Pavlovic paying big dividends

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Pavlovic paying big dividends

INDIANAPOLIS If you get to whatever arena the Boston Celtics are playing in early enough, you'll see first-hand the shooting clinic that Sasha Pavlovic puts on.

Before most games he's matched up against Avery Bradley, the C's best on-the-ball defender.

Those pre-game battles seem to be paying off nicely for both players, although Bradley's progress has been the one to garner most of the attention.

But in Saturday's 86-72 win over Indiana, Pavlovic's play was among the many reasons why the Celtics (31-24) snapped a two-game losing streak in addition to extending their lead over Philadelphia in the Atlantic Division, to two games.

Pavlovic played just over 14 minutes, but they were 14 highly productive minutes - especially in the first half.

That is when he scored all eight of his points off the bench, including a buzzer-beating jumper to end the first quarter.

"Every time Sasha gets in the game, he makes big plays," Bradley said. I tell him, we all try to keep his confidence up Sasha can shoot the ball. He always goes away from his (3-point shot) if he misses, but in this game he was confident and it showed. He made shots."

Especially in the second quarter, which is when the C's surged ahead by as many as 17 points with the bulk of the run coming with Pavlovic in the game.

"I was just ready to play," Pavlovic said. "I was executing the plays, and playing as hard as I can defensively. It was a good stretch for us."

With Mickael Pietrus (concussion) still out, C's coach Doc Rivers will likely turn to Pavlovic more often to spell Paul Pierce at the small forward position.

"We all have to be ready from the bench, every game," Pavlovic said. "It's a tough season; a lot of back-to-backs. Guys are going to need rest. We have to be ready."

And Pavlovic was indeed prepared to contribute not only as a scorer, but also with his defense on Danny Granger who had 20 points on 6-for-15 shooting.

"I just get out there and play as hard as I can," Pavlovic said. "That's all I'm thinking about."

And while it was his offense that caught the attention of many, he's quick to add that it is his play defensively that usually gets his offensive game on track.

"That's how I prepare myself," he said. "I play as hard as I can defensively. The offense is going to come."

Bruins come away impressed with new practice facility

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Bruins come away impressed with new practice facility

BRIGHTON – It’s been a summer brimming with anticipation for Bruins players and management alike with the prospect of moving into a new, state-of-the-art practice facility.

The Bruins contingent hosted Jimmy Vesey at their new Warrior Ice Arena home a couple of weeks ago and the B’s players christened the ice by kicking off their informal captain’s practices on Monday morning.

Torey Krug, David Krejci, Adam McQuaid, John-Michael Liles, Noel Acciari and Frank Vatrano all hit the ice to work with a local goaltender and went through skating drills for the hour-plus to get the blood pumping. Krejci left the ice after roughly 15 minutes as he recovers from left hip surgery, but was still left excited at the prospect of practicing in the new digs after spending his entire Bruins career with Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington as their practice home.

The arena doesn’t officially open until the Bruins and New Balance hold a grand opening on Sept. 8, but color several Bruins veterans impressed.

“It’s beautiful. It’s great. It’s a little bit different than Wilmington,” said Krejci. “You guys will get a chance to see it next week, but it’s pretty cool.”

The captain’s practices will continue in earnest with more Bruins players joining the group as the calendar gets closer to the start of training camp. The expectation is that all of the B’s skaters will be wholly impressed with the new facility. 

Clearly, it’s got all the bells and whistles of a new rink, and the closer proximity is a bonus for Bruins players that these days live in and around Boston rather than in the distant suburbs.

There's even the distinct possibility in the not-so distant future that the Bruins could start holding game day morning skates at the practice facility rather than at the Garden. It's something already done in Montreal, where the Habs have a similar setup with their practice rink in Brossard, just outside of the city. 

“It’s beautiful. For the guys that have been the scenes and doing all the work in Wilmington all of these years, it’s great for them to be a part of this and move into a new building,” said Krug. “I’m fortunate to be here and be a part of it. That’s exciting.”

Krug joked that being an early arriver at Warrior Arena doesn’t guarantee him one of the big lockers in the dressing room once training camp gets going: “I’m pretty sure Zee [captain Zdeno Chara] will kick me out of whatever stall I picked. It’s obviously exciting to be one of the first guys skating on this ice.”

 

Brady mum on suspension plans: 'I don't want to give away all my secrets'

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Brady mum on suspension plans: 'I don't want to give away all my secrets'

FOXBORO -- Tom Brady's smile at the Gillette Stadium podium belied his reluctance to divulge any information about his plans for his four-week suspension. He was the feline pleasantly digesting the canary that the NFL had shoved down his throat.

Brady won't be allowed at the Patriots facilities, and he won't be allowed to be in contact with teammates or coaches for football-related matters. On Tuesday, in what will likely be his final meeting with reporters until after his suspension, Brady was asked what he'll do during his time away in order to remain sharp. 

"We'll see," he said.

Would he plan on staying in the area?

"We'll see," he repeated.

Did he plan on telling members of the media exactly what he planned on doing?

"No," Brady said. "I don't. In case anyone else is in this situation in the future, I don't want to give away all my secrets."

Brady will gladly share his thoughts on his nutrition plan and deliver it to your doorstep for a couple hundred bucks, but workouts like the ones he performs on his own in the offseason -- or the ones he'll take on for most of September -- he generally keeps close to the vest. 

Brady's business partner and friend Alex Guerrero, who along with Brady runs the TB12 Performance Center at Patriot Place, will be able to work with Brady during his time off. Guerrero is often on the Patriots sidelines or in the Patriots locker room, but he is not a team employee, meaning time with him would not violate the terms of Brady's suspension, an NFL spokesperson told CSN's Mike Giardi.

"That's nice of them," Brady said sarcastically. 

"We've been working together for over 12 years now," Brady added. 'He's one of my best friends. We'll do what we always do. Work. We'll use all these days in the best way that's possible to stay prepared and stay sharp. I have ideas that I need to do. Based on the practices that we've had and the limited playing time that I've had. My goal is to come back and be the best I can be. Just like every other year. Just like every offseason, I'm gonna do the best I can do over these next however many days, 30 days or so, to do the same thing. 

"I've got a good day of practice. I've tried to look at all these days of practice as ways to get better. I have access to the fields, and throwing to my receivers. Try to use those days the best that I can, just like I always would. I got another hopefully opportunity to play on Thursday night, be with the team Friday, and then try to do the best that I can over the next month."

His plans for the next month, however, will remain secret for now.

Dominique Wilkins reflects on his rivalry with Larry Bird

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Dominique Wilkins reflects on his rivalry with Larry Bird

During our series discussing the 1986 Boston Celtics, we have sat down with many players from that championship, along with members of the media that were close to the team.

This week features a few of the opponents that were very familiar with the 1980’s Celtics  - Atlanta Hawks legend Dominique Wilkins, former Celtics coach (and Hawk) Doc Rivers, and Lakers great James Worthy.