Pietrus returns to the site of a life-changing moment

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Pietrus returns to the site of a life-changing moment

PHILADELPHIA Mickael Pietrus sits in front of his locker stall, chatting it up like he always does before games.

He delivers a fist-bump to a couple teammates and a couple members of the media.

It all seems like just another day in the life of Mickael Pietrus, a backup wing for the Boston Celtics.

But nothing could be further from the truth.

Tonight's Game 3 matchup between Boston and Philadelphia takes Pietrus back to a place where his basketball career nearly ended on March 23.

Sitting in his stall, reminiscing on that eventful night, he's now just a few hundred feet away from the basketball court in which he took a spill that, in the blink of an eye, had many wondering -- including Pietrus -- if he'd ever be able to walk, let alone play basketball again.

In an exclusive interview with CSNNE.com less than 24 hours after the horrendous spill, he opened up about how fortunate he felt that the injury was one in which he would eventually be able to resume his basketball career.

"I still have some dizziness, and feel weak," he told CSNNE.com at the time. "But I know it could have been a lot worse."

That night would prove to be a life-changer for Pietrus.

After landing on the base of his neck, he lay motionless for minutes, too many minutes for anyone to know what was going on.

Eventually he would be carted off the court on a stretcher, with the kind of random thoughts bouncing through his head that speak to the serious nature of his injury.

His family. Friends. Basketball. Life.

It was all a blur for Pietrus, unsure how any of it would play out.

Maybe that's why to this day, he doesn't remember much other than what he saw on video afterward that even now, makes him emotional.

"When I look at the tape at night, I was just sad, crying," Pietrus said. "It could have been worse for me. It could have been worse for my family. It could have been worse for my kids; trying to do something I enjoy everyday, playing basketball and turn into life-turning."

Pietrus was always a happy-go-lucky guy before the Grade-3 concussion sidelined him for 10 games.

The injury gave him an even greater appreciation for the little things that far too often get taken for granted.

He has some soreness in his surgically repaired knee, and there's a good chance he'll need an operation of some kind when the season is over.

And yet, you'll rarely hear him complain or be down about the injury . . . or anything for that matter.

"To me, I see life different," he said. "The one minute, you can be happy. The next, life might not be the same for you. So I enjoy everything no matter how it goes down."

Pietrus has been in a major funk shooting the ball, but he showed signs of life in Game 2 with a pair of 3-pointers.

He'll look to contribute more of the same tonight in a pivotal Game 3 matchup.

But as much as he wants to contribute, simply being able to be on the floor is more than he could ask for the last time he was in this building.

"Being back here, is always good because we're here for a reason," he said. "At the same time, I look at the floor and all the bad memories come through me. Hopefully, it'll be better tonight."

Bradley still hurting, will miss Celtics game vs. Trail Blazers

Bradley still hurting, will miss Celtics game vs. Trail Blazers

WALTHAM, Mass. – The right Achilles’ strain that has kept Avery Bradley out of five of the Celtics’ past six games, will continue to keep the 6-foot-2 guard sidelined.
 
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Bradley will not play Saturday against the Portland Trail Blazers.
 
Stevens added that no additional tests have been taken and the Achilles’ itself is structurally fine.
 
“He’s got a lot of soreness around it, and that’s one of those things you have to be ultra-careful with,” said Stevens, who later added that Bradley would not practice with the team today. “When he [Bradley] came back, he said he felt a lot better, and then he played and the next day he practiced. We didn’t do anything live but he did a lot of cutting and did not feel near as good. That’s why he didn’t play Wednesday.”
 
The absence of Bradley was clearly felt in a 117-106 loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday, a game in which Knicks guard Derrick Rose – the man Bradley would have likely spent defending most of the game – scored 30 points.
 
This season, all-NBA first team defender is  the Celtics’ No. 2 scorer at 17 points per game along with averaging a team-best 6.9 rebounds.
 
In addition, Bradley is shooting a career-best 40.9 percent from 3-point range, as well as dishing out 2.4 assists per game, which also represents a career-high for the 26-year-old.


 

Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown still undecided on All-Star dunk contest

Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown still undecided on All-Star dunk contest

WALTHAM, Mass. – To dunk or not to dunk with the best in the NBA?
 
That is the question Celtics rookie forward Jaylen Brown is grappling with these days.
 
The 6-foot-7 Brown confirmed that he has been invited to be part of the league’s Slam Dunk competition at All-Star weekend, but hasn’t made up his mind as to whether he will participate.
 
Brown said he’ll likely make a decision about it sometime this weekend.
 
While he certainly understands that is indeed an honor for any player to be asked to participate in All-Star weekend, Brown said his trepidation about being part of the slam dunk competition has a lot to do with its potential impact on his body and how that may affect his ability to recharge over the weekend and get ready to finish out his rookie season strong.
 
If he decided to enter the contest, he would be facing some really stiff competition from last year’s winner Zach LaVine of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando’s Aaron Gordon, whose battle last season put their slam dunk competition among the best ever.
 
Facing tough competition is not something that concerns Brown.
 
“I’m not worried about anybody or anything,” Brown said. “I think I have a lot to offer. Just like your rookie year, your body and everything … it’s a lot. All those dunks, they look cool but it takes a toll on your body for sure. I want to put myself in the best position to help the team.”
 
While his focus has been on the Celtics, Brown acknowledged he has been getting a few tips on the competition from teammate Gerald Green, who is also a former Slam Dunk champion.
 
“[Gerald] Green has been coaching me up, giving me a lot of good ideas I wouldn’t have thought on my own,” Brown said. “If I do decide to do it, it’ll be some stuff [nobody] has seen before.”