Delonte West ready to go 'full tilt' this week

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Delonte West ready to go 'full tilt' this week

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

BOSTON Delonte West's season came to a screeching halt on the parquet three months ago against the New Jersey Nets.

It looks as though it'll be jump-started against the same club.

Both West and coach Doc Rivers are targeting Wednesday's game against the Nets as the likely return of West to the lineup.

On Nov. 24, West scored on a driving basket and came down awkwardly which resulted in a broken right (non-shooting) wrist injury.

The absence of West has been magnified in large part because the C's have been ravaged by injuries all season.

Even with so many players out of action with so many highly anticipated matchups on the schedule lately, Rivers said he has not been tempted to bring him back sooner than later.

West, however, has not been as patient.

"West tried to tempt me, wearing his entire gear in shoot-around today was a good message for me, taped," Rivers said.

West's availability will depend on how he fares in practices on Monday and Tuesday, Rivers said.

"Hopefully we can play him some minutes," said Rivers, who added that he would like to see him play about 10 or so minutes against New Jersey.

West has been doing his best to convince Rivers and the medical staff that he's ready to return ever since he returned to fully practicing with the team last week.

Prior to the Lakers game, West had the medical staff going back and fourth as to whether he should play. Because of the indecision, Rivers decided to sit him out.

"I want to play; I'm a player," West said. "We've been geared and trained for this, play through injuries or minor injuries. They're looking more for the big picture. They don't want me to get out there and re-injure it before it's right there at the finish line. A few more days. I'm going to be going full tilt."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@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.”