I guess that settles that, huh? I guess we'll have to see who's right in this.
I like the idea that was left in our morning dump comments: Slowly bring Ray back and work him in as a 6th man. If the team keeps on rolling, then you stay with it. If the team struggles, then you make the switch very easily and you can play it all off as "letting Ray get his legs back under him."
What I'm afraid of is the offense changing too much to focus on getting Ray shots, Bradley not getting the same kind of passes he's been getting to finish in the half-court sets, and the C's overall team defense suffering at the start of games.
Now the Celtics are in a position where if they put Ray back into the starting line up and the team struggles, you've created a distraction as the media harps on the "should Avery be starting" thing. Then if the team makes the move to start Bradley, Ray gets the "oh, you've been benched now" questions.
I like this opportunity to at least pretend that they're slowly working Ray back. You can blow off the media questions more easily by saying Ray needs to get back into some game shape… and if it works you just say "we had planned to put Ray back in as a starter, but this is working for now so we're going to ride it out."
The Celtics are well equipped to handle distractions, but I'd still like to avoid them. Of course, Ray could come out and play great, and then I'd look like an idiot and we can all proceed as normal. I suppose we'll see tomorrow night.