WALTHAM, Mass. -- Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley is not expected to play in either of the team's next two games due to lingering pain from a hip bruise, while starting backcourt partner Isaiah Thomas sat out Tuesday's practice due to a small sprain in his left thumb but is expected to play in Wednesday's game against the Detroit Pistons.
Bradley, who got hit in the left hip during Saturday's loss to the Nets and sat out Monday's rematch in Brooklyn, observed Tuesday's practice from the sideline in street clothes and spent the end of the session chatting with Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge.
"[Bradley is] feeling a little bit better today," said Celtics coach Brad Stevens. "Still not likely to play either of the next two games."
Thomas was dressed for practice, but had his left wrist and thumb taped.
"He didn’t practice. He had a small sprain, slight sprain, I don’t know how you characterize it," said Stevens. "But we just held him out just for practice. He’ll play [Wednesday]."
The Celtics entered Saturday's game as close to full strength as they've been in months, but the team remains nagged by minor maladies.
During Monday's win in Brooklyn, Stevens shortened his rotation, utilizing just nine players in the first half before going small with Jonas Jerebko a bit in the second half. Neither rookie R.J. Hunter nor veteran David Lee played.
"[Lee] actually had told [team trainer] Ed [Lacerte] that he was available, but that he got a little tweak in his foot," said Stevens. "But, I just decided that, obviously, when we started Kelly [Olynyk], it tweaked our rotation a little bit. But we think that [Lee is] a really good player and hopefully he’ll get his opportunity soon again. He did have that [foot tweak], so that was in the back of my mind as I was making the decisions. But he did say that he was available."
The Celtics shuffled Evan Turner into a starting guard role in Bradley's absence and made a second lineup tweak with Kelly Olynyk moving into the first unit in place of Jared Sullinger, who had been battling both minor injuries and a bit of a shooting funk.
Stevens said he was uncertain if he'd stick with Olynyk in the starting role moving forward, but certainly liked the way he spaced the floor. With Andre Drummond visiting Wednesday, it might come down to whether the Celtics need Sullinger's rebounding talents on the glass.
"We’ll just make that decision by [Wednesday]," said Stevens. "I will say that Sully and Amir [Johnson] have been statistically pretty good, as far as when they’ve been on the court together. So I’ll continue to look at it, continue to look at how we played against Detroit, and everything else."
In two meetings with the Pistons last month, Sullinger has averaged 13.5 points and nine rebounds per game as Boston split a pair of games in Detroit.