Rondo wants to play; MRI is negative

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Rondo wants to play; MRI is negative

WALTHAM MRI results on Rajon Rondo's sore right wrist came back negative, which paves the way for the two-time all-star to potentially play in tonight's game against the Phoenix Suns.

The Celtics are listing Rondo's availability tonight as a game-time decision.

But after Boston's morning shoot-around at their practice facility, Rondo said he was planning to play tonight.

"It gets better everyday," Rondo said of the wrist, which was in a brace. "Hopefully in a couple hours, it'll be better than this."

Treatments have consisted primarily of icing the wrist down, and rest.

While Rondo anticipates playing tonight, the same can not be said for teammates Keyon Dooling and Chris Wilcox.

Dooling has missed the last four games with a right knee injury suffered against Dallas.

"I'm feeling better," said Dooling, who added that he hopes to be ready to play against Washington on Sunday. "My lateral quickness still isn't there, but I'm getting better."

Wilcox has missed the last three games with a calf injury that hasn't progressed as quickly as he was expecting.

"I tried to do a little something, but I don't think I'm ready yet," said Wilcox, who added that he might consider having an MRI performed on the calf if it doesn't improve over the next couple of days. "I can't really explode; my calf is really tight. I can't explode like I want to. I think I need a couple more days to get right."

Report: Cavs. Pacers, Nuggets discuss deal involving George, Love

Report: Cavs. Pacers, Nuggets discuss deal involving George, Love

Don’t count the Cleveland Cavaliers out of the Paul George sweepstakes just yet.

According to ESPN’s Marc Stein and Chris Haynes, the Cavaliers are still working on a way to get George with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving in Ohio.

The latest rumor involves a three way deal being discussed between the Cavaliers, Indiana Pacers, and Denver Nuggets. According to Hayes, the deal would send George and Kenenth Faried to Cleveland and Kevin Love to Denver.

Presumably, Indiana would end up with good picks and a few young assets.

Click here for the complete story.

Will the Harris signing mean more time on the edge for Hightower?

Will the Harris signing mean more time on the edge for Hightower?

David Harris is expected to be a savvy middle linebacker who will line up his teammates when they help. He's expected to provide some level of leadership, even in his first year in New England, as an accomplished-but-hungry 33-year-old who has not yet reached a Super Bowl. 

What Harris is not expected to do is improve the Patriots pass rush. He was in on one sack in 900 snaps last season.  

But in a roundabout way he might. 

MORE: How does Derek Carr's new deal impact Jimmy Garoppolo?

There are dominos to fall now that Harris has been added to Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia's defense. How much will Harris play, and whose playing time will he cut into? Those questions don't yet have answers, but one of the more intriguing elements of the Harris acquisition is how he will benefit Dont'a Hightower's game.

If Harris can pick up the Patriots defense quickly -- and all indications are that there should be few issues there -- he could take some of the all-important communication responsibilities off of Hightower's shoulders. 

Ever since taking the reins from Jerod Mayo as the team's signal-caller, Hightower has had to be on top of all requisite pre-snap checks and last-second alignment changes. It's a critical role, and one that Hightower performs well, but those duties place some added stress on the player wearing the green dot. Perhaps if part of that load can be heaped onto Harris' plate, that might allow Hightower to feel as though he's been freed up to focus on his individual assignments.

Harris' presence might also impact where on the field Hightower is used. Hightower may be the most versatile piece on a Patriots defense loaded with them, but with Harris in the middle, Hightower could end up playing more on the edge, where he's proven he can make a major impact (see: Super Bowl LI).

For Belichick and his staff, having the ability to use one of their best pass-rushers -- and one of the most efficient rushers league-wide, per Pro Football Focus -- on the edge more frequently has to be an enticing byproduct of the move to sign Harris. Especially since there are some question marks among the team's end-of-the-line defenders behind Trey Flowers and Rob Ninkovich. 

We'll have to wait for training camp before we have an idea of how exactly Harris fits in with the Patriots defense. But the effect he'll have on his new teammates, and Hightower in particular, will be fascinating to track.