Julien: Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative

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Julien: Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative

Claude Julien, like a lot of people around the Bruins, didnt like what he saw in last week's blowout loss to the Sabres.

There were defensive mistakes and discipline lapses, of course. Those things will happen over a long season.

But the coach also felt teeming frustration, and saw players venting against one another. As Julien put it, there was a lot of negativity in the dressing room, the kind that can bog a team down before the players are even aware they're knee-deep in it.

Its about the approach you take to games and situations," Julien said. "Lately things havent been going well, so guys . . . feel the pressure. Pressure weighs you down. Youve heard coaches say that in the past, and pressure can weigh you down in practice, too. After the second period in Buffalo I came in and said to the guys that I could sense the negativity and everything else because things werent going well. We werent helping ourselves.

The Bs did a good job of eliminating the bad feelings. That was evident in their shootout victory over the Nashville Predators, and it's something thats been stressed since the bottom dropped out.

The practices this week were about working hard, staying positive and making things happen, said Julien. Before the Nashville game, thats what we talked about. We needed to bring that work ethic into the game and feel good about it . . . Maybe that helped those guys feel lighter, because they went out there and worked hard.

Apparently a couple of solid, intense hockey practices and a good between-periods chat can, like a Red Bull, give you wings like they did for the Bruins over the last week.

Former Celtics teammates praise Garnett's passion and intensity

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Former Celtics teammates praise Garnett's passion and intensity

WALTHAM, Mass. – Like so many players who have spent part of their NBA journey having Kevin Garnett barking in their ear words of encouragement or just telling them to get the hell out his (bleepin’) way, you can count Avery Bradley among those who will miss the man affectionately known as ‘Big Ticket.’

Garnett recently announced his retirement after 21 NBA seasons, leaving behind a legacy that includes an NBA title won with the Boston Celtics in 2008.

Among the current Celtics, Bradley is the only current member of the team who played with Garnett in Boston.

When Bradley got the news about Garnett’s retirement, he said he sat down and wrote Garnett a letter.

“To let him know how much I appreciate him, how special he is to me,” said Bradley who added that his relationship with Garnett was impactful both on and off the court. “Kevin’s just an amazing person.”

Leon Powe, a member of the Celtics’ championship team in 2008 with Garnett, echoed similar praise about his former teammate.

“As a teammate, as a player, KG meant the world to me,” Powe told CSNNE.com. “Intensity … he brought everything you would want to the game, to the practice field, he was just non-stop energy.”

And when you saw it time after time after time with him, pretty soon it became contagious.

“The intensity just motivated every guy on the team, including me,” Powe said. “It made you want to go out and lay it out on the line for him and the team. You see how passionate he is. You see he’s one of the greats. And when you see one of the greats of the NBA going hard like that all the time, you’re like ‘Man, why can’t I do that? It trickled down to me and every young guy on the team.

Powe added, “He brought that every single day, night, morning, it didn’t matter. He brought that intensity. That’s all you could ask for.”

And Garnett’s impact was about more than changing a franchise’s fortunes in terms of wins and losses.

He also proved to be instrumental in helping re-shape the culture into one in which success was once again defined by winning at the highest levels.

“KG has had as big an impact as anybody I’ve been around in an organization,” said Danny Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations. “The thing that stands out the most to me about KG is his team-first mentality. He never wanted it to be about KG, individual success to trump team success. He lived that in his day-to-day practice. That’s something I’ll remember about him.”