Q&A with newest Celtic JaJuan Johnson

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Q&A with newest Celtic JaJuan Johnson

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com Celtics Insider
Follow @sherrodbcsn BOSTON Comcast SportsNet's Kyle Draper had a chance to catch up with JaJuan Johnson moments after he become the latest member of the Boston Celtics.

Johnson, who starred at Purdue, was acquired by the Celtics on Thursday night when the C's traded Providence's high-scoring guard, Marshon Brooks, to New Jersey for the Nets' first round pick -- Johnson -- along with a 2014 second-round pick.

Here's a glimpse at some of the topics covered by Johnson in his phone interview with Comcast Sportsnet:

On playing with the Big Three:
"It's an honor just to be able to learn from those guys. I'm just going to be a sponge. I'm going to take in all I can and really learn from those guys."

On his ability
"I'm long, athletic, I love to run, I can jump. And my ability to shoot has improved every year that I've been in school."

On his talk with Celtics head coach Doc Rivers
"He really didn't say anything about my role. He just congratulated me on getting selected. Obviously we got some work to do and I'm ready to put in the work."

On going to the C's with college teammate E'Twaun Moore, who was selected by the C's in the second round
"I texted him. He called me and we talked about how crazy it was we were on the same team again because we definitely didn't expect it."

On what he knows about Boston
"Not much. I know the Patriots are there and I'm a huge Colts fan. I've seen the battles they've had over the years, but that's all I'm familiar with."

On playing with Kevin Garnett
"It's a dream come true. Growing up and watching him, he was my favorite player so learning from him is going to be good."

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

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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.