Bradley starts conditioning, set to return mid-December


Bradley starts conditioning, set to return mid-December

WALTHAM Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley is on schedule to be back in the C's lineup by the middle of December, according to head coach Doc Rivers and Bradley.

"I didn't think I would be feeling this good right now," Bradley said. "Right now, I feel good. I started conditioning today, started lifting with the strength coach today. I feel like I'm moving forward the way I'm supposed to."

Bradley underwent surgery on both shoulders; first the left one which had more damage, and then the right one.

He has not been cleared to participate in contact drills, but it's clear that he's itching to get back on the floor soon.

"I'm sitting there, sometimes I go into the huddle and the coach you can see he wants to call my name but I have to take my time," Bradley said.

The timetable for Chris Wilcox, however, isn't quite so definitive.

Although most of the attention on Wilcox has been centered around the heart surgery he had six months ago, the 6-foot-10 forward is sidelined now with back spasms.

Rivers said he is "a ways away" from returning.

Wilcox said his focus now is on strengthening his core, which was significantly weakened after his season-ending surgery in March.

"None of this (heart) is even a question now," Wilcox said. "Just my lower back, is telling me I need to slow down a little bit; I'm rushing it, moving a little too fast. It's tough. When you're competitive and you see these guys go hard every day, you want a piece of it. I just have to take my time and get right."

Celtics hope to rebound after being outplayed by Bulls on the boards

Celtics hope to rebound after being outplayed by Bulls on the boards

Following Thursday’s 105-99 loss to the Chicago Bulls, the Boston Celtics will be on the prowl to rebound – literally – from its first defeat of the season.

Because for all that did not go right in Thursday night’s loss, the way Boston was beaten on the boards stands out emphatically.

“They got 24 more shots than us. We only turned it over (12) times,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens told reporters after the loss. “So that’s the obvious place they’re getting their possessions, on the glass. That’s going to be the number one thing, that has been the number one thing. It’s something we’ve talked about. We have to get better at it.”


Boston was out-rebounded 55-36 on the boards which heavily factored into Chicago’s 18-5 advantage in second-chance points.

In the Celtics' 122-117 win over Brooklyn on Wednesday, Boston won the overall rebounding battle 47-44, but had just 12 offensive rebounds compared to Brooklyn's 15 offensive boards. Despite the close margin, the Nets won the battle on the offensive glass running away, outscoring the Celtics 23-13 in second-chance points.

Stevens decided to start Tyler Zeller ahead of Amir Johnson to begin the third quarter, hoping Zeller would be a better matchup on the glass than Johnson who did not grab a single rebound in the 11 minutes of court time he got in the first half.

While Zeller did do a few good things on the glass and scoring in half-court sets, it wasn’t enough to swing the momentum Chicago was steadily gaining due to its ability to control the boards.

“I wasn’t real surprised but at the same time I knew it could happen,” Zeller told reporters, referring to Stevens’ decision to have him start the second half. “They did a good job of coming out and setting the tone. They beat us up on the boards, especially the first half. It’s something we have to get better at and continue to grow at.”

And it’s not a one-player or one-position issue, either.

Usually we think of bigs when it comes to rebounding. But Boston’s guards need to step up their rebounding game as well.

The struggles thus far have to be put in the context of this being just two games, the latter being the season opener for the Bulls who were jacked up more than usual due to it being the first game for Chicago native Dwyane Wade and ex-Celtic Rajon Rondo.

“We have to focus on boxing out,” said Boston’s Jaylen Brown. “Guards have to do a better job. Guys like me, Al (Horford), Amir (Johnson), Tyler (Zeller) ... We have to do a good job of coming in the weak side and grabbing those; just focus on it, pay more attention to detail.”