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Sunday, February 9, 2014
Notebook: Bradley not himself

By Chris Forsberg

BOSTON -- Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley, who sat out Friday's win over the Sacramento Kings after tweaking his right ankle, labored through Sunday's return to action and did not play over the final 20 minutes.

Bradley finished with five points on 2-of-13 shooting (15.4 percent) with a turnover and two fouls over 18:58. He was minus-11 in plus/minus.

“I don’t know if he didn’t feel well or not, I just didn’t think he looked like himself and he was obviously struggling through a [poor] shooting night so I just went in another direction," said Celtics coach Brad Stevens. "Obviously, we believe in Avery, we have great faith in Avery, that Avery will continue to be a very good player for us. But tonight I felt like to go in another direction.”

Bradley missed five games last month with a sprained right ankle. He twisted that same ankle in Philadelphia on Wednesday, causing him to sit out Friday's game.

OLYNYK: 'I LOVE WATCHING DIRK'

Kelly Olynyk would have been a pre-teen when countryman Steve Nash was emerging as an All-Star with the Dallas Mavericks, but it was the Mavericks' 7-footer with the long hair and sweet stroke that often caught Olynyk's eye.

"I love watching Dirk and what he can do," admitted Olynyk. "He’s a guy that I’ve watched since I was really little."

Olynyk, the 13th overall pick in June's draft, now sports No. 41, long hair, and a pretty-looking jump shot, so the comparison to Nowitzki -- even if a bit unfair at this stage of their careers -- is impossible to avoid. That hasn't stopped Stevens from encouraging Olynyk to study the game of Dallas' 11-time All-Star.

"[Nowitzki is] a guy that I’m sure Kelly, whether he’ll say this or not, looks up to. And should," said Stevens. "He’s a guy that has great skill, that can stretch the defense, that doesn’t hesitate to shoot, score. He can really pass the ball if you bring two [defenders] to him. ... Kelly’s got a great feel for the game, Kelly can really pass the ball. He’s becoming a less-reluctant shooter which is good. But we talked about that this summer. That’s a big thing for Kelly to, almost change his look on how he views himself as an offensive player, that is he needs to shoot more freely and think of himself as more of a shooter and a scorer. That being said, Kelly is a young guy with a bright future ahead of him and we’ll see how that all plays itself out. But for now, Dirk is a guy that he should look up to."

Olynyk finished with six points on 2-of-7 shooting with six rebounds during Sunday's loss to Nowitzki and the Mavericks. While Olynyk stressed that there were plenty of players that influence his game -- his passing skills reflect Nash's influence -- he offered high praise for Nowitzki.

"He’s a great guy for a lot of people to look up to," admitted Olynyk. "He’s a perennial All-Star, NBA championship, international player. Really skilled in a lot of different facets of the game. He’s a big-time player."

PRESSEY SUPPORTS SAM

Michael Sam, an All-American defensive lineman from the University of Missouri, revealed publicly that he is gay on Sunday. Phil Pressey, also a Missouri product, offered his support for Sam.

"Everybody is open to their own decision. He made it," said Pressey. "He said that his teammates were supportive of it. That's no surprise at all. He's loved around Mizzou. He did a tremendous job there and I wish him the best."