Boston Celtics

Terry: 'No extra emotions' facing Mavericks


Terry: 'No extra emotions' facing Mavericks

BOSTON -- Jason Terry found himself in unfamiliar territory after playing the past eight seasons for the Dallas Mavericks.
On Wednesday he faced his former team, this time defending the TD Garden parquet as a member of the Boston Celtics. 
"There were no extra emotions," he said following the Celtics 117-115 double overtime win. "It will be different when I go back to Dallas because that was home and that crowd used to be my crowd. That's when it's going to be different. But tonight it just good to see everybody. It was more that type of deal tonight."
Terry scored 10 points, shooting 3-for-9 from the field, 3-for-3 from the line, and 1-for-6 from long range. More significantly, head coach Doc Rivers turned to Terry at the end of regulation and in the entirety of both overtimes.
He didn't have the same look-at-me-now performances like Jeff Green had against the Oklahoma City Thunder (19 points) or Kevin Garnett posted against the Minnesota Timberwolves (18 points, 10 rebounds), but he did not lack effort.
Green (15 points) was glad to help his teammate get a win. Following the game, he noted the Celtics record in their first game against former teams.
"We're 2-0 now and we've got Courtney (Lee) coming up in Houston," said Green. "He (Terry) missed a lot of shots but he made them when they counted. He hit a three and a jumpshot with the foul. You have those days, but before the game I told him, 'You helped me get mine, I'm going to help you get yours.' We got the victory and that's what matters." 
In spite of being on opposing teams now, Terry has kept in touch with those he spent years with in Texas. He talked to former teammate Dirk Nowitzki (inactive, right knee surgery) during the game on Wednesday and caught up with team owner Mark Cuban beforehand. Cuban has spoken highly of Terry since he opted to sign with the Celtics in July. 
"It was more about how the kids are doing," Terry said. "We have a great relationship." 
Terry will make his return to Dallas on March 22. 

How should Red Sox handle Chris Sale's pursuit of Pedro Martinez's strikeout record?

How should Red Sox handle Chris Sale's pursuit of Pedro Martinez's strikeout record?

BALTIMORE — Baseball records are so precise. When to pursue them, when to value them even if minor risk is involved, is not nearly as clear cut.

The Red Sox, Chris Sale and John Farrell have stumbled upon that grey area, and it will continue to play out in the final two weeks of the regular season.

Sale reached a tremendous milestone on Wednesday night, becoming the 14th different pitcher in major league history to reach 300 strikeouts in a single season. No one else has done it in the American League this century. Clayton Kershaw was the last to get there in the National League two years ago.

“It was really fun,” Sale said of having his family on hand. “My wife, both my boys are here, my mother-in-law. Being able to run out and get a big hug from him and my wife and everybody — it was special having them here for something like this. … I’ll spend a little time with them before we head to Cincinnati.”

Now, there’s another mark ahead of Sale: Pedro Martinez’s single-season club record of 313. And the pursuit of that record is going to highlight the discussion of what matters even more.

The tug-of-war between absolute pragmatism and personal achievement was on display Wednesday, when Farrell gave ground to the latter. 

The manager was prepared for the questions after a celebratory 9-0 win over the Orioles. His pitchers threw 26 straight scoreless innings to finish off a three-game sweep of the Orioles, and the Sox had the game well in hand the whole night.

With seven innings and 99 pitches thrown and 299 strikeouts in the books, Sale went back out for the eighth inning.

If you watched it, if you saw Sale drop a 2-2 front-door slider to a hapless Ryan Flaherty for the final strikeout Sale needed and his last pitch of the night, you surely enjoyed it. Records may not be championships, but they have their own appeal in sports that’s undeniable. 

But Sale could have recorded strikeout No. 300 next time out. Surely, he would have. He needed all 111 pitches to do so Wednesday.

In this case, the difference between 299 and 300 wound up being just 12 pitches. 

It’s doubtful those 12 pitches will ruin Sale’s postseason chances, particularly considering he was throwing hard all game, touching 99 mph. 

Nonetheless, the Sox hope to play for another month, and they've been working to get Sale extra rest. So, why risk fatigue, or worse, injury?

“The two overriding factors for me,” Farrell explained, “were the pitch counts and the innings in which he was in control of throughout. Gets an extra day [for five days of rest] this next time through the rotation. All those things were brought into play in the thinking of bringing him back out.

“We know what the final out of tonight represented, him getting the 300 strikeouts. Was aware of that, and you know what, felt like he was in complete command of this game and the ability to go out and give that opportunity, he recorded it.”

If Sale makes his final two starts of the year, he’ll break Martinez's record of 313. At least, Sale should. But he might not make his projected final start, in Game No. 162, so that he’s set up for Game 1 in the Division Series.

(So, if he could do reach 314 Ks in his next start, he’d make this discussion disappear — but 14 Ks in one outing is not easy.)

When should exceptions be made to let someone get to a record? Where do you draw the line? 

Would it be reasonable to get Sale an inning or two against the Astros in Game 162 if he was a few strikeouts away, even though he may face the Astros in the Division Series?

Letting the Astros get extra looks against Sale is a different matter than Sale throwing 12 extra pitches. But neither is really a guarantee of doom. They're small risks, of varying size.

Consider that if Sale is on, he should rough up the Astros no matter what.

What's 12 pitches Wednesday for a guy who leads the majors in average pitches thrown per game? Not enough to keep Farrell from letting Sale have a go at one milestone.

Will the Sox work to put Sale in position for the next?

Records don’t usually fall into such a grey area. Outside of the steroid era, anyway.