Long layoff before opener is OK by Rivers

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Long layoff before opener is OK by Rivers

BOSTON Let the countdown begin . . . at eight.

That's the number of days until the Celtics tip off their season against the Miami Heat next Tuesday. After playing their final preseason game Sunday night, an 88-79 loss to the 76ers, the C's will now set their sights on the Heat if they can see that far down the road yet.

For some players, it'll feel like an eternity. For Doc Rivers, though, the time will fly by. He plans to use it to his advantage.

"Yeah, that's terrific. That's the way we wanted it," Rivers said when asked his thoughts on the break in action before an Oct. 16 game against the Nets. "If we lose bad on Opening Night, it's an awful thing laughter. But no, I think a lot of times you have not enough preparation time, especially going to Europe and your camp in a lot of ways being interrupted, we can make a case that we can have another training camp, a real one where we don't travel and we get to practice. So, I like it. I've always liked having a week, and we're going to do that this year."

The Celtics will take Monday and Tuesday off, and then it's full steam ahead. But just because Miami is the first game on the schedule, doesn't mean all their preparation will be for them.

"And were not just getting ready for Miami. Its not like football where were getting ready for the Monday night game," Rivers said. "Were getting ready for 82 games. So that would be nice, to do it that way. Obviously we have time to prepare for the first game. But well be talking about the team we play the second game, the third and fourth game. You really tend to work on your stuff more than the other teams stuff.

Jeff Green has shown more this preseason than perhaps any other Celtic. He's playing with confidence that he didn't show in his firsts stint with the squad. You can understand why he's eager to put preseason and training camp behind and get the season underway as opposed to another week of preparation.

"No, I'd rather just play," Green said. "But I'm young. Anybody else will probably love this week. But I'm ready to start the season. This preseason felt super long. We had great trips in Turkey and Milan and had some good preseason games back here, but I'm ready to get the season started."

Green, who hopes to work on "more defensive schemes, for myself" this week, will get plenty of reps with teammate Courtney Lee. Both Green and Lee are big additions for the C's over the offseason, and should see plenty of minutes with both the first and second unit. Lee sees the week ahead as a great time to work on execution and cleaning up certain sets the team runs.

"We play games every day in practice, so that's only going to help us even more as far as executing because we know our stuff so it's going to be that easier when we play against an opponent," Lee said.

Rajon Rondo doesn't seem to mind either way. He's confident enough in his team to know that whenever, whatever, they'll be prepared.

"Well we have no other choice," he said. "It doesn't matter. It is what it is, we'll be ready to play whether we play tomorrow or a week from now."

Eight days, actually. But the wait will certainly be worth it.

Jae Crowder talks about constant trade rumors; love for Boston and Brad Stevens

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Jae Crowder talks about constant trade rumors; love for Boston and Brad Stevens

Celtics forward Jae Crowder talks with Mike Gorman and Brian Scalabrine talks about building on a breakthrough season last year, and the love for his head coach Brad Stevens, and for the city of Boston.

Also, Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakely talk about what lies ahead for Crowder in 2016/17.

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Bradley knows the risks of his all-out brand of defense

Bradley knows the risks of his all-out brand of defense

WALTHAM – There are a number of NBA players we have seen through the years whose effort level has been questioned.
 
But when it comes to Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley, that has never been an issue.
 
In fact, Bradley’s all-out style of defense has been a major factor in him being sidelined for an extended period of time in each of his six NBA seasons.
 
Although he’s only 25 years old, Bradley is starting to embrace the idea of less all-out defense might not be such a bad idea.
 
“It’s hard to control my injuries because I play hard every single possession,” Bradley told CSNNE.com following the team’s first practice. “I can’t say that every NBA player doesn’t, but I know there’s not a lot. I play hard every single possession especially on the defensive end. That can take a toll on your body. I just have to make sure I’m taking care of myself and picking my spots a little better.”
 
Prior to the Celtics selecting Bradley with the 19th overall pick in the 2011, he suffered a dislocated shoulder injury. Throughout his five NBA seasons, the veteran guard has a long list of injuries which has sidelined him for at least five games every season in addition to missing some playoff games.
 
Knowing the risks involved in continuing his all-out brand of basketball, the fact that Bradley is even open to the idea of picking when to assert himself defensively and when to be more passive, is progress.
 
“I’m pretty sure someone like (ex-Celtics) Tony Allen …  he’s not going to go hard like every possession,” Bradley said. “He’s going to pick his spots, still play good defense.”
 
Which is exactly what Bradley is striving to do this season, and show that last season’s all-NBA First Team Defense nod wasn’t a fluke.

But as we have seen with Bradley throughout his career with the Celtics, he has a way of coming back every season having made a significant stride in some facet of the game to become closer to being a two-way player.
 
“That’s my goal; I want my teammates to be able to count on me playing well at both ends of the floor,” Bradley said.
 
And as I mentioned earlier, Bradley is still a relatively young guy who turns 26 years old in November.
 
‘I’m still a 90s baby’ just like everybody on this team,” quipped Bradley.
 
Being so young puts a premium of sorts on players to learn all they can as quickly as they can in relation to their respective team.
 
“I feel young; I feel young,” Bradley said. “I feel young. I still haven’t even played a full season yet. This will be my first season playing a whole season.”
 
Listening to Bradley talk about adjusting how he plays defensively, it’s pretty clear that he’s having an internal tug-of-war between continuing to play elite defense and easing up defensively.
 
“That’s just me. Some people can do it. Maybe I could take some (plays) off, play passing lanes,” Bradley said. “But I don’t think I’ll ever change into that. It could help our team out a little bit.”