Stevens Gives Updates on AB, Sully, Hump
WALTHAM, Mass. – Brad Stevens opened up Monday’s media availability the same way he usually does, with the obligatory injury update.
Stevens gave reporters updated information regarding three injuries that have recently hit the Celtics. First, he stated that Avery Bradley, who’s been dealing with Achilles tendinitis for the past week, was scheduled to participate in Monday’s practice and will be re-evaluated on Tuesday. Stevens also said that Jared Sullinger (bruised quad) and Kris Humphries (sore knee) would not practice but may be available to play on Wednesday.
After giving those lengthy updates, Stevens took a breath and said, “I think that’s it. Is that it?”
Yep, it’s been that kind of season for the Celtics.
Even Stevens loses track of the team’s lengthy list of injuries from time to time. There have been so many this season that Celtics players have missed a total of 139 games due to either injury or illness, and that doesn’t even include the 38 games Keith Bogans has missed since being excused from the team in mid-January. Boston has been shorthanded in one way or another every night this season.
While this is Stevens’ first season as an NBA coach, he hasn’t exactly been caught off guard by the persistent injury bug. He actually expected it.
“I think that’s one of the things that you can anticipate,” Stevens said, “that it’s a long grind and it’s not an easy thing for these guys to go through… It’s a tough league, because back to back to back, you’re playing. You don’t have much chance to recover if things aren’t going well.”
Expecting injuries and dealing with them are two totally different stories. Stevens is the first to admit that adjusting to each injury has proven to be a difficult task.
“One of the challenges for me has been just the rotating door of who’s available,” he said. “I don’t know that that’s all that unusual, so it’s probably something that I’ve got to get more used to than not.”
Stevens is holding out hope that everyone who hasn’t suffered a season-ending injury will be available for Boston’s final stretch of the season. Bradley, Sullinger and Humphries are all putting in work behind the scenes and could be active Wednesday night when the Celtics take on the Hawks in Atlanta.
“All those guys were here early (today). All those guys were evaluated early,” Stevens said of his three recovering players. “They’re doing stuff to enhance their chances of not getting injured with their flexibility and core work well before practice starts. And obviously (athletic trainer) Eddie (Lacerte) and his staff treat these guys morning ‘til night, especially when they’re injured.”
The goal is for such treatment to get Bradley, Sullinger and Humphries back onto the court as quickly as possible. Only five games remain, but Stevens reiterated yet again on Monday that there has been no thought put into the idea of sitting any of his players for the remainder of the season.
“There is no talk of shutting anyone down,” he said. “Nope. None. Zero.”
So for the time being, the game continues. Bradley, Sullinger and Humphries are all on the mend, which means Stevens will need to deliver yet another injury update on Tuesday afternoon.