Sixers knew what to expect against Bradley

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Sixers knew what to expect against Bradley

BOSTON -- Unlike many players in the NBA, Philadelphia 76ers guards Evan Turner and Jrue Holiday were very familiar with Avery Bradley when he entered the NBA last season.

Turner was the second overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, in which the Boston Celtics selected Bradley at the 19th spot. Holiday, 21, is the same age as Bradley and knew him from high school and college basketball circuits.

Last year the Sixers guards faced off against a Celtics backcourt of Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen as Bradley rode the bench for most of his rookie campaign. Late this season, Bradley has been moved to the starting lineup in place of Allen. While many opponents are still getting to know Bradley in a significant role, Holiday and Turner knew what to expect on Sunday against the Celtics.

With Ray, you have one of the best three-point shooters of all time on the court, Turner told CSNNE.com prior to the Celtics 103-79 victory. But the thing about Avery is, he plays hard and also picks up the tempo. His defense is really, really, really great so thats hard to really match up against. But the efforts not gone. You might lack in inches and size-wise, but Bradley plays with a big heart and makes some big plays.

Bradley scored 18 points (6-12 FG) with five assists, four rebounds, and one steal in 35 minutes during his 18th start of the season (he filled in for Rajon Rondo earlier in the season). Allen dropped 10 points (4-9 FG, 2-6 3PG) and two assists in 28 minutes in his third game off the bench.

I think Ray does bring more of a scoring aspect when hes on the floor and kind of spaces everybody, said Holiday. Everybody has to kind of key in on Ray Allen because he hits those shots.

But Avery Bradley, he just brings a lot of intensity, especially on defense. Hes a really good defensive player and he definitely gets a lot of stops which can lead to a lot of scoring. He kind of nags you. Its like everywhere you turn, hes just kind of there. Some people kind of lose sight of their man. Hes just kind of always there.

Both Holiday and Turner struggled offensively against Celtics guards Allen, Bradley, and Rondo for the majority of the game. Turner scored 10 points (3-6 FG) and Holiday contributed 8 (4-10 FG). They expected Bradley to test them on defense, and he did.

I knew he played tough, said Turner. When you watched him play at (the University of) Texas, he always played tough, he always played hard, and he could get the job done. I think with more and more opportunities he could turn into a better player. I just knew he gave one hundred percent out there and he could do a little bit of everything. The most impressive thing was his defense.

Bruins admit they 'just weren't ready' to play Isles in shutout loss

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Bruins admit they 'just weren't ready' to play Isles in shutout loss

BOSTON – The Bruins are starting to run out of adjectives and descriptors for these “no-show” performances on home ice.

The Bruins made it twice in two months that they’ve dropped a disappointing dud to one of the Eastern Conference’s worst teams when they came out flat, and never showed any signs of life in a 4-0 loss to the New York Islanders. The lack of effort and pitiful results were particularly disappointing coming off a solid five game stretch where they’d engineered high effort wins over Florida, St. Louis and Philadelphia.

Patrice Bergeron finished a minus-3 on the afternoon, and said in quasi-disgust that he knew five minutes into the game that his team didn’t have “it” on Monday.

“Something that we talked [headed into Monday was] about building from the last few weeks, and how good it felt around the room, I guess, with winning games basically,” said Bergeron. “[The shutout loss] just shows that you have to show up every night and not take things for granted. I think we did [take things for granted] this afternoon.

“It was about finding someone to get us a shift to get us going basically. We had a few good shifts there, and we sustained a little bit of pressure there. But then we just couldn’t keep that for the next lines after going, we couldn’t sustain that or build from that. It was really the whole team throughout the lineup that didn’t show up and, you know, it’s obviously inexcusable, unacceptable.”

Claude Julien mentioned the compacted schedule and potential fatigue playing into the Bruins looking “flat” on Monday against the Islanders, and perhaps that is partially to blame for an uncharacteristically lifeless performance from the Black and Gold. But the B’s essentially did nothing for 60 minutes after not having played for 48 hours dating back to a Saturday afternoon matinee win over the Flyers, so the fatigue excuse is difficult to swallow.

Instead it looked like a Bruins team that thought they were going to roll out the pucks and beat the worst team in the Metro Division that had lost four-of-five games. Instead a defensive zone breakdown led to a Nikolay Kulemin goal midway through the second period, and the Bruins collapsed after that. Josh Bailey tucked a short side goal past a late-reacting Tuukka Rask for a soft serve special allowed by Boston’s ace goaltender, and Kulemin scored again in the second period once the Bruins began cheating at the offensive end of the ice.

To make matters worse, the Bruins showed zero fight or willingness to scratch and claw their way back into the game in the third period. Instead it looked like they quit on two points that could end up being extremely important at the end of the season.

It also looked like the Bruins weren’t ready to play, and that they overlooked the downtrodden Islanders for the second time in as many months.

“Maybe we took them a little lightly, but we just weren’t ready [to play],” said Brad Marchand. “We have to look ourselves in the mirror and all be a little bit better. We all have to be prepared for every game. You can’t look at the guy besides us and think he’s going to do the job. We have to take a little onus on ourselves and all be a little bit better. As a team, again, we have to play the system together and we have to back each other up. We have to play as one unit and we didn’t do that.”

It’s long past the point where the words even matter that the Bruins are uttering after games like Monday afternoon. Instead it’s about results and nothing else, and the B’s were nothing short of putrid in that category against the Islanders with points at a premium this time of year.