About an hour before Wednesday night’s game vs. Memphis, Celtics general manager Danny Ainge shook hands with Avery Bradley as the guard left the court to prepare for his season debut. Ainge grinned and then returned to his cellphone conversation with the knowledge that, for the first time all season, his desired backcourt of Bradley and Rajon Rondo would be on the floor together in a game.
That backcourt failed to produce the desired result as the Celtics lost their fourth straight game, 93-83, to the stingy Grizzlies at TD Garden. The Celtics allowed Memphis to shoot 61 percent from the field in the first half on its way to a 9-point lead at the break. That lead ballooned to 18 points at the start of the fourth quarter. One game into his return, it’s clear that Bradley’s defensive prowess cannot keep a team down all by itself. Bradley had 4 points and one steal in 20 minutes against the Grizzlies.