Rivers not concerned over mounting minutes


Rivers not concerned over mounting minutes

LOS ANGELES Every one of the Boston Celtics' starting five played more minutes than usual in their 97-94 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.

But there's only one Celtic - Kevin Garnett - whose playing time will likely drop when the C's face the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night.

Garnett, who averages just under 31 minutes per game this season, played slightly more than 35 in the Lakers loss.

With a veteran team, Rivers understands all too well how questions about fatigue will sprout up, especially in back-to-back situations.

But it doesn't appear to be something that Rivers is losing any sleep over.

"Kobe (Bryant) plays a lot of minutes, and I don't think it worries Mike Brown a whole bunch," Rivers said. "Our guys are pretty good."

Ray Allen, who played just under 39 minutes, is among the best-conditioned athletes in the NBA. Ditto for Rajon Rondo who logged just over 40 minutes.

Brandon Bass has spent the bulk of this season coming off the bench, so playing a season-high 43 minutes on Sunday isn't going to set him back too much, if at all. The same goes for Paul Pierce, who logged just under 39 minutes.

"The only guy I'm always concerned about with minutes, is Kevin," Rivers said. "We took him over the number (on Sunday); we'll probably bring him back to the number, but overall their averages are perfect."

Patriots place Vincent Valentine on IR, promote Geneo Grissom


Patriots place Vincent Valentine on IR, promote Geneo Grissom

FOXBORO -- Anyone hoping to see Vincent Valentine make his season debut got some bad news Friday. 

Valentine, who has been inactive for both of the Patriots' first two games with a knee injury, was placed on injured reserve. ESPN's Field Yates was first to report the news.

With Valentine on IR, Geneo Grissom was added to the roster from the practice squad. ESPN's Mike Reiss had that one first:

Valentine, whom the Pats chose 96th overall in 2016, has not been practicing with the team as he's dealt with the knee injury.

A third-round pick of the Pats in 2015, Grissom was released by the team in September and signed to the practice squad a day later. 

Cassidy: Khudobin 'has a leg up' on backup competition in Bruins camp


Cassidy: Khudobin 'has a leg up' on backup competition in Bruins camp

BOSTON – Fresh off a strong performance allowing just a single goal on 31 shots in his preseason debut, Tuukka Rask looked close to the top of his game and exactly where he needs to be with the regular season a couple of weeks away. Nearly as important as Rask’s state as the regular season nears, the Bruins coaching staff has been keeping a keen eye through camp on the all-important backup goaltender position as well. 

It’s important that the Bruins have a quality backup goalie in place as they hope to start Rask in just 55-60 games this season, and manage the slender puck-stopper in a way where they can get the best out of him from beginning to end. Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy indicated Anton Khudobin has the inside track on the backup job after finding his groove in the second half of last season, and it would appear he’s well on his way to retaining his job with a Malcolm Subban/Zane McIntyre tandem in Providence.

“Tuukka looks good, and looks good in practice and healthy. So that’s reassuring,” said Cassidy. “[Anton Khudobin] I thought played very well in his game. He had the one unfortunate goal, but I thought he was rock-solid the rest of the game. He’s in very good shape and he’s practiced well, so he’s got a leg up on the other [goalies] based on his experience.

“We know that going in, but he’s going to get pushed. Zane [McIntyre] was good in a game, and Malcolm let in a couple where he could have been more aggressive. But it was a first game, so right now they all look good. That’s a good problem to have if they all push each other, but to get direct to the point Anton has done nothing to lose that backup spot.”

At this point, it would likely be McIntyre rather than Subban that would challenge for the NHL backup job if Khudobin did stumble at all in training camp or early in the regular season as he did last year. There will be no backup controversy, however, if the 31-year-old plays like he did in stopping 20-of-22 shots in Tuesday night’s win vs. the Red Wings or as he did going 6-1-0 with a .922 save percentage after the All-Star break last season.