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Celtics’ Bradley not playing Christmas or next three games

Dec 25, 2012, 12:28 PM EDT

Avery Bradley AP

Avery Bradley — the starting two guard for the Celtics that they are hoping starts to return some balance and depth to a disappointingly .500 team — is not playing on Christmas Day.

And he will not be with them on a three-game West Coast road swing this week either, tweets Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.

Bradley just returned to Celtics practice last week following surgery last summer on both shoulders. It’s not uncommon for a guy to need time to get his conditioning and timing back up to speed after missing a lot of time off.

It’s just that the Celtics and their fans are impatient. This was not the start they expected this season after a trip to the Eastern Conference finals last season then the addition of depth this summer.

But remember that the Celtics started last season 15-17, found their stride late and made that great playoff run. While the problems with this season’s team are not trivial, it’s far too early to throw these Celtics in the trash with all your Christmas wrapping paper.

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