Rondo out vs. Warriors


Rondo out vs. Warriors

OAKLAND, Calif. As if the Boston Celtics needed any more setbacks in their backcourt, the absence of Rajon Rondo might be the biggest to date.

The NBA's assists leader will misstonight's game against Golden State with a right quadhip injury that he suffered in Boston's 106-77 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers said the C's knew prior to the shoot-around Saturday morning that Rondo wouldn't be available.

"So we at least were able to work on some stuff with all the guards we have," quipped Rivers. "All two of them."

Joining Jason Terry in the starting backcourt will be Courtney Lee.

Not that Rivers had much of a choice.

Leandro Barbosa who has missed the last three games while attending to a personal matter, will not arrive in time to play intonight's game. But the C's are optimistic that he will be available on Sunday at Sacramento.

And Avery Bradley is not with the C's on this trip. He remains on track to make his season debuton Jan. 2.

Boston comes into tonight's game having lost two of the three previous games this season with Rondo out.

Lee, who will likely begin the game as the C's point guard, is no stranger to manning the point position.

Although the Celtics signed him in the offseason primarily as a shooting guard who could play some at small forward, injuries and unexpected setbacks have forced him to revert back to his point guard-playing days in Orlando and most recently, Houston.

"My mindset definitely changes without Rondo," Lee "I know my role changes. I'll be ready."

Not having Rondo available does indeed have a domino effect on the entire Celtics roster, forcing some players to be on the floor for extended minutes.

But to do that and have essentially no guards on the bench with Lee and Jason Terry starting, will make for a challenging night for the Celtics particularly when it comes to running their offense.

"Him (Lee) and JT (Terry) and Paul (Pierce) will be our point guard at times," Rivers said. "Whoever is getting pressured, the other guy will bring the ball up the floor."

Boston's defense won't change, but the approach by his players - the guards especially - just might.

"They (Golden State) have really good guards," Rivers said. "The likelihood of none of our guards getting in foul trouble with the way they play ... that's going to be hard. If someone gets in foul trouble, they play with fouls. It's not like we can sub them out and save them."

That does not bode well for a Celtics team that even when they had decent depth, at times didn't play with the kind collective aggression - Kevin Garnett calls it playing "firm" - that's needed in order to be successful.

"We haven't talked about it," Rivers said. "That may be human nature. If that is, I'll call a time-out and tell them to stop it. That's all you can do.

Rivers added, "you gotta play your way."

Tiger Woods arrested for DUI in Jupiter, Florida


Tiger Woods arrested for DUI in Jupiter, Florida

Tiger Woods, recovering from his fourth back surgery in the last three years, was arrested on DUI charges Monday morning in Jupiter, Fla.

Woods, 41, is the winner of 79 PGA tournaments in his career (including 14 majors). He was stopped this morning at around 3 a.m. and booked at 7:18 a.m. He was released on his own recognizance at 10:50 a.m.

Physical problems have plagued Woods in recent years, but he said last week "unequivocally, I want to play professional golf again." However, he will need months to recover from his most recent surgery.

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Bradley's emergence as vocal leader speaks volumes about growth

Bradley's emergence as vocal leader speaks volumes about growth

BOSTON –  Terry Rozier was having a rough stretch where his minutes were limited and when he did play, he didn’t play particularly well.
Among the voices in his ear offering words of encouragement was Avery Bradley who knows all too well what Rozier was going through.
For all his time as a Celtic, Bradley has let his work on the floor do the talking for him.
But as the most tenured Celtic on the roster, his leadership has to be about more than just getting the job done, but servicing as a vocal leader as well.
For a player whose growth from one year to the next has been a constant, being a more vocal leader has been the one dynamic of his game that has improved the most during this past season.
And it is that kind of leadership that will carry into the summer what is a pivotal offseason for both Bradley and this Celtics franchise which was eliminated by Cleveland in the Conference finals, the first time the Celtics got that deep in the playoffs since 2012.
He is entering the final year of the four-year, $32 million contract he signed in 2014. And it comes at a time when his fellow Tacoma, Wash. native and backcourt mate Isaiah Thomas will likely hit free agency where he’s expected to command a max or near-max contract that would pay him an annual salary in the neighborhood of $30 million.
At this point in time, Bradley isn’t giving too much thought to his impending contract status.
Instead, he’s more consumed by finding ways to improve his overall game and in doing so, help guide the Celtics to what has to be their focus for next season – a trip to the NBA Finals.
While Celtics players have said their focus has always been on advancing as far into the playoffs as possible, it wasn’t until this past season did they actually provide hope and promise that Banner 18 may be closer than you think.
It was an emotional time for the Celtics, dealing with the unexpected death of Chyna Thomas, the younger sister of Isaiah Thomas, just hours before Boston’s first playoff game this season.
And then there were injuries such as Thomas’ right hip strain that ended his postseason by halftime of Boston’s Eastern Conference finals matchup with Cleveland.
But through that pain, we saw the emergence of Bradley in a light we have seldom seen him in as a Celtic.
We have seen him play well in the past, but it wasn’t until Thomas’ injury did we see Bradley showcase even more elements of his game that had been overlooked.
One of the constant knocks on Bradley has been his ball-handling.
And yet there were a number of occasions following Thomas’ playoff-ending injury, where Bradley attacked defenders off the dribble and finished with lay-ups and an occasional dunk in transition.
Among players who appeared in at least 12 playoff games this year, only Washington’s John Wall (7.9), Cleveland’s LeBron James (6.8) and Golden State’s Stephen Curry (5.2) averaged more points in transition than Bradley (4.7).
Bradley recognized the team needed him to be more assertive, do things that forced him to be more front-and-center which is part of his evolution in Boston as a leader on this team.
“It’s weird but players like Al (Horford) definitely helped me get out of my shell and pushed me this year to be more of a vocal leader,” Bradley said.
And that talent combined with Bradley doing what he does every offseason – come back significantly better in some facet of his game – speaks to how he’s steadily growing into being a leader whose actions as well as his words are impactful.