The Boston Celtics who entered the playoffs relatively healthy are now all banged up after just one game. But their injury woes go beyond the hamstring strain of guard Avery Bradley, as Kelly Olynyk and Jae Crowder are dealing with ailments.
Bradley who has been ruled out for game 2 by C's head coach Brad Stevens is concerning, but the potential absence of the best 3 point shooter Kelly Olynyk is more of an immediate concern than Bradley. As the Celtics currently do not have a player that can stretch the floor like Olynyk can, Kelly who is a power forward can go in low and battle with the big's or he can drive to the outside where he hits a team high shooting percentage from beyond the arc.
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's game 2 against the Atlanta Hawks.
If Olynyk is unable to go the Celtics would be without their two best 3 point perimeter shooters in Bradley and Olynyk.
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 against the Hawks.
The injury concerns for the C's doesn't end with Olynyk and Bradley though as Jae Crowder is also not at 100%. While Crowder's ability to start is not in question, his effectiveness is going to be questioned. 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.
If the Celtics hope to win this first round match-up with the Hawks they will need both Crowder and Olynyk to play their best basketball with Bradley out. Hopefully the task isn't too daunting and the team can pull out wins.