WALTHAM, Mass. -- Boston Celtics rookie forward/center Kelly Olynyk, who suffered a sprained ankle during Friday's visit from the Indiana Pacers, did not participate in Tuesday's practice session while receiving treatment for the injury.
"Nothing new; same as before," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said when asked for an update. "When he did it against Indiana, I was told approximately two weeks, whatever that means. I don’t know if that’s give or take a week, or give or take a couple days."
Olynyk downplayed the injury after it happened, but limped noticeably after Friday's game. He did not accompany the team on its recent two-game road trip to Atlanta and Charlotte. A two-week recovery puts him on a path to return sometime around a Dec. 6 visit from the Denver Nuggets, but the schedule lightens up in December, allowing Boston some freedom to bring him back slowly.
In his absence, the Celtics have found success with Brandon Bass re-entering the starting lineup, winning both games on the road to snap a six-game losing streak. What's more, bench bigs Vitor Faverani and Kris Humphries have made the most of an uptick in minutes.
"I’d say that, with Kelly out, we’re settled in a good way," Stevens said. "I feel good about when to bring guys in, who to bring in first, all of those things. That’s a little bit of a work in progress and I do think it will continue to be somewhat all year, but I feel more comfortable with this current rotation than I probably have before."
SCHEDULE DICTATING LIGHT SESSIONS: As the Celtics navigate their brutal November schedule, one that sees the team play 19 games over the first 31 days of the 2013-14 season, it's prevented Stevens from pushing his team too hard on these rare practice days. December should be much more forgiving. "I think we’ll practice more intensely, but the amount of time won’t be any different," Stevens said. "I look forward to that, but I also like to build off the nice rhythm we have, so there’s a little bit of a catch-22 there. There’s no question that an extra day here or there, and the travel has been -- again, everybody that I’ve talked to that has been a part of this before has said this is as tough a month as they have ever been through. That’s been encouraging because [the team is] toward the end of it, and we have gotten better as the month has gone on. Even that six-game losing streak, there were four or five games in there that a lot of teams are going to lose."
BIG PRAISE FOR LITTLE PRESSEY: Backup point guard Phil Pressey gave the second unit a spark on Monday night in Charlotte by handing out eight assists (and committing zero turnovers) in an inspired 20 minutes. Stevens heaped praise on the undersized and undrafted guard. "First of all, a guy like that, with that size, isn’t here because he doesn’t think he can do it," Stevens said. "He’s got a good belief in himself and he deserves that. He’s got a lot of strengths that are very high level, when you look at his speed and his knowledge of the game and his ability to get into the ball defensively, all those things. We showed a clip the other day -- we think he’s a tough guy to post. People have tried to post him and he’s so small that sometimes those guys are even harder to post, especially when they’re active with their legs, and he is. He’s got a lot of positives. He’s going to be undersized against whoever he plays, but undersized is just a small part of the game when you’re talking about a court that’s 94 feet long."
STICKING TOGETHER: What has Jared Sullinger taken from Boston's latest two-game winning streak? "We don’t have anybody venturing off," he said. "When I say that, nobody is against the team, everybody is with this team. We’re coming off a [six]-game losing streak and all of a sudden everybody is there for you, we’re still playing hard. We’re continuing to play as a team. And we’re continuing to get better every day. I think that’s the biggest thing with a young group of guys like us. Anybody could easily go their separate ways, but it seems like we got closer as games got tougher."
BIRTHDAY BOY BRADLEY FINE WITH BENCH TIME: Avery Bradley celebrated his 23rd birthday Tuesday (he didn't get the usual birthday serenade from the rookies but said he'll request it Wednesday). He spent the last hours of year 22 glued to the bench for the final 22 minutes of Monday's win due to foul trouble and the inspired play of Pressey and the other guards. Bradley was perfectly fine with that. "I didn’t play as well as I wanted to and I was in foul trouble, but the bench came in and I was so excited because there was no drop-off," Bradley said. "They came with energy and we’re a team. We all want to see each other do well. The bench came in, even Phil, he doesn’t play consistent minutes all the time, but came in and played well [Monday]. It’s always good for teams to have a bench like we do." Bradley got in some post-practice shooting work with assistant coach [and shot whisperer] Ron Adams.