The C’s continued to cruise through their preseason schedule last night with an encouraging comeback win over the Knicks down in Hartford. The number of aches and pains has started to become a bit alarming though through seven games of action. Let’s take a look at each position for a breakdown of what Doc is dealing with.
First there’s Delonte West, who although he was expected to return Saturday night to action, remained in Boston for treatment on his back. Chris Forsberg over at ESPN Boston gave us the scoop from Doc on Delonte’s status last night:
“I didn’t ask [about West],” admitted Rivers. “We’ll know more in a couple days. We knew he wasn’t gong to play, so it’s not a big deal.”
More bad news on the guard front comes in Avery Bradley’s attempt to return to action from his ankle injury. After a three month rehab process, the pain still lingers for Bradley and it appears the training staff is going back to the drawing board. Forsberg again has us covered at ESPN Boston
“I’m more upset for him because this is not the way you want to break into the NBA,” said Rivers. “Where you’re frustrated and you can’t play. We probably have to try something else because what we’re doing is clearly not working. [Celtics trainer] Eddie [Lacerte] and I talked about it [Friday] night. I don’t know what, but what we’re doing is not working.”
What possible avenues could the Celtics travel?
“It’s just so sore, maybe he’s just not ready to play right now,” said Rivers. “And we may just sit him down and let him do rehab. Maybe we pushed him back too soon.” (Forsberg)
A couple thoughts on how Bradley’s injury could affect the final roster cuts
To me, Bradley’s ankle problems cropping up again is a surefire sign that Von Wafer not Stephane Lasme will be the last guy to make the roster. With Delonte out for the first 10 games, and Bradley showing no signs of being ready for the opener, the C’s deep backcourt starts to lack some major depth with Nate Robinson and Marquis Daniels (who has been playing more 3 than 2) being the only guards coming off the bench.
Without another guard on the roster, any kind of injury to the C’s backcourt in those first 10 games with Delonte out leaves Doc and company in a precarious situation. Obviously any kind of major injury would be devasting, but the C’s would have to lean heavily on the older guard in those first 10 games without another guard on the roster in order to win games. It’s a doable situation, but not an ideal one when there’s an alternative available.
By keeping Wafer, you have a guy that can play the 2 and 3, and help the second unit spread the floor with his shot, something Stephane Lasme for all his positives, just doesn’t do.
The argument can be made that Lasme could play the 3 with Daniels shifting to the 2, but gives you a couple guys that aren’t serious threats from downtown. Marquis may make me eat my words on that statement, but for now he has to prove he can hit that ball shot consistenly.
Of course it helps that Von Wafer has finally showed up these past two games, hitting all of his three point attempts and even chipping in with 5 rebounds last night in the Knicks win.
If Wafer hadn’t showed he could be relied up anyway then it would be a moot point as is but with his comfort level improving within the offense, he has started showing he can do what Danny Ainge brought him in for.
Lasme won’t make it an easy decision, as he continues to put together solid efforts when he’s on the floor (7 points, 4 rebounds, 5 turnovers against New York) and clearly has begun to earn Doc’s trust given the minutes he’s been given.
The depth situation upfront (Harangody has shown he can play) combined with the injury question marks leaves Lasme in a spot where he will most likely be on the outside looking in.