Avery Bradley out Friday for Celtics, could miss more

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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 CSNNE.com. 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.

Robin Lopez pushes short floater over backboard (video)

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Robin Lopez had reason to be upset from the Bulls’ Game 5 loss to the Celtics last night.

This miss was all on him.

Dwyane Wade plays the laziest defense you’ll ever see (video)

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Dwyane Wade (26 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists) was the Bulls’ best player in their Game 5 loss to the Celtics last night.

But the 35-year-old guard clearly didn’t go all out on every possession.

Players can justify not closing out by claiming they were prioritizing rebounding position. Wade clearly has no such excuse.

Video Breakdown: Clippers use JJ Redick in split cut to fool Jazz at 3-point line

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The Los Angeles Clippers dropped Game 5 to the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night, and find themselves down 3-2 as they head back to Salt Lake City for Game 6. The Clippers have had to deal with Utah’s formidable defense, so much so that they’ve built in counters to Jazz defenders overplaying shooters like JJ Redick.

One example of this countering method could be found in Game 3, when the Clippers ran a split cut for Redick. Instead of fighting endlessly around screens for a 3-point shot as you might expect, LA took the easy route and simply cut Redick to the basket for an easy layup as a means to take advantage of an overeager defender.

We’ve talked about the Split Cut here on NBA Playbook before. The Los Angeles Lakers used it earlier in the season to beat the Golden State Warriors, the team that uses the split cut perhaps the most out of any team in the NBA.

Other teams, including the Portland Trail Blazers, have adapted the Warriors’ use of the split cut as a counter for their own offense this season, which is a testament to just how useful it is.

If you need a reminder, a split cut all about a screener coming up to screen, then cutting toward the basket before his screen action fully takes place. It’s about timing, and catching defenders off guard when they go to set up their recover positions for screens.

For a full breakdown on the split cut and how the Clippers used it, watch the video above.

John Wall wears cape to postgame press conference (video)

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John Wall has been super, averaging 27 points and 11 assists while leading the Wizards to a 3-2 lead over the Hawks in the first-round.