Bradley expanding game with clutch shooting


Bradley expanding game with clutch shooting

CHARLOTTE, N.C. We have seen first-hand the emergence of Avery Bradley into an above-average defender who can occasionally make shots when given the opportunity.

He's not just making shots now; he's making big, end-of-the-game, momentum-shifters that give opponents yet another layer of concern when facing the Boston Celtics.

With no Big Three on hand on Sunday, it was Bradley coming up with some huge Big Three-like buckets in the fourth quarter to propel the C's to a 94-82 win.

"I'm just going to continue playing hard," said Bradley. "That's what my team needs me to do. With Rajon Rondo and those guys, the ball will find you if you make plays happen on the defensive end. That's what I try to do."

Bradley's defense remains his strength. But the ability to knock down mid-range shots and corner 3-pointers, is gaining ground quickly.

In Sunday's win, the Bobcats had cut Boston's lead down to just four, 78-74, with 6: 55 to play.

After the Celtics prevented Charlotte from scoring on a couple of possessions, Bradley drained a corner 3-pointer with 5:38 to play that put the C's up by seven points.

From there, the Celtics pushed their lead to double digits and never looked back.

The corner 3-pointer is a shot that Bradley says he has been working on all season.

"I feel a lot more comfortable out there, to shoot that shot," he said. "I just feel like it's a confidence thing. When you have confidence, believe that it's going in, it usually goes in. That's how I been doing it."

Bradley had another 3-pointer in the game in which he basically ran to that spot in the corner, got the pass from Rajon Rondo, and drained it.

"When Rondo passed me the ball and I was kind of running and shot it, I believed that was going in," Bradley said. "And it did."

It was in some ways reminiscent to another Celtic who tends to run to spots and launches 3-pointers - Ray Allen.

"It's hard to pull a Ray," Bradley chuckled. "Close as you can. Ray's amazing, man."

Which can also be said for Bradley's evolution as a player who can now do a number of things to help the Celtics win - including knock down clutch shots in the fourth quarter.

Belichick says all three QBs could use more game reps


Belichick says all three QBs could use more game reps

Bill Belichick was expansive Saturday when asked on a conference call how he'll split the quarterback reps for the Patriots final preseason game Thursday in New York.

"I think that’s a good question, it’s a fair question, it’s one that we really have to give some good consideration to," Belichick began. "As I said before, I think whatever we do will benefit whoever does it. We want to get Jimmy [Garoppolo] ready for the Arizona game. Tom [Brady] isn’t going to be playing for a while, so it’s kind of his last chance to play until he comes back after a few weeks. Jacoby [Brissett] certainly could use all the playing time that he can get. I think that whichever players we play will benefit from it and it will be valuable to them. We could play all three quarterbacks a lot next week and they’d all benefit from that and it would all be good, but we can’t."

Since they can't, Belichick said there will be situational work done with whoever isn't going to get the game reps.

"We only have one game and so many snaps, so we’ll have to, between practice and the game, put them in some situations that are somewhat controllable like a two-minute situation or things like that that you know are going to kind of come up one way or another," said Belichick. "You can sort of control those in how you want those broken down, what’s best, what does each guy need and how can we get the best we need for each guy. I need to let them get the reps that they need, but it’s how do we get the team ready for what they need to be ready for. They all need to get ready for different things.

What Jimmy’s role is in a couple weeks is going to be a lot different than what Tom’s is, and it’s going to be a lot different than what Jacoby’s is. At some point later on, those roles are going to change again. So again, there’s no perfect solution to it. We’ll just do the best we can to try to have our individual players and our team as well prepared as possible at whatever point that is that we have to deal with, and whenever those situations come up."

As I wrote earlier today, this is the sticky and uncomfortable situation arising from Deflategate. It's not a Tom Brady penalty. It's a team penalty when one considers the ripple effects. And there's no handbook to consult.


Saturday's Red Sox-Royals lineups: Young in LF, Hill at 3B vs. KC lefty Duffy


Saturday's Red Sox-Royals lineups: Young in LF, Hill at 3B vs. KC lefty Duffy

The Red Sox look to end their three-game losing streak tonight when the play the middle game of their three-game series with the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park.

Against Royals' left-hander Danny Duffy (11-1, 2.66 ERA), the Red Sox start right-handed hitters Chris Young in left field and Aaron Hill at third base. Duffy has won his past 10 decisions and came into Saturday with the fifth-best ERA in the American League. He joined the rotation from the bullpen on June 1.

Left-hander David Price (12-8, 4.00) gets the start for the Red Sox. Price has won his past three decisions, going eight, six and eight innings and not allowing more than three runs in each start. 

The Royals won the series opener 6-3 Friday night.

The lineups:

Paulo Orlando CF
Cheslor Cuthbert 3B
Lorenzo Cain RF
Eric Hosmer 1B
Kendrys Morales DH
Salvador Perez C
Alex Gordon LF
Alcides Escobar SS
Christian Colon 2B
Danny Duffy LHP

Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Mookie Betts RF
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Sandy Leon C
Chris Young LF
Aaron Hill 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
David Price LHP

Saturday, Aug. 27: Adding toughness Habs' priority


Saturday, Aug. 27: Adding toughness Habs' priority

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, after a busy morning celebrating my 3-year-old’s birthday at the trampoline park. Yee-ha.

*PHT writer Joey Alfieri says that adding toughness was a big offseason priority for the Montreal Canadiens.

*There’s at least one big fan of the Edmonton Oilers trade that brought defenseman Adam Larsson from the New Jersey Devils, and that fan’s name is Mark Letestu.

*Here’s everything you need to know about the Ice Guardians movie premiering this fall that takes a long, balanced look at the NHL enforcers.

*Roberto Luongo has an alibi for the robbery in Winnipeg with one suspect getting away in goalie equipment, and it’s funny as you would expect it to be.

*CSN Washington takes a look at the New York Rangers in their season previews for the Metro Division.

*I’m not entirely sure whether this “RIP Harambe” thing is genuine or meant to be ironic by the largely millenial group that seem so enamored with it, but I think it’s just stupid. I think the same with the crying Jordan meme…also stupid.

*For something completely different: a look at how Triumph the Insult Comic Dog learned how to poop on Trump’s politics.