Ryan not optimistic Rondo will learn

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Ryan not optimistic Rondo will learn

The Celtics success without Rajon Rondo has been pretty obvious so far. But will it last into next season when Rondo returns? Will the C's work out a way to play better with him, or will he continue to dominate the ball?

Gary Tanguay and Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe discuss.

"My question is, is he sitting and watching and taking notes and reevaluating himself?" Ryan wondered. "We now can see, and didn't I sit here and tell you he was the selfish assist guy? He holds the ball for too long in order to get the assists, passes up shots all which is true in my judgment. Ok, next year does he change? Or does he say, 'I'm Rajon Rondo. I was going to start in the All-Star game. I'm the best point guard in the NBA.' If he comes back with that attitude, next year is going to be a big mess. If he comes back with the appropriate team religion, they'll benefit greatly, but I'm not thinking that's going to happen."

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.