Monday, April 7, 2014
Bradley, Sullinger hopeful vs. Hawks
By Chris Forsberg
WALTHAM, Mass. -- Boston Celtics shooting guard Avery Bradley returned to practice Monday with hopes of playing on Wednesday night against the Atlanta Hawks.
Bradley, who has sat out the past 3 ½ games due to right Achilles tendinitis, said last week that he is feeling better and seemed confident he'd return on Wednesday. Stevens said they'll see how he's feeling after increasing his workload with Monday's practice.
"I've been told that Avery is going to give it a go today in practice and we’ll reevaluate and see how he feels," said Stevens.
Bradley has missed 22 games this season, 19 of which were the result of right ankle ailments. The Achilles flared after Bradley returned to action recently and he suggested it might be an offshoot from a heightened workload after missing so much time. Despite the fact that Boston is out of playoff contention, Bradley has expressed a desire to get back on the court.
"I’m going to be back on Wednesday," Bradley said last week. "It’s important to be able to get back and play some more games with [Rajon] Rondo to build our chemistry."
Some have wondered if it would be better to shut Bradley down with only five games remaining in the season, but Stevens said there's been no talk of that with any player on the roster.
"There is no talk of shutting anyone down. Nope. None. Zero," said Stevens. "I think the only way somebody would be shut down is if they physically cannot participate."
A quick rundown on Boston's other ailing bodies:
• SULLY (QUAD) SITS OUT, HOPES TO PLAY WEDNESDAY: Jared Sullinger bruised his left quad during Saturday's loss in Detroit. Stevens said he remains sore and would not practice on Monday, but the plan is to get him back on the floor for Tuesday's offday session and the team hopes he can play on Wednesday.
• HUMP (KNEE) UNCERTAIN VS. HAWKS: Kris Humphries sat out Saturday's loss in Detroit due to right knee tendinitis. He's got lingering pain behind because of the ailment and Stevens said his status for Wednesday will be determined later in the week. "Hump’s going to be reevaluated today, he’s got a sharp pain under his knee, just from the tendinitis. ... If we were to play [Tuesday], it looks like we would have Sully and Avery both available, and that is obviously our hope [for Wednesday]. Hump, I would say is more to determined based on my last conversation."
Stevens said navigating all of Boston's maladies this season has been daunting, but not unexpected at the NBA level over the course of the 82-game grind.
"I think that’s one of the things you can anticipate, that it’s a long grind, and it’s not an easy thing for these guys to go through," said Stevens. Later he added: "Hopefully we can stay as healthy as we can [over the final five games]. One of the challenges for me has been just a rotating door of who is available. I don’t know that that’s all that unusual, so it’s probably something that I have to get more used to than not."