The following is an excerpt of a piece I contributed to Boston.com’s Celtics coverage. You can check out the full article by clicking here
With a mere week remaining in the season, the list of the walking wounded continues to pile up for the Celtics.
Avery Bradley is dealing with a strained right Achilles that has forced him to miss the last 3 1/2 games. Kris Humphries was sidelined Saturday night with right knee tendonitis and now remains out indefinitely. Jared Sullinger suffered a bruised left quad during Saturday’s loss against the Pistons, keeping him out for the team’s practice on Monday.
Bradley and Sullinger are currently hoping to return to the lineup for Wednesday’s game in Atlanta, but with just five games remaining in a lost season right now, it’s fair to ask the question: Are the Celtics better off shutting down some of these players for the year?
It’s an idea that Brad Stevens was not willing to entertain at practice this week.
“There is no talk of shutting anyone down,” Stevens said adamantly. “None. Zero. The only way somebody would be shut down is if they physically can’t participate.”
That kind of attitude is understandable from the rookie head coach, who is committed to having his team finish out the year on the right foot after a pair of embarrassing efforts last week against Washington and Philadelphia.
“It’s really important to do your best and go after it every single day,” Stevens said. “This is a real challenge. I talked about it the other day, you find out a lot about people with five games left in a season when you’re on an eight-game losing streak.”
Therein lies the crux of the argument for why shutting down players like Sullinger and/or Bradley for the remainder of the year isn’t in Boston’s best interest.
Danny Ainge and Co. will have a number of crucial decisions to make this summer about their underperforming roster. While it’s easy to point to the NBA Draft and free agency as areas where the Celtics will find improvement, the decisions they make with their own roster will set the tone for the whole offseason.
You can read the complete article by clicking here