Bradley replaces Allen in starting lineup

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Bradley replaces Allen in starting lineup

CHICAGO The Boston Celtics' youth movement continues with Avery Bradley replacing Ray Allen in the starting lineup.

The decision comes after Bradley had a team-high 19 points in Boston's 87-86 loss to San Antonio on Wednesday, a game in which Allen returned to the lineup (as a starter) after missing the previous six games with a right ankle injury.

C's coach Doc Rivers met with the media prior to Thursday's game against Chicago, and discussed the play of both Allen and Bradley.

However, Rivers made no mention that he would be making a lineup change.

During an interview with TNT during the first half of Boston's matchup against the Bulls, Rivers alluded to Allen asking that Bradley start and that he come off the bench.

For Allen, Thursday's game was his first coming off the bench since Dec. 5, 2002, when he played for the Milwaukee Bucks. He has appeared in 1,145 games and has started all but five of them.

During Allen's absence, Bradley was instrumental in Boston winning five in a row which catapulted them into the top spot in the Atlantic Division.

It is unclear if the change will be temporary for tonight's game, or one that the C's will go with for the remainder of the season and into the playoffs.

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

BOSTON -- With three crushing losses in a row at a time when results are really all that matters, the Boston Bruins are reeling at the wrong time during the regular season. The B’s tried their best to win a game 0-0 with strong defense against a sleepy Chicago Blackhawks bunch on Friday night, but ultimately coughed up a Marian Hossa goal in the final minutes for a 1-0 regulation loss at TD Garden.

The defeat continued a swirl downward for the Black and Gold over the last week, and was a second straight shutout loss on home ice for the first time in almost 15 years. The losing stretch has also kicked up the chatter that Claude Julien is in trouble as head coach of the Bruins, and the hockey club’s underperformance up and down the lineup is ultimately going to cost the NHL’s longest tenured bench boss his job.

The Ottawa Senators have passed the Bruins in the Atlantic Division, and it’s only a matter of time before the Toronto Maple Leafs move by them as well with both Toronto and Ottawa holding six games in hand on Boston. Combine all of this with the B’s having missed the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons leading into this one, and it shouldn’t be at all surprising that Julien is squarely on the coaching hot seat.

The B’s bench boss was asked about his job security after the Chicago loss, and clearly didn’t appreciate the tough, but appropriate question.

“Well, I’m not into shock-journalism,” said Julien in a prideful tone. “So I’ll stay away from that question if you don’t mind.”

The Bruins posted their Saturday schedule shortly after Julien and the B’s players had addressed the media following the loss, and sure enough the embattled coach is scheduled to address the media post-practice as part of the regular practice day routine. So it doesn’t seem that a move with Julien is imminent this weekend despite another loss, but both the coach and the players know something is going to happen to shake things up with this team if they continue to struggle.

“Right now it’s a results based situation, so if you’re going to keep losing games then probably something’s going to happen,” said Torey Krug. “But right now we’re just pretty down emotionally after this game, so I don’t want to look at the big picture. I just [want to] focus on what’s going on in this room, and hopefully we can come back with a good effort the next game.”

A good effort might help Julien’s standing with the Bruins in the short term, but it’s impossible to imagine the B’s bench boss making it through the rest of the Bruins regular season given all of things working against him right now.