BOSTON – Wednesday’s 116-108 win over Philadelphia was what has become a pretty typical night for the Boston Celtics.
They find a way to win without at least one of their key players in the mix.
The right Achilles injury suffered by Avery Bradley will keep the 6-foot-2 guard sidelined until shortly after the All-Star break.
Bradley, who missed his 15th straight game on Wednesday and 19th in the last 20, said he’s targeting a return to action as soon as Toronto on Feb. 24 – the first game following the All-Star break.
“I’m feeling really good,” Bradley said prior to Wednesday’s win. “I wish I could be back now, but I have to do whatever is smartest. At the moment, the medical staff thinks it’s smartest for me to wait until after the all-star break.”
For Bradley, watching how the team has performed since he has been out has been a mixed blessing.
“They’ve been playing well,” Bradley said. “I don’t want to mess anything up, but I do wish I was playing, part of it; I wish I could be around the guys. Hopefully, they can continue to play that same way when I’m (back).”
When Bradley suffered the injury on Jan. 6 against the Sixers, no one – certainly not Bradley – anticipated it would keep him sidelined this long.
“It’s been frustrating. But it’s part of the game, part of being smart,” Bradley said.
Boston understands that as important as Bradley is to their success right now, he becomes even more valuable in the playoffs. And that more than anything else, that is why his return to the floor has taken longer than most – including Bradley – anticipated.
The Celtics want to make sure his Achilles is as close to 100 percent healthy as can be prior to him returning to action. And while he’s feeling better and doesn’t have as much soreness or irritation after workouts, Boston will continue to be cautious about him getting back on the floor.
“I’m progressing every single day,” Bradley said. “No setbacks; that’s good.”
This season, Bradley is Boston’s No. 2 scorer, averaging a career-high 17.7 points along with 6.9 rebounds (also a career-high) and 2.4 assists while shooting a career-high 40.9 percent on 3’s.