Pregame Post-Ups: C’s Set to Face Bradley for 1st Time

Monday, Nov. 27 - Pistons at Celtics

Pregame – Celtics Set to Face Bradley for First Time

BOSTON – For seven seasons, the Boston Celtics benefited from having Avery Bradley’s elite on-ball defense on their side. Monday night, they’ll face the nightmarish task of attacking him for the first time.

Bradley is set to make his first return to TD Garden after being traded to the Detroit Pistons over the summer. And Celtics coach Brad Stevens has had his hands full trying to prepare for him.

“First thing is, obviously you’re very thankful and appreciative for all that he did here,” Stevens said ahead of tip-off. “But then when you start preparing for him, you realize it was a lot more fun when you weren’t preparing for him. He’s one of the best on-the-ball defenders in the league, so anybody that has to play against him knows that they’re going to have to earn everything.”

Bradley has played only 18 games in a Pistons’ uniform, but his impact has been monumental. Detroit, at 12-6, has produced the second-best record in the East behind Boston, and Bradley (16.8 points per game) is a big reason why.

“He’s exactly what I expected, which is good, because we expected a lot,” said Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy. “He’s a guy who comes to work all the time. He’s serious, he’s unselfish and he plays hard. I mean, there are no negatives on him.”

Boston fans know that better than anyone else. They watched Bradley play his heart out for seven seasons, and his work ethic had an immense influence on Celtics culture in and outside the locker room.

“He had a great impact on us, and he certainly did a lot in the community,” said Stevens. “I think people will warmly receive him as we all do, because he had a great impact on us. He deserves the applause that he’ll get tonight.”

- Taylor C. Snow