Celtics players happy roster intact

691640.jpg

Celtics players happy roster intact

SACRAMENTO, Calif. The Boston Celtics didn't allow all the trade speculation the past couple of weeks bother them.

But it's obvious that they are pleased that the players they began the season with, are still around.

"It's good," Paul Pierce said of the C's keeping the band together. "We got a group that's been together for a while, especially me, Ray (Allen), Kevin (Garnett) and (Rajon) Rondo. We got a certain kind of chemistry that's hard to replace. Especially when you start getting into tough games, especially when we start getting into playoff moments. We got a group that can really come together and make things happen."

And it starts at the point guard position with Rajon Rondo, who was the subject of more trade rumors than any player in the league this year.

Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, said on a number of occasions that, aside from trying to acquire Chris Paul for Rondo, the C's had no intention of moving him. However, that didn't stop reports from surfacing that indicated Rondo had attitude issues with the organization, coaching staff and his teammates.

"I had fun with it, everybody's opinion of me, how my attitude is and stuff like that," Rondo said. "I had fun listening to everybody's opinion who doesn't know me."

One thing we all know.

The trading deadline passing does bring about a certain piece of mind for all players.

"As a team, you just want to know where you are. As a team, you want everybody two feet in," said Kevin Garnett, who at times was among the players mentioned as possibly being on the move.

"For me, trade deadline says some type of security if that's even possible. You hear the word 'loyalty' in this game, you kind of laugh at it. I don't think either side has a sense of loyalty no more. That's the way the league is being created, throughout our negotiations, all the CBA stuff."

Short of that, the C's understand that with time comes a smaller window of greatness for them.

In fact, many believe that this team's window of opportunity to win a championship has already been closed.

They, as you can imagine, feel differently.

Giving themselves a chance to go deep into the playoffs is no different now then it was during their first season together.

"The closer we get to the playoffs, the more sense of urgency we have," Pierce said. "The more you start to feeling the energy; knowing when the big moments come, we know what it takes. We understand the sacrifice, and with this ball club we're very confident. We feel like, you never know, this may be the last year of us playing together. You feel it more than ever."

Tiger Woods arrested for DUI in Jupiter, Florida

tiger-woods-041015.jpg

Tiger Woods arrested for DUI in Jupiter, Florida

Tiger Woods, recovering from his fourth back surgery in the last three years, was arrested on DUI charges Monday morning in Jupiter, Fla.

Woods, 41, is the winner of 79 PGA tournaments in his career (including 14 majors). He was stopped this morning at around 3 a.m. and booked at 7:18 a.m. He was released on his own recognizance at 10:50 a.m.

Physical problems have plagued Woods in recent years, but he said last week "unequivocally, I want to play professional golf again." However, he will need months to recover from his most recent surgery.

Get the latest on this story from golfchannel.com

Bradley's emergence as vocal leader speaks volumes about growth

Bradley's emergence as vocal leader speaks volumes about growth

BOSTON –  Terry Rozier was having a rough stretch where his minutes were limited and when he did play, he didn’t play particularly well.
 
Among the voices in his ear offering words of encouragement was Avery Bradley who knows all too well what Rozier was going through.
 
For all his time as a Celtic, Bradley has let his work on the floor do the talking for him.
 
But as the most tenured Celtic on the roster, his leadership has to be about more than just getting the job done, but servicing as a vocal leader as well.
 
For a player whose growth from one year to the next has been a constant, being a more vocal leader has been the one dynamic of his game that has improved the most during this past season.
 
And it is that kind of leadership that will carry into the summer what is a pivotal offseason for both Bradley and this Celtics franchise which was eliminated by Cleveland in the Conference finals, the first time the Celtics got that deep in the playoffs since 2012.
 
He is entering the final year of the four-year, $32 million contract he signed in 2014. And it comes at a time when his fellow Tacoma, Wash. native and backcourt mate Isaiah Thomas will likely hit free agency where he’s expected to command a max or near-max contract that would pay him an annual salary in the neighborhood of $30 million.
 
At this point in time, Bradley isn’t giving too much thought to his impending contract status.
 
Instead, he’s more consumed by finding ways to improve his overall game and in doing so, help guide the Celtics to what has to be their focus for next season – a trip to the NBA Finals.
 
While Celtics players have said their focus has always been on advancing as far into the playoffs as possible, it wasn’t until this past season did they actually provide hope and promise that Banner 18 may be closer than you think.
 
It was an emotional time for the Celtics, dealing with the unexpected death of Chyna Thomas, the younger sister of Isaiah Thomas, just hours before Boston’s first playoff game this season.
 
And then there were injuries such as Thomas’ right hip strain that ended his postseason by halftime of Boston’s Eastern Conference finals matchup with Cleveland.
 
But through that pain, we saw the emergence of Bradley in a light we have seldom seen him in as a Celtic.
 
We have seen him play well in the past, but it wasn’t until Thomas’ injury did we see Bradley showcase even more elements of his game that had been overlooked.
 
One of the constant knocks on Bradley has been his ball-handling.
 
And yet there were a number of occasions following Thomas’ playoff-ending injury, where Bradley attacked defenders off the dribble and finished with lay-ups and an occasional dunk in transition.
 
Among players who appeared in at least 12 playoff games this year, only Washington’s John Wall (7.9), Cleveland’s LeBron James (6.8) and Golden State’s Stephen Curry (5.2) averaged more points in transition than Bradley (4.7).
 
Bradley recognized the team needed him to be more assertive, do things that forced him to be more front-and-center which is part of his evolution in Boston as a leader on this team.
 
“It’s weird but players like Al (Horford) definitely helped me get out of my shell and pushed me this year to be more of a vocal leader,” Bradley said.
 
And that talent combined with Bradley doing what he does every offseason – come back significantly better in some facet of his game – speaks to how he’s steadily growing into being a leader whose actions as well as his words are impactful.