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Celtics still feared postseason performers

The Sports Xchange

The Celtics lost to the Bulls in Chicago, 93-86, Thursday night, but the regular season ups and downs aren't of much concern to LeBron James. He still believes the Celtics will pose a threat in the playoffs.

"I'm going to say the same thing I said last year," said James. "We're one team and I'm one guy that never counts the C's out.

"I would never count them out. I mean, they've just got too many winners. They've got guys that have been in the moment before, so like I told you guys last year when everyone was down on the C's, I always said I'm not going to turn my back on those guys."

The Celtics passed on chances to improve their lineup at the trade deadline, preferring to keep their options open as they try to rebuild this summer. But James has been impressed with the club's ability to play well despite suffering some key injuries to rotation players Jermaine O'Neal, Chris Wilcox and Jeff Green, all of whom are out for the season.

"They've got a good team, no matter who's out on the floor," said James. "When they have those guys that have been in the moment, everyone else picks it up."

Second year guard Avery Bradley has caught James' eye.

"He's a really good young player," said LeBron. "I think defensively he's one of the best guys that we've seen from baseline to baseline. He's really good at that. And he gives them another attack out there off the dribble, and he does a great job of cutting. When Rondo penetrates or Paul (Pierce) penetrates, he does a great job of cutting and getting easy ones. So he brings a dynamic to their team that they have used and that works for them.

"They're No. 1 in assists per game," added James. "It starts with (Rajon) Rondo, of course, but K.G. (Kevin Garnett) is one of those guys, and Paul (Pierce) makes plays, as well. And those guys work together."

The next work site for the Celtics is Indianapolis, where they meet the Pacers Saturday.

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