By A.Sherrod Blakely
BOSTON The NCAA field is set.
As you can imagine, a number of Boston Celtics have a rooting interest in what transpires the next few weeks.
But only one player, Paul Pierce, was torn -- briefly.
Pierce has been a Boston fixture with the Celtics, and loves the local teams. He's also a Kansas alum.
So who does he have when Kansas meets Boston University in the first round of the NCAA tournament?
Score one for the alma mater.
"I'm in a tough predicament," said Pierce, who gave it another second of thought and added, "Well, it's not that tough of a predicament. Everybody knows that I am a Kansas alumni and BU's season is going to be over next week. I'm sorry. I still love you guys. I'll guarantee we won't lose the first game."
The Jayhawks are the top-seeded team in the Southwest region while the Terriers are No. 16. The No. 1 seed in the men's tournament has never lost to a 16th-seeded team.
A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn
Watch the highlights of the Boston Celtics 117-106 loss to the New York Knicks, and hear from head coach Brad Stevens and Celtics own Al Horford and Isaiah Thomas.
BOSTON – Wednesday’s 117-106 loss to the New York Knicks was the fifth time in the last six games that Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley was out because of a right Achilles injury.
Well, it appears the 6-foot-2 guard may miss a few more with this injury.
“I can see him missing a little more time,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said following Wednesday’s loss. “I just think maybe he came back a little bit too early, whatever the case may be.”
Bradley was expected to play against the Knicks, but was a last-minute scratch.
Celtics big man Al Horford said he didn’t find out Bradley was out until the team was on the floor doing pre-game warmups and he didn’t see him.
“He was really sore,” Stevens said of Bradley. “Went through our walk-through and then came on to the court and did some stuff and was more sore today than he has been. I think he did treatment the whole game.”
This latest setback for Bradley is part of a growing narrative that has dogged him throughout his career which has included him missing games to injury in each of his six-plus NBA seasons.
Bradley came into this season once again hoping to be as injury-free as possible, only to see that dream dashed with this right Achilles strain he's suffering with currently.
Still, there’s no downplaying the significance and value the Celtics have in the 26-year-old. This season, he is second on the Celtics in scoring at 17.7 points per game and leads them in rebounds with 6.9 per game with both being career highs. In addition, he averages just under 35 minutes per game which is also tops on the team.
Marcus Smart has been Stevens’ choice to replace Bradley in the starting lineup when Bradley has been unavailable, and that’s not likely to change between now and Saturday’s home game against the Portland Trail Blazers.