ADAM HIMMELSBACH

How Marcus Smart ended up at center, and 10 other thoughts on the Celtics

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) reaches as Washington Wizards forward Kelly Oubre Jr. (12) attempts a shot during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Alex Brandon/Associated Press

“So, Smart now has officially done it all,” Brad Stevens said.

Christopher L. Gasper

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/13/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/unnamed-24993.jpg Steelers just the ticket for the Patriots

New England, in need of a confidence booster, has a long history of success against Pittsburgh.

BRUINS NOTEBOOK

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/12/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/davisbosaz3spts.jpg Here are the updates on the Bruins’ many injuries

Coach Bruce Cassidy shared relatively good news on two of the injured.

MATT PORTER

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/09/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/Chin120818Leafs-Bruins_Spt10.jpg Bruins’ College Line is getting quite an education

Ryan Donato (Harvard), Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson (BU), and Danton Heinen (Denver) have combined for four goals in the last three games.

ALEX SPEIER

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/10/18/BostonGlobe.com/ReceivedContent/Images/101718Chin27-001.jpg What Joe Kelly’s exit means for the Red Sox’ approach in the reliever market

The Sox are willing to see where there might be opportunities to strike relatively low-cost deals.

red sox notebook

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/13/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/09983525492a494884459fde992cf6d4-09983525492a494884459fde992cf6d4-0.jpg Market for relievers heating up

Joe Kelly and Jeurys Familia signed free agent deals but Dave Dombrowski said Red Sox will not be aggressive in search for bullpen help.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/03/BostonGlobe.com/ReceivedContent/Images/davispats4spts.jpg Building Patriots’ 2018 roster had hits, misses

Trade to land receiver Josh Gordon was a clear win, but defensive tackle Danny Shelton has had minimal impact.

PATRIOTS NOTEBOOK

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/14/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/gronkcatch-25010.jpg Rob Gronkowski hoping for big things against Steelers again

The Patriots tight end had a big game — 9 catches, 168 yards — in last year’s controversial win over Pittsburgh.

CHAD FINN | SPORTS MEDIA

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/13/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/turner121318SPORTSmedia25.jpg What does the future hold for Red Sox broadcasts on WEEI?

The station has discussed a format change, although one station manager said it wouldn’t become an in-game talk show.

Boston-8/03/17-Red Sox vs White Sox- NESN announcer and former Red Sox hall of fame pitcher Dennis Eckersley (left)was back in the announcers booth with Dave O'Brien as they stand for the national anthem. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff(sports)

John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Chad Finn | Sports Media

The Dennis Eckersley documentary does him justice — he makes sure of it

There is enough new stuff, and much more that feels new because it’s Eckersley telling the story.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/13/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/2d2b182438bf4f5e9cd6d8b3fcbf0841-2d2b182438bf4f5e9cd6d8b3fcbf0841-24982.jpg Where Gillette Stadium, Fenway Park, and TD Garden rank in regards to food safety

The answer is not bad.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/13/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/1055765632.jpg Want to take a picture with the Red Sox’ World Series trophy? This Saturday’s your chance

The Sox are taking the 2018 trophy on a five-town tour around Boston.

Boston Red Sox's Dustin Pedroia watches from the dugout in the late innings of Game 2 of the baseball American League Division Series against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

FILE/ELISE AMENDOLA/ASSOCIATED PRESS

NICK CAFARDO I ON BASEBALL

Can Dustin Pedroia make it back from knee surgery?

Pedroia won’t start running until January, and only then will the Red Sox know whether a comeback is even possible.

Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) shoots between Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3), forward Markieff Morris (5), and guard John Wall (2) during the overtime period of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018, in Washington. The Celtics won 130-125. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

CELTICS 130, WIZARDS 125 (OT)

Kyrie Irving calmly drilled two crushing 3s, and Celtics won their seventh straight game

Irving finished with 38 points, and scored the Celtics’ final 12 points over the game’s final three minutes.

TARA SULLIVAN

/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/12/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/Tara_Sullivan-25006.tif The USOC is a mess and the latest scathing report cries out for action — now

The report exposed abject indifference, willful ignorance, and rampant self-interest in the USOC’s handling of the gymnastics sexual abuse case.

Boston Bruins center David Krejci (46) celebrates his goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning with left wing Brad Marchand (63) and right wing David Pastrnak (88) during the third period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

chris o’meara/AP

MATT PORTER

A conversation with David Krejci about creativity and different shades of playmaking brilliance

Skating on a line with David Pastrnak (in Patrice Bergeron’s absence) is a huge treat for the Bruins center.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2013/11/04/BostonGlobe.com/Boston/Content/Sports/Images/davis_patsfollow1A_spts.jpg Stevan Ridley, now with the Steelers, wants this game vs. Patriots ‘more than any other game’

The running back tore his ACL in the final year of his rookie deal with New England and said he “never” got a call back.

CELTICS NOTEBOOK

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/06/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/tlumackicelticsknicks002.jpg ‘It’s an every-day job’: Kyrie Irving’s leadership evolution

Irving said that the greatest lessons he has learned in these discussions is the importance of patience.

BEN VOLIN | ON FOOTBALL

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/12/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/76e4808d1b3142f181a26ab0673aa2cf-76e4808d1b3142f181a26ab0673aa2cf-24991.jpg The Steelers have been a soap opera, and the Patriots episode is up next

They’ve been in the news for all the wrong reasons, and now they are skidding on a three-game losing streak.

RED SOX NOTEBOOK

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/04/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/davissoxmovie4spts.jpg Dave Dombrowski believes lack of activity at Winter Meetings hurts baseball

Every time Dombrowski expects there will be a run on relievers, the momentum stalls.

ORONO, ME - MAY 4: Head football coach Joe Harasymiak speaks to his players during the Maine spring football scrimmage at Orono Friday, May 4, 2018. (Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald)

Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald

Maine at Eastern Washington | Saturday, 2 p.m. (ESPN2)

It’s been a heck of a ride for the Maine football team, and it’s not over yet

The Black Bears will take on Eastern Washington Saturday in the program’s first trip to the national semifinals.

Sports Log

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/14/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/01dbebe109aa4501ab488a97edebe465-01dbebe109aa4501ab488a97edebe465-0.jpg Eagles QB Carson Wentz has fractured vertebra

Wentz sat out practice for the second straight day, and he could be replaced by Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles Sunday night.

Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams (81) celebrates after catching a two-point conversion for the win against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. The Los Angeles Chargers won 29-28. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

ED ZURGA/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Chargers 29, Chiefs 28

Chargers clinch playoff berth on last-second comeback

Philip Rivers led Los Angeles to a pair of touchdowns in the final minutes, then hit Mike Williams for the go-ahead 2-point conversion.

PETER ABRAHAM | BEAT WRITER’S NOTEBOOK

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/12/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/3dd3293b15434d73884451b058340853-3dd3293b15434d73884451b058340853-0.jpg Red Sox should stay with what works and not repeat mistakes of 2014

Why ruin a good thing? Take your best shot at repeating, then let the process play out.

Julian Benbow

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/12/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/Chin121218PatriotsPractice_Spt5.jpg Why Phillip Dorsett and Chris Hogan haven’t had many receptions the past two games

The return of Julian Edelman and the acquisition of Josh Gordon have been huge factors in reduced roles for Dorsett and Hogan.

12/13/2018 Boston Ma- BC High School Hockey player Thomas Kramer (cq). at a practice. Jonathan Wiggs /Globe Staff Reporter:Topic:

Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

HIGH SCHOOL BOYS’ HOCKEY NOTES

Thomas Kramer leads BC High’s Band of Brothers No. 1 line

The leading scorer (12 goals, 25 assists) from last season’s Super 8 champion will center his younger twin brothers, Peter and Joseph, on the Eagles’ top line.

Rockets 126, Lakers 111

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/14/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/8e6bc33a09dc4a639340f63fbe8a88fb-8e6bc33a09dc4a639340f63fbe8a88fb-0.jpg James Harden’s 50-point triple double leads Rockets over Lakers

Harden scored 11 of his points in the last five minutes to get the win.

ALEX SPEIER

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/12/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/1054824558.jpg Why Jackie Bradley Jr. represents a difficult piece to deal

He’d be expected to outperform his salary by a significant margin — the sort of player the Sox are looking to retain, not trade.

09/09/2018 CHESTNUT HILL, MA Brookline goalie Katherine McElroy (cq) 1, defended a shot during a soccer game between Brookline and Beverly held at Skyline Park in Chestnut Hill. (Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe)

Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe

Here are the Globe’s Players of the Year for girls’ and boys’ soccer

The Globe staff had a tough assignment in picking out eight most impactful Players of the Year from a list of 20 All-Scholastics.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/13/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/a6b7cc7e3ba6471d9d95770b97ab0999-a6b7cc7e3ba6471d9d95770b97ab0999-0.jpg Former referee Paul Stewart wants women officiating in NHL

Speaking at his induction into the US Hockey Hall of Fame, the Dorchester native said he wants to help women follow in his footsteps.

BASEBALL NOTEBOOK

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/13/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/1059486086.jpg Indians bring back Carlos Santana, ship Edwin Encarnarcion to Seattle

The three-team trade Thursday that also involved Tampa Bay, which received Yandy Diaz and minor league righthander Cole Sulser from Cleveland.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/11/21/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/swensen18112122schfenway-0009.jpg Here are the Globe’s 2018 high school football Players of the Year

We will unveil our Players of the Year and All-Scholastics throughout this week.

Patriots notebook

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/12/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/76e4808d1b3142f181a26ab0673aa2cf-76e4808d1b3142f181a26ab0673aa2cf-24991.jpg Ben Roethlisberger does not practice because of rib contusions

It’s not uncommon for the Steelers QB to get a mid-week day off, but he was injured and missed some of Sunday’s loss to Oakland.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/12/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/2cbf0a87635d4c9c82597233a0437cc0-2cbf0a87635d4c9c82597233a0437cc0-0.jpg A complete look at the current AFC playoff picture

Including how the Patriots can clinch the AFC East this weekend.

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 08: Coach Gerardo Martino of the Atlanta United celebrates their 2-0 win over the Portland Timbers during the 2018 MLS Cup between Atlanta United and the Portland Timbers at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

kevin C. Cox/Getty

FRANK DELL’APA | SOCCER NOTEBOOK

Coach Tata Martino leaves Atlanta United on a high note

He was the right man to steer the new team to an MLS Cup title, and now will look to cash in with Mexico.

The Bettor’s Edge

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/10/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/davispats16spts.jpg Dolphins’ lateral play ruined a sure win

But a bet on the Dolphins money line brought in a big payoff.

fantasy football

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/13/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/8b016d769c6145eba47fc1c9891b1668-8b016d769c6145eba47fc1c9891b1668-0.jpg Unexpected performances color fantasy playoffs

The Rams’ prolific offense was limited to a pair of field goals by the Bears.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/03/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/a2a46ca5800146bba36823ea7436e9f6-a2a46ca5800146bba36823ea7436e9f6-0.jpg Roger Goodell said the NFL will not pay for video evidence in domestic violence cases

The commissioner defended the league’s handling of such cases, calling the NFL’s approach “extrordinary.’’

Gary Washburn | On basketball

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/12/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/81775d2251554eb7b8a1d6c66cf1f23a-81775d2251554eb7b8a1d6c66cf1f23a-0.jpg Marcus Morris is proving he deserves a lucrative, career-defining contract

Morris has been the Celtics’ steadiest and most reliable player through the first two months of the season.

Kevin Paul Dupont

/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/03/05/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/dupont-13978.tif More from Dupont

Read his recent “On Second Thought” columns and more features from the longtime Globe writer.