Bradley forced into action with West out

Bradley forced into action with West out
March 1, 2011, 6:52 am
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By A.Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

SALT LAKE CITY Avery Bradley is a work in progress.

That makes him no different than most NBA rookies.

But most of them aren't learning a new position, surrounded by not one, not two, but on many nights, as many as four future Hall of Famers.

Bradley didn't have a monster game in Boston's 107-102 win at Utah on Monday.

However, the 6-foot-3 combo guard continues to show glimpses as to why the C's are so high on him moving forward.

With Delonte West out with a right ankle sprain, the C's had little choice but to use Bradley as the team's backup point guard.

He played just over six minutes, and finished with four points, one rebound and an assist.

More than that, he gained more experience with Boston's first unit which can only bode well for his development.

"It felt good," Bradley told CSNNE.com. "Just getting more reps in practice, working more with my teammates. They make me feel so comfortable, that once I get in there, it's like practice. Just go hard."

Defensively, Bradley has done enough to where the Celtics are not overly concerned about that aspect of his game.

However, he does need to continue to improve as a playmaker which is aided in part by the talent he faces on a daily basis in practice.

"Playing against Rondo every day, he's going to get better," said Kevin Garnett.

What jumps out about Bradley's play on Monday was that in the six minutes he was on the floor, he wound up taking six shots.

At the time he was subbed out, Bradley had taken more shots than any other Celtic.

Of course that won't hold up over the course of a game, but Rivers doesn't mind Bradley shooting when the opportunity presents itself.

"He played great," Rivers said.

Rivers was especially pleased with his aggressive play at both ends of the floor.

"I just told him, 'Listen, at the end of the day, shoot the ball,' " Rivers said. "That's what he is; he wants to be a scorer. He'll learn that position. But if the play breaks down, don't think, 'Run the team.' Think, 'Get to the basket,' and I thought he did that."

Bradley said Rivers' words are consistent with what he tells every player on the team.

"Having a coach like that, it makes you feel good," Bradley said. "You just know all you have to do is go out there and play hard, and things will come. That's what happened."

Bradley's inquisitive nature has made him a young player that all of the Celtics seem to want to take under their wing.

"I really like the kid," said Paul Pierce. "I see how he works. He soaks up so much in practice. You can see him wanting to get better. He's always asking questions. He's always in the huddle; just little things that we see; we know this kid is going to be a player. It's just about getting more time and experience."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached atsblakely@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn