Notes: Erden out, Bradley returns

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Notes: Erden out, Bradley returns

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

CHARLOTTE, N.C. Avery Bradley, sporting scruffy facial hair and a mini-afro, is back with the Boston Celtics.

It's good to have a day free of talking about injuries involving the Boston Celtics . . . oh wait . . . not another one!

Prior to Monday night's game against the Bobcats, the Celtics announced that center Semih Erden is the latest player to be shelved with an injury.

The 7-foot rookie, who has started seven games this season, has a right adductor strain.

Erden, who has been hampered by groin issues all season, has an injury similar to one that forced Shaquille O'Neal to miss some action earlier this season.

Speaking of O'Neal, he, too, was out Mionday night's game. Rivers is contemplating having O'Neal sit out until after the All-Star break.

Without Erden and O'Neal -- not to mention Jermaine O'Neal, who recently had surgery on his left knee and will be out until sometime in late March or early April -- the C's are becoming increasingly thin in the frontcourt.

That means the C's will lean heavily on starters Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins and key sub Glen Davis, to contribute on the boards.

Boston's depth took another blow Sunday afternoon when Marquis Daniels suffered a bruised spinal cord injury that will sideline him for 1-2 months.

Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, said the plan now is to allow Daniels to simply rest his body.

"We'll have an update on Marquis in about a week or so," Ainge said.

To fill the roster spot left by Daniels, the Celtics brought Bradley back from the Development League.

The C's first-round pick from last June told CSNNE.com he had no idea what role, if any, he would play Monday night. And, in actuality, he had no role; he didn't play in the team's 94-89 loss.

Truth be told, he was just happy to make it to the arena on time.

Bradley flew from North Dakota, and arrived in the wee hours of Monday morning.

"It was tough," said Bradley, who appeared in nine games (six starts) with the Maine Red Claws of the D-League. "But it was a good experience down there. I felt I was getting better for my team. Not only that, but some of those guys down there, they were helping me to get better and I was helping them."

As far as playing, Bradley said his mantra is no different now than it was prior to his D-League stint.

"Whatever they need me to do, I'm ready to do my best," Bradley said. "I'm ready."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn.

Watch live stream online of the Celtics Green vs White scrimmage

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Watch live stream online of the Celtics Green vs White scrimmage

Tonight at 7:00pm on CSN and CSNNE.com, the Boston Celtics play their annual Green vs White scrimmage at TD Garden. 

Our braodcast team of Mike Gorman, Tommy Heinsohn, Abby Chin, Brian Scalabrine, Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakely bring you all the action from the scrimmage as we get our first look at the 2016 Boston Celtics.

Also, Wyc Grousbeck and Danny Ainge are scheduled to join us during the broadcast.

Thomas excited for reunion with Green

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Thomas excited for reunion with Green

WALTHAM, Mass. -- When the phone rang this summer, Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas had to do a double-take when he saw the name on the caller ID.

It was Gerald Green, his ex-teammate in Phoenix.

Although they only shared a locker room for 45 games in Phoenix, the two became quick friends.

On the court they developed instant chemistry while coming off the Suns bench. And that bond spilled off the court as Green would later spend time with Thomas in the Seattle-Tacoma, Wash. area in the summer months.

They were cool with each other, cool enough to where Thomas knew it wasn’t in Green’s nature to pick up the phone and call just to say hi.

“Gerald doesn’t call anybody,” Thomas said. “When he called I knew something was up.”

Green said Boston, the team that drafted him in 2006 straight out of high school, was interested in bringing him back for a second stint with the club.

“I tried to put my two cents in and he got here,” Thomas said.

There were several factors that led Green back to Boston, with a chance to reunite with Thomas being high on that list.

Green, already in Phoenix at the time the Suns signed Thomas in 2014, was impressed with the way the 5-9 guard carried himself.

“He was a genuine guy, came in really humble,” Green said. “I saw the talent was there. I knew he had the potential to be one of the best point guards in this league.”

Thomas certainly made a case for such lofty praise with how he performed last season, good enough to earn his first all-star selection.

What really stuck out to Green was that Thomas’ mentality and approach to the game was almost a carbon copy of his own.

“When we stepped on the court we had the same mentality,” Green said. “By any means necessary, get a bucket and play harder than the next team; just try and push the first team, make the first team better every day.”

Thomas was coming off the bench, showing lots of potential and promise that he could carry a heavier load if given an opportunity to do so.

He averaged 15.2 points, 3.7 assists and 2.4 rebounds in 25.7 minutes off the Suns bench in 46 games. Even more significant was that when Thomas did play for the Suns, they were 26-20.

In the games without him, they were just 13-23.

Green was admittedly disappointed they traded away Thomas, believing that season would have had a very different outcome had they not sent him to Boston.

And just like Green recognized Thomas’ skills and how much his team could have benefited from keeping him around, Thomas speaks in glowing terms about Green and what his return to Boston means for the team.

“We needed someone like him; a guy that could shoot the ball, a guy that could space the floor; instant scorer whether he starts or comes off the bench,” Thomas said. “Where the he starts or come off the bench. He’s going to really help us.”