Garnett will return to action for the Celtics tonight

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Garnett will return to action for the Celtics tonight

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

BOSTON As expected, Kevin Garnett will suit up for the Boston Celtics tonight against the Orlando Magic.

Garnett, out since suffering a muscle strain ins lower right leg, missed nine games for the Celtics with the injury.

While the Celtics will certainly monitor Garnett's minutes, C's coach Doc Rivers said that there are no limitations as far as how much Garnett will play tonight.

His return does not come as a surprise to Magic coach Stan Van Gundy, whose game plan for tonight included Garnett starting.

"They have more size when he's there," Van Gundy said. "He's a great defender, anyway. And then he brings a lot of size to the table. They're a lot bigger. Kevin's length is huge for them defensively."

Magic forward Brandon Bass, who will begin tonight's game matched up against Garnett, doesn't believe the long layoff will impact Garnett's game.

"He's a great player," Bass told CSNNE.com. "It doesn't' matter how long he's out. Kevin Garnett is always going to be a tough challenge for you."

Rivers also confirmed that the Celtics will also have Shaquille O'Neal available tonight. He suffered an adductor strain injury and did not practice on Sunday.

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.”