Before this year’s post season, you would usually hear the words “Bradley” and “Doubtful” in a sentence like, “it’s doubtful that Milton Bradley will act sane for an entire season” or “it’s doubtful that former Bradley star Patrick O’Bryant will ever live up to where he was drafted. Now, however, NBA fans are getting used to Celtics guard Avery Bradley being doubtful for playoff games with a troublesome shoulder. A shoulder that doesn’t seem to want to stay located as nature intended.
As Rivers said earlier this week, Bradley has also injured his right shoulder, perhaps as a result of attempting to compensate for his left, which has popped out of joint at least three times in the last three weeks.
“I’m just frustrated,” said Bradley. “All I can do is try to get stronger and improve for my teammates. I wouldn’t say it’s getting worse. It’s been the same. I just have to try to get stronger. I’m just taking it day by day.”
Rivers certainly didn’t sound encouraged.
“(Bradley is) a little better, but not much,” said the Celtics coach. “I don’t think he’ll play tonight but we’ll find out. He won’t do anything in shootaround before. But we’ll let him warm up, see if he can warm up, and then we’ll go from there.”
There are not a whole lot of things more frustrating for a successful young player than to be temporarily derailed by a nagging injury. Bradley was just starting to get used to the bright lights of the playoffs and was really starting to play with confidence. The Celtics can beat the Sixers without Bradley so it’s best he rest while the can afford it.
The good news, as Murphy adds later in his report, is that the Celtics won’t have to go into Game 6 without Ray Allen and Greg Stiemsma. Both Celtic contributors are as good as they’ll ever be this post season with their respective lower leg injuries.
Luckily for the C’s, the news isn’t all bad, as our good buddy Chris Forsberg over at ESPN Boston reports that Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett made the NBA All-Defensive Second Team:
Rondo earned 29 points off nine first-team and 11 second-team votes; Garnett finished with 26 points on 8 first-team votes and 10 second-team votes.
The voting panel consisted of the NBA’s 30 head coaches, who were asked to select NBA All-Defensive first and second teams by position. Coaches were not permitted to vote for players from their own team. Two points were awarded for a first-team vote and one point was awarded for a second-team vote.
It seems really odd that Kevin Garnett garnered fewer first team votes than Rondo considering Rondo is more known for being an underachieving reacher and Garnett an absolute, game-changing defensive juggernaut. Also strange, is Avery Bradley’s absence from the list. If he can remain healthy, he should be a mainstay on this list for years to come.
That’s it for now. I’ll be back in a few hours with tonight’s open thread.