EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

August 9, 2012

Bradley says he's feeling great

By Michael Muldoon

---- — NORTH ANDOVER — Avery Bradley is just as elusive in interviews as he is slashing to the basket for the Celtics.

The speedy guard, who had both shoulders operated on in the offseason, did say his shoulders “feel great.”

Published reports have him possibly not returning until December but he’s tight-lipped on a return date.

Bradley, who was in North Andover for a Celtics-RE/MAX function, said he had to stop playing in the playoffs “to do what’s good not only for myself but for the team.”

Quiet on and off the court, a few times he came to the sidelines in obviously excruciating pain.

“It was tough. I was hurt real bad. People fight through it for the team,” he said.

The early fear was he might be a bust. Drafted 19th overall in 2011, injuries (ankle), inexperience and sub-par play kept him chained to the bench as a rookie.

He was even sent down to the D-League.

When Ray Allen went down this year, Bradley’s game took off.

Playing shooting guard despite being just 6-2, his quickness and aggression was a fine complement to backcourt mate Rajon Rondo’s playmaking skills.

“I was really excited,” the second-year guard said of his improved play.

He said the team has always treated him well.

“We’re like a family We’re all brothers and Doc (Rivers) is the dad,” said Bradley, who played just one year at the University of Texas.

When asked about the return of Kevin Garnett, Bradley gushed, “He’s one of the best teammates ever.”