Hawks forward Paul Millsap (4) drives to the basket against Boston Celtics center Kelly Olynyk (41) and forward Amir Johnson (90) during the second half in game one of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena. (John David Mercer-USA Today Sports)
Suddenly, the Celtics’ injury woes go well beyond Avery Bradley.
There are a number of uncertainties regarding the availabilities of the Celtics heading into Game 2 in Atlanta.
Aside from Bradley, who has been ruled out by Brad Stevens for Tuesday night, the most troubling might be the status of their best 3-point shooter, Kelly Olynyk. The 7-footer re-aggravated the same (shooting) shoulder he injured on Feb. 10 against the Clippers. He missed 12 games after the All-Star break.
Olynyk missed his second straight practice Monday and is questionable for Tuesday.
“Got the impression he got aggravated the other day and he’s been dealing with it for a while, obviously, since the [initial] injury,” Stevens said. “So he’s going to sit out today and we’ll see about [Tuesday] night.”
If Olynyk can’t go, the Celtics would be without two of their top three perimeter shooters in Bradley and Olynyk.
“We’ll see. Hopefully. Probably just rest it today, see how it goes,” Olynyk said. “Just sore, pain, discomfort. I’m just trying to get it back.”
Olynyk told reporters Monday at Philips Arena he doesn’t recall exactly when he injured the shoulder but believes it happened sometime during the Game 1 loss.
“During the game you could definitely tell something wasn’t the same as it was for the start,” Olynyk said. “Hopefully just a little rest and recovery and get back out there.”
As for Bradley, Brad Stevens before Monday’s practice repeated his message from the day before, ruling out the defensive specialist for Tuesday night at Philips Arena. The coach also reiterated that it’s “most likely” that Bradley will miss the rest of the series with a “pretty significant” strain of his right hamstring.
The bit of news from Stevens was the announcement that Bradley will undergo an MRI back in Boston on Wednesday after the team comes back to town.
Another starter’s availability might not be in question but his effectiveness suddenly is.
Jae Crowder admitted to reporters Monday that his ankle is not 100 percent, as he still recovers from the high ankle sprain of the right foot suffered on March 11 against the Rockets. Crowder said on Friday before the team left for Atlanta that the ankle will not require surgery in the offseason. On Monday, he said while that’s still the case, the ankle is not where it was before the injury.
“Seventy-five (percent) probably, 80 (percent),” Crowder told the assembled media at Philips Arena. “Somewhere in there. Not 100.”
Crowder returned on March 31 against the Trail Blazers after missing eight games. He played 35 minutes and recorded a double-double (13 points, 10 rebounds). He took the next day off against Golden State but has played in all seven games since, including the Game 1 loss in Atlanta. In the final six regular season games, Crowder averaged 12.7 points and 4.2 rebounds, including 36.4-percent field goal shooting and 28.6-percent shooting from 3-point range. In Game 1 Saturday, he had another double-double, with 14 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. But he shot just 5-for-16 from the field.
“Like I said before there’s still some stuff I’m capable of doing which I can’t do now,” Crowder said. “But it is what it is. I’m able to play with it and I’m able to fight through it, and I’ll be fine.”
There is some good news as Marcus Smart returned to practice Monday after missing Sunday. Smart bruised the knuckle on his left index finger. He didn’t recall when exactly it happened but was spotted icing it during the second quarter.