Bulls vs. Celtics: Players Who Will Keep Ailing Boston Afloat
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The Boston Celtics have battled adversity before. Injuries are part of the game, and the Celtics have to find a way to overcome them.
When Rajon Rondo went down with an ACL tear, Boston went on a six-game winning streak before losing to the Bobcats in Charlotte.
It’s been an overall frustrating season for the Celtics, who will shift their focus to the Chicago Bulls, another team plagued by injuries.
A big piece for the Celtics going forward is going to be Jason Terry. He has seen his minutes increase and needs to continue to be productive in order for his team to stay in the playoff hunt.
Terry is averaging just over 13 points per game in Rondo’s absence, including a 26-point effort in a win over the Denver Nuggets.
Now, after losing Leandro Barbosa to an ACL injury, Terry will be relied on to help man the backcourt. He’s been on a championship team before; he’s made clutch shots; he’s still a threat with the ball in his hands.
Terry has also stepped up on defense. His experience and veteran presence will help keep the ailing Celtics on track.
While their backcourt is in shambles, the Celtics will turn to Avery Bradley to run point.
Bradley is an all-around player and doesn’t rely on his shooting to be productive. Granted, he is averaging 8.4 points this season.
The past three games he’s played over 30 minutes after only seeing 30 minutes in two other games all season. Boston is clearly looking for a facilitator.
Nobody can fill in Rondo’s shoes and go out there and do what he did for the team, but Bradley has to fill the void somehow.
He has quick hands on defense, blocking shots and stealing passes. Though his assist numbers aren’t too high (2.5 over his last seven games), his chances for more dimes are going to increase as the primary ball handler.
Bradley’s going to have to get the ball to Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett down low, and he must drive the lane and draw the defense to be able to find the open man.
It’s going to be a rocky road the rest of the season, but the veterans on this team know how to win.
Playing an injury-plagued Bulls team, it will be a test of who can step up when their teams need them most.
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