Doc on Bradley: 'He was terrific'

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Doc on Bradley: 'He was terrific'

BOSTON -- When Avery Bradley stepped into the starting lineup for an injured Ray Allen, questions buzzed as to whether or not Allen should be moved to the bench upon his return.

The Celtics were undefeated in the five games in which Bradley got the nod and the young guard gave them a fresh breath of athleticism and defensive intensity.

So who would help the Celtics more in the starting lineup?

During Allens return on Wednesday against the San Antonio Spurs, Bradley showed he doesnt have to start to be effective. He also demonstrated how challenging the Celtics second unit can be with a starting-caliber player coming off the bench.

It doesnt matter where I come, whether I start or come off the bench or if I dont play, he said following the Spurs 87-86 win. However I can help my team, just coming in and bringing that energy, thats what Im going to do.

Bradley checked in with 3:34 left in the first quarter and finished the night with a game-high 19 points (9-16 FG) in 34 minutes off the bench. He played more minutes than starters Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass, staying on the court while the Celtics fought back with a smaller guard-centric lineup.

Allen scored five points (2-6 FG), including a key three late in the game, in 35 minutes.

The last five games have built up the confidence of the humble 21-year-old guard who was so nervous as a rookie last season that he hoped he would not be called on to participate in practice.

I understand what Doc wants from me, Bradley said. You dont try to do too much or too little. You just know what they expect and I feel a lot more confident playing my game... I know how to pick my shots, when to shoot, when not to, being aggressive, when not to be. Thats what I try to do.

Celtics head coach Doc Rivers has taken notice of Bradleys application of his advice.

Its what I tried to tell you guys before -- starter or not, hes going to play the same, said Rivers. And he was terrific.

Spurs head coach Greg Popovich also had praise for Bradley, in a different kind of delivery.

Hes a pain in the ass, said Popovich. The game starts and you know what hes going to do. Hes going to cut from the corner to the bucket and lay it in. Hes going to cut diagonally from the top. You know it and you go play... Youve got to give him credit. He knows his role and he does it very, very well. He killed us all night long.

There is the possibility Bradley could return to the starting lineup if Rivers decides to rest his veterans toward the end of the regular season in preparation for the playoffs. Or, Rivers could simply decide to alter the starting lineup. Whatever the role Bradley will be given, he will approach it with the same energy level either way.

After his recent performances, his teammates have come to expect it.

Hes been playing like that the last six or seven games, said Rajon Rondo. So its kind of what were expecting of him. Hes playing big for us and thats what we need him to do.

Ainge: Winning more important than All-Star bids

Ainge: Winning more important than All-Star bids

BOSTON -- When it comes to NBA awards and accolades, players in contention often try to play it cool when asked about whether they are deserving.
 
And then there’s Boston’s Isaiah Thomas, who gives a definitive response whenever the question about whether he should be an All-Star starter is raised.
 
We’ll find out later today if Thomas will in fact be named as a starter for the Eastern Conference All-Star team when the East and West starters are announced. 
 
“It’s a little bit refreshing in that he is open about it,” Danny Ainge said on 98.5 the Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich show this morning. “But every player wants to be acknowledged by their fan base, by other players in the league, coaches. You come into the league and as a young player you want to earn the respect of your peers and then you want to get paid and then you want to be an All-Star; maybe that’s the wrong order; and then nothing more important than winning.
 
Ainge added, “Isaiah is having a great year. He’s talked a lot about it. At some point in his career, he’ll talk about the most important thing and that’s winning championships.”
 
Ainge pointed to when Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen were all Celtics, there was no mistaking that winning came before anything else.
 
But where those guys were in their careers in terms of individual achievements and just age, were major factors in their focus being so deeply rooted in winning.
 
“Along the way they all want to win, but when you get to the point where Paul, Ray and KG were in their 30s, they didn’t care about any of that other stuff because they had it all, already,” Ainge said. “They had multiple All-Star games, they had big contracts, winning became the only thing that mattered.”
 
In other Celtics-related news, Ainge said that there’s no timetable for when Avery Bradley (right Achilles strain) will return to the floor. He has missed five of the last six games with the injury which includes last night’s loss to the New York Knicks which was a game in which the 6-foot-2 Bradley was a last-minute scratch from the lineup

Edelman says 'there was no maliciousness' to his Steelers comments

Edelman says 'there was no maliciousness' to his Steelers comments

It's funny how during a week like this one, a singularly ridiculous act -- such as Antonio Brown's live stream of the Steelers postgame locker room celebration last weekend -- can lead to a series of brush fires that pop up only to be peed on and put out. 

That was the case yesterday as a comment Julian Edelman made to WEEI earlier this week about Brown's Facebook Live video was spun as a sort of vicious burn directed at the Steelers franchise. 

"That's how that team is run," Edelman said, a comment that read as a more serious indictment than it actually sounded. "I personally don't think that would be something that would happen in our locker room, but hey, whatever. Some people like red and some people like blue. Some people like tulips and some people like roses. Whatever."

That led to Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger being asked about Edelman's comments, and defending the honor of the Rooney family, during a press conference on Wednesday.

"I don’t think I need to speak much," Roethlisberger said. "We’ve got our trophies out there. I’ve got owners that I think are the best in the business. They’re family to us, and I’m sure if he talked to his owner, he would say the same thing about the Rooneys. Anybody in here in the football world or the regular world that owns the Rooneys knows what they stand for. It’s a blessing to call them a family."

And on and on it went. Later in the day, Edelman was asked about his comments during a conference call with Pittsburgh reporters.

So just in case you're keeping score, a Steelers player streamed a video of coach Mike Tomlin calling the Patriots "a-holes," which prompted a response from Edelman. That response prompted a response from Roethlisberger, whose response to the response then led to a response to the response to the response from Edelman.

Got it?

"Yeah, I mean I think it was taken out of context," Edelman said. "I have nothing but respect for the Pittsburgh Steelers. They’re an unbelievable franchise. It starts from the top with the Rooney Family, Coach Tomlin, I think they just mis[interpreted] – I mean, I don’t know, I may have said it, but I think more of that was that it’s not the way we would do it here. That’s just how that goes. There was no maliciousness about it, but it’s whatever. That’s what the media does, try to make stories."