Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley has been dealing with a nagging shoulder injury for the final months of this shortened NBA season. It now appears that he will be the latest victim of the 2012 NBA Playoffs aka David Stern’s tournament to the death, as I like to call it.
On Wednesday, multiple reports indicated that the Celtics will shut down Bradley, who has re-aggravated a left shoulder injury multiple times over the last few months.
Avery Bradley, 22, is a second-year guard out of Texas who has emerged as an elite defender this season, and a better option than Ray Allen. He posted season averages of 7.6 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game.
The Boston Globe reported that there’s virtually no chance Bradley plays again. A source close to Bradley told the Globe that its in the percentile is in the “high 90s” that Bradley will be shut down and will perhaps need surgery.
Bradley has missed the past two games with soreness in both shoulders and the team’s front office, along with Bradley’s representatives have decided it’s too risky to play him for the remainder of the playoffs. The Boston Herald reported, citing sources, that Bradley will need to undergo surgery on his left shoulder and that it’s “doubtful” he plays again this season.
The left shoulder has been a steady source of concern for the past few months of the season. He first injured it back in February, re-aggravated it during Game 3 of a first round series against the Atlanta Hawks and then re-aggravated it again during Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals series against the Philadelphia 76ers.
He was forced to sit out a Game 5 win over the Sixers on Monday and he missed a Game 6 loss in Philadelphia on Wednesday. In Avery Bradley’s absence, Celtics coach Doc Rivers started Ray Allen, who has been battling ankle issues. It’s clear though, that the Celtics miss his perimeter defense. Ray Allen may be a great shooter, but he’s obviously a defensive liability for the Celtics, as he was burned countless times in Game 6 against the Sixers.
The Celtics are scheduled to host Philadelphia on Saturday for Game 7 in Boston after losing Game 6 82-75. If they win Saturday, they will advance to the Eastern Conference Finals to face the Miami Heat or the Indiana Pacers. The Heat currently lead the Pacers, 3-2.
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