Doc Rivers pre-game in Golden State

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Doc Rivers pre-game in Golden State

By: Rich Levine
CSNNE.com

OAKLAND The Celtics are ready to kick off the second half of the season against the Warriors, but before they do, Doc Rivers met with the media to discuss injuries, trades and, of course, Carmelo Anthony.

Heres a quick look at what Doc had to say:

On Shaquille ONeal whos rehabbing his injured Achilles down in Florida:

Hes just doing rehab. We have our guy down there with him and hes just working out. Were not (in Boston), and we have our guy down there, so we dont care where hes at, as long as hes doing it.

On when they expect Shaq back:
Im hoping after we get back (to Boston), maybe even join us on the trip. So hes close. Weve had a couple conversations, and hes feeling a lot better; hes working out every day. He looks good. His weights down from when he got injured. So hes doing all the right stuff.

On Delonte West returning to the court:

Hes healthy, as far as his hand but Im sure theres got to be a little fear with his hand. The first day he came back, he hurt it, so you just hope he plays through and isnt tentative. Its something to watch.
On the new look Knicks:

Theyre pretty good. Its a heck of a trade. It was a good trade for both teams. I thought Denver got everything they could possibly get in the deal. And the Knicks did a good job as well. They got Carmelo and Corey Brewer and Chauncey Biillups. So that makes things more interesting.

On the lack of chemistry for the second unit:

Nothing you can do about it. We dont have it together yet. Well figure out how to try and get around that when we eventually do have them together. We need to get them together, though. Were losing time in that way, and thats my biggest concern.

On, if they were to make a trade, how hard it would be to integrate a new player into the second unit:

It wouldnt be that hard because the second unit doesnt have any chemistry. Obviously, Thursday is coming, and well be glad when its come and gone. Were not that involved with a lot of things. But were looking.

Bradley locked in during return to Celtics lineup vs. Hornets

Bradley locked in during return to Celtics lineup vs. Hornets

BOSTON – When you look at Avery Bradley’s growth this season, seeing the tremendous strides he has made offensively is clear.

But at the heart of Bradley’s game remains a desire to dominate a matchup as a defender, something that was alive and well on Monday as he made his return to the floor after missing the four previous games with an Achilles strain.

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Bradley’s defense would prove instrumental in Boston’s 108-98 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Monday.

He was 2-for-9 from the field and played nearly 33 minutes against Hornets which is just a couple minutes under his season average of court time.

Usually he’s responsible for providing a boost at both ends of the floor.

But considering his long lay-off, it was clear early on that he was locked in defensively more so than looking to get back on track shooting the ball.

“You take any type of games off in this league, your rhythm and all that you gotta get it back,” said Boston’s Jae Crowder.

Even though his shots weren’t falling, Bradley was on top of his game defensively while guarding 6-foot-8 Nicolas Batum who is six inches taller but never was a factor on Monday.

Batum finished with eight points on 2-for-11 shooting from the field.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens liked what he got out of Bradley in his return to action.

“I thought he (Bradley) was great,” Stevens told CSNNE.com. “He did everything we needed him to do. We knew there would be a little bit of rust (shooting the ball), but that’s part of you playing your way back into it.”

As far as Bradley’s stifling defense on Batum, Stevens said, “You have to do that against Batum. I thought Avery did a really good job of that. It’s a hard matchup no matter what way you go. Batum, giving up inches to him. He (Bradley) was there on the catch all night.”

And as Bradley gradually gets back into a flow, he’ll regain the form offensively that made him one of the NBA’s better two-way players this season.