Pietrus shows promise in Celtic debut


Pietrus shows promise in Celtic debut

BOSTON A couple of minutes was all Mickael Pietrus wanted in his Boston Celtics debut on Wednesday.
He got more than just a couple minutes - 18, actually.
And the Celtics may have more than just someone to lighten the load for Paul Pierce.
Pietrus made quite a splash in his first game with the C's, a 90-85 loss to the Dallas Mavericks.
The 6-foot-6 wing player finished with five points which included a 3-pointer - his first shot attempt as a Celtic.
He also had two steals, the last one ultimately resulting in a Boston lay-up that tied up the game in the fourth.
"He was phenomenal," coach Doc Rivers said when asked about Pietrus. "He was one of our best players in the game."
Those comments only strengthen the words of Rivers in recent days when discussing how Pietrus has been one of the team's top players in practice.
Boston would love for Pietrus to give the C's another scoring option off the bench. But even more important than that, is his athleticism and versatility as a defender.
"He's exactly what we need," Rivers added. "And it's just going to get better."
Pietrus certainly hopes so, both for himself and the Celtics (4-5), who are still in search of their first win over a team with a winning record.
When he reached a buyout with the Phoenix Suns last month, Pietrus said he already had his mind made up that he wanted to join the Celtics.
He has rattled off many reasons since then as to why he so desperately wanted to be in Boston.
But there are 17 - as in, the number of Celtics titles - that immediately come to mind.
"Anytime I step on the floor I'm trying to give the team my heart," Pietrus said. "The Celtics are my heart now. I tell you everything, that's what I'm going to bring every night and I'm not going to lie to you, I'm here to win a championship!"
And he'll help the C's towards that end by simply being a reliable role player.
As far as what that role will be, Pietrus keeps it pretty simple.
"My role is to win championships. That's why I'm here for, to win championship. I want them to have one this year with me," Pietrus said. "So I'm very excited. My role would be like every time I step on the floor, to help my team win basketball game, play as hard as I can."

Beyond the numbers: The dual threat of Avery Bradley


Beyond the numbers: The dual threat of Avery Bradley

BOSTON – Another year, another season in which Avery Bradley plans to showcase a new and improved skill that will benefit the Boston Celtics.
But with each improved skill, Bradley moves just that much closer to being an all-around, two-way talent that creates problems for teams at both ends of the floor.
We all know about Bradley’s defense, which was good enough to land him a spot on the NBA’s All-Defensive first team last season. He also gets props for steadily improving his game offensively in some area every summer, but defenses might have their hands full more than ever with Bradley.
According to NBA stats guru Dick Lipe, the 6-foot-2 Bradley was the only guard in the NBA last season to shoot better than 70 percent in the restricted area among players who took a minimum of 200 field goal attempts.
He is among a list that includes Los Angeles Clippers big men DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin; Miami’s Hassan Whiteside; current teammate and former Atlanta Hawk Al Horford; San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge; Golden State’s Kevin Durant and Atlanta big man Dwight Howard.
But if you’re thinking about keeping him away from that part of the floor, Bradley also made the 3-point shot a bigger part of his offensive game last season; as in, 40 percent of his shots came from beyond the 3-point line.

Having that kind of diversity makes him a difficult player to get a clear read on how to defend. And because of that, it may open things up even more so for his teammates.
Bradley can shoot from the perimeter; he can score close to the rim. His ball-handling skills have improved in the offseason to where it no longer looks as though it’s a major weakness.
And he defends at a level few players in the league can match.
Collectively it makes Bradley one of the many challenges awaiting teams whenever they face the Celtics, a player who is poised to showcase his diverse set of skills beginning tonight against the Brooklyn Nets. 

Wednesday's Patriots-Bills practice participation/injury report: Same names for Pats


Wednesday's Patriots-Bills practice participation/injury report: Same names for Pats

FOXBORO -- When Dion Lewis wasn't spotted at Wednesday's practice, we had to make it clear when we mentioned his absence: He had only, as far as we knew, missed the start of practice. Though unlikely, there's always the chance a player emerges from the locker room once practice has started and goes through the remaining periods of the workout. 

Now that we have the injury report for Wednesday, we know that wasn't the case for Lewis. He did not show up on the report as a limited participant, meaning he didn't participate at all. 

There were no surprises on Wednesday's injury report, with nine players listed as limited, including tight end Martellus Bennett (ankle), linebacker Jamie Collins (hip) and receiver Julian Edelman (foot).

For the Bills, running back LeSean McCoy (hamstring) did not participate. Bills coach Rex Ryan explained on Wednesday that McCoy aggravated his hamstring injury against the Dolphins on Sunday, but he did not rule him out for the Patriots game this coming weekend.

Wednesday's practice participation/injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Bills game:


TE Martellus Bennett (ankle)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Jamie Collins (hip)
WR Julian Edelman (foot)
DL Woodrow Hamilton (shoulder)
LB Shea McClellin (concussion)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (hamstring)
LB Elandon Roberts (ankle)
DL Vincent Valentine (back)


LB Lorenzo Alexander (non-injury related)
LB Zach Brown (illness)
DT Corbin Bryan (shoulder)
TE Charles Clay (knee)
TE Cordy Glenn (ankle)
WR Marquise Goodwin (concussion)
RB LeSean McCoy (hamstring)
LB Lerentee McCray (knee)
DT Adolphus Washington (illness)
S Aaron Williams (neck)

DT Marcell Dareus (hamstring)
RB Mike Gillislee (foot)
T Seantreal Henderson (back)
LB Jerry Hughes (hand)
G John Miller (shoulder)
WR Robert Woods (foot)