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Can Jared Sullinger come back and help the Celtics make the playoffs?

The Celtics received some very surprising and very good news Friday afternoon. It’s been exactly 50 days since Jared Sullinger last played in a game for Boston, but it looks like that number has a chance to stop there as early as Friday night against the Bucks.

Sullinger’s last game came in what might be the turning point of the season, the 89-88 upset win over Atlanta on the final day before the All-Star break. Shortly before games were set to start back up again for the unofficial second half of the season, Sullinger was ruled out indefinitely due to a foot injury. A day or two later, Sullinger was labeled done for the season thanks to a stress fracture in his foot. The Celtics were pretty devastated. They had just acquired Isaiah Thomas from Phoenix and had already traded away their two best players in Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green. Sullinger had been the team’s leading scorer, rebounder, and best player after the departures of Rondo and Green.

The team announced Friday that Sullinger is completely healed and cleared to play immediately. Continue reading Jared Sullinger No Longer Out for Season »

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Christian Vazquez’s 2015 season ended Wednesday with the announcement that he would undergo Tommy John surgery. Thursday night, journalist and broadcaster Rob Bradford tweeted that the surgery conducted on the catcher’s elbow by Dr. James Andrews was successful.

Veteran catcher Ryan Hanigan will be the primary catcher for the Boston Red Sox and the newly acquired Sandy Leon, a 26-year-old catcher formerly with the Washington Nationals, will serve as Hanigan’s backup. The Sox cannot be expecting much run production from Leon, who owned a .156 batting average last season. The potential for Leon lies in his defensive abilities. In 20 games last season, he put out 154 runners given 164 chances. Continue reading Christian Vazquez Undergoes Successful Tommy John Surgery »

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Bruins forward Brett Connolly, who was acquired at the trade deadline form Tampa Bay, could see his first game action with the Bruins soon. Connolly, who was acquired for two second round picks, broke a finger in one of his first practices with the Bruins and has been sidelined since.

Connolly could figure in at right wing on any line. He also will be useful on the power play and has been slotting in to David Krejci’s power play role in practice recently. Coach Claude Julien would not confirm when Connolly would return, but all indications point to sooner rather than later. He took contact in practice for the first time since injury on Wednesday. The Bruins have also benefited from Krejci’s return from injury last week.

Connolly, who was the sixth overall pick in the 2010 draft, will most likely play alongside Patrice Bergeron or David Krejci but could end up with time on the fourth line depending on how the Bruins want to work things. It is not likely the Bruins will shake up the Milan Lucic-Ryan Spooner-David Pastrnak line that was been on fire lately, but that could change come playoff time.

The Bruins take on the Red Wings in Detroit Thursday followed by a home game against Toronto on Saturday.

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Kelly Olynyk Dropped 19 points in a 100-87 win over the Pacers, despite a black eye. Photo credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Shavlik Randolph hasn’t had much of an impact on the Celtics at all this year. He only gets in during blow outs or extreme foul trouble. He is essentially a paid practice player, not a bad gig. However, tonight maybe Randolph was a little mad at Kelly Olynyk and took it out on the young center’s left eye. Randolph’s elbow connected with Olynyk’s eye tonight during pre game warm ups and gave Kelly a nice shiner for the rest of the game.

Obviously, the incident was accidental and Randolph would probably take it back if he could, or maybe he wouldn’t. In true Rocky Balboa fashion Olynyk had Mickey, or trainer Ed Lacerte in this case, cut his eye and release some pressure to the tune of 19 points, and a 100-87 Celtics win over the Pacers. Okay, he didn’t actually have his eye cut, but rather stitched up. Continue reading One Eyed Kelly Olynyk KO’s Pacers »

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Photo by WBZ TV

For over 50 years, the Red Auerbach Trophy has been awarded each season to the NBA coach whom  sportswriters have deemed the most exceptional. The award is presented prior to the postseason, thus, its recipient’s postseason performance is not a factor. Last year was the first time in 11 seasons that its recipient, Gregg Popovich, was awarded the honor and then proceeded to win the NBA Championship (Gregg Popovich was the previous coach to enjoy this distinction).

The vast majority of the coaches who have received this award have been been very successful in the regular season, posting an average 66% winning percentage, comparable to a 53-27 record. However, the award is not simply given to the coach with the best regular season record; it is awarded to honor the sheer coaching ability of the coach with respect to the talent level of the team. Continue reading Does Brad Stevens Deserve Consideration for Coach of the Year? »

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McCourty

Current Personnel: Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, Duron Harmon, Tavon Wilson, Nate Ebner

Need Level: Moderate-Low

Possible Fits: James Sample (Louisville), Jordan Richards (Stanford), Ibraheim Campbell (Northwestern), Nick Perry (Alabama)

New England has one of the best safeties in the league on one side of their secondary and relatively average play on the other. This could make for an interesting draft for them. Continue reading Patriots 2014-15 Position Review: Safety »

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MLB: Spring Training-Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays

Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez will seek a second opinion this week on the elbow of his throwing arm after it was announced Friday that he was experiencing soreness. Last week he had an MRI and something came up, but nothing further was said about the initial imaging. Manager John Farrell stated to reporters that the team was still very much in “fact-finding mode.” No further details were given at Friday’s Red Sox press conference.

It is unclear as to whether Vazquez will see time behind the plate any time soon.

Farrell offered, “The positive thing is, whatever happens, he won’t have to deal with it the rest of his career. Get it taken care of now. I don’t know the details or what they’re saying now, but I was looking forward to working with him this year.” Continue reading Christian Vazquez Seeks Second Opinion on Throwing Arm »

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