Jermaine O'Neal has found a new home


Jermaine O'Neal has found a new home

From Comcast SportsNet
PHOENIX (AP) -- The Phoenix Suns have signed 16-year NBA veteran Jermaine O'Neal. Length of the contract wasn't disclosed. The 6-foot-11 O'Neal is expected to back up center Marcin Gortat, a role previously held by Robin Lopez, who has been traded. The 33-year-old center has career averages of 13.7 points and 7.4 rebounds. O'Neal was drafted 17th overall directly out of high school. Later, with the Indiana Pacers, he played in six consecutive All-Star games. He also played for Toronto, Miami and Boston.

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Williams, Capitals' third line cashes vs. the Cats

Williams, Capitals' third line cashes vs. the Cats

After being held without a point through the season’s first three games, the Capitals’ third line broke through in Thursday’s 4-2 win over the Panthers in South Florida.

Right wing Justin Williams staked the Caps to an early 1-0 lead by finishing off a splendid centering pass from defenseman Nate Schmidt. As Williams whacked his own rebound past Florida goalie Roberto Luongo, center Lars Eller crashed the net while left wing Brett Connolly covered the point for Schmidt, who was credited with the only assist.


Although Eller and Connolly are still looking for their first point, it’s now official: all four of the Capitals’ forward lines have scored at least one goal.

“They were a hard working line,” Coach Barry Trotz told reporters afterward. “They were keeping it simple. They were working hard. They were winning their battles that were in on. And when you do that [and] you play the right way, you’re going to have some success. And they did.”

It was goal No. 250 for Williams, who acknowledged the milestone by noting that he's only 500 goals behind Jaromir Jagr, who netted No. 750 in the same game.

Thursday’s matchup marked the second straight game for the Connolly-Eller-Williams combination, but it was the first in which all three registered at least one shot on goal. Williams, in fact, finished tied for the team lead in shots on goal with four. Entering the game, he had mustered just one shot in three contests.

“I think we’ve done better, marginally, every game we’ve played,” Williams said. “It’s kind of hard not to; we didn’t have some great games to start.”

Prior to Thursday’s breakthrough, Trotz said he believed the unit’s slow offensive start may have been caused, in part, by having new players (Connolly, Eller and Sanford) who are still getting settled and the simple fact that there are four players on the line, meaning there’s a rotation, which reduces reps and can negatively impact communication, continuity and chemistry.

Williams, though, indicated after the game that the line's chemistry is slowly revealing itself.

“We’re talking a little bit more,” he said. “We’re supporting a little bit more. We’re getting to know each other a little bit more.”

The question now is when will Sanford see the ice again? The third line is coming off its best game, and hockey coaches don’t like to make changes to a winning lineup. At the same time, Sanford, a 21-year-old first year pro, needs to play.

It’s not an issue yet. But it’s something that will bear watching in the coming days and weeks.


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Redskins place first-round rookie WR Josh Doctson on injured reserve

Redskins place first-round rookie WR Josh Doctson on injured reserve

When the Redskins drafted Josh Doctson No. 22 overall, the idea was the rookie receiver out of TCU would push DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon for snaps and catches. An Achilles injury limited Doctson's ability to hit the field, and now has landed the receiver on the injured reserve list.

Washington coach Jay Gruden announced the move to IR on Friday and said "It's best for him. For his state of mind it's important to get this thing fixed."

Doctson opened training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list and did not play in the preseason. He did not open the regular season on the IR, however, and played in the Redskins first two games against the Steelers and Cowboys, both losses.

From there, Doctson was inactive for four weeks before landing on the IR.

"I feel terrible for Josh," offensive coordinator Sean McVay said.

Moving Doctson to the IR had been discussed for a few weeks as his Achilles injury did not seem to improve, but Gruden and the Redskins front office wanted to wait and see if the rookie could rebound from the injury. A myriad of tests have been done on the affected area and did not reveal damage, so the cause of Doctson's pain remains unknown. 

Expect much more information on Doctson and what it means for the Redskins receiving group to come. 

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