Pregame: Bradley's stomach ache
BOSTON -- Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley said he wasn't feeling when he was tardy for the start of Thursday's practice, but suggested he's ready to go for Game 3 of an Eastern Conference first-round series against the New York Knicks.
"I just wasn't feeling that good yesterday," said Bradley. "But I'm good now. Just a stomach ache. But I'm fine now."
Celtics coach Doc Rivers, however, expressed some concern about Bradley's health, particularly given what the team is asking him to do as their primary point guard.
"He didn’t practice much," said Rivers. "He wasn’t feeling well, so we gave him a Tums, and we told him to sit there. Honestly, I’ve had this for three years now, when guys are feeling flu-ish or anything, I don’t really want them near any other guy. I just think that’s pretty sound advice."
Rivers hinted that -- without naming names -- he'd consider potential lineup changes that could ease the burden on some of his overwhelmed players, which could include Bradley as the top-unit ball-handler.
The Celtics ultimately elected to move Jason Terry into the starting lineup alongside Bradley, moving Brandon Bass to a reserve role.
"I don’t mind the pressure on Paul [Pierce], honestly, I want to take pressure off a couple other guys," said Rivers. "I think there are some guys who were are just asking them to do things they can’t do. We gotta relive the pressure from them. Paul, actually likes pressure, he doesn’t mind. Carmelo [Anthony] -- they don’t mind. That’s what they do. That’s why they make all that money. But we’re asking other guys right now to do way too much. We don’t have a lot of choices in the matter. We can add more guards on the floor at times with them. I just think it’s too much, obviously. We have to figure out a way of relieving some pressure."
As for Kevin Garnett and the hip pointer suffered in Game 2, Rivers said he limited him in practice on Thursday, but only to preserve his health.
"He looked good," said Rivers. "To the point where I had to keep taking him out and I had to keep hearing him. I always look at that as a good sign, when he’s screaming at me for taking him out of practice."
Before the game, the Celtics handed out Boston Strong t-shirts for fans in attendance and wore special green warm-up shirts adorned with the Boston Marathon logo. Hop HERE for more on the team's plan to honor members of the community that assisted in the aftermath of last week's marathon tragedy.
[Note: Updated at 7:57 p.m. to note that Jason Terry has moved into the starting lineup.]
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