Decertification talk silenced; Tuesday's meeting big

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Decertification talk silenced; Tuesday's meeting big

NEW YORK Just a few weeks ago, a number of high-profile NBA agents were pushing hard for players to decertify from the union.

And yet even with little progress having been made recently towards a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, suddenly those calls for change have eased up.

Now we may know why.

Before the union can decertify, 30 percent of the members would have to sign a petition wanting to decertify.

But according to NBA.com's David Aldridge, the National Labors Relations Board - they would be the one dealing with any decertification vote - might not approve such a vote.

"They would block any decertification petition," said Lawrence Katz, the lawyer in charge of the players union's NLRB case against the NBA.

The reason?

The players union has filed a lawsuit with the NLRB against the NBA, alleging that they're not negotiating in good faith. Until a decision is made on that - or a new CBA gets worked out, whichever comes sooner - Katz told NBA.com that it's highly unlikely the union would pursue decertification right now.

And that means that both sides will continue to work towards a new CBA, a process that hopefully will get a major jump-start on Tuesday.

That is when both sides will come together for the first time since talks broke down earlier this month and NBA commissioner David Stern announced the cancellation of the first two weeks of the season. Last week, he said if a deal wasn't in place by Tuesday, games on Christmas Day may also be canceled.

Since then, both sides have cranked up the rhetoric, but have very few results to show for it other than upsetting the other side while fans sit on the outside waiting patiently for them to come to terms on a new deal.

Tuesday's meeting will be noticeably different than previous ones due to the presence of a federal mediator.

George Cohen, director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, is widely considered one of the nation's best attorneys when it comes to labor issues involving professional franchises.

Cohen, who was involved at some point in the NFL lockout talks, said last week that he had "separate, informal, off-the-record discussions" with key members of both the NBA and the players union regarding the status of where they were in terms of working towards a new CBA.

"It is evident," Cohen said, "that the ongoing dispute will result in a serious impact, not only upon the parties directly involved, but also, of major concern, on interstate commerce i.e., the employers and working men and women who provide services related to the basketball games, and, more generally, on the economy of every city in which those games are scheduled to be played."

WATCH: Celtics vs. Raptors

WATCH: Celtics vs. Raptors

Tune into CSN to watch the Celtics host the Raptors at TD Garden. You can also click here to watch the Celtics livestream presented by McDonald's on the NBC Sports App. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live Presented by ACE Ticket.

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Celtics-Raptors preview: DeRozan, Lowry a challenge for Bradley, C's

Celtics-Raptors preview: DeRozan, Lowry a challenge for Bradley, C's

BOSTON – Avery Bradley doesn’t mind being a standout, but this is probably not what he had in mind. 

Injuries have ravaged the Boston Celtics’ starting five to the point where only one player, Bradley, has been with the first unit in all 22 games this season. 

Just like Bradley was looked upon to step his game up in the absence of Isaiah Thomas (right groin) at Orlando on Wednesday, he will once again be challenged to lead Boston (13-9) to victory tonight when the Thomas-less Celtics face the Toronto Raptors. 

Bradley’s emergence as a two-way talent this season has overshadowed at times what has been another season of elite play defensively. 

And he’ll need to be on top of his defensive game tonight against a Raptors All-Star backcourt of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. 

Both Lowry and DeRozan present a different kind of challenge for Bradley who will spend time defending each of them at various points during the game. 

Lowry has good size, strength and deceptive quickness in addition to an under-rated perimeter game that will keep Bradley on his toes for sure. 

This season he's averaging 20.8 points, 4.9 rebounds and a career-high 7.6 assists while shooting 42.9 percent on 3's which is also a career mark. 

And DeRozan is having the kind of season that might get him a few league MVP votes. 

His 28.0 points per game ranks fifth in the NBA, but making his numbers even more impressive is that unlike most guards DeRozan doesn’t generate much offense from three-pointers.

DeRozan averages 1.8 three-point attempts per game which is the fewest attempts among any player ranked among the league’s top-25 scorers.

The 6-foot-7 All-Star is the master of the mid-range game which accounts for 31.5 percent of the points he scores. And when he’s not shooting the mid-range, he’s working a defender in one-on-one iso-situations. 

That helps explain why 76.4 percent of his two-point made field goals are unassisted. 

But here’s the thing about Bradley. 

As much as we give him props for what he does defensively, it’s his offense that has put him on the map as a potential All-Star this season. 

Bradley is averaging a career-high 17.9 points while shooting 47.2 percent from the field. He’s also averaging a career-high 7.8 rebounds per game in addition to shooting a career-high 40.7 percent on 3's.

But for Bradley, individual accolades are only going to come his way by the Celtics winning games; preferably against above-average teams like the Toronto Raptors.

And that would make both Bradley and the Celtics stand out this season.