Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley left Tuesday night’s contest against the Miami Heat after playing just seven minutes with an apparent ankle sprain, then headed to the locker room. It was confirmed to be an ankle sprain and head coach Brad Stevens later confirmed that Bradley would not be on the floor for Boston’s game on Wednesday.
Bradley, who is in a contract-year, has been quite good, especially considering the absence of star point guard Rajon Rondo for most of the year. In 42 games this season, Bradley has averaged 14.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.4 assists and one steal per game while hitting 44.1 percent of his shot attempts and 36.5 percent of his threes.
However, now that Bradley is out for what is seemingly an indefinite amount of time, the Celtics face a bit of a predicament in their backcourt. Not only did this team recently trade away Jordan Crawford, but Jerryd Bayless—acquired in the Courtney Lee trade—is also currently out of commission with an injury of his own.
Though one option is that we are going to see a fair amount of Phil Pressey for however long that Bradley is sidelined, the injury to Bradley could also have implications regarding Rondo’s minutes-restriction after his recent return from a torn ACL.
While I don’t think the Celtics are foolish enough to just start playing Rondo 40 minutes per night, I also don’t believe it’s a stretch to see the short leash on Rondo’s minutes be lengthened a bit and him consistently play closer to 30 minutes per night.
Bradley’s injury is unfortunate for a Celtics team trying to gel after Rondo’s return and trying to claw back into the postseason race. For the sake of the Celtics and the backcourt in Boston, the team has to be hoping that his ankle sprain is something he can return from relatively quickly.