Bradley's mind is set on bigger role this season

When life is hard on us, sometimes we miss the joy that we had. This summer Avery Bradley had to deal with the painful loss of his mother, and following that he became a father for the first time.

Bradley's mind must be all over the place, but for so many. Maybe playing basketball will be a type of therapy.

Bradley enters this season with a more increased role than in the past.Bradley became an All-Defensive player last season, and this year not only will be asked to repeat that, but with Rondo out until December, and maybe beyond.

AB will be asked to take on many jobs.

CSNNE Bradley focused as bigger role on C's nears

"I've just been trying to focus on basketball," he said. "I'm just worrying about this upcoming season, just trying to worry about whatever I can do to help this team."

"Last year, I think he'd be the first to tell you he didn't play as well as he was capable of playing," said Ainge. "He didn't play as free as he would like to play. I think he's mentally stronger having gone through that and I'm hoping that we'll have the Avery of that second year this year."

Ainge points out something that adds a bit more pressure onto Bradley this season. Paul Pierce helped Bradley with ball handling duties while Bradley was on the court. Avery won't have that luxury this season if he's thrown into the starting point guard spot.Bradley is also dealing with a contract year, and with that being said. Avery's offensive game must improve if he expects Danny Ainge and the Celtics to show him the money.

"(I want to bring) the intensity, that bulldog mentality," he said. "Everything starts first on the defensive end for me, so I just want to go out there and play hard every possession, make it contagious so my teammates do the same thing."

"I don't really talk that much," he said. "I feel like the best thing to do is lead by example. That's what I'm going to try to do, come into every practice, be the first one here, work the hardest, be the first one in drills and hope it rubs off on my teammates."

Make no mistake about it. Rondo is this teams leader. But it also helps when a guy like Bradley takes the initiative to work hard, and to set a good example.

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Photo courtesy by CBS Sports