Bradley holds his own in first start

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Bradley holds his own in first start

BOSTON Avery Bradley will not be confused anytime soon with Rajon Rondo.

And while his play wasn't good enough to help the Boston Celtics defeat Phoenix, there are indeed positives for the second-year guard to take from Friday's 79-71 loss to the Suns.

Bradley finished with a Rondo-like 10 points, but only chipped in one assist to go with three steals and four rebounds.

Coach Doc Rivers thought Bradley did a decent job filling in for the team's two-time all-star.

"I actually wanted him to be a little more aggressive," Rivers said. "Defensively he was, I thought, terrific. All night."

The biggest difference between him and Rondo is obvious: Court vision.

Rondo has a knack for seeing plays before they fully develop, while Bradley, well, doesn't.

"But he ran the team as much as he could," Rivers said. "So I was really happy with him."

Bradley was pleased with his performance, although a victory he said would have made it even better.

For both Rivers and Bradley, the best part about him starting for an injured Rondo (right wrist), is that both have a better feel for how Bradley will respond when forced to play with the team's core guys.

Of course, Rondo's running of the offense was actually aided by Rondo who was on the bench in street clothes.

"Certain game situations. Pushing the ball. The tempo. Slowing it down when we need to score. How we need to score. Things like that," Bradley said. "Rondo kept telling me throughout the whole game on the bench. He was telling me things that I need to do and he was very helpful enough in helping me know what I need to do throughout the game."

And while it didn't materialize on Friday, Bradley's time with the starters on Friday night should pay dividends for him and the Celtics in the future.

"It was valuable experience for him out there tonight to be able to go out there and play the minutes he played," said Paul Pierce.

Rondo says he will not play tonight

Rondo says he will not play tonight

Rajon Rondo, out with a fractured right thumb, will not play for the Chicago Bulls against the Celtics tonight in Game 5 of their first-round playoff series at TD Garden, according to multiple reports.

The series is tied at 2.

Rondo, the Bulls point guard who played the first two game of the series, was reportedly going to try and test the thumb tonight but told reporters Wednesday morning he couldn’t play. 

Game 6 is Friday in Chicago. Game 7, if necessary, is Sunday in Boston.  Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg called Rondo's return a "longshot."

More to come. 
 

Gorman: Rajon 'Rondo never tells the truth'

Gorman: Rajon 'Rondo never tells the truth'

Mike Gorman visits the Toucher and Rich studio to talk Celtics playoff basketball and whether Rondo will be back for Game 5.