Mottau in limbo during NHL lockout

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Mottau in limbo during NHL lockout

Last season was one of the high points in the career of former Boston Collegedefenseman Mike Mottau. The 33-year-old SouthShore native got a chance to skatewith the hometown Boston Bruins and even got into a few playoff games with the Blackand Gold. The hope was that hed return to Boston as a spare defenseman this season.

Instead Mottau is skating at local colleges with other Bruins still in Boston, hoping hellknow his fate sooner or later. The father of four kids aged seven and under hadsome offers from European clubs prior to the start of the season, but he would have been forced to commit to staying overseas for the entire year.

Mottau wasnt ready to do that. So the former Devils,Islanders and Bs defenseman has bonded together with fellow skaters like ShawnThornton, Daniel Paille and Milan Lucic that have remained in Boston throughout the lockout.

Now hes hoping for a CBA resolution so he can figure outhis plans for the rest of the year. In addition to arena employees, needycharities and local businesses that are hurting badly while missing the800,000 in revenues each NHL game pumps into the Boston economy, journeymen veterans likeMottau are the biggest victims on the players side.

He doesnt have the millions in the bank that someestablished players can use as a soft landing while missing out on paycheckcycles.

Hes made 3.1 million over the last four years before agentfees, taxes and other overhead costs and hes invested wisely. But its alsovery unlikely hes going to become outspoken on the regularly-held NHLPAconference calls that have become passionate as players grow frustrated withthe deliberate process of CBA talks.

Mottau simply wants to know what happens next for him.

It would be nice to know when things will resolve, andwhere Ill be playing this season. Over the summer I was hoping wed have a newCBA right now and things would have worked out with the Bruins, said Mottau. NowIm hoping to catch on with somebody when the new CBA finally gets hammeredout. I still think theres a good chance of that, but well see.

If something doesnt happen in the next month, Mottau thinkshe may end up playing Europe for a few months.But that also becomes a problematic scenario with all of the North Americanplayers flooding places like Germany,Finland, Czech Republic,Russia and England.

Justas the discussions leave no easy answers for the NHLPA or the league, guys likeMottau are stuck in hockey limbo just like everybody else.

WATCH: Celtics vs. Raptors

WATCH: Celtics vs. Raptors

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Celtics-Raptors preview: DeRozan, Lowry a challenge for Bradley, C's

Celtics-Raptors preview: DeRozan, Lowry a challenge for Bradley, C's

BOSTON – Avery Bradley doesn’t mind being a standout, but this is probably not what he had in mind. 

Injuries have ravaged the Boston Celtics’ starting five to the point where only one player, Bradley, has been with the first unit in all 22 games this season. 

Just like Bradley was looked upon to step his game up in the absence of Isaiah Thomas (right groin) at Orlando on Wednesday, he will once again be challenged to lead Boston (13-9) to victory tonight when the Thomas-less Celtics face the Toronto Raptors. 

Bradley’s emergence as a two-way talent this season has overshadowed at times what has been another season of elite play defensively. 

And he’ll need to be on top of his defensive game tonight against a Raptors All-Star backcourt of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. 

Both Lowry and DeRozan present a different kind of challenge for Bradley who will spend time defending each of them at various points during the game. 

Lowry has good size, strength and deceptive quickness in addition to an under-rated perimeter game that will keep Bradley on his toes for sure. 

This season he's averaging 20.8 points, 4.9 rebounds and a career-high 7.6 assists while shooting 42.9 percent on 3's which is also a career mark. 

And DeRozan is having the kind of season that might get him a few league MVP votes. 

His 28.0 points per game ranks fifth in the NBA, but making his numbers even more impressive is that unlike most guards DeRozan doesn’t generate much offense from three-pointers.

DeRozan averages 1.8 three-point attempts per game which is the fewest attempts among any player ranked among the league’s top-25 scorers.

The 6-foot-7 All-Star is the master of the mid-range game which accounts for 31.5 percent of the points he scores. And when he’s not shooting the mid-range, he’s working a defender in one-on-one iso-situations. 

That helps explain why 76.4 percent of his two-point made field goals are unassisted. 

But here’s the thing about Bradley. 

As much as we give him props for what he does defensively, it’s his offense that has put him on the map as a potential All-Star this season. 

Bradley is averaging a career-high 17.9 points while shooting 47.2 percent from the field. He’s also averaging a career-high 7.8 rebounds per game in addition to shooting a career-high 40.7 percent on 3's.

But for Bradley, individual accolades are only going to come his way by the Celtics winning games; preferably against above-average teams like the Toronto Raptors.

And that would make both Bradley and the Celtics stand out this season.