Perkins: If Garnett plays again, it'll be for Celtics

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Perkins: If Garnett plays again, it'll be for Celtics

When it was obvious the Celtics were going to lose Game 7, Doc Rivers subbed out his Big Three one final time for the season.

For Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, we know it won't be for the final times of their careers -- but what about Kevin Garnett?

Garnett hasn't publicly spoken since the loss, and being an unrestricted free agent going into his 18th season, there's a real chance he even retires. He could also go to any other NBA team interested in bringing him on.

But Kendrick Perkins, a former teammate of Garnett's, tells the Boston Globe that he thinks if Garnett does choose basketball for at least another season, the Celtics are his team.

I feel like if he does return to basketball, I think that that would be the team, Perkins said of the Celtics. I heard Kevin say a few times that he wouldnt want to play for anybody but Doc, so it will be interesting to see. I still think he got a lot more years in him. He got a lot of love for the game and it would be hard to see Kevin walk away from the game right now.

Perkins went on to say that Garnett found the "Fountain of Youth" this season, and that was pretty apparent based on his averages: 15.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.0 blocks. Those numbers compare with his 2008-09 season cut short by a knee injury that forced him to miss the end of the regular season and entire postseason.

With Garnett hitting free agency during an offseason where there aren't a lot of great centers, there should be numerous teams vying for his services. But if Perkins is right, Garnett will tune them out.

Bradley locked in during return to Celtics lineup vs. Hornets

Bradley locked in during return to Celtics lineup vs. Hornets

BOSTON – When you look at Avery Bradley’s growth this season, seeing the tremendous strides he has made offensively is clear.

But at the heart of Bradley’s game remains a desire to dominate a matchup as a defender, something that was alive and well on Monday as he made his return to the floor after missing the four previous games with an Achilles strain.

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Bradley’s defense would prove instrumental in Boston’s 108-98 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Monday.

He was 2-for-9 from the field and played nearly 33 minutes against Hornets which is just a couple minutes under his season average of court time.

Usually he’s responsible for providing a boost at both ends of the floor.

But considering his long lay-off, it was clear early on that he was locked in defensively more so than looking to get back on track shooting the ball.

“You take any type of games off in this league, your rhythm and all that you gotta get it back,” said Boston’s Jae Crowder.

Even though his shots weren’t falling, Bradley was on top of his game defensively while guarding 6-foot-8 Nicolas Batum who is six inches taller but never was a factor on Monday.

Batum finished with eight points on 2-for-11 shooting from the field.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens liked what he got out of Bradley in his return to action.

“I thought he (Bradley) was great,” Stevens told CSNNE.com. “He did everything we needed him to do. We knew there would be a little bit of rust (shooting the ball), but that’s part of you playing your way back into it.”

As far as Bradley’s stifling defense on Batum, Stevens said, “You have to do that against Batum. I thought Avery did a really good job of that. It’s a hard matchup no matter what way you go. Batum, giving up inches to him. He (Bradley) was there on the catch all night.”

And as Bradley gradually gets back into a flow, he’ll regain the form offensively that made him one of the NBA’s better two-way players this season.