Farrell has suggested.
The Patriots have themselves another "big back" option for 2017.
The Bills announced that they have opted not to match the restricted free agent offer sheet that New England made to Mike Gillislee last week. That means the 5-foot-11, 219-pounder is now a member of the Patriots. Buffalo had until 4 p.m. on Monday to match.
Gillislee was reportedly extended an offer sheet by the Patriots that is worth $6.4 million and $4 million in the first year. The Bills had the cap space to match the offer, but with LeSean McCoy already atop their depth chart, the price tag may have been too rich for them to choose to hold onto the 26-year-old.
Because Gillislee was given the original-round tender by the Bills, the Patriots will send Buffalo a fifth-round pick as compensation. That gives Bill Belichick and Nick Caserio six picks in this weekend's draft: two thirds, a fourth, a fifth, a sixth and a seventh.
Gillislee joins Rex Burkhead, Dion Lewis, James White, Brandon Bolden and DJ Foster on the running back depth chart in New England.