Boston Celtics v New York Knicks

Avery Bradley out Friday for Celtics, could miss more


In the eight games he’s been back from off-season shoulder surgery the Boston Celtics have played better defense and started to look like fans expected the team to before the season.

Now he’s out again.

He will not suit up Friday night against the Chicago Bulls due to a rib injury and could miss more than one game, reports A. Sherrod Blakely of The injury occurred during the win over the Hornets on Wednesday.

This means the bench guys — Courtney Lee, Jason Terry and Leandro Barbosa — will get more minutes and need to step up. Bradley has been scoring 8.1 points per game but it is the other end of the floor where he has made the biggest difference.

In the last five games, the Celtics have held opponents to 41.8 percent shooting overall and 97.3 points per 100 possessions (fifth best in the NBA for that stretch). Those are both markedly better than the team’s season averages — that is the end of the floor where the Celtics can’t let up vs. Bradley. Especially against the Bulls, who we know will defend.

PBT Extra bold prediction previews: No, Lakers are not playoff bound

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When you ask Lakers fans for bold predictions, you get the delusional to come out of the woodwork.

Most Lakers fans I know — remember, I’m a former Laker blogger living in So Cal, even my optometrist wants to talk Lakers during my eye exam — are realistic about where the team is in the rebuild process. Like me, they want to see a healthy season of Kobe Bryant where he can choose whether or not to continue his career on his terms, not Father Time’s.

But Lakers exceptionalism is a thing, and there are Lakers fans living in a fantasy land.

That’s what Jenna Corrado and I get to in the latest PBT Extra: There are Lakers fans that think they are playoff bound. And there are people who expect even more than that from this team this year — like Kobe Bryant to return to MVP form. Those people need to stop taking so much glaucoma medication.

Thabo Sefolosha’s lawyer: White police officer targeted black Hawks forward

Thabo Sefolosha
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NEW YORK (AP) — A lawyer representing a professional basketball player arrested outside a New York City nightclub has told a jury his client was targeted because he’s black.

Attorney Alex Spiro said Tuesday in Manhattan Criminal Court that a white police officer saw a black man in a hoodie when he confronted the Atlanta Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha on April 8.

Sefolosha was arrested while leaving a Manhattan nightclub following a stabbing. He subsequently suffered a season-ending leg fracture after a confrontation with police.

A prosecutor said in opening statements that Sefolosha called an officer who repeatedly told him and others to leave a “midget.”

Sefolosha pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges. The Swiss citizen declined a plea deal from prosecutors.