Davis on Celtics' bench: 'It's coming together'

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Davis on Celtics' bench: 'It's coming together'

By JessicaCamerato
CSNNE.com

BOSTON - The Boston Celtics have been searching for the identity of their second unit the entire season.

First it was injuries that prevented that from happening. Then midseason acquisitions forced a slew of new faces to gel with only a few months to go.

With the playoffs starting in less than two weeks, the Celtics have struggled to establish consistency and rhythm with their bench.

On Tuesday night, they found it.

Its coming together like we want it to come together, Glen Davis told CSNNE.com following the Celtics' 99-82 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. It takes time for us to be able to gel and have chemistry the way we want to have it.

Davis, Jeff Green, Delonte West, and Nenad Krstic (who was moved to the bench following the return of Jermaine ONeal) offered a glimpse into the potential of the Celtics second unit.

They combined for 29 points, 14 rebounds, and 5 assists while committing just 3 turnovers. Coming into the game, the bench had averaged 26.7 points per game and scored just 15 points in a recent loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

I think were getting together, said Krstic. The first couple games we played together we werent on the same page. But I think the biggest key is were getting used to each other and playing together. I think thats the key for the second unit.

The players noted improved communication and defense. They shared similar reaction after the game, indicative of their cohesiveness on the court.

I knew it was going to take time for us to grasp what Doc Rivers really wanted, but I think now were starting to click and were starting to get what we need out of the second unit as far as defensively, said Green. We gained that trust with one another as far as on the defensive end which led to great offensive possessions."

The bench allowed the Celtics to maintain a lead without having to rely on the starters, whose rest is critical at this point in the season.

The second unit was more cohesive, said Kevin Garnett. I thought the ball movement was very steady. I thought they were aggressive, but they shared the ball. Both the first and second teams talked to each other about just more consistency, and I thought both teams were just that tonight.

After a solid effort on Tuesday night, the Celtics' second unit looks to carry that momentum through the remainder of the regular season and right into the playoffs.

We were just on point tonight, and thats how we need to be in the playoffs, said Davis. We need to stay focused and stay simple, do what we know whats best. Dont do anything out of character. Do what we do.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter athttp:twitter.comjcameratoNBA

Bradley still hurting, will miss Celtics game vs. Trail Blazers

Bradley still hurting, will miss Celtics game vs. Trail Blazers

WALTHAM, Mass. – The right Achilles’ strain that has kept Avery Bradley out of five of the Celtics’ past six games, will continue to keep the 6-foot-2 guard sidelined.
 
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Bradley will not play Saturday against the Portland Trail Blazers.
 
Stevens added that no additional tests have been taken and the Achilles’ itself is structurally fine.
 
“He’s got a lot of soreness around it, and that’s one of those things you have to be ultra-careful with,” said Stevens, who later added that Bradley would not practice with the team today. “When he [Bradley] came back, he said he felt a lot better, and then he played and the next day he practiced. We didn’t do anything live but he did a lot of cutting and did not feel near as good. That’s why he didn’t play Wednesday.”
 
The absence of Bradley was clearly felt in a 117-106 loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday, a game in which Knicks guard Derrick Rose – the man Bradley would have likely spent defending most of the game – scored 30 points.
 
This season, all-NBA first team defender is  the Celtics’ No. 2 scorer at 17 points per game along with averaging a team-best 6.9 rebounds.
 
In addition, Bradley is shooting a career-best 40.9 percent from 3-point range, as well as dishing out 2.4 assists per game, which also represents a career-high for the 26-year-old.


 

Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown still undecided on All-Star dunk contest

Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown still undecided on All-Star dunk contest

WALTHAM, Mass. – To dunk or not to dunk with the best in the NBA?
 
That is the question Celtics rookie forward Jaylen Brown is grappling with these days.
 
The 6-foot-7 Brown confirmed that he has been invited to be part of the league’s Slam Dunk competition at All-Star weekend, but hasn’t made up his mind as to whether he will participate.
 
Brown said he’ll likely make a decision about it sometime this weekend.
 
While he certainly understands that is indeed an honor for any player to be asked to participate in All-Star weekend, Brown said his trepidation about being part of the slam dunk competition has a lot to do with its potential impact on his body and how that may affect his ability to recharge over the weekend and get ready to finish out his rookie season strong.
 
If he decided to enter the contest, he would be facing some really stiff competition from last year’s winner Zach LaVine of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando’s Aaron Gordon, whose battle last season put their slam dunk competition among the best ever.
 
Facing tough competition is not something that concerns Brown.
 
“I’m not worried about anybody or anything,” Brown said. “I think I have a lot to offer. Just like your rookie year, your body and everything … it’s a lot. All those dunks, they look cool but it takes a toll on your body for sure. I want to put myself in the best position to help the team.”
 
While his focus has been on the Celtics, Brown acknowledged he has been getting a few tips on the competition from teammate Gerald Green, who is also a former Slam Dunk champion.
 
“[Gerald] Green has been coaching me up, giving me a lot of good ideas I wouldn’t have thought on my own,” Brown said. “If I do decide to do it, it’ll be some stuff [nobody] has seen before.”