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.

WATCH: Celtics vs. Raptors

WATCH: Celtics vs. Raptors

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Celtics-Raptors preview: DeRozan, Lowry a challenge for Bradley, C's

Celtics-Raptors preview: DeRozan, Lowry a challenge for Bradley, C's

BOSTON – Avery Bradley doesn’t mind being a standout, but this is probably not what he had in mind. 

Injuries have ravaged the Boston Celtics’ starting five to the point where only one player, Bradley, has been with the first unit in all 22 games this season. 

Just like Bradley was looked upon to step his game up in the absence of Isaiah Thomas (right groin) at Orlando on Wednesday, he will once again be challenged to lead Boston (13-9) to victory tonight when the Thomas-less Celtics face the Toronto Raptors. 

Bradley’s emergence as a two-way talent this season has overshadowed at times what has been another season of elite play defensively. 

And he’ll need to be on top of his defensive game tonight against a Raptors All-Star backcourt of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. 

Both Lowry and DeRozan present a different kind of challenge for Bradley who will spend time defending each of them at various points during the game. 

Lowry has good size, strength and deceptive quickness in addition to an under-rated perimeter game that will keep Bradley on his toes for sure. 

This season he's averaging 20.8 points, 4.9 rebounds and a career-high 7.6 assists while shooting 42.9 percent on 3's which is also a career mark. 

And DeRozan is having the kind of season that might get him a few league MVP votes. 

His 28.0 points per game ranks fifth in the NBA, but making his numbers even more impressive is that unlike most guards DeRozan doesn’t generate much offense from three-pointers.

DeRozan averages 1.8 three-point attempts per game which is the fewest attempts among any player ranked among the league’s top-25 scorers.

The 6-foot-7 All-Star is the master of the mid-range game which accounts for 31.5 percent of the points he scores. And when he’s not shooting the mid-range, he’s working a defender in one-on-one iso-situations. 

That helps explain why 76.4 percent of his two-point made field goals are unassisted. 

But here’s the thing about Bradley. 

As much as we give him props for what he does defensively, it’s his offense that has put him on the map as a potential All-Star this season. 

Bradley is averaging a career-high 17.9 points while shooting 47.2 percent from the field. He’s also averaging a career-high 7.8 rebounds per game in addition to shooting a career-high 40.7 percent on 3's.

But for Bradley, individual accolades are only going to come his way by the Celtics winning games; preferably against above-average teams like the Toronto Raptors.

And that would make both Bradley and the Celtics stand out this season.