Unsung Bradley’s Timely Defense Keys Celtics Comeback

BOSTON — Before Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Saturday, Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers was asked to name the player on the Philadelphia 76ers that he doesn’t want to see with the ball in a late-game situation.

Lou Williams,” Rivers replied. “Guys who can just make shots, no matter what defense you play, always scare you.”

A few hours later, the game was on the line and the ball was in Williams’ hands. And that turned out to be good news for the Celtics, because Williams was being defended by their resident ball hawk, Avery Bradley.

With the Sixers down two and 2:40 on the clock in the fourth quarter, Williams was isolated on Bradley and thought he could take him off the dribble. He was wrong.

Bradley got his hands on the ball, and it was going the other way.

Less than 30 seconds earlier, Williams looked to have a breakaway lay-up to put the Sixers up three. But Bradley denied him at the rim, a block that led to a quick Kevin Garnett basket on the other end of the floor, a basket that gave the Celtics the lead for good.

Final: Celtics 92, Sixers 91. Boston’s defense wasn’t at its best in Game 1, but Bradley came up with the timely stops to give his team the early series lead.

And with Bradley on his side, Rivers really shouldn’t be too afraid of Williams.


  1. Thunder Up says:

    I feel like if the Celtics can get past the heat there is no way they are gonna lose in the finals….

  2. Dan says:

    Boston going all the way this year… They show up when it matters most.
    KG knows this is his last chance so we can expect more terrific play from him.

  3. Law064 says:

    Good game from the C’s coming back from being down. Bradley is a good defender at the 2 spot. I think the Celtic’s still can play better. Paul Pierce really has been struggling but when he gets it going then the C’s will be ok. Go Boston and yeah KG has been killing.@Dattebayo your correct it these teams in the west would get all there injuries it would be a different story.

  4. BRainEater says:

    West are not competitive anymore?dattebayo? wow you should learn first what is basketball.

  5. CelticsFan says:

    I love Bradley man…he’s under the radar of many teams in the NBA. Miami better watch out, he will be able to keep up with Dwade

  6. Bradley’s the Celtics’ best wing defender since Tony Allen… he can stay in front of guards and never gives up on any play… if he can keep this up, Boston will win this series…. and by the way, he can knock shots too…. he’s gonna one of the keys in this series..

  7. mukangpera says:

    i wish he wouldnt be trade after this postseason or a year or a year after. just like the others.

  8. reyh says:

    Check their stats….Rondo & Bradley are making incredible records in NBA history…..No doubt, BOSTON vs. SAN ANTONIO in Finals…..a good match up & helter skelter ball game……Last hurrah for BIG 3!!!!!!!

  9. Rondo is the diference maker he just controls the game another triple double he reminds me of a young jason kidd, if rondo can get a consistent jumper like kidd did when he went to the nets, rondo would be unstopable, kidd was a beast when he got that mid range jumper around the free throw line, Bradley is a good young player who is making a name for him self at the right time, the celtics got a good young back court for the future.

  10. W/E says:

    what r the sixers doing in the second round anyway, eastern conference is soooooo WEAK

    • dattebayo says:

      The Eastern Conference is not weak, there are just too many injuries, that’s all.

      Let’s say Tony Parker tears his ACL instead of Rose.
      Let’s say Bynum can’t play the postseason again instead of Howard.
      Let’s say Mike Connelly and O.J. Mayo blow their knee’s instead of Shumpert and Baron Davis.
      Let’s say Gasol sprains his ankle in Game 2 instead of Joakim Noah.
      Let’s say Tiago Splitter and Juwan Blair can’t play instead of Zaza Pachulia and Al Horford.
      Let’s say Zack Randolph reinjures himself and can’t play instead of Jermaine O’Neal.

      Just like that the Grizzlies. Lakers and Spurs suffer severe player losses instead of Chicago, Atlanta and the Knicks, suddenly the 1st, 2nd and 4th Seed in the West don’t seem competitive opponents anymore and the way seems easy for the Thunder.

  11. bu says:

    Bradley is one of the best on man defender for the guard positions. his quickness, posture, reading ability, atheleticism are great. he’s also relentless & plays much smarter than his rookie year for pressuring at the right spots on the floor & commit less silly fouls.

    Though, I’d not say its just Bradley that C’s got the win. Every team member played defense, & the energy level of C’s overall was just enough to get over the hump for the win. If this goes OT, Sixers hv a better chance on stamina. It’s been a game of spurts of 6-10 quality possessions.

  12. Raf Carlos says:

    I hope the Boston Celtics win the Championship this year..Go KG !!

  13. ian coronado says:

    eff! i love this game! i love this highlights! eff you ainge! eff you! i love celtics, i love ainge, i love doc and specially my mom! happy mothers day! boston all the way!

  14. Karlo Garcia says:

    Avery Bradley has poise for a player that had not played a lot of minutes this season.

  15. Gwoei says:

    Bradley, this guy can sprint…

  16. Alex says:

    Bradley is one of the best pure defenders I have ever watched. His ability to take the opposition’s best wing shooter out of the game takes pressure off of Rondo on the defensive end, allowing him to play more minutes.

  17. AnoNymouS~ says:

    i remember a comment my friend said about the celtics
    “never predict a lost for the celtics, most likey they are bound to bounce back in the last quarter”

  18. jon says:

    The small ball attack of the Sixers actually benefits Rivers that he is able to play Ray and Bradley at the same time. Very nice win by the Celtics when they had played atrocious offense the whole night long.

  19. Marianne's says:

    I think what is key is not only Bradley’s defensive skill but how KG is performing. Kevin Garnett is playing extremely well. Thanks to the Hawks’ owner for the wake up call!

    • HeatWade says:

      Yeah KG is beasting two games in a row. If he continues to play like this should they meet Miami in the ECF, they (Boston) might beat them or at least make Miami sweat a pail…