Boston really missed Avery Bradley’s defense in Game 6. Jrue Holiday was getting into the paint at will and breaking down the Celtics defense, Evan Turner made some big plays, and Bradley’s replacement in the starting lineup Ray Allen picked up six fouls.
Well the Celtics are going to have to figure out how to get by without Bradley for Game 7 against the 76ers Saturday. And beyond that if they win.
Bradley is likely done for the playoffs, something first reported by the Boston Globe and followed up by A. Sherrod Blakely at CSNNE.com.
Bradley indicated Wednesday morning that the shoulder injuries that have sidelined him the past two games – that includes Wednesday’s 82-75 Game Six loss to Philadelphia – are not showing significant improvement.
“It’s definitely frustrating,” Bradley said. “All I can do is keep trying to get stronger, keep improving for my team. That’s all I’m gonna do.”
No Bradley is going to make it harder for the Celtics to win Game 7, although coach Doc Rivers talked about Boston being a “no excuses” team. If they do win, on the other side is Dwyane Wade and the Heat or the Pacers with Danny Granger and Darren Collison. They will really miss Bradley then.
But first, the Celtics have to win Game 7 without Bradley.
Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.
His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.
George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).
As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.
Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.
This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?
He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.
The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.
“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”
As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.
“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”
Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.
I think Cousins can help provide that.
I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.