Avery Bradley credits the D-League as a huge factor in his success playing for the Celtics, explains Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com. “I was able to learn a lot up [in Maine],” says Bradley. “I didn’t take it as punishment at all. That’s one thing I do remember. At first I was disappointed, and being a young guy, it’s kinda overwhelming at first [in the NBA] seeing all the superstars, all the guys you watch watch on TV, and now you’re practicing and I had the injury. I got down on myself a lot, but the D-League gave me a chance to get that confidence back.” Bradley hopes to take his game to new heights after signing a new four year, $32MM deal this offseason.
Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:
- While many experts have picked the Celtics to finish near the cellar of the Eastern Conference, Jeremy Gottlieb of Boston.com sheds some optimism on Boston’s upcoming season. While Gottlieb admits that the idea of the Celtics contending for a playoff berth is far-fetched, he cites the presence of coach Brad Stevens, the potential financial motivations of some of the players on the roster, such as Rajon Rondo and Evan Turner, and the weakness of the Eastern Conference as reasons not to underestimate this team.
- Although the Celtics were never in contention to acquire Kevin Love due to a lack of an ability to create a package that Minnesota coveted, co-owner Wyc Grousbeck is confident that GM Danny Ainge will turn the franchise’s assets into a winning team, writes Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald. “I’ve got confidence that with all these picks and these young guys and our willingness to spend money that we can get there,” said Grousbeck. “We’re a patient group. We will take a multiyear plan if that’s what it takes. But I think this June there could be some fireworks. I think this June we’ve got so many pieces to this puzzle that we might be able to shake loose a real piece or two for this team going forward. So, I’m hoping it’s sooner rather than later.”
- Magic forward Maurice Harkless is playing with more confidence this year, writes Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. Coach Jacque Vaughn has praised Harkless for his continued development. “There’s some areas that he’s improving, and he still can improve some more. But overall his confidence and feel on the floor has definitely grown,” said Vaughn.