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01/19/2011 - 4:56pm
Jackson: Heat won't beat Celtics in playoffs

Lakers coach Phil Jackson told ESPN Wednesday that he feels the Celtics -- and not the Miami Heat -- will represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals this season.

 

 

"I personally don't think they can get by Boston," Jackson said of the Heat, who have lost four straight games and stand two and half games behind the Celtics in the Eastern Conference standings. "I think Boston is too good a team ... Boston is older and they have to go through the rest of the schedule without having some kind of breakdown of players. They [the Celtics] are just really a good team."

 

For more Celtics news visit the team page at weei.com/celtics.

 

 

 


01/19/2011 - 4:08pm
Pedroia: 'I'm faster than before' injury

Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia joined The Big Show for his weekly “Laser Show” segment on Wednesday. The former MVP continues to rehab his left foot in Arizona, and was asked how the progress was coming along.

 

"It's good, it's going good," said Pedroia, who broke the foot last June 25  and missed all but two of the remaining games in the season. "The problem I'm having with my foot right now? I can't jog. Anything I do 50 percent feels weird, but when I sprint 100 percent or when I run or take ground balls it's like I'm normal. I'm actually faster now than before, which is unbelievable … right now I feel great when I sprint because all the muscles are firing and everything. It takes some time to get used to it."

 

Pedroia has said in past weeks that he expects to be at full strength for spring training but Wednesday noted that there will be some limitations at the start....

01/19/2011 - 3:50pm
Hazen: Sox farm system remains strong

The Red Sox lost three of their top half-dozen prospects when they dealt pitcher Casey Kelly, first baseman Anthony Rizzo and outfielder Reymond Fuentes to the Padres for Adrian Gonzalez. But Sox farm director Mike Hazen, while acknowledging that the system took a hit, said that the farm system still has a number of impact prospects, including a strong group of players who will provide depth to the major league team this year.

 

"We still feel we have a really strong farm system overall, even with the removal of three of our top prospects," Hazen said at Boston College, where several of the organization's top prospects were working out as part of the Rookie Development Program. "We’ve seen a number of those guys come up and graduate, not necessarily graduate, but get on to that shuttle so to speak — [Ryan] Kalish, [Josh] Reddick, [Daniel] Nava, [Felix] Doubront, those types of players. Those guys are still going to...

01/19/2011 - 3:44pm
Curt Young: Josh Beckett 'very healthy'

New Red Sox pitching coach Curt Young, who is in Boston to work with participants in the Red Sox' Rookie Development Program, said that he's had the opportunity to touch base with almost all of the pitchers with whom he'll be working. He's talked this winter with every member of the staff except for Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Okajima.

 

Josh Beckett, coming off a career-worst 5.78 ERA in which he was limited to 127 innings by injuries, was a topic of particular interest. Young suggested that he is still just getting to know the Sox' 2010 Opening Day starter, but that there is reason for optimism with the right-hander.

 

"The main thing is health and it seems to be that he’s very healthy and really looking forward to the start of this year," said Young. " I’m really not inclined to say [what happened in 2010] until I really sit down with Josh and see him throw a baseball. I’ve watched a...

01/19/2011 - 2:36pm
Branch: Jets had 'great game plan'

Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch credited the Jets on Tuesday, saying New York “had a great game plan” for last Sunday's divisional playoff contest against New England. Speaking on KJR Radio in Seattle, Branch talked about the defeat at the hands of the Jets, how much trash-talking went on between the two teams and what the New York players did that made him angry.

“It just goes to show you that if you don’t come to play week-in and week-out what can happen,” Branch said. “We had a great season, finished the year 14-2, by far the best team in the NFL during the regular season, but once the postseason starts it is a different season. The Jets came out. They had a great game plan. They executed their game plan. Now going into the game we had a great one as well but we didn’t execute our game plan and that is the difference. You can’t just rely on what happened during the regular season even...

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