Sixers' Young out against Celtics

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Sixers' Young out against Celtics

PHILADELPHIA For a change, it's the Boston Celtics' opponent dealing with injuries to key players.

In addition to Philadelphia center Spencer Hawes (left Achilles Strain) who has played in just 14 games this season, Sixers coach Doug Collins said his team would also be without supersub Thaddeus Young (flu-like symptoms).

Although Young has come off the bench all season, he is the team's third-leading scorer with 13.2 points per game. He's also averaging 5.2 rebounds.

"So we lose our advantage off the bench with speed and quickness that he brings us," Collins said. "But there is no time to sit around looking for any sympathy."

Collins said Young did not attend the team's morning shoot-around.

"I initially thought if he was going to miss it might be his shoulder, but his shoulder's fine," Collins said.

The C's can relate to having a key player miss time because of what's essentially a cold.

Ray Allen has missed five games this season, one because of flu-like symptoms and another one because of a different illness.

"It goes hand-in-hand, sort of what this season is," Collins said. "Guys get worn down, and it's hard for them to fight things off."

MLB players' union agrees to pitchless intentional walks

MLB players' union agrees to pitchless intentional walks

NEW YORK - There won't be any wild pitches on intentional walks this season.

The players' association has agreed to Major League Baseball's proposal to have intentional walks without pitches this year.

"It doesn't seem like that big of a deal. I know they're trying to cut out some of the fat. I'm OK with that," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said.

While the union has resisted many of MLB's proposed innovations, such as raising the bottom of the strike zone, installing pitch clocks and limiting trips to the mound, players are willing to accept the intentional walk change.

"As part of a broader discussion with other moving pieces, the answer is yes," union head Tony Clark wrote Wednesday in an email to The Associated Press. "There are details, as part of that discussion, that are still being worked through, however."

The union's decision was first reported by ESPN .

"I'm OK with it. You signal. I don't think that's a big deal," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "For the most part, it's not changing the strategy, it's just kind of speeding things up. I'm good with it."

There were 932 intentional walks last year, including 600 in the National League, where batters are walked to bring the pitcher's slot to the plate.

"You don't want to get your pitcher out of a rhythm, and when you do the intentional walk, I think you can take a pitcher out of his rhythm," Girardi said. "I've often wondered why you don't bring in your shortstop and the pitcher stand at short. Let the shortstop walk him. They're used to playing catch more like that than a pitcher is."

Agreement with the union is required for playing rules changes unless MLB gives one year advance notice, in which case it can unilaterally make alterations. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred expressed hope Tuesday that ongoing talks would lead to an agreement on other changes but also said clubs would reserve the right to act unilaterally, consistent with the rule-change provision of the sport's labor contract.

Some changes with video review can be made unilaterally, such as shortening the time to make a challenge.

"I know they were thinking about putting in a 30-second (limit) for managers to make a decision," Francona said. "I actually wish they would. I think it would hustle it up and if we can't tell in 30 seconds, maybe we shouldn't be doing it anyway."

Blakely: Jae Crowder is more than 'just another guy' on Celtics

Blakely: Jae Crowder is more than 'just another guy' on Celtics

As the NBA trade deadline gets closer and closer, A. Sherrod Blakely helps shed some light as to why the Boston Celtics may be unwilling to part ways with Jae Crowder