#1 speaking to the fans before the opener. W von miaowang123 27.08.2019 04:15

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- From his catchy nickname to his sturdy performance on the field, Calvin Johnson often seems indestructible. So it was a bit startling when the star wide receiver was limited by injuries toward the end of last season, finally sitting out the finale after his Detroit Lions were eliminated from playoff contention. Johnson had surgery in the off-season on a knee and a finger, both of which caused problems for him in 2013. He still put up terrific numbers for the Lions, but he was held under 100 yards in the last three games he played and couldnt prevent the collapse that kept Detroit out of the post-season. On Tuesday, "Megatron" was out on the practice field, preparing for what he hopes will be a healthier, more successful season. "It feels great to be out here playing with the guys," Johnson said. "I missed a lot of practice time last year before games. You definitely feel like you need that practice time before a game, just to get on one accord with your quarterback." Johnson caught 84 passes for 1,492 yards last season -- great stats for almost any player, but his worst output in both categories since 2010. It was never entirely clear how much Johnsons knee was bothering him, but then-coach Jim Schwartz conceded in late December that the star receiver was nowhere near 100 per cent. "It was bad enough where I had to get it drained every week," Johnson said. "The finger, it was stuck at 90 degrees. Its good to have those things freed up." The Lions fired Schwartz and replaced him with Jim Caldwell in the off-season, meaning Detroit is implementing a new offence. Quarterback Matthew Stafford will be under pressure to limit the mistakes that plagued him last year -- and he should have an easier time if Johnson is back at full strength. Although Johnson missed only two games last season, he wasnt able to practice all that regularly. That time is valuable even for a veteran who will turn 29 in September. "You kind of lose your wind a little bit. You know the plays, but I feel that you have to go out there and practice to be able to play at your best," Johnson said. "Im a firm believer in that. I had experience in the offence, therefore I was able to go out there and still play, but Im a firm believer that being out there during the week definitely improves your performance on Sunday." With Nate Burleson no longer on the Lions, Johnson is now the elder statesmen of Detroit wide receivers, and hes always led by example. Its easier to do that, of course, when hes healthy enough to practice. "Its nice to have him back and working at full strength. Im so happy for him," centre Dominic Raiola said. "The guys so tough. Its hard to get him out of there. Hell play through anything. For him to be healthy right now and being out there with the team, thats big time." NOTES: Caldwell said injured CB Chris Houston has been excused from practice. Rookie WR T.J. Jones, the teams sixth-round draft pick, was also excused Tuesday. ... Caldwell joked a bit about his reputation for remaining even-keeled. "Theres no need for a whole lot of cussing, screaming, yelling and all that kind of stuff," Caldwell said. "Its a mini quiz out here. I never had any of my professors yelling in my ear when I was sitting at the desk filling out those multiple-choice questions." Jaylen Brown Celtics Jersey . In the opening game of his fourth-round match at the U.S. Open, the owner of 17 major titles got passed at the net twice, sailed a backhand long, then missed two forehands to get broken. Jaylen Brown Jersey .com) - Former foes from the Mountain West Conference battle in the 23rd annual Las Vegas Bowl, as the 23rd-ranked Utah Utes clash with the Colorado State Rams at Sam Boyd Stadium on Saturday. http://www.celticssale.com/kids-dennis-johnson-celtics-jersey/ . He made the comment at a media availability Saturday prior to Game 2 of the Boston-Montreal playoff series when a Quebec reporter said there is sentiment in Quebec that the NHL looks more favourably on Seattle than Quebec City when it comes to future expansion. Gordon Hayward Jersey . Liriano pitched in and out of trouble in his duel with Josh Beckett, and Ike Davis homered to help the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1 Friday night. Bill Russell Jersey .Brothers B.J. and Justin Upton each homered and had an outfield assist, and the Braves held on for a 4-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday night. BOSTON -- The World Series trophy was in the building. Bill Russell was courtside. And the next Boston Celtics championship seems so very far away. The Celtics opened the season at home on Friday night without Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce or Doc Rivers -- or Rajon Rondo, for that matter -- and gave away a 22-point second half lead as the Milwaukee Bucks won 105-98 for their first victory of the season. The loss spoiled the home debut of new Celtics coach Brad Stevens and dampened the cheer in the city following the Red Sox victory in the World Series on Wednesday. Zaza Pachulia had 20 points and nine rebounds, making two free throws with 44 seconds left to give the Bucks their first lead since the opening basket. It was the second straight night Milwaukee fell behind early, having spotted the New York Knicks to a 25-point lead before coming back to tie it -- and then lose -- on Wednesday. "We have to figure this out, getting off to such a bad start," said Bucks coach Larry Drew, who earned his first victory after taking over for Jim Boylan. "Ive got to get my finger on it. Two straight games where we just got off to bad starts. It hasnt been great execution. Were just putting too pressure on ourselves defensively." Red Sox owners John Henry and Tom Werner took the court before the game with the World Series trophy, and Russell was also courtside a few hours after a statue of him was unveiled near City Hall. The 11-time NBA champion was honoured during a first-half timeout, and Stevens made sure his team watched. "There are things that are bigger than the game, although right now I dont feel good about life," the former Butler coach said. "To honour Bill Russell and to have us be in a huddle while theyre honouring Bill Russell wouldnt be right." John Henson had 14 points and nine rebounds for the Bucks, who scored the last 10 points of the game. In its opener on Wednesday, Milwaukee rallied to take a lead with 3:13 left before giving up 10 of the last 12 points. "The second time, same (bad start)" Pachulia said. "In New York, we just couldnt finish out the game. We have to fix the mistakes we make." Vitor Faverani scored 12 points wwith 18 rebounds for Boston.dddddddddddd Brandon Bass and Jeff Green each had nine rebounds for the Celtics, who scored 20 of the first 26 points in the game and led 72-50 with 19 minutes to play. But Milwaukee scored 11 of the last 14 points in the third quarter and then tied it 93-all with a 20-10 run to start the fourth. After Gerald Wallace hit a 3-pointer to give Boston back the lead, the teams traded free throws and then the Bucks scored the next 10 points. Milwaukee made 10 straight free throws to end the game, including two by Pachulia that made it 99-98. "We cant play like that. It all starts with me," Green said. "Weve got to get it going in the right direction and I take responsibility for that. We cant lose -- not the way we played in the first half." It was the first regular-season home game for the Celtics, who traded Pierce and Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets over the summer and sent Rivers to the Los Angeles Clippers. Stevens replaced Rivers, making his NBA debut about a week after his 37th birthday. Injured point guard Rajon Rondo took over Pierces usual role of speaking to the fans before the opener. Wearing a suit and tie and a fake beard -- a tribute to the Red Sox -- Rondo welcomed the fans before taking a seat on the bench for the rest of the game. Rondo, who is recovering from a torn ACL in his right knee, is not expected to play for at least a month. The Celtics arent expected to be competitive until he returns, which is OK with the fans who want them to earn a high pick in what is said to be the deepest NBA draft in years. Boston came out and scored 16 of the first 20 points in the game and never led by less than seven points until the fourth-quarter collapse, when they were outscored 34-15. Faverani had 11 rebounds at halftime and Green had 11 points. NOTES: Celtics PG Avery Bradley was evaluated for a concussion on Friday but was cleared to play. ... Bucks PG Brandon Knight, who strained his right hamstring 2 minutes into Milwaukees opener, did not play. ... Russell sat courtside. ... Bostons Jared Sullinger returned from a one-game suspension after he was charged with domestic violence. The charges were dismissed by a judge. ' ' '

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