WALTHAM, Mass. – While the timetable for Avery Bradley's return remains very fluid, Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens says the most likely return to the floor this season for Bradley would be in the latter stages of the second round if the Celtics can somehow come back and advance past the Atlanta Hawks who lead the best-of-seven series, 2-0.
Bradley, who suffered a right hamstring injury in the fourth quarter of Boston’s 102-101 Game 1 loss to the Hawks, recently underwent an MRI which confirmed the injury.
“The big picture, long term, he’s going to be able to heal fully,” said Stevens who added that the 6-foot-2 guard would not require surgery. “It’ll all be good. It just takes time with hamstrings. Like I said, he’s definitely out this weekend and very unlikely to play in this series. Hamstrings are one of those things where you’re walking and walk down the hallway and look like a million bucks. But you start playing 32 minutes and have to change speeds and change direction and those types of things, that’s a different story.”
As for him returning in the playoffs, Stevens acknowledged there has not been much talk about that among himself and the team’s medical staff.
“They talked about towards the end of this series where he’s able to do a little bit more from a practice standpoint and those type of things,” Stevens said. “It’s still unlikely early in that (possible second round) situation, but possible as the days go on after that.”
That would create the kind of problem the Celtics would love to have, especially after they have fallen behind 2-0 in their best-of-seven series with the Hawks.
Although the series won’t be officially over if Boston were to lose Game 3, it has to be approached as a must-win game for the Celtics. No team in NBA history has come back to win a best-of-seven series after losing the first three games.