Bradley won't join Celtics on road trip


Bradley won't join Celtics on road trip

BROOKLYN, N.Y. For those hoping the Boston Celtics would offer up Avery Bradley's return for Christmas, the C's continue to be Scrooge-like in putting him back on the floor.

In fact, Bradley will not travel with the team during their upcoming West coast trip which means his return date in all likelihood will be Jan. 2 at home against Memphis.

"Physically, he's ready," said C's coach Doc Rivers. "The shoulder looks like it's strong enough. I just think, honestly we need him and could use him - I just didn't feel comfortable."

Rivers added, "he's been out for six months. He's had 2 12 practices. I just didn't feel comfortable. I just thought, leave him at home, let him work out."

Bryan Doo, the Celtics strength and conditioning coach, will return to Boston to continue working with Bradley as well as Chris Wilcox who will be out for at least three weeks with a thumb injury.

"Usually B-Doo is with us," said River who added that the C's might have one practice during their entire West coast trip. "So we sent our strength coach back ... (Bradley) and Chris Wilcox will do two-a-days. So by the time we come back, he should be ready for that game."

Bradley isn't the only Celtics guard not playing tonight.

Leandro Barbosa, who has been away from the team attending to personal issues, might re-join the Celtics in time for Thursday's game against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Spooner responds positively to healthy scratch


Spooner responds positively to healthy scratch

BOSTON -- It wasn’t perfect by any means, but Saturday night represented a step in a positive direction for Ryan Spooner.

The 24-year-old speedy forward was scratched for the home opener against New Jersey in classic message-sending fashion by Bruins coach Claude Julien, and deserved it based on a passive lack of production combined with some costly mistakes as well. So he stayed quiet, put in the work and then returned to the lineup Saturday vs. the Montreal Canadiens where he scored a power play goal in the 4-2 loss to the Habs at TD Garden.

“He was better,” agreed Claude Julien. “He was better tonight.”

Spooner could have had even more as he got a couple of great scoring chances in the first period vs. Montreal, but Carey Price was able to turn away a couple of free looks at the Montreal net. So the Bruins forward felt he possibly left points on the ice after it was all said and done, but also clearly played his best game of the young season after going from the press box back to the lineup.

“Yeah, I had like maybe four or five [chances] that I could have scored on,” said Spooner. “I’ve just got to bear down on those [scoring opportunities], and a lot [of them] in the first period. It’s good that I’m getting those looks, but I have to score on them.

“I’m just going to go out there and just try to play. I can’t really think about [fighting to hold a spot]. I’ve just got to go out there and try to play, I guess, the game I can and try to use the speed that I have.”

The Spooner power play strike was a nifty one with the shifty forward and David Backes connecting on a pass across the front of the net, and the young B’s forward showing the necessary assertiveness cutting to the net from his half-wall position.

Spooner had five shot attempts overall in the game, and was one of the few Bruins players really getting the chances they wanted against a pretty effective Montreal defensive group. Now it’s a matter of Spooner, along with linemates Backes and David Krejci, scoring during 5-on-5 play and giving the Bruins a little more offensive balance after riding Boston’s top line very hard during the regular season’s first couple of weeks. 

AFC: Vinatieri sets NFL record for consecutive field goals in Colts' win


AFC: Vinatieri sets NFL record for consecutive field goals in Colts' win

Ex-Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri hits his 43rd consecutive field goal, setting an NFL record, in the Colts' 34-26 victory over the Titans.

Click here for the game story.