High school coach not surprised by Bradleys attempts to play

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High school coach not surprised by Bradleys attempts to play

Watching Avery Bradley battle through a left shoulder injury, Findlay Prep basketball coach Michael Peck felt for his former backcourt standout.
He knew how badly Bradley, who is reportedly having season-ending surgery Friday, wanted to be competing on the floor.
Bradley was the sparkplug on the 2009 Findlay Prep team that captured the national title over Oak Hill Academy. A fierce-minded competitor, he was so determined to help his team win that one of his gutsy performances is still on Pecks mind three years later.
Bradley grew up in Texas before moving to Washington. When Findlay Prep took on Gods Academy in Dallas, he looked forward to playing in front of his former home crowd. Early in the February 20 game, though, Bradley caught an elbow to his chin. His lip split open and required immediate attention.
Avery, with his whole family there, said, Im playing. Im fine. Theres nothing wrong. Coach, can we somehow tape it? Peck recalled in a telephone interview with CSNNE.com. It was in such a weird spot and, to no avail, we tried to tape it a couple times but it just kept slipping and coming off.
Bradley didnt want to leave the game for stitches. He went with Plan B.
What we ended up doing was more or less taping around his whole head, Peck explained. It almost looked like he had a taped helmet or guard or mask on. It was the goofiest, funniest looking thing, but it was the only way we could sort of cover that and conceal it. He went out there and played like that, looking like that.
Bandage and all, Bradley scored 22 points in 19 minutes during Findlay Prep's 74-51 win in which they improved to 29-0.
We pull it (the photo) up every year, said Peck.
Prior to being sidelined for Games 5 and 6 against the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals this month, Bradley had embraced the starting shooting guard role he stepped into in March following Ray Allen's ankle injury. After a rookie year in which he averaged just five minutes over 31 games, the 21-year-old guard established himself as an athletic defensive stopper who could contribute on offense as well.
Bradley, like most members of the Celtics, suffered injuries throughout the season. Just as he persevered in high school, he continued to push through with a quiet focus in the NBA.
Its almost like thats just in his DNA, said Peck. He never whined or complained. He was so focused. Avery was one of those guys that, to me, is so focused and he just knows exactly what he wants to do and how he wants to do it and what his ultimate goal is, that everything else, not that its a distraction, but its almost like he has no personality other than what hes locked in on.
Sometimes itd be like, Hey, Avery, that was actually a joke. So I know everybody, regardless of your personality, thought it was funny. He wouldnt laugh. He was just so focused and serious with us that it made you appreciate from a competitive standpoint and from a coachs standpoint him as a player and what he brought to the table.
Peck was not surprised to watch Bradley play as long as he could with the shoulder injury. There is no question he wants to help the Celtics as they look to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals and pursue a championship. That, perhaps, is more painful than the injury itself.
I feel bad for him, said Peck. But at the same time, I know more than anything in the worst way he wants to be out there playing. Thats all he knows. Thats all hes ever known -- Im a basketball player. This is what I do. This what I love to do, so this is what I need to do. I need to be out there. I cant comprehend not being out there.

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All-Stars, studs and duds: Westbrook's reign as MVP comes to an end

All-Stars, studs and duds: Westbrook's reign as MVP comes to an end

NEW ORLEANS – You don’t rack up triple doubles at a historically ridiculous rate the way Russell Westbrook does without being able to dish out an assist from time to time.

The biggest assist he made in the 66th annual NBA all-star didn’t make its way on to the stats sheet.

But it was historical in so many ways.

Westbrook’s advice to Anthony Davis on how to win the game’s MVP award was indeed taken to heart with Davis winning the award following the Western Conference’s 192-182 win over the East All-Stars.

Davis finished with a game-high 52 points, shattering the previous mark set by Wilt Chamberlain in 1962.

Davis won the MVP award after Westbrook had won it each of the two previous All-Star games.

Prior to the game, Davis said he did do a little lobbying among his fellow all-stars in the locker room.

“I stressed that, I think more than enough, to the guys in the locker room before the game that I wanted to get the MVP for this crowd, for this city, and I ended up doing it.”

Following the game, Westbrook acknowledged that he did speak with Davis about how to win the MVP award.

When asked about what he said, Westbrook replied, “I’m not going to tell you, but he did a good job and got it done.”

Despite not winning the MVP award, Westbrook had a dominant game of his own as he tallied 41 points which was one point shy of the previous record.

But after the game, it was clear that he was more pleased with the performance of Davis.

“It was great,” Westbrook said. “It’s definitely always a great thing to do, especially here where he plays in front of his fans, his family. It’s a great experience and definitely happy for him.”

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from the 66th annual NBA all-star game.

 

STARS

Anthony Davis

The hometown team’s best player delivered a scoring night for the ages, finishing with an All-Star record 52 points on 26-for-39 shooting to go with 10 rebounds. The previous record of 42 points was set by Wilt Chamberlain in 1962.

Russell Westbrook

His All-Star reign as the game’s MVP came to an end after having won the award the previous two All-Star games. He finished with 41 points.

 

STUDS

Giannis Antetokounmpo

He was an above-the-rim monster, scoring 30 points primarily on a dozen dunks.

Kevin Durant

He was filling up the stat sheet in several categories for the West, finishing with a triple-double of 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

Kyrie Irving

Arguably the best performer for the East, Irving had 22 points, 14 assists and seven rebounds.

Isaiah Thomas

There were others who had a more prolific night shooting the ball, but Thomas’ impact off the bench was indeed felt. He led all East reserves with 20 points.

James Harden

The bearded one had a triple-double as well, although not the kind he would prefer. Along with scoring 12 points, and dishing out 12 assists, Harden also racked up a game-high 10 turnovers.

 

DUDS

None

There were some guys who didn’t do much statistically, but with this being such an exhibition-like event, putting too much stock in any player’s performance is a waste of time. They are among the top 24 or so players in the NBA. No amount of missed shots or turnovers will change that fact.