Bradley finds himself on bench after rough shooting night

Bradley finds himself on bench after rough shooting night
February 9, 2014, 11:00 pm
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BOSTON — Avery Bradley found himself on the bench for all but four minutes, 19 seconds of the second half of Boston's 102-91 loss to Dallas.

It wasn't clear afterwards if the benching was related to his right ankle sprain or just a coaches decision based on the fact that Bradley had a really bad shooting night.

Regardless of the reason, Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens may look to shift more of Bradley's minutes to the newest Celtic Chris Johnson.

Johnson had a career-high 14 points in 15 minutes on Sunday, although the bulk of his scoring came after the Mavericks had a sizable lead.

Bradley, who has missed six of Boston's last nine games with the ankle injury, was 2-for-13 shooting and finished with five points while playing just under 19 minutes.

"I don't know if he (Bradley) didn't feel well or not," Stevens said. "I just didn't think he looked like himself and he was obviously struggling through a (rough) shooting night so I just went in another direction."

Jerryd Bayless got the bulk of those minutes Sunday, although he finished with just two points in more than 17 minutes of court time.

It was Johnson who once again seemed to get the most out of his minutes on the floor.

"He played awesome," said Jared Sullinger, who has known Johnson since the two competed against each other in high school in Columbus, Ohio. "Chris always plays awesome. I might be biased because he played at Columbus a little bit, but he played great.”

Said Stevens: "Maybe I should’ve played Chris Johnson more and earlier, and then we’d feel better about ourselves. Because I thought he, obviously, he made some shots late that got us back in it, or not got us back in it but made it reasonable.”

That said, Bradley is still one of the NBA's best on-the-ball defenders. And despite his struggles on Sunday, Bradley is still averaging a career-high 14.6 points and four rebounds which is also a career high.

"Obviously we believe in Avery, we have great faith in Avery that Avery will continue to be a very good player for us," Stevens said. "But tonight I felt like to go in another direction."