Watt, Foster only part of Houston 'problem'

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Watt, Foster only part of Houston 'problem'

There are two players people always mention when jawing about the Texans.
One, on defense, is J.J. Watt.
Nobody in the NFL had more sacks in the regular season than Watt's 20.5. Throw in 16 passes defensed, four forced fumbles, and 42 quarterback hits, and you've got a guy who can really disrupt offenses.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick knows it as well as anyone else. He also knows it takes more than one player to make a Top 10 defense.
"Hes a great player, dont get me wrong. Hes made more big plays than probably anybody defensively this year in the league," he said. "But Antonio Smith, Brooks Reed, Connor Barwin, Whitney Mercilus, they have a lot of other good players too. Watt is a focal point on that defense no question, but you cant ignore the other guys either, theyre all part of the problem."
On the other side of the ball is Arian Foster.
The Texans running back led the AFC in carries (351) and touchdowns (15), and was second in yards (1,424) during the 2012 regular season.Another tremendously talented player for Houston; another "problem." But again, to Belichick, Foster is important as a key cog within the larger machine.
"Not only the yards that he gains but how the running game controls the game for them, how it sets up their play-action passes, how it puts them in third-and-short situations. Theres no question that hes the key guy for Houston and their offense, but his production also complements the other players as well and the other parts of the game.
"Hes playing behind three Pro Bowl guys on the offensive line with Chris Myers, Wade Smith and Duane Brown. I think he also does a good job of making yards on his own and hes got good blockers in front of him. There are a number of problems they present offensively: the quarterback, the tight ends, big receivers, a great receiver in Andre Johnson, strong running game, good offensive line, theyre well coached theyre very good in all those areas."
Belichick got specific when spreading the love around.
Tight end Garrett Graham, out with a concussion in Week 14, is another body Houston will have at its disposal on Sunday. His numbers (28 catches for 263 yards and three touchdowns) aren't impressive on their own, but just having him on the field multiplies the Texans offense.
"I think one thing is it gives them the opportunity to put three offensive weapons on the field at once. Thats something they really werent able to do in our game. The difference between Graham and fullback James Casey tight end Owen Daniels is out there most of the time but Graham and Casey, theyre both good players and they complement each other too. They can have all of them out of there together or they can pick one or the other and use their strengths.
"It gives them more weapons and theyre able to change up some of their looks or change up their personnel groupings and get them all out there together. Theyre all good players so its a different matchup, one we prepared for in our first game, we just didnt get it."
Preparing for every possibility is truly the problem.

Highlights: Devin Booker puts up 70 points but Celtics get the win

Highlights: Devin Booker puts up 70 points but Celtics get the win

Highlights from the TD Garden as Devin Booker had a historic performance where he scored 70 points, but it wasn't enough to get the win over the Celtics.

Thomas on Suns: 'We’re worried about the playoffs; they’re worried about the lottery'

Thomas on Suns: 'We’re worried about the playoffs; they’re worried about the lottery'

BOSTON – Stacking wins on top of wins is the mindset of the Boston Celtics right now, so the players who did speak to the media following Friday’s 130-120 win over Phoenix drove that point home emphatically.

But inside the locker room, it was unusually quiet, the kind of silence you expect following a loss.

Considering how the Celtics’ defense was absolutely thrashed by Devin Booker’s franchise record 70 points, there’s no question at a minimum the Celtics’ pride overall was stung.

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And when Suns coach Earl Watson began calling time-outs and having his team commit fouls at the end of the game, there’s no question it rubbed a few Celtics the wrong way.

“I don’t think anybody has ever seen that; continuing to call time-outs, continuing to foul when we are up 15. But I mean, it was obvious what they were trying to do. They were trying to get him (Booker) the most points possible. Hat off to to him (Booker). He played a hell of a game.”

Following the game, Watson defended his late-game decision making.

“Calling time-outs at the end kept the game close,” he said. “It’s basketball; I’m not coming to any arena to be liked. If people don’t like us while we build … so what? Do something about it.”

The Suns (22-51) never came any closer than 10 points, which was the final score margin.

Al Horford acknowledged that there was some aggravation following the game.

“You can be frustrated when somebody is doing that to you,” he said. “It’s not to one guy, it’s to the team so I think we’re probably more aggravated at ourselves, at least personally I feel that way. I probably could have done a little better, maybe done some different things to prevent it. We got to give him credit, 70 points, I don’t care it’s 70, he got 70. It’s impressive.”

But there will be some inside the Celtics locker room and among their fan base, who were bothered by the Suns’ late-game actions which seemed more focused on Booker getting numbers than anything else.

When asked about being disrespected by the Suns’ late-game strategy, Thomas wanted no part of that conversation.

“It is what it is,” Thomas said. “We won the game. We’re worried about the playoffs; they’re worried about the lottery.”

 Boom!