Agent: Celtics have shown interest in Pargo

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Agent: Celtics have shown interest in Pargo

HOUSTON Free-agent guard Jannero Pargo is among the players the Celtics have discussed as a possible roster addition.

"Yes, we have talked," Pargo's agent, Mark Bartelstein, told CSNNE.com. "But I know Danny (Ainge, Boston's president of Basketball Operations) is weighing a lot of different options right now, looking for what works best for them. We're doing the same thing, too."

Despite winning eight of its last nine games heading into the all-star break, Boston's roster has been decimated by season-ending injuries -- all within the last three weeks.

Those setbacks have really hit the C's hard in the backcourt where guards Rajon Rondo (torn right ACL) and Leandro Barbosa (torn left ACL and strained MCL) are both out for the season. In addition, the C's are without rookie forward Jared Sullinger who had season-ending back surgery.

It's clear that while the C's need talent in the worst way, there is a certain sense of urgency for them to add another player in the backcourt.

If Boston decides to pick up a guard via free agency, Pargo would easily be on the Celtics' short list. The 6-foot-1 guard recently completed a second, 10-day stint with the Atlanta Hawks and has appeared in 14 games this season -- seven with Atlanta and seven with the Washington Wizards.

Prior to Boston's 71-69 win over Chicago on Wednesday, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said the C's will be in no rush to add another player even with a roster that now stands at just 10 healthy players -- among them Fab Melo who has appeared in just two games this season.

For now, Boston has just three guards on its roster -- Avery Bradley, Courtney Lee and Jason Terry. When Bradley got into early foul trouble against Chicago, the C's inserted Jeff Green -- the team's 6-9 backup small forward -- into the lineup at "shooting" guard.

It didn't create a huge mismatch for the Celtics, with Green guarding Chicago's Richard Hamilton who is 6-7.

But against teams with significantly smaller backcourts, there's the potential for it to become a major problem for the C's defensively.

Pargo would certainly help in that capacity.

But the benefit of adding Pargo or any player for that matter, might be even greater served in what they provide from a practice standpoint.

In the C's preparation for the Bulls, Paul Pierce said assistant coach and former NBA guard Tyronn Lue had to participate in the walk-through because of the team's lack of perimeter players.

"We have to have a guard, maybe another big man," Pierce said. "I think it's going to be necessary just to have some depth. Hopefully maybe they can contribute in a game."

Pargo has proven himself to be a solid NBA backup, having appeared in 443 games and another 40 in the playoffs.

Bartelstein said his client would ideally like to find a situation where he had a chance to play steady minutes, but added that's not the only thing he's interested in.

"He'd also like to be with a playoff team," said Bartelstein, who added that he has had ongoing conversations with a number of teams. "But really, it's about finding the right fit, the right situation for him."

Although Pargo has bounced around since entering the league undrafted in 2002, his brightest moment as a pro came in the 2008 playoffs when given an opportunity to play steady minutes.

Then with the New Orleans Hornets, Pargo filled in for an injured Chris Paul and put quite a scare in the San Antonio Spurs, who needed seven games to move on from their Western Conference semi-final matchup.

In that seventh game, Pargo had 18 points which included a trio of three-pointers. Prior to that, he had a 30-point game in New Orleans' first-round series against Dallas.

He became a free agent that summer and had a number of NBA suitors, but eventually signed a one-year, 3.8 million deal with Moscow Dynamo.

"He's definitely not afraid of the big moment, or taking the big shot," Bartelstein said. "But like I said, we're talking with some teams and hopefully we'll have something done soon for the rest of the season."

Bradley locked in during return to Celtics lineup vs. Hornets

Bradley locked in during return to Celtics lineup vs. Hornets

BOSTON – When you look at Avery Bradley’s growth this season, seeing the tremendous strides he has made offensively is clear.

But at the heart of Bradley’s game remains a desire to dominate a matchup as a defender, something that was alive and well on Monday as he made his return to the floor after missing the four previous games with an Achilles strain.

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Bradley’s defense would prove instrumental in Boston’s 108-98 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Monday.

He was 2-for-9 from the field and played nearly 33 minutes against Hornets which is just a couple minutes under his season average of court time.

Usually he’s responsible for providing a boost at both ends of the floor.

But considering his long lay-off, it was clear early on that he was locked in defensively more so than looking to get back on track shooting the ball.

“You take any type of games off in this league, your rhythm and all that you gotta get it back,” said Boston’s Jae Crowder.

Even though his shots weren’t falling, Bradley was on top of his game defensively while guarding 6-foot-8 Nicolas Batum who is six inches taller but never was a factor on Monday.

Batum finished with eight points on 2-for-11 shooting from the field.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens liked what he got out of Bradley in his return to action.

“I thought he (Bradley) was great,” Stevens told CSNNE.com. “He did everything we needed him to do. We knew there would be a little bit of rust (shooting the ball), but that’s part of you playing your way back into it.”

As far as Bradley’s stifling defense on Batum, Stevens said, “You have to do that against Batum. I thought Avery did a really good job of that. It’s a hard matchup no matter what way you go. Batum, giving up inches to him. He (Bradley) was there on the catch all night.”

And as Bradley gradually gets back into a flow, he’ll regain the form offensively that made him one of the NBA’s better two-way players this season.