Krstic still learning the ropes with the Celtics

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Krstic still learning the ropes with the Celtics

By Rich Levine
CSNNE.com

SALT LAKE CITY At some point, well have to stop falling back on the fact that he doesnt yet know the plays or doesnt have chemistry with his teammates or is still getting adjusted to his new situation. But seeing that Nenad Krstic is only two games, and zero practices into his Celtics career, that's in the future.

For now, all Krstic, his coach and teammates can hope for is continued improvement and overall progress until hes completely inundated into the Celtics system. And Monday night in Utah, Krstic did exactly that playing 30 minutes, scoring 11 points and grabbing 5 rebounds in Bostons five-point victory over the Jazz.

Yeah, I felt a little bit more comfortable tonight, Kristc said afterward, but Im still learning everything. It was better then the game before. Every game, me and Jeff Green, acquired with Krstic from Oklahoma City last week are going to get more comfortable offensively and of course defensively. So Im just looking forward to the next games, and practice. We havent really had a lot of practice the last few days, and Tuesday we dont have practice so you know, we need to get to the games.

The best part of his game on Monday was undoubtedly the first quarter, where he scored 10 of his 11 points as the Celtics jumped out to an early nine-point lead. But Krstic said the outburst wasnt as much about him getting more comfortable in Bostons offense as it was the fact that his Celtics teammates are so unbelievably unselfish.

I was just in the right place, he said. These guys pass the ball every time so its just being there and just run the floor. I understand that when you play with unselfish guys youre going to get the ball.

And for now, thats the only way hes really going to score. Just being around, and being ready. Especially when Rajon Rondo has the ball. Im not used to all his passes yet, Krstic said, but I will be.

For now, its all future tense for the Celtics new acquisitions.

Its too early, Doc Rivers said about Krstic and Green. Theyre just playing basketball right now. They dont know half the stuff. Their heads are spinning. So Im not even looking for growth. Im just looking for minutes.

And in the meantime he has the support of his teammates, including the locker rooms toughest judge.

Kris is very versatile, said Kevin Garnett. I didnt know he was that good of an offensive rebounder, the way hes active. I just have to learn some more small things about him. What he likes to do. But so far so good.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrlevine33

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.”