Celtics continue to shop around for a backup SF


Celtics continue to shop around for a backup SF

By A.Sherrod Blakely

SAN FRANCISCO - The Boston Celtics are still gathering information on the best course of action in treating Marquis Daniels and his bruised spinal cord injury.

As much as the C's would love to have him back this season, the chances of that happening becomes more slim with each passing day.

"There is a chance that he will miss the season and may need surgery to resume his playing career," Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, told CSNNE.com Wednesday night. "We're still gathering information, but that's where we're at."

That's why the Celtics have been working the phones so diligently in search of a backup small forward to replace Daniels in the rotation.

When he suffered the injury a couple weeks ago against Orlando, the initial prognosis was that he would return to action in a month or two.

While Daniels has shown improvement, the C's want to do all they can to make sure they are as informed as possible as to the best ways to treat him, with the goal being to ensure, as best they can, that he doesn't suffer a similar injury in the future.

Daniels' status has in a sense, made the days leading up to Thursday's 3 p.m. EST trading deadline pretty cut and dry for the Celtics.

They need a backup small forward.

End of discussion.

Ainge acknowledged as much on Wednesday, adding that he has had talks with a number of teams.

"Right now, we're just kind of waiting, listening to what other teams have to say, fielding calls and just kind of going from there," Ainge said.

Several names have been linked with the Celtics as possible players they would pursue.

Ainge wouldn't get into specifics, but it's clear he has a list of players that he feels comfortable with bringing on as Celtics.

"We don't have a lot of assets to trade," Ainge told CSNNE.com. "So whoever we get, it'll be a good player who can help us, but it's not going to be a great, superstar player or anything like that."

Some of the more talked-about names include Cleveland's Anthony Parker, Los Angeles Clippers forward Rasual Butler and Indiana's Dahntay Jones. The Celtics are also hopeful that if a trade doesn't work out, they might be able to add a player who receives a buyout. Two of the more talked-about options along those lines are Detroit's Richard Hamilton and Troy Murphy, who was recently traded from New Jersey to Golden State. The Warriors are expected to buy Murphy out.

The C's suffered yet another blow to one of their big men when an MRI taken Wednesday morning revealed that he had a strained MCL in his left knee. Ainge said Perkins would not play in the remaining three games on Boston's West coast trip.

"But he should be good to go right after the team gets back," Ainge said.

Perkins' injury, Ainge said, has no impact on how he and the C's will proceed with trade talks.

"No, Perk's going to be fine," Ainge said. "He's only going to be out for like a week, so it's not like we have to do anything drastic. We just have to find a way to get through the two or three games, that's all. At some point, we're going to get most or all of our bigs healthy."

If the C's don't make a trade or add a player via buy-out, Ainge is still confident that the Celtics will be among the last teams standing when all is said and done.

Right now, Delonte West and Von Wafer will be counted on to fill that backup small forward position.

"Delonte played great defense against Golden State on Tuesday," Ainge said. "And Von Wafer has really been coming on for us lately. He can play some 3 small forward as well."

Ainge reiterated that the C's will not make a deal simply for the sake of hogging up a line on the transactions wire.

"I want to only do good deals," quipped Ainge. "We won't do a deal out of panic. That's not going to happen. There's a lot of good NBA players. We'll be OK."

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

Bradley (Achilles) 'felt good' during return to Celtics lineup

Bradley (Achilles) 'felt good' during return to Celtics lineup

WALTHAM, Mass. – As the final horn blew in Boston’s 108-98 win over Charlotte on Monday night, the game was a win-win kind of night for Avery Bradley.

The Celtics (26-15) continue rolling over opponents at the TD Garden, and he played a relatively pain-free 33 minutes in the win.

It was Bradley’s first game back after missing the previous four with a strained right Achilles injury.

And the fact that he was back on the practice floor on Tuesday (be it a light practice, mind you), bodes well for his injury being a thing of the past now.

“I felt good. It wasn’t sore at all in the game,” Bradley said. “I felt I was moving good. After the game I was a little sore and this morning, but otherwise I felt good.”

Despite Boston being 4-1 this season when Bradley doesn’t play, he has immense value to this Celtics team at both ends of the floor.

Offensively he has been Boston’s second-leading scorer most of this season and currently averages a career-high 17.7 points per game along with 6.9 rebounds which is also a career high.

And defensively, Bradley is coming off a season in which he was named to the NBA’s all-Defensive First Team for the first time.

Any questions or concerns about the Achilles affecting his play defensively were put to rest Monday night when he put the defensive clamps on Nicolas Batum who missed nine of his 11 shots from the field while primarily being guarded by Bradley.

Now his offense, that’s another story.

Bradley failed to reach double digits scoring for the first time this season as he missed seven of his nine shots on Monday to finish with just five points.

But part of that had to do with Bradley passing up shots he normally takes, as well as him missing some he normally knocks down.

Considering his lay-off and the rhythm his teammates have been in shooting the ball in his absence, Bradley wisely decided to get his defensive bearings on track and gradually bring his offensive game around. 

“I have to get my (shooting) rhythm back,” said Bradley who is making a career-best 40.9 percent of his 3-pointers this season. “I’m fine. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s game.”