OFFSEASON

Big matchup For Bradley

992189.jpg

Big matchup For Bradley

I don't know how Avery Bradley spent his All Star Weekend. Maybe he stayed back in Boston, or vacationed in the Tropics. Maybe he went home to Seattle, or passed the time running at full speed on a hamster wheel. I don't know. But whatever he did, I hope he's ready for tonight's match-up with the Nuggets.

You remember the last time Boston and Denver faced off. It was that classic triple overtime game on the Sunday after the blizzard. You remember the heroics of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett and the C's shocking the world for their seventh straight post-Rajon Rondo victory.

But you might not remember that over the course of that amazing win, Bradley the C's lock down perimeter defender was abused like we've never seen before (or since) by Denver's Ty Lawson.

Lawson finished with 29 points, nine assists and six rebounds. He also beat Bradley for a last second, game-tying hoop in regulation, and hit a shot with 18 seconds left in the second OT to put the Nuggets up three (before Pierce's own last second magic).

Naturally, it didn't help that Bradley was in foul trouble for most of the game (before fouling out in the second overtime), but that just comes with the territory. And that had a lot to do with Lawson, against whom Avery picked up three of his six fouls.

The Nuggets took the floor that snowy night having won nine straight and 15 of their last 17 games. Oddly enough, they haven't won since responding to that loss in Boston by coming up short in Toronto and Brooklyn before breaking for the break. However, those losses had nothing to with Lawson.

He followed up his 29-point performance against the Celtics with another 29 against the Raptors and 26 against the Nets. He also had nine assists in all three games, and shot a combined 35-53 from the field (that's 63 percent) and 9-14 from three (that's 64 percent!). Bottom line: Lawson has quickly developed into not only the Nuggets floor general but their most explosive and reliable scorer. That may say as much about the inconsistencies of Andre Iguodala. That may also not give enough credit to Danilo Gallinari (who's averaging 21.2 points in 2013). But no matter how you look at it, Ty Lawson is the head of this Denver attack, and in the famous words of David Ortiz: If the head is right, the body is going to function right. If the head is messed up, then the body is going to be all over the place."

Avery Bradley is the Celtics resident head hunter. Lawson who possesses a deadly combination of speed, strength, range and determination around the rim is and will continue to be one of Integer 0's toughest assignments. And tonight, Bradley's success will have a lot to say about on which foot the Celtics will start the second half, and no doubt set the tone for tomorrow night's rematch against the Lakers.

Should be fun.
Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

OFFSEASON

Who will make the Celtics roster?

roster-bubble.png

Who will make the Celtics roster?

BOSTON – Regardless of what the Celtics do in the offseason, there will always be position battles in training camp.

But when the players arrive in a few weeks, a handful will have more at stake than just a roster spot.

Boston currently has 18 players with full or partially guaranteed contracts, a number that has to be pared down to 15 or less by the time the regular season begins.

The math is pretty cut and dry. Barring a trade, at least three players have to be let go.

But who will they be?

That’s for Brad Stevens and the rest of the Celtics brass to figure out.

In the meantime, here’s a look at five Celtics who, barring a trade, are likely to be among the pool of players Boston will be picking from for what should be the last couple of roster spots.

OFFSEASON

Boston Celtics announce 2016 preseason schedule

celtics-stevens-cloesup.jpg

Boston Celtics announce 2016 preseason schedule

New England fans will get their first glimpse at the 2016-2017 Boston Celtics when they kick off their preseason schedule on October 4 against the Philadelphia 76ers at UMass-Amherst’s Mullins Center.

That game will feature two of the top three picks in last month’s draft as Ben Simmons, the top overall pick, will face Jaylen Brown, who was drafted by the Celtics with the third overall pick.

Boston’s 7-game schedule features no back-to-back games, but they do face the Charlotte Hornets in their second and third preseason games on Oct. 6 (in Greensboro, N.C.) and Oct. 8 at Mohegan Sun Arena.

Here’s a look at Boston’s full preseason schedule:

DATE               OPPONENT                  LOCATION                                                        TIME
Oct. 4               Philadelphia 76ers         UMass-Amherst Mullins Center (Amherst, MA)     7:00 p.m. ET
Oct. 6               Charlotte Hornets          Greensboro Coliseum (Greensboro, NC)             7:30 p.m. ET
Oct. 8               Charlotte Hornets          Mohegan Sun Arena (Uncasville, CT)                  3:30 p.m. ET
Oct. 13             Brooklyn Nets               Barclays Center (Brooklyn, NY)                          7:30 p.m. ET
Oct. 15             New York Knicks           Madison Square Garden (New York, NY)             7:30 p.m. ET
Oct. 17             Brooklyn Nets               TD Garden (Boston, MA)                                   7:30 p.m. ET
Oct. 19             New York Knicks           TD Garden (Boston, MA)                                   7:30 p.m. ET