Magic plan accordingly for Bradley's defensive pressure

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Magic plan accordingly for Bradley's defensive pressure

ORLANDO, Fla. Glen Davis is not a player that comes to mind when you think about an enforcer.

But he understands all too well that Boston's Avery Bradley's on-the-ball pressure has to be curtailed tonight if the Magic are to avenge Boston's decisive win on Monday.

"He'll be seeing me today," said the former Celtic, who will look to set more screens in hopes of freeing up the Orlando ball-handlers from Bradley's suffocating on-the-ball pressure.

Orlando head coach Stan Van Gundy said the key to not allowing Bradley's defense to dominate tonight's game is two-fold.

Orlando point guard Jameer Nelson has to do a better job of handling Bradley's pressure, and the Magic as a whole have to take some of the ball-handling pressure off of Nelson as well.

Van Gundy has been around long enough to know that on-the-ball pressure is a given most nights.

What made Bradley's pressure wasn't that he did it; but that he did for so long.

"It's generally with backup guards like Avery Bradley, that you're going to see that kind of ball pressure," Van Gundy said. "What Avery Bradley did, he did it for a lot of minutes in that game. You gotta give him a ton of credit pressuring the ball.

"But if you had to to do that 82 games a year, this year 66, as a starter, it would be very difficult. So it's generally those guys who don't have to play 3,000 minutes in a year who can come in and use that energy. So you're not used to seeing it a lot. You might see it a possession or two, but that full-game thing I give him a lot of credit. It's the best job of anybody doing it, I've seen in a lot of years in this league."

Davis, in his first season with Orlando after four seasons in Boston, said he saw signs of this kind of potential in Bradley during his rookie year last season.

"Avery is a great player. His defensive game is unbelievable, the way he approaches the game defensively, the way he attacks," Davis said. "I've seen it. It's just about him getting on the court and doing what he has to do.

Davis added, "I've never seen a point guard dominate the game like that, in a way that got us out of our offense, got some key steals."

Griff Whalen practicing for Patriots, wearing No. 14

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Griff Whalen practicing for Patriots, wearing No. 14

FOXBORO -- The Patriots took to the practice field behind Gillette Stadium on Friday with all but one player. 

Wideout Danny Amendola was the only player not present at the session. Newly-acquired receiver Griff Whalen was present and wearing No. 14. 

Safety Jordan Richards was back on the practice field for the first time since suffering a knee injury against the Jets in Week 12. Martellus Bennett (ankle/shoulder), Elandon Roberts (hamstring), Eric Rowe (hamstring) and Matthew Slater (foot) were all limited in practice on Thursday, but were on the field Friday.

Friday, Dec. 9: John Scott calls it quits

Friday, Dec. 9: John Scott calls it quits

Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading while digging the Spider-Man trailer that dropped last night. 

*John Scott has finally called it a day and announced his retirement, and apparently there’s a book of his memoirs also coming out too. I’m predicting it’s not headed for the New York Times best seller list. 

*Winter Olympics participation and the CBA negotiations for the NHL are starting to merge into giant issue.  

*Connor McDavid calls the Flyers' Brandon Manning classless for telling him on the ice that he purposefully tried to hurt him last season. Some players might also take issue with McDavid making public what another player said to him on the ice. That’s kind of a no-no for most hockey players and breaks an unwritten rule that McDavid might think he’s above given his star status. This whole thing isn’t a good look for anybody. 

*Kevin Stevens pleads guilty to federal drug charges in what’s become a pretty sad situation for the former NHL star. 

*New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is beginning to raise questions with his play, and his massive price tag. 

*Youngsters Zach Weresnki and Dylan Larkin took similar paths to the NHL, and are both considered part of the talented young generation full of hockey stars. 

*PHT writer Joey Alfieri has Carey Price taking a nutty on Kyle Palmieri after the player crashed into his crease last night. Price is being celebrated for sticking up for himself, but if another goalie did that to a Habs player at the Bell Centre, there would already be a warrant out for his arrest. Play it both ways, Montreal!  

*For something completely different: here’s the aforementioned new Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer that looks pretty darn good.