Schilling on Valentine: Not going well

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Schilling on Valentine: Not going well

Curt Schilling has friends on the Red Sox, and when he talks to them he gets the impression that Bobby Valentine's act is not going over well in the clubhouse.

Schilling, former Red Sox ace and current ESPN analyst, checked into WEEI's Mut and Merloni show on Tuesday.

"I like Bobby. I like him a lot," said Schilling, who worked with Valentine at ESPN. "I thought that the manager that managed the Mets that I was not a big fan of was now going to be a different manager, and I don't think there's anything different at all. And I don't think that that is going to be conducive to doing well here. There's a lot of things I think that are happening not just from his perspective, but when you talk to these guys -- and I'm still talking to some of these guys -- I don't think this is going well. And I think it's going bad quicker than I expected it to."

Schilling explained that in baseball situational managing -- one of Valentine's strengths -- isn't nearly as important as managing personalities.

"It's little stuff. One of Terry Francona's strengths I think was understanding that to be a great big league manager, you don't have to know when to hit and run, bunt and change pitchers as much as you need to manage people. I think the major league manager has so little to do with wins and losses, more so in baseball than just about in any sport.

"I think it's about managing people. Because you're looking at an eight-month schedule. You're interacting with your players on a very different level, on a very different scale. And I think that becomes the most important trait, characteristic of a manager. And I always -- kind of like I felt with Tony La Russa in a sense -- I always feel like Bobby's trying to re-invent the game. I don't think players have ever responded well to that.

"The point I made the other night was that he's doing a lot of things right now that are forcing his players to extend their media involvement to answer questions about him and the situation when it's already a challenge enough to do it, to play in this market and to win."

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Celtics-Raptors preview: DeRozan, Lowry a challenge for Bradley, C's

Celtics-Raptors preview: DeRozan, Lowry a challenge for Bradley, C's

BOSTON – Avery Bradley doesn’t mind being a standout, but this is probably not what he had in mind. 

Injuries have ravaged the Boston Celtics’ starting five to the point where only one player, Bradley, has been with the first unit in all 22 games this season. 

Just like Bradley was looked upon to step his game up in the absence of Isaiah Thomas (right groin) at Orlando on Wednesday, he will once again be challenged to lead Boston (13-9) to victory tonight when the Thomas-less Celtics face the Toronto Raptors. 

Bradley’s emergence as a two-way talent this season has overshadowed at times what has been another season of elite play defensively. 

And he’ll need to be on top of his defensive game tonight against a Raptors All-Star backcourt of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. 

Both Lowry and DeRozan present a different kind of challenge for Bradley who will spend time defending each of them at various points during the game. 

Lowry has good size, strength and deceptive quickness in addition to an under-rated perimeter game that will keep Bradley on his toes for sure. 

This season he's averaging 20.8 points, 4.9 rebounds and a career-high 7.6 assists while shooting 42.9 percent on 3's which is also a career mark. 

And DeRozan is having the kind of season that might get him a few league MVP votes. 

His 28.0 points per game ranks fifth in the NBA, but making his numbers even more impressive is that unlike most guards DeRozan doesn’t generate much offense from three-pointers.

DeRozan averages 1.8 three-point attempts per game which is the fewest attempts among any player ranked among the league’s top-25 scorers.

The 6-foot-7 All-Star is the master of the mid-range game which accounts for 31.5 percent of the points he scores. And when he’s not shooting the mid-range, he’s working a defender in one-on-one iso-situations. 

That helps explain why 76.4 percent of his two-point made field goals are unassisted. 

But here’s the thing about Bradley. 

As much as we give him props for what he does defensively, it’s his offense that has put him on the map as a potential All-Star this season. 

Bradley is averaging a career-high 17.9 points while shooting 47.2 percent from the field. He’s also averaging a career-high 7.8 rebounds per game in addition to shooting a career-high 40.7 percent on 3's.

But for Bradley, individual accolades are only going to come his way by the Celtics winning games; preferably against above-average teams like the Toronto Raptors.

And that would make both Bradley and the Celtics stand out this season.