Rondo putting rumors to bed

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Rondo putting rumors to bed

WALTHAM Poor games. The trading away of his best friend.

Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo hasn't always handled things not going his way, too well.

So when he became the most talked-about player to be traded this offseason, well, there was a belief based on his track record that he would sulk and pout about it.

But on Friday, the first day the Celtics reported to training camp, Rondo was all smiles, saying and doing all the right things when asked about an offseason in which he was the subject of trade rumors involving him being swapped for New Orleans all-star Chris Paul.

"You (media) guys may have heard the rumors, and they might have been true," Rondo said. "He (Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations) may have been shopping me."

But conversations with Ainge and Celtics head coach Doc Rivers helped put Rondo's mind at ease regarding the trade talk.

"I talked to both of those guys about a week ago," Rondo said. "They were straight-up with me, honest. Teams were calling. I don't think they were trying to intentionally ship me. But obviously, you have to entertain the calls. He (Ainge) told me he wanted me here, and I'm still here."

Still, Rondo has been on the trade rumor mill long enough to know regardless of what they say, there's always the possibility of being traded.

For now, Rondo is a Boston Celtic whose name at some point down the road will be once again mentioned in trade rumors.

"It's part of the process," Rondo said. "I'm trying to grow as a player, become a better player each day. And sometimes my name will be brought up in trade talks. Obviously, this year it was a lot."

Celtics captain Paul Pierce is familiar with what Rondo is going through now, having been the subject of several trade rumors early on in his career.

"There was a point when I was right there, getting ready to get shipped out of here," Pierce said. "And I come back the next year and have a career year. I just used it for motivation. I hope he does the same."

Rondo repeatedly said there's no added motivation needed for him going into this season.

"Fuel is to win a championship," he said. "I'm already fueled up."

Regardless of what Rondo says, Pierce is convinced all the trade talk will only make Rondo step his game up this season.

"I expect him to come out and probably have one of his best seasons of his career," Pierce said. "He's a guy who is very motivated, who is very competitive and when pushed, he can be one of the best in the game."

Bradley (Achilles) 'felt good' during return to Celtics lineup

Bradley (Achilles) 'felt good' during return to Celtics lineup

WALTHAM, Mass. – As the final horn blew in Boston’s 108-98 win over Charlotte on Monday night, the game was a win-win kind of night for Avery Bradley.

The Celtics (26-15) continue rolling over opponents at the TD Garden, and he played a relatively pain-free 33 minutes in the win.

It was Bradley’s first game back after missing the previous four with a strained right Achilles injury.

And the fact that he was back on the practice floor on Tuesday (be it a light practice, mind you), bodes well for his injury being a thing of the past now.

“I felt good. It wasn’t sore at all in the game,” Bradley said. “I felt I was moving good. After the game I was a little sore and this morning, but otherwise I felt good.”

Despite Boston being 4-1 this season when Bradley doesn’t play, he has immense value to this Celtics team at both ends of the floor.

Offensively he has been Boston’s second-leading scorer most of this season and currently averages a career-high 17.7 points per game along with 6.9 rebounds which is also a career high.

And defensively, Bradley is coming off a season in which he was named to the NBA’s all-Defensive First Team for the first time.

Any questions or concerns about the Achilles affecting his play defensively were put to rest Monday night when he put the defensive clamps on Nicolas Batum who missed nine of his 11 shots from the field while primarily being guarded by Bradley.

Now his offense, that’s another story.

Bradley failed to reach double digits scoring for the first time this season as he missed seven of his nine shots on Monday to finish with just five points.

But part of that had to do with Bradley passing up shots he normally takes, as well as him missing some he normally knocks down.

Considering his lay-off and the rhythm his teammates have been in shooting the ball in his absence, Bradley wisely decided to get his defensive bearings on track and gradually bring his offensive game around. 

“I have to get my (shooting) rhythm back,” said Bradley who is making a career-best 40.9 percent of his 3-pointers this season. “I’m fine. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s game.”