Morning sports update: Josh McDaniels talked about replacing Rob Gronkowski

Also: The Celtics have a stake in Tuesday's NBA Draft lottery and the Bruins head to Raleigh for Game 3 against the Hurricanes.

Josh McDaniels
Josh McDaniels said he does not know yet what the Patriots' offense will look like in 2019. –AP Photo/Chris Cecere

The Bruins head to Raleigh, North Carolina, to play the Hurricanes at PNC Arena in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals at 8 p.m. The Red Sox open a two-game home stand against the Colorado Rockies at Fenway Park at 7:10 p.m. Chris Sale is expected to start for the Sox Tuesday.

Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels told ESPN’s Mike Reiss the offense will have to reinvent itself without Rob Gronkowski in 2019:

“Nobody’s going to replace Rob. So it doesn’t matter what we’re doing, or who we bring in, that person is not just going to drop into the offense and say, ‘OK, I’ve got his role covered.’ That’s not going to happen,” McDaniels said in an article published Monday. “I think what you do is take the best group you can put together, figure out what their strengths are, and try to play to them.”


McDaniels told Reiss that constant evolution has been a key part of the Patriots’ success for years now. He cited how the team spread the field in 2007 with star wide receivers Randy Moss and Wes Welker only to completely re-work the offense by Gronkowski’s arrival in 2011, featuring him and Aaron Hernandez in a two-pronged attack that used the tight ends heavily. In 2018, it was an efficient running game that helped power the offense to key victories down the stretch.

Reiss noted that the Patriots gained size at wide receiver this offseason between their first-round pick N’Keal Harry (6-foot-2, 228 pounds) and free agent signings Demaryius Thomas (6-foot-3, 205 pounds), Maurice Harris (6-foot-3, 200 pounds), and Dontrelle Inman (6-foot-3, 205 pounds). The team also boasts a strong group of running backs.

But if McDaniels has any idea about what the offense will look like at the start of the regular season, he would not let on.

“Right now, we’re not really making any of those determinations,” McDaniels said. “Today, and the next so-many months, are about foundation, evaluation, let them rep, see what happens. Is it good enough? Is it not? Do we need to change something? Keep doing it? I don’t think we really know the answers about exactly what we’re going to look like in September and October yet. That’s for another day down the road. That’s why this part of the year is fun.”


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The NBA Draft Lottery will be televised at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN. Here are the possible scenarios for the Celtics, who could receive two top-10 picks:

The Celtics are not in the 2019 draft lottery, which now draws the first four picks of the draft instead of the top three, but trades with both the Kings and Grizzlies have left potential for their picks to fall into Danny Ainge’s hands.

The Celtics will receive the Kings’ first-round pick in the draft as long as it is not the first overall pick. If the Kings win the draft lottery, the 76ers actually receive the pick, and the Celtics will gain the 76ers 24th overall pick. According to ESPN, the Kings’ pick has a one percent chance of becoming the top pick, a 3.4 percent chance of landing in the top three, and a 4.8 percent chance of landing in either the top five or top 10 picks.

The Celtics originally acquired a future first-round draft pick from the Grizzlies when they traded Jeff Green in 2015. The team will receive the pick this year if it falls outside the top eight choices. If it remains in the top eight, the Celtics could receive it in 2020 if it falls outside the top six, or in 2021, when the pick will be unprotected.

The NBA’s bottom three teams now each have a 14 percent chance of drawing the top pick, down from the 25 percent chance the league’s worst team previously had to gain the first overall pick.


Bruins forward Sean Kuraly said Game 3 Tuesday will be “the most highly contested game of this series so far”:

“If I was in that position [down 2-0 in the series] it would be do-or-die,” Kuraly told reporters Monday. “It’d be like your back is up against the wall, and we’re going to have to bring the same thing if we want a chance to win Game 3. It’s going to be, my guess, the most highly contested game of this series so far, and of our season, it’s what we’re getting ready for. It’s 2-0 right now, but it’s all about Game 3.”

The Bruins are 4-2 on the road this postseason. Kuraly said the team’s leadership in the locker room is what has kept them successful on the road in the playoffs.

MLB named Jackie Bradley Jr.’s game-saving catch against the Orioles the play of the week:

The Red Sox center fielder robbed Baltimore’s Trey Mancini of an 11th-inning, walk-off home run on May 8 with a remarkable leaping catch. The Red Sox would go on to win that game 2-1, with the help of Andrew Benintendi’s 12th-inning home run.

Daily highlight: San Jose Sharks center Logan Couture scored two goals in just under two minutes in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals Monday. He reached 100 career postseason points, making him the fourth-best playoff scorer in the league since 2010.

The Blues ultimately won Game 2 by a score of 4-2. The series is tied 1-1.

On this day: Now-retired Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was born on May 14, 1989.