New Celtic Lee does the fitting in with his game

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New Celtic Lee does the fitting in with his game

WALTHAM, Mass. Courtney Lee is no different than most players who join the Boston Celtics.

He wants to fit in.

But as he soon found out, the best way to fit in is to simply play your game.

That's exactly what Lee did in Boston's 30-point blowout win over EA7 Emporio Armani in Milan, a far different kind of performance than the one he delivered in Boston's six-point loss to Fenerbahce Ulker in Istanbul.

"That first game, I was worried too much about fitting in, trying to get to the chemistry right away, kind of watching instead of going out there and playing my game," Lee told CSNNE.com. "After the first game, Coach Doc Rivers came to me and just said be aggressive. I need you to attack on the defensive and offensive end. Once I heard that, that's how I went into the second game."

While Rivers' spiel certainly helped, there was never a point in which he was concerned about Lee getting down to playing his game.

For starters, it's still early in training camp.

And Lee has proven throughout his career that he can adjust to playing with new teammates, very quickly.

Drafted with the No. 22 pick in the 2008 draft out of Western Kentucky, Lee has played for three different teams in his four NBA seasons. In that span, he has started 47 percent of the time with career averages of 10 points per game.

"I think early on he was trying to be invisible or whatever," Rivers told CSNNE.com. "But he's been good."

Lee's initial play was similar to that of Jeff Green in 2011 when Green was acquired via trade from Oklahoma City.

Like Lee, Green also tried too hard to fit in rather than play the way he's accustomed to playing.

Green appeared in 26 games for the C's, but never had the kind of impact he or the Celtics were expecting.

However, it doesn't appear that it will take Lee that long to get over trying too hard to fit in.

"They got a system in play," Lee said. "You want to make sure you understand it. You don't want to be doing the wrong things out there. But at the same time, I have to be me and play the way I know how to play. I'm getting there."

Paul Pierce said fitting in with the Celtics to some degree depends on a player's level of experience.

"For a young player, it's sometimes best to sit back and listen," Pierce said. "Understand what's going on, listening to the vets, kind of follow our lead."

For young veterans like Lee, they are beyond trying to prove that they can play in the NBA.

Their mindset has more to do with winning games, than winning over their new teammates.

"They got their contracts. At this point, they want to win," Pierce said. "We know they could probably do more in other places than what they do here, but these guys understand the sacrifice that's needed. They want to win a championship. That's great to have guys like that."

Bradley could miss 'a little more time' with Achilles injury

Bradley could miss 'a little more time' with Achilles injury

BOSTON – Wednesday’s 117-106 loss to the New York Knicks was the fifth time in the last six games that Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley was out because of a right Achilles injury.

Well, it appears the 6-foot-2 guard may miss a few more with this injury.

“I can see him missing a little more time,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said following Wednesday’s loss. “I just think maybe he came back a little bit too early, whatever the case may be.”

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Bradley was expected to play against the Knicks, but was a last-minute scratch.

Celtics big man Al Horford said he didn’t find out Bradley was out until the team was on the floor doing pre-game warmups and he didn’t see him.

“He was really sore,” Stevens said of Bradley. “Went through our walk-through and then came on to the court and did some stuff and was more sore today than he has been. I think he did treatment the whole game.”

This latest setback for Bradley is part of a growing narrative that has dogged him throughout his career which has included him missing games to injury in each of his six-plus NBA seasons.

Bradley came into this season once again hoping to be as injury-free as possible, only to see that dream dashed with this right Achilles strain he's suffering with currently.

Still, there’s no downplaying the significance and value the Celtics have in the 26-year-old. This season, he is second on the Celtics in scoring at 17.7 points per game and leads them in rebounds with 6.9 per game with both being career highs. In addition, he averages just under 35 minutes per game which is also tops on the team.

Marcus Smart has been Stevens’ choice to replace Bradley in the starting lineup when Bradley has been unavailable, and that’s not likely to change between now and Saturday’s home game against the Portland Trail Blazers.