Bruins call up emergency plan Whitfield once again


Bruins call up emergency plan Whitfield once again

TAMPA BAY Trent Whitfield has been a break glass in case of emergency kind of player for the Bruins over the last three years, and hes filling that role again for an injury-ravaged Bs squad.

The 34-year-old Whitfield was called up to the Bruins on emergency recall from the AHL Providence Bruins on Monday morning, and skated with the team during an optional practice at the Tampa Times Forum. Whitfield said he never assumed the call was coming after he watched Patrice Bergeron suffer an injury while blocking a shot Sunday afternoon against the Penguins, but hed be ready just as hes been in the past.

It was Whitfield that got the call during the regular season and playoffs two years ago when injuries to Marc Savard and David Krejci ravaged Bostons roster, and he got into a total of 20 games between the regular season and playoffs.

I just know that the team is a little banged up a little bit right now and some guys are questionable for tomorrow night. Im just going to prepare like Im going to play and Im sure itll be a game-time decision, said Whitfield. Ive done this periodically on my 14-year career. Ive been here before. Ill prepare like I always do. If I play itll be great and if I dont then well see where we go from there.

Its exciting. This is where I wanted to start the year. Its obviously up to Claude and how he wants to use me, but Im just going to do the best job I can.

Mondays promotion to the Bruins marks Whitfields first recall this season after serving as the captain of the P-Bruins this year while hes managed 11 points (5 goals, 6 assists) in 41 AHL games. The two-way pivot said hes been battling injuries that have made it a challenging year for him, but elevated play on the ice over the last couple of weeks has coincided with getting the call from Boston.

We called Whitfield up because were banged up. Weve got a lot of question marks going into tomorrow, said Julien of Tuesday nights game against the Lightning. If we cant have certain guys playing then hes available to us. I have no idea whether hell be in the lineup or not, but itll depend on the situation.

Hes been with us before. I thought he was a really good player for us when injuries hit us in the playoffs a couple of years ago. Hes got a really good work ethic, hes got some experience in the league and right now this is what we need.

While its unclear what line Whitfield will center, it would clearly be a bottom-six forward role while Chris Kelly will likely get bumped up as the No. 2 center should Bergeron be unable to play. It should be a seamless transition given that the P-Bruins are Bostons offensive and defensive system employed by Claude Julien.

The systems are identical. This past season they really made a point to play the exact same system in both Boston and Providence so the transition would be smooth no matter who it is coming up to play here, said Whitfield. That will all be the same and itll be business as usual.

Its never good news in Boston when Whitfield is up at the NHL level because it means the Bruins have been besieged by injuries, but its also comforting knowing the veteran can step in and fill a role with experience and poise.

Brown earns spot on NBA's all-rookie second team

Brown earns spot on NBA's all-rookie second team

BOSTON – Drafted with the third overall pick by a playoff team like the Boston Celtics, the expectations for Jaylen Brown were limited as best. 

But the 6-foot-7 rookie showed steady improvement throughout the season, and his hard work was rewarded on Monday with a spot on the NBA’s all-rookie second team. 

Joining Brown on the second team were Denver’s Jamal Murray, Phoenix forward Marquese Chriss, Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram and Dallas’s Yogi Ferrell. 

The first team consisted of Milwaukee’s Malcolm Brogdon and Philadelphia’s Dario Saric who were the only two unanimous selections to the first unit. They were joined by Sixers big man Joel Embiid, Sacramento’s Buddy Hield and New York center Willy Hernangomez. 

Brogdon, Saric and Embiid are the three finalists for the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award which will be announced tonight during the league’s NBA Awards show at 9 p.m. tonight on TNT.

Brown appeared in 78 games for the Celtics with 20 starts, averaging 6.6 points and 2.8 rebounds per game.

Blakely: Bradley not letting trade rumors get to him

Blakely: Bradley not letting trade rumors get to him

WALTHAM, Mass. – No matter what Mother Nature is doing weather-wise, Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley has been around the NBA long enough to know that the potential to be traded is always in season.

This summer has been no different, with Bradley being among the Boston players whose name has been included in several rumored trades.

“I try not to worry about it too much because it’s out of my control at the end of the day,” Bradley said after his basketball camp at Brandeis University with additional camps in Trinadad having been completed with additional ones this summer in Tacoma, Washington and Vancouver.

Bradley is entering the final year of the 4-year, $32 million deal he signed in 2014.

And make no mistake about it.

Bradley is going to get paid a lot, whether it’s by the Celtics or another team.

His steady improvement from one year to the next has been a constant for the 26-year-old who last season was named to the NBA’s all-Defensive first team.

But he knows the Celtics’ brass well enough that if they see a chance to significantly upgrade the roster, they won’t hesitate to trade anyone, himself included.

“I don’t worry about it,” Bradley said. “I know that was the case and I get traded, the Celtics are going to do what’s best for them and I’m going to have to do what’s best for me if I’m put in a different situation.

He added, “our job is to play basketball, not worry about trades. I just try to focus on that.”

Having been in the NBA for seven years, Bradley acknowledged it does get easier to put the trade speculation in perspective over time.

“It’s part of the business, man,” he said. “You just to accept and understand that your name is going to be thrown in trade talk. You can get traded at any time. You just have to be prepared and focus on just being the best player that you can be.”

That approach has been critical to Bradley’s steady improvement as an NBA player who began his career as someone who was charged with playing elite defense, into one of the better two-way talents in the league.

Last season, Bradley averaged a career-high 16.3 points per game along with 6.1 rebounds which was also a career-high.

This season, Bradley has a long list of areas he wants to improve upon, with finishing at the rim near the top of the list.

Looking at his track record, you can count on that area of his game showing noticeable improvement.

And whether it’ll manifest itself while he’s a Celtic, remains to be seen.

“It doesn’t matter if you get traded or where you end up,” Bradley said. “If you’re prepared to be in any situation you’ll be fine.”