Celtics-Raptors preview: Bradley's new gig

Celtics-Raptors preview: Bradley's new gig
October 7, 2013, 10:00 am
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BOSTON — Avery Bradley has done this filling-in-for-Rajon-Rondo thing before.

But this time it's different.

In the past he was aided by having Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett around who took much of the pressure to perform off of him.

But with Pierce and Garnett having had their talents shipped to Brooklyn and Rondo's return from a torn ACL injury still up in the air, Bradley will be looked upon to provide more than just solid play.

The fourth-year guard appears to be up to the challenge with the Celtics' preseason kicking off tonight against the Toronto Raptors at the TD Garden.

Although head coach Brad Stevens plans to shuffle his lineups throughout the preseason, Bradley at the point should be the one constant.

"He's really worked," Stevens said. "He's watching extra film. He's trying to get as good as he can be. His attitude has been fantastic."

But as good as Bradley has been, he knows he's simply keeping the seat warm until the Celtics' leader -  Rondo - returns to the court.

"I'm trying not to do too much. I'm not Rondo; Rondo's one of a kind," Bradley said. "So I'm going to go out and play the way I play and make everything simple and just go from there. That's the key for me because I'm not going to make all the plays that he's going to make. I can keep improving every single game, keep it simple."

Part of Bradley's improvement heading into this season stems from him being more experienced.

"I'm more confident," Bradley said, adding, "I'm going to go hard every single day. It doesn't matter, practice, game, I'm always going to go hard. I'm going to try and be that example for the younger guys and for some of my other teammates who might be tired. I want us to push each other everyday so we can be the best team we can be."