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.