Pregame Post-Ups: C's Continue to Thrive Despite Injuries
Wednesday, February 16 - Celtics at Bulls
Pregame – C's Continue to Thrive Despite Injuries
CHICAGO – The Boston Celtics tonight will play their sixth game in their sixth different city during the last nine nights. They are scheduled to take on the Chicago Bulls at 8 p.m. at the United Center.
It has been as hectic of a schedule that the C’s will endure all season long; yet they have thrived, having won four straight contests heading into the final game of their pre-All-Star break stretch.
The most striking aspect of the successful string of games is that Boston has flourished despite being far from full strength.
Avery Bradley has missed the entire pre-All-Star stretch with an Achilles injury, which dates back to Jan. 7. Jae Crowder was absent for a pair of games due to a personal matter. Jaylen Brown will miss his third straight game tonight because of a hip flexor injury. And Gerald Green played under the weather in Dallas and is questionable tonight due to a bruised heel.
Yet, Boston has somehow found a way to step past the absences and maintain its rhythm.
“I’m really impressed with the way other guys have come on and helped us,” said Brad Stevens ahead of tip-off. “Not having Avery, I thought Jaylen stepped in and really showed great growth. Not having Avery and Jaylen, I think James Young has stepped in and showed great growth. And that’s the sign of a good team pulling together and just trying to figure it out.”
Stevens says the main factor that has allowed players to slide in so seamlessly is the team’s continuity. Many of the young players who have stepped up have been with the team for multiple seasons and understand how the system operates.
“The stability is helpful,” said Stevens. “And I think that any time you have a couple of guys that are as consistent as we have with regard to how they perform on a given night – some of our older guys, when you start talking about Isaiah (Thomas) and Jae, and Marcus (Smart), even though he’s not older, and Al, and all those guys – I think that you’re able to play in your lane and play a role that helps the team win.”
Boston will look to head into the All-Star break on a high note tonight by continuing its winning ways when it takes on the Bulls. Then, it will be time for some much-needed rest and recuperation before the C’s embark on the final stretch of the season.
- Taylor C. Snow