Bradley limited as a suprise starter

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Bradley limited as a suprise starter

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. The Celtics were prepared to play without Avery Bradley.

The starting lineup sheet the C's submitted, had Leandro Barbosa in the backcourt, which is what the public address announcer read from in introducing Boston's first five on the floor.

Still, there was Bradley, who gave C's head coach Doc Rivers the word that he was playing moments before opening tip-off.

Bradley's presence didn't help much as the Celtics never led in their 103-88 loss to the Detroit Pistons.

The 6-foot-2 guard, who had missed the previous game due to a rib injury, had six points on 3-for-8 shooting.

More than the lack of scoring, Bradley never made the kind of impact one of the NBA's best on-the-ball defenders often does.

While the Celtics certainly appreciate the effort and his willingness to play through the pain, it was clear that he wasn't going to be the defensive difference-maker that the C's and foes have grown accustomed to seeing.

"Once I told him Rivers I was going, I just tried to go out there and compete," said Bradley who is questionable for the game at Cleveland on Tuesday.

Part of being cleared to compete involved him wearing a protective padding for those still-tender ribs.

"I had double pads on just in case I got hit while I was in the game," Bradley said.

Bradley admitted that playing with the added cushion did limit him somewhat in the game, but it was an even bigger issue mentally.

"Just knowing that it was there, the pain ... it was hard," Bradley said. "Stuff like that happens to you throughout the game. I just have to fight through it. No excuses."

Bradley's desire to play is certainly at a higher level than many primarily because he has already missed so much action this season.

He spent the first 30 games of the season recovering from surgery to both shoulders, so it only makes sense for him to be a bit anxious to get back on the court - and stay there.

But going forward, he has to balance that desire to show mental toughness and play through pain, with the prospect of not being able to help the Celtics if he's not close to full strength.

Bradley's decision to play meant Barbosa who was going to get the start, saw his playing time significantly limited. Barbosa played seven minutes on Sunday, and finished with four points and two rebounds.

Celtics engaged in talks with Pacers for Paul George

Celtics engaged in talks with Pacers for Paul George

BOSTON – Jayson Tatum was all smiles after hearing his named called by NBA commissioner Adam Silver as the number 3 pick by Boston in Thursday night’s NBA draft.

And as he made his way towards the commissioner and put on the customary Celtics hat, a bright future surely awaited him.

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But is it going to be in Boston?

CSNNE.com confirmed an earlier report by Yahoo Sports! the Vertical that the Celtics were indeed engaged in trade talks with the Indiana Pacers for Paul George.

Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge is no stranger to taking chances that most GMs would not consider or take a pass on.

Trading for George, who informed the Pacers that he would not re-sign a long-term deal with them and would instead prefer to play for the Los Angeles Lakers when he hits free agency in the summer of 2018, is a huge risk.

While the particulars of the possible trade are still being discussed, Boston will likely have to include the number three pick – Jayson Tatum – in a deal for George.

Ainge appears willing to gamble that a season in Boston will be enough to convince George to re-sign a long-term deal in the summer of 2018 which would be a win-win in terms of bolstering their chances to compete with Cleveland for Eastern Conference supremacy, and keep him away from the Lakers.

Jayson Tatum: Coach K was effusive in praise of Brad Stevens

Jayson Tatum: Coach K was effusive in praise of Brad Stevens

Celtics draft pick Jayson Tatum will go from one highly regarded coach to another, and he said shortly after being drafted that Mike Krzyzewski had nothing but good things to say about Brad Stevens. 

Tatum said Coach K’s praise for Stevens came after the Celtics traded the first overall pick, thus establishing they would not be selecting Markelle Fultz. 

“He called me and talked about that Boston was wanting me to come up there for a workout. He was just ranting about how great of a person Brad Stevens is, and [that] Coach K would love the opportunity if they would pick me and he really wanted me to go up there and work out for them,” Tatum said. “I was all for it. It worked out. I had a great time up there on my visit and obviously they enjoyed me.”

Krzyzewski and Stevens coached against each other in the 2010 national championship, which Duke won by two points when Gordon Hayward’s potential game-winning half-court shot nearly went in, but hit the rim. Hayward and Stevens could be reunited this offseason given that the veteran forward will be a free agent.

Tatum spent one year at Duke, averaging 16.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.