Celtics

Bradley brings energy to C's roster

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Bradley brings energy to C's roster

BOSTON That right shoulder injury that has limited Avery Bradley isn't quite right just yet. But he says it won't be an issue on Sunday when the Celtics host the Eastern Conference-leading Chicago Bulls.

"I'm going to be ready for Sunday," Bradley told CSNNE.com. "I'm playing Sunday."

And hopefully, he'll see more than the seven minutes of action he had in Friday's 86-74 loss at Toronto.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers had no plans of using Bradley that night because of his injury. But considering how poorly the C's looked at both ends of the floor, with little to no signs of life or energy in his players, Rivers didn't have much of a choice but to give Bradley a shot.

As it turned out, it was Bradley delivering a shot of much-needed energy which helped Boston cut a 16-point deficit down to seven at the half.

But Bradley admits it took a bit of convincing.

"I had that look on my face," Bradley said, "you put me out there and I'm just going to give all I got. He put me in, and that's what I tried to do."

Moments into the game, Bradley forced a turnover.

For the game, the Celtics were plus-seven with him on the floor.

Rivers pointed out a number of mistakes made by his team in Friday's loss, including at least one made by the coaching staff.

Yes, it had to do with Bradley.

"He was great," Rivers said. "I should have gone back with him (in the second half), honestly."

Rivers said he was close to doing so, but Rajon Rondo - who had a rough first half for the C's - began play better in the second half so Rivers opted to stick with him.

"I thought when we went small, he's better equipped to see the floor, Rondo is, to facilitate," Rivers said.

And while Rivers acknowledge regretting he didn't play Bradley more, he knows the struggles of his players left him few options that he'd normally turn to in the second half.

"They put me in a terrible position. We're down, we're scrambling, we're going small," Rivers said.

As for Bradley, Rivers said, "that effort, it was awesome."

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Jayson Tatum vs. Markelle Fultz debate

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Jayson Tatum vs. Markelle Fultz debate

0:41 - Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith give their reactions on the Celtics getting their first win of the season and a comparison between Isaiah Thomas and Kyrie Irving in the 4th quarter.

7:17 - Phil Perry joins BST to break down the tale of the tape between the Falcons and the Patriots as he breaks down the quarterbacks, offense, defense, coaching, and intangibles between the two teams.

11:57 - Our crew on BST discuss number 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz and number 3 overall pick Jayson Tatum going up against each other and debate who seems like the better pick so far. 

16:35 - In this segment of Irrelevant Questions, Tom Curran interviews Patriots WR Phillip Dorsett as he asks him a bunch of random questions. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

ALCS: Verlander, Astros beat Yankees 7-1 to force Game 7

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ALCS: Verlander, Astros beat Yankees 7-1 to force Game 7

HOUSTON -  Justin Verlander remained perfect with Houston, pitching seven shutout innings when the team needed him most, and Jose Altuve homered and drove in three runs as the Astros extended the AL Championship Series to a decisive Game 7 with a 7-1 win over the New York Yankees on Friday night.

Acquired in an Aug. 31 trade, Verlander has won all nine outings with the Astros. And with his new club facing elimination in Game 6 against the Yankees, he delivered again.

After striking out 13 in a complete-game victory in Game 2, Verlander threw another gem. The right-hander scattered five hits and struck out eight to improve to 9-0 with 67 strikeouts since being traded from Detroit. George Springer helped him out of a jam in the seventh, leaping to make a catch at the center-field wall and rob Todd Frazier of extra bases with two on and Houston up 3-0.

Game 7 is Saturday night in Houston, with the winner advancing to the World Series against the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE