Celtics-Bobcats preview: Bradley can be a scorer

Celtics-Bobcats preview: Bradley can be a scorer
November 13, 2013, 1:30 pm
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BOSTON — Avery Bradley led the Celtics with 24 points in Monday's win over Orlando, the first time this season that the team's top scorer was a guard.

It's kind of surprising when you consider that the majority of players on this roster are guards.

But the flipside to that is it also speaks to how there's such parity among the perimeter players that having one step up front and center as a primary scorer, even for one game, isn't likely to happen often.

"It's just guys playing their roles," Boston's Jordan Crawford told CSNNE.com. "We all can shoot. We all can pass. It's not surprising to me to see him knock down all those shots."

And with those shots, Bradley is also delivering a blow to the premise that he's strictly a lock-down defender with a limited game offensively.

"It really doesn't matter to me," said Bradley who is taking a team-high 12.9 shots per game this season. "I'm the type of player, I'll do whatever my teammates need me to do."

Here are a few more keys to tonight's game:

WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Al Jefferson will be playing in just his third game of the season tonight because of an ankle injury. That means his conditioning probably isn't where it should be and that little factoid bodes well for Kelly Olynyk, Vitor Faverani and just about anyone Jefferson is matched up with. Even when healthy, Jefferson has struggled defensively. Matched up with a slew of long-range shooting bigs won't help Jefferson whose defensive rating (points allowed per 100 possessions he's on the floor) is a less-than-stellar 104.7.

MATCHUP TO WATCH: Avery Bradley vs. Gerald Henderson. Henderson had some big games against the Celtics last year, including a career-high 35 points in a March trouncing by the Bobcats over the Celtics. Bradley is already an accomplished defender who looks to have found his shooting stroke. In Monday's win over Orlando, he had a game-high 24 points on 10-for-15 shooting.

PLAYER TO WATCH: All eyes will be on Jordan Crawford, who had 16 points to go with 10 assists and zero turnovers against Orlando on Monday. Few know that Crawford played the position up until he got to college (Xavier after transferring from Indiana) and became more of a combo guard. "It's great to see him playing the position he knows best," his father Joe Crawford Sr., told CSNNE.com. "He looks a lot more comfortable out there at the point, for sure."

STAT TO TRACK: Cutting down on turnovers has been a huge part of Boston's run of late, especially the live ball variety. During their four losses, the Celtics committed 12 live-ball turnovers per game which created additional scoring opportunities for their opponents. In the four wins, Boston has had seven live-ball turnovers per game.