BOSTON -- Just when it seemed the Boston Celtics were enjoying the continuity that comes with being injury-free, they once again find themselves playing short-handed.
Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens announced that Avery Bradley is out for tonight's game against New Orleans with a sore right Achilles injury.
It’s unclear exactly when Bradley suffered the injury, but it did occur during Boston’s 110-106 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night.
“Went out and felt OK yesterday, although certainly got it treated after the game,” Stevens said. “He shot around mid-afternoon and didn’t feel great.”
The one positive is that the injury doesn’t appear to be severe which is why no additional tests are expected to be performed at this time.
“I just think it’s a strained Achilles,” said Stevens who added that Marcus Smart would get the start tonight.
Bradley, who finished 10th in the NBA’s first round of all-star balloting by fans among Eastern Conference guards, is coming off a 26-point performance -- his highest scoring game at home this season.
The Celtics will certainly miss the 18.0 points per game he scores for them, but even more significant will be the rebounding.
Despite being just 6-foot-2, Bradley is tops among all Celtics in rebounds with 7.0 per game.
And they face a Pelicans team that has found success of late playing small-ball (Anthony Davis is the team’s only starter taller than 6-8) with wins in four of their last six games.
And while Smart doesn’t provide statistically what Bradley does, the third-year guard does provide a defensive presence in man-to-man coverage as well as providing help to his teammates when the opportunity presents itself.
Bradley’s absence will likely mean a chance to get on the floor for second-year guard Terry Rozier.
“It goes back to staying ready,” Rozier told CSNNE.com. “You never know when your number is called.”