Utah Jazz Reportedly Make A Change Starting Lineup Against Celtics

The Utah Jazz are taking their first encounter against the Boston Celtics seriously.
After announcing that Mike Conley Jr. would be removed from the starting lineup at shootaround Wednesday, the team reportedly changed it again a few hours before tip-off.
Conley is back in the starting five in favor of Joe Ingles, who’s been removed from the lineup per The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Tony Jones.
With Utah having lost eight of its past 12 games, the Jazz likely want to make a switch in attempt to make up for lost ground in the Western Conference standings.
The flip-flopping was a result of the fifth-place team potentially trying to accommodate Royce O’Neal back into the starting lineup to benefit from his perimeter defense and toughness against Boston.
The Jazz acquired Conley in a summer trade, and the point guard took on a ton of expectations given what Utah gave up for him. Benching him could imply that he hasn’t been a great fit, but against a tough team like the Celtics, his defensive reputation should help.
of expectations given what Utah gave up for him. Benching him could imply that he hasn’t been a great fit, but against a tough team like the Celtics, his defensive reputation should help.
Boston and Utah are scheduled to play Wednesday at 10:30 p.m. ET.

New England Revolution Injury Report: Carles Gil Unlikely For MLS Opener

Looking for clarity on the Carles Gil injury situation? Well, here it is. Per New England Revolution Sporting Director and Head Coach Bruce Arena, Carles Gil is not expected to play against the Montreal Impact on Saturday. Arena stated after training on Wednesday that Gil “had a foot injury” and is “doing well”. In fact, Arena stated that the reigning MLS Newcomer of the Year had actually trained at the indoor facility on Wednesday.

The 27-year-old did not make an appearance during the preseason for the Revolution due to the foot injury. Last season the DP was a match made in heaven for the Revs scoring 10 goals and picking up 14 assists, 12 of which were primary. Certainly, a major loss for the Revolution out of the gate but the fact that they have played without him during the preseason should lessen the factor his absence could play.

Given that this is a foot injury for Gil holding him out on Saturday at Olympic Stadium would be a smart move. By all accounts, the turf is in poor condition and with two matches being played on it in four days it could worsen. No sense in risking an MLS Best Starting XI caliber player in week one of the MLS season.

Backline Banged Up

While the official injury report for week one is not yet released by the Revolution the back-line has had suffered some injuries per Arena. On Wednesday when asked about back-line depth Arena brought up that Seth Sinovic and Alex Buttner have dealt with injuries during the preseason. In addition, Michael Mancienne and Antonio Delamea have also been dealing with issues.

“Unfortunately, we’ve had some injuries in the preseason there with Seth Sinovic and Alex Büttner both having injuries in the preseason, and DeJuan Jones has played there quite well as of late. It’s a long season. We had some players miss a number of games in the preseason. You referred to Carles [Gil]. Buttner’s been out a fair amount, as has Sinovic. The nice part about that is that DeJuan Jones has been ready to play there, so we have depth in that position. Right-back position, same thing. DeJuan can switch over there if there’s issues with Brandon], and Andrew Farrell in a pinch can play in the right-back position, as well. So I think we have depth. We now have our two center backs back. [Michael] Mancienne had a bit of a virus that cost him some training. [Antonio] Delamea’s been injured – he’s back on the field now. So I think we have depth in the center back position, as well. Hopefully we can stay healthy as we move into the regular season.”Bruce Arena on the back-line depth

Unlike last season the Revolution appears to be better prepared to deal with injuries across the back with Arena bringing in a number of pieces to bolster depth.

“I think we’re deep as a team. That’s important going into a long MLS season, but those guys are coming back and they’re getting fit as well so that just creates competition within the team.”Revs Defender Brandon Bye on back-line depth

More to come when the official injury report is released ahead of Saturday’s matchup with Montreal.
The post New England Revolution Injury Report: Carles Gil Unlikely For MLS Opener appeared first on Trifecta Sports.

PawSox Spring Training: Josh Ockimey Belts Second Home Run Of Spring

On Wednesday the Boston Red Sox took on the Pittsburgh Pirates in a rain abbreviated game at LECOM Park. Boston was able to come away with a 6-to-3 win and move to 3-2-1 in Grapefruit League play.

The PawSox related connections on the team included Marco Hernandez, John Andreoli, Jett Bandy, Rusney Castillo, Josh Ockimey, C.J. Chatham, Nick Longhi, Chad De La Guerra, and Cole Sturgeon.

Hernandez: 0-for-3, 2 K’s

Andreoli: 0-for-1, BB

Bandy: 1 RBI

Castillo: 2-for-3

Ockimey: 1-for-1, 2 RBIs, 1 HR

C.J. Chatham: 0-for-4, 2 K’s

Longhi: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 K

De La Guerra: 0-for-1, 1 K

Sturgeon: 0-for-1

Out of the PawSox, the clear takeaway was Josh Ockimey who belted his second home run of the day. In the top of the 7th inning, the towering first baseman lined a ball over the right-field wall to score two runs. The 24-year-old is playing in his fourth big league spring training camp and thus far is 2-for-6 with two home runs, 4 RBIs, 1 BB, and 1 K in four appearances for Boston. Last year with the PawSox he hit 25 home runs and drew an organization high 82 walks while hitting .204.

Boston is back in action on Thursday when they host the Philadelphia Phillies. Bryan Mata is the expected pitcher for the Red Sox.
The post PawSox Spring Training: Josh Ockimey Belts Second Home Run Of Spring appeared first on Trifecta Sports.

Yankees’ Giancarlo Stanton ‘Will Be Down A Bit’ With Right Calf Strain

Spring training has not been kind to the Yankees as they got hit with another injury Wednesday.
New York already is down James Paxton and Luis Severino, and now we can add Giancarlo Stanton to the list of injured players.
Manager Aaron Boone said Wednesday the outfielder “will be down a bit” due to a Grade 1 right calf strain, per the New York Post’s Joel Sherman, who also reported Boone made it sound it was “unlikely he will be ready to start the season.”
Stanton is no stranger to injuries and was limited to just 18 games in 2019 due to a plethora of ailments.

Since the start of 2019, Giancarlo Stanton has missed time with:
A strained left bicepsA strained left shoulderA strained left calfA strained right PCLA strained right quadA strained right calf
— Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) February 26, 2020

He signed a 13-year, $325 million contract extension prior to the 2015 season.
New York opens its 2020 campaign March 26 against the Baltimore Orioles.

NFL Executive Offers Important Reminder About Tom Brady’s Free Agency

Tom Brady’s free agency is complicated.
For one, Brady has spent his entire 20-year career with the Patriots, and it’s unclear whether he’s at all motivated to leave New England ahead of his age-43 season, even if he tests the open market when the new league year begins March 18.
And secondly, several potential suitors for Brady have viable quarterback alternatives — including the Tennessee Titans (Ryan Tannehill), Las Vegas Raiders (Derek Carr), New York Giants (Daniel Jones), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Jameis Winston) and Dallas Cowboys (Dak Prescott) — so it’s hard to figure out what exactly the six-time Super Bowl champion’s market will look like. What if those teams are scared off by Brady’s advanced age and 2019 regression?
Still, NFL Media’s Michael Giardi spoke with several people this week at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis who helped put Brady’s looming free agency into perspective. One executive pointed out that signing Brady has the potential to impact far more than the team’s on-field performance.
“There are games to be won and money to be made,” the executive told Giardi in highlighting Brady’s brand presence. “Don’t discount the bottom line in this league. Ever.”

"don't discount the bottom line in this league. Ever."
— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) February 26, 2020

Makes sense. One of the biggest arguments for the Raiders signing Brady is that it’d represent a huge splash for the franchise as it relocates to Las Vegas. A similar case can be made for the Los Angeles Chargers, who are moving into a new stadium next season and could use Brady to boost ticket sales after moving on from longtime quarterback Philip Rivers.
Don’t expect Brady to view himself as merely an attraction, though. He’s proven time and time again that he’s one of the most motivated athletes in American sports history, and he therefore might make his decision based on which organization presents the most appealing challenge.
Brady’s agent, Don Yee, reportedly is scheduled to meet with the Patriots this week at the Scouting Combine.

Here Are Some Of 1,300-Plus Complaints About Super Bowl Halftime Show

“Won’t somebody please think of the children?”
That was a prevailing sentiment among the 1,312 complaints the United States Federal Communications Commission received about Jennifer Lopez’s and Shakira’s performance at halftime of Super Bowl LIV. Lopez and Shakira stole the show on Super Bowl Sunday by delivering one of the most unforgettable halftime shows in recent memory. However, many viewers balked at what they considered to be an overly sexual spectacle commanding their families’ attention.
Here’s a sample of some of the complaints about the J-Lo/Shakira halftime show, per CNN.
“Jennifer Lopez’s performance at the Super Bowl halftime show was extremely explicit and completely unacceptable for a event where families including children are watching,” a viewer in Utah wrote. “I had to send my children out of the room so that they weren’t exposed to something they should not have seen.”
“My family was very excited to watch the Super Bowl tonight,” a Washington viewer wrote. “However, I was not prepared to explain to my 11 yo daughter why Jennifer Lopez was dressed so scantily or why she kept grabbing her crotch. My daughter was asking if she was feeling sick from having so much skin showing.”
“The half time show was very sexual in nature. I have never seen so many sex poses outside porn magazines,” a viewer in New York viewer wrote. “They also complained about ‘sexy tongue wagging’ and ‘butt shaking.’”
Other viewers complained the halftime show runs counter to the goals of the Me Too movement.
“A disgusting spectacle was on display during the halftime show of the Super Bowl yesterday and I’m sickened by the idea that this was broadcast in to so many homes in America and possibly around the world,” a viewer in Oregon wrote. “Selling sex seems to be the job nowadays, despite human trafficking and the Me Too movement. Shame on (Super Bowl broadcaster) Fox.”
Despite the protests to the FCC, Lopez’s and Shakira’s show was wildly popular, judging by most metrics. This seems to a be case of different strokes for different folks.

Women’s Hockey East Tournament Headlines Big Weekend Of College Sports On NESN Networks

If you love college sports, then be sure to tune in to the NESN networks this weekend.
It all starts Thursday when Vermont and Northeastern kick off the Women’s Hockey East Tournament with Game 1 of their quarterfinal matchup. The tournament action continues Friday with Game 1 between and UConn and Boston College and Game 2 between Vermont and Northeastern.
Next up is our “Super Saturday,” featuring two college basketball games and three men’s Hockey East matchups. We previewed some of those games and many more in the latest episode of the “NESN College Hockey Podcast.”
Finally, the weekend wraps up with a pair of women’s college basketball games, including a matchup between Virginia and No. 8 NC State.
Check out the full weekend schedule for college sports on NESN networks below (all times Eastern), and find out where to catch NESNplus on your service here.
Thursday, Feb. 27
1 p.m. — Women’s Hockey East quarterfinal: Vermont at No. 4 Northeastern Game 1 (NESN)
7 p.m. — Men’s Hockey East: Merrimack at No. 4 Boston College (NESN)
8 p.m. –CAA men’s basketball: James Madison at Northeastern (NESNplus)
Friday, Feb. 28
6 p.m. — Women’s Hockey East quarterfinal: UConn at Boston College Game 1 (NESNplus)
7 p.m. — Women’s Hockey East quarterfinal: Vermont at No. 4 Northeastern Game 2 (NESN)
Saturday, Feb. 29
4 p.m. — ACC men’s basketball Notre Dame at Wake Forest (NESNplus)
4:30 p.m. — Men’s Hockey East: No. 15 Maine at No. 19 Providence (NESN)
6 p.m. — Ivy League men’s basketball: Penn at Brown (NESNplus)
7 p.m. — Men’s Hockey East: No. 4 Boston College at Boston University (NESN)
8 p.m. — Men’s Hockey East: UConn at No. 8 UMass (NESNplus)
Sunday, March 1
2 p.m. — ACC women’s basketball: No. 8 NC State at Virginia (NESNplus)
4 p.m. — ACC women’s basketball: Boston College at Syracuse (NESN)

NFL Rumors: Did Combine Uncover Three Possible Tom Brady Landing Spots?

No matter where you turn, Tom Brady’s impending free agency seems to dominate the conversation. The NFL Scouting Combine is no exception.
NFL Media’s Michael Giardi is among those covering the Combine in Indianapolis this week, and he’s using the prospect showcase as an opportunity to gauge the leaguewide temperature on Brady. The Patriots quarterback can test the open market for the first time in his career when the new league year begins March 18, and there’s been plenty of speculation as to whether he’ll sign elsewhere after 20 seasons in New England.
According to Giardi, a number of NFL people in Indianapolis seem to think — at least initially — there’s “no way” Brady will leave the Patriots. However, Giardi also relayed Wednesday — after digging deeper — that executives, coaches and scouts see the Tennessee Titans, Las Vegas Raiders and New York Giants as possible suitors for the six-time Super Bowl champion.

Spoke with a number of NFL people over the last 36 hours or so here in Indy. The initial reaction has been "there's no way Tom Brady is leaving New England," but as you dig deeper, execs/coaches/scouts see the Titans, Raiders and Giants as possible suitors.
— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) February 26, 2020

All three of these teams have been floated in the past as potential landing spots. ESPN’s Jeff Darlington even pointed last week to the Raiders and Titans as the frontrunners for Brady — ahead of the Patriots — while handicapping the looming sweepstakes.
Still, it’s interesting to hear what folks are saying in Indianapolis. And it’s especially intriguing to hear the Giants resurfaced, as New York drafted quarterback Daniel Jones with the sixth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft and the Duke product showed a lot of promise in his rookie season.
For what it’s worth, the Patriots are expected to meet with Brady’s agent, Don Yee, this week at the Combine.

Kemba Walker Injury: Here’s Celtics Guard’s Status For Game Vs. Jazz

If you were holding out hope for good news regarding Kemba Walker on Wednesday, you’ll be sorely disappointed.
The Boston Celtics guard will miss Wednesday night’s game against the Utah Jazz with an ailing left knee, according to the team. Walker has missed the last three games and six of 10 overall.
Robert Williams also will remain out with left hip bone edema.

#NEBHInjuryReport vs Utah:
Kemba Walker (sore left knee) – OUTRob Williams (left hip bone edema) – OUT
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) February 26, 2020

Walker has received some criticism for playing in the NBA All-Star Game despite his knee injury. And, honestly, the criticism probably warranted. Still, both Walker and the Celtics insist the injury is not a long-term concern.
Boston and Utah are scheduled to tip-off Wednesday night at 10:30 p.m. ET.

Tim Tebow To Play For Surpise Team In World Baseball Classic Qualifiers

Tim Tebow is taking his baseball talents to the land of his birth.
The New York Mets outfielder will play for Philippines in qualifying games for the 2021 World Baseball Classic, the tournament announced Wednesday via Twitter. Tebow was born in Manila, Philippines, and his family moved to Florida when he was three.

Mets OF Tim Tebow will play for Team Philippines in the World Baseball Classic Qualifiers. pic.twitter.com/HM6G4sASN2
— WBC Baseball (@WBCBaseball) February 26, 2020

Tebow, a Heisman Trophy winner and former NFL quarterback, is starting his fourth full season as a professional baseball player. He has climbed through the Mets’ organization to Triple-A Syracuse and is with the big-league club in spring training for the fourth time.
Despite being a certifiable celebrity in the United States, and perhaps one abroad too, the 32-year-old wouldn’t have earned a spot on Team USA’s World Baseball Classic squad. Playing for Philippines will give Tebow some international-baseball experience, which might benefit him in yet-to-be-determined ways.
Philippines will compete in the World Baseball Classic qualifying tournament, which will take place between March 12 and 25. Philippines will compete with the Czech Republic, Great Britain, New Zealand, Panama and Spain in Pool 2, and the top-two finishers will qualify for the World Baseball Classic.
The 2021 World Baseball Classic will take place between March 9 and 23, 2021, in Taiwan, Japan, Phoenix, Ariz., and Miami, Fla.