Celtics

Celtics

WALTHAM, MA – With the raising of his hand after each made 3-pointer, Avery Bradley comes closer to closure.
 
It is his way of honoring his mother Alicia (Lisa) Jones-Bradley, who passed away in 2013.
 
She was 46 years young.
 
That alone becomes an emotional curve ball that can throw the most grounded young man off his game.
 
And just a few weeks after her passing, Bradley welcomed into the world his first-born son Avery Bradley III, a reminder of life’s promises – there will be a beginning and an end for all of us.
 
The emotional pull that Bradley feels is always there, but the tug becomes just a little bit more than usual on Mother’s Day.
 
“It’s tough,” Bradley acknowledged during a conversation we had following practice on Sunday. “My mom’s birthday was May 11, too. It’s hard.”
 
But Bradley continues to soldier on, balancing the pain of losing a loved one with the pursuit of steadily improving as a basketball player.
 
He has done well on both fronts, a player who has been crucial to the Celtics being where they are right now – one win away from a trip to the Eastern Conference finals.
 
The Celtics will host the Washington Wizards in a winner-take-all Game 7 Monday night.
 
Of course, Bradley has spent a lot of time since Boston’s Game 6 loss at Washington figuring out what he can do better for the team.
 
But not too far removed from those times, his thoughts will turn towards his family.
 
He misses his mother, no doubt about that.
 
“At the same time,” Bradley says, “I’m blessed to have my beautiful family, blessed to have this opportunity to go out and play for her, play for my family.”
 
And man has he stepped his game up lately.
 
In his last two games, Bradley has led the Celtics in scoring with a 28.0 points per game average while shooting 59.5 percent (22-for-37) from the field, 53.8 percent (7-for-13) on 3’s to go with 4.5 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 2.0 assists.
 
And as painful as her passing has been for Bradley, he continues to soldier on, taking with him the many lessons she taught him in life as well as in death.
 
“I’ve found myself times I might cry or whatever,” Bradley said. “But right now, I think my life is going so fast with basketball, I’m so busy.”
 
But it’s not too busy for him to appreciate the many positives he has in his life.
 
“I’m enjoying every day I’m able to wake up,” Bradley said. “I understand that it is a blessing. It definitely helps you look at life different, especially now that I have kids. I just appreciate every day.”