Celtics looking to rebound (literally) in Game 2


Celtics looking to rebound (literally) in Game 2

BOSTON The Philadelphia 76ers come into tonight's game against the Boston Celtics looking to rebound -- literally -- from their 92-91 Game 1 loss.

Aside from the scoreboard, there were very few areas in which the C's were the superior team. However, rebounding was one of them.

Boston, the second-to-last worst rebounding team in the NBA during the regular season, finished Game 1 with a 45-41 advantage on the boards.

For all that the Celtics did right in taking their 1-0 series lead, their ability to not just hold their own, but actually win the rebounding battle, was huge.

And it'll be worth keeping an eye on heading into tonight's Game 2 battle.

Disappointment was certainly the mood of choice for Philadelphia following the loss. But this group is far from dejected.

"Our guys feel very confident that if we can play well, we can win," said Sixers coach Doug Collins.

And part of that improvement they are seeking involves doing a better job on the boards.

"This is a Boston team that, we can't let them beat us on the boards. We can't give them the second opportunities, because that's where they get their 3s," Collins added. "I pointed to four or five segments (in Game 1) where they came up with loose balls that they came up with, and missed the 3. Either Ray Allen or Paul Pierce. I said, 'Guys, they're going to make those kind of threes. You gotta come up with those balls."

Meanwhile, the Celtics see plenty of areas in need of improvement in spite of their Game 1 victory.

Boston would love to get off to a better start shooting the ball.

"We came with the right intent and I really thought, and we've done it before, we miss seven-to-eight, point-blank, wide-open shots to start the game, and I thought we started thinking about our offense, you know?" said C's coach Doc Rivers. "I thought that allowed them to up their energy and get into us."

Bradley still hurting, will miss Celtics game vs. Trail Blazers

Bradley still hurting, will miss Celtics game vs. Trail Blazers

WALTHAM, Mass. – The right Achilles’ strain that has kept Avery Bradley out of five of the Celtics’ past six games, will continue to keep the 6-foot-2 guard sidelined.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Bradley will not play Saturday against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Stevens added that no additional tests have been taken and the Achilles’ itself is structurally fine.
“He’s got a lot of soreness around it, and that’s one of those things you have to be ultra-careful with,” said Stevens, who later added that Bradley would not practice with the team today. “When he [Bradley] came back, he said he felt a lot better, and then he played and the next day he practiced. We didn’t do anything live but he did a lot of cutting and did not feel near as good. That’s why he didn’t play Wednesday.”
The absence of Bradley was clearly felt in a 117-106 loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday, a game in which Knicks guard Derrick Rose – the man Bradley would have likely spent defending most of the game – scored 30 points.
This season, all-NBA first team defender is  the Celtics’ No. 2 scorer at 17 points per game along with averaging a team-best 6.9 rebounds.
In addition, Bradley is shooting a career-best 40.9 percent from 3-point range, as well as dishing out 2.4 assists per game, which also represents a career-high for the 26-year-old.


Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown still undecided on All-Star dunk contest

Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown still undecided on All-Star dunk contest

WALTHAM, Mass. – To dunk or not to dunk with the best in the NBA?
That is the question Celtics rookie forward Jaylen Brown is grappling with these days.
The 6-foot-7 Brown confirmed that he has been invited to be part of the league’s Slam Dunk competition at All-Star weekend, but hasn’t made up his mind as to whether he will participate.
Brown said he’ll likely make a decision about it sometime this weekend.
While he certainly understands that is indeed an honor for any player to be asked to participate in All-Star weekend, Brown said his trepidation about being part of the slam dunk competition has a lot to do with its potential impact on his body and how that may affect his ability to recharge over the weekend and get ready to finish out his rookie season strong.
If he decided to enter the contest, he would be facing some really stiff competition from last year’s winner Zach LaVine of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando’s Aaron Gordon, whose battle last season put their slam dunk competition among the best ever.
Facing tough competition is not something that concerns Brown.
“I’m not worried about anybody or anything,” Brown said. “I think I have a lot to offer. Just like your rookie year, your body and everything … it’s a lot. All those dunks, they look cool but it takes a toll on your body for sure. I want to put myself in the best position to help the team.”
While his focus has been on the Celtics, Brown acknowledged he has been getting a few tips on the competition from teammate Gerald Green, who is also a former Slam Dunk champion.
“[Gerald] Green has been coaching me up, giving me a lot of good ideas I wouldn’t have thought on my own,” Brown said. “If I do decide to do it, it’ll be some stuff [nobody] has seen before.”