Bradley "doubtful" to play rest of series vs. Hawks

Bradley "doubtful" to play rest of series vs. Hawks

ATLANTA – Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens confirmed Celtics fan's worst fears: Avery Bradley's right hamstring injury will keep him out for Game 2 and most likely the remainder of their first round series with the Atlanta Hawks.

Stevens described Bradley's injury as being "pretty significant."

It was severe enough to where the team's medical staff didn't need an MRI performed to determine that he needed to be shut down.

"I would say he's doubtful for any remainder of this series," Stevens said.

Bradley suffered the injury in the fourth quarter of Boston’s 102-101 Game 1 loss to the Hawks.

I asked Bradley after the Game 1 loss how did the injury occur.

“I think I tried to go up and block (Jeff) Teague,” Bradley said. “And I came down I felt weird. I took a few steps and I just couldn’t walk.”

The loss of Bradley, who averaged a career-high 15.1 points per game this season, hurts on multiple levels. Boston is now without their best on-the-ball defender and best scorer coming off screens as well as cutting to the basket. Because Bradley has become more of a scoring threat, his presence has helped to free up his teammates for good looks at the basket as well.

Without Bradley, the Celtics will lean heavily on Marcus Smart and Evan Turner who had 10 and 15 points, respectively, in Boston’s Game 1 loss. There’s a very good chance that rookie Terry Rozier will see his first postseason action as well.

"Things like this have happened all my life," Rozier told CSNNE.com. "I have an opportunity. It's up to me to make the most of it."

These are the kind of adjustments no team wants to make in the playoffs. But it does fall in line with the season-long narrative of the Celtics being a “next man up” kind of team.

"Over the past month we've been short-handed, had to fight over adversity," said Boston's Evan Turner. "So now it's competing ... leave it at that."

Boston has been a “next man up” kind of team all season. That will indeed be put to the test with Bradley out of the mix for this series.

NBC Sports Boston Breakfast Pod: Reserve-heavy Celtics keep at it, top Trail Blazers

NBC Sports Boston Photo

NBC Sports Boston Breakfast Pod: Reserve-heavy Celtics keep at it, top Trail Blazers

1:13 - The Celtics came away with a 105-100 win in Portland on Friday night. Find out why Chris Mannix is calling this the best Celtics win of the season.

6:05 - Mannix discusses details about Kyrie Irving’s ‘minimally invasive’ procedure on his knee and what his level of concern is with A. Sherrod Blakely and Gary Tanguay.

10:03 - Michael Holley and Tom Curran discuss what NFL players, including Devin McCourty, are doing beyond the gridiron by being active in criminal justice reform discussions held at Harvard this week.



Morris getting it done for Celtics on both ends of the floor

Morris getting it done for Celtics on both ends of the floor

When you think about Marcus Morris these days, big-time scoring immediately comes to mind. 

But in Boston’s 105-100 comeback win over Portland, Morris’ contributions went beyond the game-high 30 points he dropped on the Blazers.

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“Coach (Brad Stevens) is doing a great job of getting me the ball in my spots and my teammates are finding me,” Morris told reporters after the win. “And I’m just coming through.”

He’s providing strong play and a tremendous presence at both ends of the floor which has been critical to the team navigating some choppy waters with a number of regular rotation players – namely Kyrie Irving – out with injuries.

“One thing is, he’s healthy,” said Boston’s Al Horford, referring to the sore knee that limited Morris earlier this season and at times forced him to miss games. “And the other is, he’s just more confident, he’s playing very assertive. He’s playing great right now, in a really good rhythm.”

Said Stevens: “That’s been him (Morris). As he’s continued to feel better; I think physically he’s felt as good as he’s felt. He’s comfortable in our system and we need him to score. If you’re a basketball player and your job is to score, that’s a pretty good job.”

And it’s one that even with all the injuries Boston has played through, few envisioned him being such an integral part of the offense. 

Morris’ calling card prior to arriving in Boston was his defense. 

But Morris has made it known that his focus on the floor is to be as complete a player as possible.

“I’m not trying to just limit myself to just being that scorer,” Morris said. “Also, on the defensive end I think I’m bringing it; my defense has gotten a lot better, especially my on-the-ball defense. I’m trying to be that all-around player and not just an offensive player … but I can score.”