Why it’s important for Celtics to get away for a few days

When the Boston Celtics wrapped up their media day chores on Monday afternoon, players boarded two oversized yellow buses — think supersized school buses with Wi-Fi and comfy seats — and headed south for Tuesday’s first day of class at Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island.

The goal of this rare, three-day training camp field trip: Find Ubuntu — or, well, something like it.

If the Knicks don’t make a trade to create cap space in the next two summers, the club might have to wait until the summer of 2020 to make an impact in free agency. The way things are going, that might be the earliest that the club becomes attractive to top-flight free agents anyway.
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Warren Sapp Youth Jersey In the meantime, New York has all of its first-round draft picks going forward. You can thank ex-team president Jackson for that. Jackson, according to league sources, was steadfast in his belief that the Knicks shouldn’t trade future first-round picks. Since the 2018 draft is projected to be stacked at the top — and this is the last year before the NBA implements new rules with deflated lottery odds for the very worst teams — there may not be a better time for New York to tank.

So Perry and team president Steve Mills will have the opportunity to rebuild with young talent through the draft and, potentially, via trade. They just might have to wait a few years before they can make an impact on the free-agent market.

Jordan Hicks had the big stop on third down.

They are also relying on young players and unproven long-range shooters — a big deal for a team that jacked more triples than everyone but Houston and Cleveland. Opponents will dare Jaylen Brown, Marcus Morris, Terry Rozier, Jayson Tatum and svelte Marcus Smart, and Stevens will likely encourage them to let fly — at least from the corners, where Brown quietly drilled 44 percent.

But most first- and second-year players are net negatives. Chemistry takes time. Boston may be a little schizophrenic between and within games. There will be extended stretches when it clicks — when Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward and Al Horford ping the ball around, the cuts and handoffs are zippy, and open 3s find bottom.

Field goal, Panthers. Graham Gano matches Elliott with a 39-yarder, and the game is tied 3-3. Jordan Hicks had the big stop on third down.

Field goal, Eagles. After the fumble, the Eagles’ defense forces a three-and-out. Wentz then finds Marcus Johnson for 16 yards, and the Birds are into Panthers territory. Jake Elliott comes in to kick a 50-yard field goal and the Eagles lead 3-0 with 6:57 left in the first quarter.

Philadelphia’s first drive does not end well. Wentz is sacked at the Carolina 40-yard line by Julius Peppers. He fumbles and Carolina recovers.

“It’s a dream come true,” Fertitta said. “This is my building and my team. And it’s kinda fun.”

Fertitta, 60, who became a billionaire as the owner of Landry’s, Inc., a restaurant and entertainment company, and the Golden Nugget Casinos and Hotels, sat down with ESPN after his introductory news conference Tuesday to explain his vision for the Rockets.ravens_068

I don’t find any of their performances all that worrisome.

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With at least seven tackles in four games and five tackles in every outing this season, few defensive backs match Tartt’s high fantasy floor. With Eric Reid still ailing, Tartt is a fine plug-and-play safety for this looming meeting with an efficient passing game (Washington rates fourth in the NFL in passer rating).

Tennessee’s Kevin Byard is another under-the-radar high-floor fantasy asset, as he’s produced at least 12 fantasy points three times this season. — McCormick

Sando: Manning, Rivers and Palmer need more support. We know who they are, and who they’re not. Roethlisberger is the best of the bunch and needs to play better. Presumably, he will.

But Philadelphia has a franchise-altering talent on its roster who, when healthy, can change the landscape of a game. If the Sixers didn’t lock him up before the season started, he would have hit restricted free agency and other teams could’ve forced Philly to match all kinds of tricky deals.

What were the Sixers’ options during extension negotiations, and how might Embiid’s incentive-based and injury clauses work in his new contract? Let’s take a look.

New York’s current Triple-A affiliate is in Las Vegas, and the distance has led to problems with quick call-ups after injuries and extra-inning games. The Mets had a Triple-A affiliate in Buffalo from 2009-12 before moving to Las Vegas.

The Post-Standard of Syracuse first reported the change in ownership.

Limited Kids Chuck Howley Jersey The International League franchise has been community-owned since 1961 and has been affiliated with the Nationals for nine years. Washington’s player-development contract with the Community Baseball Club of Central New York Inc. team was through the 2018 season.

The Mets also own the Binghamton Rumble Ponies of the Double-A Eastern League.

Cory Schneider made 23 saves for New Jersey.

Limited Youth Stefen Wisniewski Jersey The Devils took a 1-0 lead 6:28 into the game when Gibbons flipped the puck from the side of the net and it bounced off Noesen’s facemask and past Johnson.

Hischier notched his first assist on Gibbons’ goal that made it 2-0 with 1:04 left in the first period. Hischier carried the puck behind the net, maneuvered away from Sabres defenseman Marco Scandella and fed Gibbons for a one-timer from the slot.

Kane put Buffalo on the board on a power play 5:02 into the second period. Kane got a partial breakaway after poking the puck past New Jersey’s Steven Santini and slid a shot around Schneider.

Varlamov is also off to a good start after missing the final 40 games last season following hip surgery.

It gives you confidence and brings confidence to the team, he said.

Tuukka Rask made 19 saves for the Bruins.

Boston coach Bruce Cassidy saw some mistakes from his young players that led to an early 2-0 hole, but he was most disappointed with the overall effort.

The core group that we rely on — it just wasn’t a good effort, he said. I put myself in that category.

We’re supposed to be ready to play at home, especially after having a couple of days off. That was the biggest disappointment to me. Things aren’t going to go your way some nights. To not have the energy to sustain it get yourself back in the game is disappointing.

Ron Jaworski Game Jersey The similarities between father and son are striking, and not just statistically.

I’ve never competed against Chase, but I watched him very closely. I admire how well he handles a race car and how little he takes from other competitors he competes against, like Mark Martin did or Terry Labonte.

Mostly he reminds me of his dad, who drove with the precision of a surgeon, demonstrating a sixth sense of exactly where his car needed to be all around the racetrack and an ability to place it there.

Packers: Rookie CB Kevin King left with a concussion in the first half.

He had a big hit on Elliott on a screen pass on the first play of the game.

Cowboys: Rookie CB Chidobe Awuzie, who was playing safety as well, left with an injured hamstring for the second time this season. It was his first game back after missing two games by aggravating the injury in Denver. He had hamstring issues throughout training camp.

Eagles tight end Zach Ertz continues to take the 2017 season by storm. He entered Week 5 as the leading TE in receptions and yards, and added to his strong start with 6 catches, 61 yards and a TD against Arizona. Expect him to remain Carson Wentz’s go-to target.

It’s not surprising that Chris Thompson has been a big weapon for Washington through Week 5. He’s an underrated, but always improving third-down back. But he’s still been their most surprising player from a fantasy perspective, with a team-best 73.7 points so far. It helps that TE Jordan Reed hasn’t been healthy and that neither Terrelle Pryor nor Josh Doctson has been consistent. Still, credit Thompson for emerging as a big-play guy.

Whether fair or unfair, we measure quarterbacks and coaches differently in the (voting) room if they’ve won a championship. Eli has two but you look at the rest of the resume and it’s pretty ordinary. Plus, two Super Bowls aren’t going to automatically get you in the Hall.

Jim Plunkett has two and he’s not in. George Seifert, Jimmy Johnson, Tom Flores and Mike Shanahan won two Super Bowls as coaches and they’re not in the Hall, either. I think there’s got to be more than that.
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Kids Andrew Norwell Jersey It’s very likely I would vote for Eli because he won two Super Bowls. As for Rivers, I’d have to sit back and look at his numbers, but I’d have to give him some pretty good run because I’m a little sensitive to great quarterbacks that don’t win the big one.

What’s your top upset pick for Week 5?

We all know about quarterback Derek Carr being out for two to six weeks with a transverse process fracture in his back and that rookie cornerback Gareon Conley is still working through a shin injury. But right guard Gabe Jackson sitting out practice with a foot issue on Wednesday was a surprise, as was defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. missing with a back injury. Jackson worked in a rehab pool with Carr on Wednesday, and Edwards has had an issue with injuries in his brief career. Some good news? Receiver Michael Crabtree returned to practice after missing last week’s loss at Denver with a chest injury. — Paul Gutierrez

Our NFL Insiders predict Week 5’s biggest upsets and fantasy flops and sleepers. Plus: Should you buy the Bills or Rams as legit playoff contenders? Which 0-4 team will get its first win? And what’s with the AFC South?

Matt Bowen, NFL writer: Texans over Chiefs. The script shouldn’t change much with quarterback Deshaun Watson and that Houston game plan. Throw the quick game, use play-pass concepts and feed the ball to DeAndre Hopkins. And the Texans can move Hopkins to multiple alignments to get the best matchups against the Chiefs secondary. But I’m also looking at Watson’s ability to make off-schedule plays. That’s key against an aggressive Kansas City defense. Get to the edge of the pocket, extend plays and attack the middle of the field. Paired with a Houston defensive front that can pressure Alex Smith, I like the Texans at home to knock off the NFL’s only undefeated squad.steelers_122

Fitzgerald wasn’t concerned with statistics or records.

After having a long injury list early in the season, the Texans have been able to stay relatively healthy. Guard Greg Mancz, who injured his knee against the Patriots in Week 3, returned to practice Wednesday, and coach Bill O’Brien said Mancz has a chance to play Sunday against the Chiefs. Mancz played at right guard in place of an injured Jeff Allen in Weeks 2 and 3. — Sarah Barshop

Moore: It was one of those where they practiced it and screwed it up in practice. Finally, by the end [of the week] of practice, they had finally gotten it right. So it turned out they were in that exact play in that situation, and Deshazor was ready for it and jumped out.

Texas A&M center Patrick Lewis: My head was actually down. I was kind of praying and I picked my head up at the last minute and I saw him jump the route, and it just went ecstatic from there. Like a joy you never felt before.

Veteran wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who has a touchdown reception in each of the last two games, is still playing at a high level at age 34. Fitzgerald’s 19-yard touchdown catch in overtime gave the Cardinals a three-point win over the 49ers.
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He’s the best I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen some really good ones, Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer told ESPN.com

After the overtime win, Fitzgerald wasn’t concerned with statistics or records.
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There’s games that you have opportunities and things are going to come your way and you’re going to make some plays, Fitzgerald told ESPN.com. I’ve played over 200 games now and there’s always going to be highs and lows.

Did Raiders mock Seahawks with ‘Seattle’ audible call involving Marshawn Lynch?

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One of the most memorable NFL plays in recent memory is when the Seahawks threw the ball in the Super Bowl on the goal line instead of running with Marshawn Lynch. As we all know now, the play didn’t work out for Seattle to run, instead of pass.

Fast forward to today’s Raiders game against the Jets, and there may have been a callback to that play. As you should know, Marshawn Lynch is now with Oakland, and he was in the backfield for the Raiders on a goal-line situation.

Not having practiced until this week in Phillips’ 3-4 alignment, as opposed to the 4-3 defense the Rams previously ran, won’t be an issue for the three-time Pro Bowler, Phillips added.

When he goes in there, we tell him, ‘Go.’ It’s not real complicated for him. 鈥?he knows the defense pretty well already, Phillips said. There’s a few things that he had to clean up, but a lot of his play is one-on-one, beat the guy in front of you.

In an age when there are so many quality quarterbacks, starting two quarterbacks in leagues with 10 or fewer teams gives you an extra challenge, because you’ll have to dig all the way through the top 20-plus quarterbacks each week. Using a pair of starting QBs is a little problematic in leagues of 12 or more, because there is a max of 32 starting NFL quarterbacks each week — and even fewer during bye weeks.

Nick Castellanos Authentic Jersey Because the production of kickers is so random from week to week, many leagues have eschewed having kickers on the rosters.

You can also go the other direction and add more players. Consider tacking on a couple of extra flex spots or use two tight ends or four wide receivers or even an Offensive Player Utility (OP, which includes any offensive position, including quarterback).

Wilson couldn’t get settled, and he finished with just 158 passing yards.

The Seahawks lost 17-9. They weren’t the only team that struggled because of line play.
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The Texans don’t want to pay their starting left tackle, Duane Brown, and he’s holding out. But the line’s performance in Houston’s 29-7 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars revealed just how much they need him. The Texans gave up 10 sacks and 11 quarterback hits against Jacksonville, and as a result the offense was abysmal.

Watson, just as he’s done in the past, was able to answer that big hit with his first career rushing touchdown.
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Dalton wasn’t happy with the game, and it showed, resulting in our first meme from Thursday Night Football:

It’s been said before all sports is played on a four-inch field between your ears. … It’s really important that we continue to help Andrew emotionally, mentally, get his confidence and his endorsement, deep down his rubber stamp (in) his heart of hearts because in the end that carries the biggest weight.

Maybe it was just Irsay rambling, trying to say nothing much and butchering some simple platitudes in the process. Or maybe Luck’s just being cautious here since the decision to play through the injury before has clearly aggravated the situation.

The Colts have been bad for Luck’s career. It took the team five years to fire general manager Ryan Grigson, who failed to build a team around his franchise quarterback. Just how bad the Colts are without Luck was apparent in last Sunday’s 46-9 loss to the Rams. Chris Ballard, the new GM, has to rebuild the team from the ground up.

You can also question the decision to hang onto Chuck Pagano as head coach. He hasn’t had much to work with, but his team looks consistently outmatched from week to week. Luck or not, they didn’t look at all ready to play in Week 1.

Blake Bortles slapped Allen Robinson’s left knee moments after he injured it

Allen Robinson had some serious misfortune Sunday afternoon in the Jaguars game against the Texans, injuring his left knee on his first reception. Robinson’s injury was so bad, that he was ruled out for the game.

Robinson is one of the best players in the Jacksonville offense, and is even more important when you consider that, well, Blake Bortles isn’t all that good. So when Robinson was down, Bortles ended up slapping the injured knee.

Prior to the injury, the 49ers defense was doing well against Carolina, but immediately following Foster’s exit, Cam Newton connected with Russell Shepard on a 40-yard touchdown pass.

What will the 49ers defense do if Foster misses time? Next on the depth chart behind Foster is Ray-Ray Armstrong, a veteran who spent his first two seasons with the Rams and Raiders before joining the 49ers late in his third NFL season in 2015.

He has five NFL starts under his belt, but none with San Francisco and probably isn’t going to be as effective as Foster would be in the role. If it’s a serious injury for the rookie, it’s a blow to a 49ers team that can’t afford many.

The NFL is pushing for more ethnic diversity in team management, which works against some GMs being re-hired. Only five teams have top personnel decision-makers who are black in a league in which roster composition is more than 70 percent African-American.

Polian said former GMs are included on the list of candidates compiled for teams each year by the NFL’s Advisory Board. Yet none of the league’s current second-chance GMs were hired via that route.nike_steelers_2063