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Avery Bradley: ‘I want to shut down everybody’ 03.02.13 at 1:27 am ET
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After torching the Knicks for 54 points on Wednesday night, Warriors guard Stephen Curry got off just two field goal attempts against Celtics defensive wunderkind Avery Bradley.

“He’s a very good player,” said Bradley. “I just tried to make everything hard on him tonight and tire him down.”

In the opening 10:18, Curry missed his only shot and turned the ball over twice. Meanwhile, the Celtics established a 26-15 lead and never trailed again in their 94-86 victory.

“I thought Avery set the tone for us early,” said Kevin Garnett. “Any time you’ve got a guy who’s coming off scoring a lot of points, our backcourt, our guards, they were ready for tonight’s challenge, and Avery set the tone.”

Curry scored 25 points on the night but finished just 6-of-22 from the floor.

“I thought Avery did a good job of wearing out Curry,” added Celtics captain Paul Pierce.

Yet, Bradley claimed his approach on Friday is no different than any other night. Just a different opponent.

“I want to shut down everybody every single night. If you notice, every game I play the same way. Every single game on the defensive end. That’s just my mindset. That’s how I play. That’s how I always play my whole life.”

Really? There’s not even a little part of Bradley that gets up for a guy like Curry coming off 54 points?

“I play the same every single game,” he said. “I play as hard as I can when I’m out there on both ends of the court.”

Bradley picked up his fourth and fifth personal fouls in the first four minutes of the third quarter. Thankfully, Courtney Lee picked up where his fellow “pitbull” left off, because Bradley thought he only had three fouls.

“You’ve got to just keep playing,” he said. “I got in some foul trouble, but I fought through it and just kept trying to make everything hard on him despite the calls. … I just tried to continue to be aggressive on the defensive end. I know that’s what my team needed me to do. If I fouled out the game, I was going to be fine with that, because I was just going to play as hard as I can. That’s my goal going into the game.”

Read More: Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors, NBA
Stephen Curry, Tom Brady and the NBA All-Defensive power of Avery Bradley 02.28.13 at 6:33 pm ET
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WALTHAM — Celtics coach Doc Rivers and captain Paul Pierce both had high praise for Avery Bradley before Thursday’s practice. The C’s guard will have the unenviable task Friday of guarding Warriors counterpart Stephen Curry, who scored 54 points against the Knicks in Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night.

  • Pierce: ‘€œI think every great team needs a player like that, especially a great defensive team. With so many great scorers in this league and great individual play, you need that one guy who can go out there and kind of slow those types of guys down. We have that in Avery Bradley. He’€™s shown a willingness to sacrifice so much. I believe he can give us a lot more defensively, but he’€™s so great on the defensive end that it has an impact on this whole team. You don’€™t have to double as much, you don’€™t have to give as much help when you’€™ve got a guy like that who can defend at a high level. In my eyes, he’€™s probably the best on-the-ball defender in the NBA. I’€™d be very surprised if he didn’€™t make the All-Defensive Team.’€
  • Rivers: ‘€œThey’€™re picking him now. They’€™re getting him off of [his assignments], and that’€™s what they should do, but it’€™s nice to have a guy that can pressure the ball. I don’€™t know if Avery’€™s going to shut down everyone, but I know he’€™s going to give you the attempt to pressure, and ball pressure is important. I just use a football analogy: If you didn’€™t blitz Tom Brady and you just let him sit back there all day, he’€™s going to pick you apart. It’€™s the same in basketball. If you let the passers just sit there with no pressure, they’€™re going to pick you apart. And Avery is our blitzer.’€

For more on the NBA All-Defensive case for Bradley, read this column.

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Read More: Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, NBA
Doc Rivers on D&C: Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett will be ‘great when the playoffs start’ at 11:26 am ET
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Celtics coach Doc Rivers joined Dennis & Callahan on Thursday morning to talk about Stephen Curry‘s performance vs. the Knicks, the big win on Monday against the Jazz and more Celtics news.

The Celtics are on track to make their sixth straight postseason appearance, and Rivers is confident aging veterans Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett will be playing well once they get there.

“I think they’ll be great when the playoffs start,” Rivers said. “I think they’ll be better because there’s more rest, and our key is to get them there fresh.

“I thought that it may have had something to do with Danny [Ainge] not making a trade or doing a trade. I just don’t think anything was out there that appealed to him.”

Curry, Golden State’s sharpshooting guard, dropped 54 points against the Knicks on Wednesday night, albeit in a 109-105 Warriors loss. The 54 points are a season-high for the NBA this season.

“That was special to watch,” Rivers said, adding: “Some of the shots he was making were spectacular. ‘€¦ The way he shot the ball and the shots he got — he’s just a great shooter. He’s the best shooter in our league.”

Added Rivers: “When a guy gets in a zone like that, it’s just hard. It’s so easy to say, ‘Deny him,’ but he’s a point guard, so he always has the ball in his hands for the most part. That’s what makes it so difficult. Everyone else who are off the ball, you have a better chance. But a guy with the ball, in that zone, that’s hard.”

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Read More: Avery Bradley, Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce
Doc Rivers: ‘Have to give [Rajon Rondo] room to do what he wants’ during injury 01.30.13 at 7:42 pm ET
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Doc Rivers believes his team is equipped to handle life without Rajon Rondo.

The first test for the Celtics is handling a Kings team that beat them like a drum in the fourth quarter of a 118-96 loss in Sacramento.

“Not really, I’d rather have him,” Rivers said when asked if coaching without his top point guard represents a unique opportunity. “But the coach in me and the players understand they don’t have him. It’s another challenge and hopefully, we’re up for it.”

Will Rondo be around the team before and after his upcoming ACL surgery?

“I don’t know,” Rivers said. “I don’t ever ask. I don’t really care. I want him to do what he needs to do. It’s very hard to come to every game. I had that same injury. There are days you want to be around the guys and there are days you don’t. I think you have to give him room to do what he wants.”

Apparently, what Rondo wants right now is the very best advice before going ahead with right knee reconstruction. According to injury expert Will Carroll, Rondo is consulting the “Big 3″ of knee doctors, including Neal ElAttrache, James Andrews and Walt Lowe. ElAttrache, you’ll recall, did the ACL reconstruct for Tom Brady in 2008.

Rivers also said one of the advantages of having Courtney Lee and Avery Bradley in the backcourt together is that they’re a more physical combo than Rondo and Bradley.

As for the Kings, Wednesday represented a chance at redemption against DeMarcus Cousins, the 22-year-old who went off for a triple-double on Dec. 30.

“He’s not athletic but he’s very [smart] and instinctive,” Rivers said in a moment of pre-game frankness.

As for the Kings, who entered Wednesday 17-29, Rivers had this assessment.

“They’re a talented, young team and there are nights when they get all activated and all together as a group and they’re really good.”

For more, visit the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics.

Read More: Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics, Courtney Lee, DeMarcus Cousins
Avery Bradley: ‘We have adversity, we overcome it all the time’ 01.27.13 at 11:12 pm ET
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One of the many painful ironies of Sunday’s stunning news that Rajon Rondo is done for the season with a torn ACL is who will be asked to step up and play a bigger role.

Avery Bradley‘s season didn’t begin until Jan. 2 because of a pair of shoulder surgeries this past summer. One on his left shoulder ended his playoffs in May. Another in June on his right shoulder prolonged his downtime.

Now, it will be Bradley who will likely be the steadying force in the backcourt as the Celtics look to hold on in the final 38 games of the season for a playoff spot.

‘€œWhatever Doc wants me to play, that’€™s what I’€™m going to do,” Bradley said of playing either shooting guard or point. “I’€™m going to go out there and give it my all. No matter if it’€™s the ’2′ or the ’1′, I’€™m going to go out there and play as hard as I can.’€

What the Celtics did Sunday to beat the mighty Heat in double overtime without Rondo will likely be the formula Doc Rivers calls upon to repeat itself down the stretch, tough defense from the likes of Bradley, Jeff Green and Courtney Lee.

‘€œLike I always say, it shows what type of team we are,” Bradley said. “We have adversity, we overcome it all the time. We had two back to back overtime games, you know we’€™re tired. But we keep fighting, we play hard for each other no matter what. And it showed today when we got the win. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, NBA
Is one NBA scout’s scathing take on Celtics accurate? 01.26.13 at 3:05 pm ET
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NBA general managers must be hovering like vultures over Danny Ainge‘s struggling Celtics, so it’s no surprise they are a main focus ESPN.com writer Marc Stein’s must-read Weekend Dime.

With all due respect to the NBA scout who rightfully ripped the Celtics to shreds in Stein’s piece, the outlook isn’t quite as bad as he makes it out to be, despite their current six-game losing streak.

“Their bench has to be playing at the top of their abilities for them to win.”

According to HoopsStats.com, the Celtics are 12-11 when their bench outperforms the opposing team’s and 7-11 when it doesn’t. That lends some credence to this statement, but they can win when their reserves don’t contribute. We knew these C’s would rely on their depth more this season than they have in the past, but Celtics coach Doc Rivers couldn’t even begin to structure a consistent rotation until Avery Bradley returned this month.

And they don’t have enough guys big-guy-wise that Doc [Rivers] is comfortable with.

The C’s everlasting search for frontcourt depth behind Kevin Garnett has been no secret. Hence, their rumored interest in both Marcin Gortat and DeMarcus Cousins. The struggles of Brandon Bass and the thumb injury to Chris Wilcox haven’t helped, but don’t rule out those two contributing more in the second half of the season.

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Read More: Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics, Jason Terry, NBA
Was Avery Bradley firing a Twitter shot at Rajon Rondo? 01.23.13 at 3:08 pm ET
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After the Celtics‘ fourth straight defeat — a 95-90 loss suffered at the hands of Kyrie Irving (40 points) and the Cavaliers — guard Avery Bradley tweeted: “Nobody will score 40 on [me] unless they take 40 shots.”

Irving scored his 40 on 24 shots, although just three of those attempts came against Bradley; meanwhile, the Cavs point guard made 6-of-11 attempts against Celtics point Rajon Rondo, according to Synergy Sports (h/t @ESPNForsberg. That may not even include plays like Irving’s isolation drive past with 22 seconds left in the fourth quarter, when he blew by Rondo and got (questionably) fouled by Jared Sullinger on a three-point play.

So, why wasn’t Bradley — considered by many the best on-ball defender in the NBA — facing the surefire All-Star, particularly in that situation? While he’s recovering from a rib injury, Bradley played 26 effective minutes and was on the floor for the span from 2:31 to 0:22 of the fourth quarter, when Irving scored nine points on four layups.

When the C’s guard took to Twitter just minutes after the conclusion of the game, many considered it a veiled shot at Rondo, although Bradley quickly deleted the tweet and posted instead: “No shots at anybody. It’s confidence.”

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Read More: Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Kyrie Irving
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