Avery Bradley, Celtics hip to physicality playing big role in series with Wizards

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Avery Bradley, Celtics hip to physicality playing big role in series with Wizards

Post by bobheckler on Wed May 10, 2017 11:57 am

http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/celtics/2017/05/bulpett_avery_bradley_celtics_hip_to_physicality_playing_big_role_in_series



Bulpett: Avery Bradley, Celtics hip to physicality playing big role in series with Wizards



Steve Bulpett


Wednesday, May 10, 2017





Credit: John Wilcox
Avery Bradley makes a steal from John Wall in the Celtics' overtime win over the Wizards at the TD Garden. Tuesday, May 2, 2017.




WALTHAM — Perhaps the best barometer that the fury is rising in this Celtics-Wizards series came from Avery Bradley during Game 4.

The Wizards were stunned when the normally quiet killer approached the officials Sunday night in Washington to “discuss” the type of picks big man Marcin Gortat was setting, picks that appeared to lead to Bradley’s most recent hip pointer.

We waited until we could confirm the exchange yesterday, and Bradley acknowledged that, indeed, he told the refs to start policing Gortat’s play or “I’m going to (expletive) him up.”

So we learned two things: Some Washington sources can be trusted, and Avery Bradley isn’t about to let two painful hips keep him out of this unfriendly fire.

While both sides seem locked and loaded for what is now a best-of-three series for the right to deal with the Cleveland LeBrons in the Eastern Conference finals, the narrative from the clubs has changed dramatically with the changes in venue.

Prior to Game 3 in D.C., with the Celtics holding a 2-0 lead, the Wizards spoke both publicly and privately of the need to match and even surpass the opponents’ aggression. It was a call to arms — and legs and elbows.

And it worked, as the Wiz were the more physical outfit in Games 3 and 4, taking their fight to the edge and even over a bit when Kelly Oubre Jr. charged Kelly Olynyk and shoved him to the floor, earning a Game 4 suspension from the NBA.

Now, having been defeated by 27 and 19 points, respectively, the Celtics are singing a similar tune as did the Wizards.

Now the shoe is on the other foot.

Now the elbow is in the other ribs.

“I don’t feel like we’ve hit first yet this whole series,” Bradley said. “So if we’re able to, I think it’ll flip real quick.”

Sort of like Olynyk’s reputation.

The generally mild mannered 7-footer from British Columbia has become Public Enemy No. 1 in Washington, a place teeming with legislative contenders to that throne. He believes the Celts have to play with more assertiveness tonight.

“Yeah, I mean, we’ve definitely got to impose our will and kind of go out there and take things,” Olynyk said. “We can’t sit back. I think we kind of sat back and tried to let things come to us a little bit too much. If we can go out there and make a stand, it would help us get off to a good start in front of our fans and hopefully ride a wave.”

But, as he quickly added, “Nothing cheap or dirty, just going out there and making sure they feel you on both end of the floor. You just want to break their rhythm and make them uncomfortable.”

Toughness is too often associated with well-directed elbows and the like, but really it’s more playing hard within the rules. That’s what truly frustrates an opponent.

“Real toughness is doing the right thing time and again,” C’s coach Brad Stevens said. “I think that (Bill) Russell said it really well in his book where he said one of the things about tough guys is they’re able to shut out all that’s irrelevant. And I think as you get into the middle of these series, there’s a lot that’s irrelevant, and it’s really just about playing better and doing what you can to handle that.”

Stevens is well aware that talk of chippiness and extracurricular hits will get a good deal of the attention as the hostilities resume this evening at the Garden.

“That’s part of the story,” he said, “but we’ve just got to be about staying in the moment and playing well.”

Marcus Smart looked to the third element on the court, the officiating.

“It’s allowing both teams to be physical, not just one team,” Smart said. “That’s where it comes in. You know, we tried to be physical and we got called for it. Then when you get called for it the first couple of times, you’ve got to lay off. It deflects how physical you can get.”

Evidently nothing deflected the Wizard’s nail that left a nice scratch on Smart’s chin, however.

“To be honest, I don’t even remember who did it,” he said. “I’ve got a couple of scratches. It’s cool though.”

And, yeah, for the record, Olynyk is cool with the Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green calling him a dirty player and the abuse he got from the Washington fans.

“I don’t know. If that’s what they think, that’s what they think,” Olynyk said with a shrug. “Everyone’s got their own opinions. I don’t know him; he doesn’t know me.

“But I’m just worried about winning this game. I’m not thinking about what anyone else says or what they think.”




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Re: Avery Bradley, Celtics hip to physicality playing big role in series with Wizards

Post by RosalieTCeltics on Wed May 10, 2017 1:58 pm

Listen, the fact remains that, unfortunately, this series could have been over right now. The Celtics have NOT shown up for more than three quarters of these four games. This is disappointing. I know I should be thankful that they are only even in this series I really wish they would put four quarters together tonight and shut a few people up...there is no one out there that gives us a snowballs chance in hell to win this series. Maybe they are right.....if they do win, Cleveland will be well rested and licking their chops to beat us in four straight.

But I still want them to put up a fight, this is not the Celtics team of end of March when we were worried they might be peaking too soon, Just shut a few people up tonight, beginning with the Wizards and ending with ESPN
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