Pregame: Bradley starts over Allen

US Presswire

Avery Bradley starts over Ray Allen.After returning to the starting lineup Wednesday night following a six-game absence due to lingering right ankle soreness, Celtics guard Ray Allen has been moved to a reserve role for Thursday's tilt against the Chicago Bulls.

Second-year guard Avery Bradley, who shined in Allen's absence and guided the Celtics to a 5-0 record as a starter, rejoined the first unit.

For Allen, this is only the fourth time in his career he's come off the bench and the first time since Dec. 5, 2002, with the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Celtics are 10-1 this season without Allen, who displayed expected rust Wednesday night in his return against the Spurs. Allen scored five points on 2-of-6 shooting over 35 minutes. Bradley scored a team-high 19 points on 9-of-16 shooting over 34 minutes off the bench.

During an on-court interview with TNT after the first quarter, Rivers said of the Allen move, "He basically came to me, more than I had to go to him. He thought, 'Why not bring me off the bench?'" Rivers went on to explain that Allen recognized Boston had been trying to establish Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett offensively early on, and figured it might aid the team if he came off the bench and provided an offensive boost there.