Pietrus to get the starting nod in Rondo's place

Our scary backcourt face
Boston Globe
With Ray Allen (ankle) doubtful and Rajon Rondo suspended, the Celtics are set to go with an Avery Bradley-Mickael Pietrus backcourt against the Hawks in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series Tuesday night.

Bradley struggled in his playoff debut, scoring 10 points on 4-for-12 shooting in an 83-74 loss to the Hawks Sunday.

“I thought he was looking for things, he was looking to shoot,’’ coach Doc Rivers said. “When your mind gets too active that usually hurts you - that’s what I always tell our guys as a joke. That hurt Avery. He was thinking about what he was trying to do instead of allowing the game to dictate what he should do.

“As a coach, you’ve got to anticipate it a little bit. It’s his first playoff game and to expect him to walk on the floor and go for 30 - I was ready for whatever happened. Avery’s good, though, he’s a confident kid.’’

Of note here is that obviously Ray Allen is still not ready to play, and you might want to start planning on the playoffs without him. If he comes back, it will be an added bonus, but those bone spurs are not just going to go away with rest.

Pietrus was the obvious pick to start in Rondo's place. I'm sure Doc gave some thought to starting Keyon Dooling due to the Hawks small backcourt and to take some pressure off Bradley's ball handling chores, but Pietrus is the better player and deserves the nod.

I was happy to read something on Avery Bradley. Pierce had a very poor Game 1, but we would have survived if Player of the Month nominee Avery Bradley had continued his string of excellence. In fact we actually should have seen this coming. Bradley is a 21 year old who just started playing meaningful minutes in the NBA. To expect him to carry the load in his playoff debut was unfair. The two main things going for the Celtics in Game 2 are that Pierce can't play worse than he did in Game 1 and Bradley, with his 1st game jitters out of the way, should be ready to excel in Game 2. So Pietrus is the new name in the starting line-up, but Bradley is the one to watch.

Totally a winnable game tonight.