Barbosa reaches agreement with Celtics

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Barbosa reaches agreement with Celtics

NEW YORK The Boston Celtics have filled the only gaping hole in their roster -- a backup point guard -- by adding veteran guard Leandro Barbosa.

Barbosa's one-year, veteran minimum deal gives the Celtics 14 players with guaranteed contracts, one short of the NBA maximum.

Prior to Boston's 97-96 loss to Brooklyn on Tuesday, C's coach Doc Rivers said that the Celtics planned on carrying the league-maximum of 15 players.

That likely means that the Celtics will keep second-round pick Kris Joseph for the entire season.

Adding Barbosa is a major coup for the Celtics, who were noticeably short-handed at the backup point guard position when Keyon Dooling announced his retirement prior to training camp.

Barbosa, a 6-foot-4 combo guard, gives Boston a player with Rajon Rondo-like speed who can run a team in addition to keeping opponents honest defensively with his long-range shooting.

Adding him means Jason Terry can spend most of his time off the ball, which is where he is at his best. Ditto for Courtney Lee.

However, the C's may have a bit of a perimeter logjam when Avery Bradley returns in the middle of December.

With Rajon Rondo starting, the rest of the C's guard lineup includes Terry, Lee, Barbosa and Bradley.

The idea that the Celtics would play five guards is unlikely, which means the C's are going to have a talented player sitting most nights barring injuries.

But if you're Doc Rivers, that's the kind of problem you would love to have heading into the regular season which is less two weeks away.

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.