Shoulder surgery for Bradley
WALTHAM - Celtics guard Avery Bradley was scheduled to undergo surgery on his left shoulder at New England Baptist Hospital Friday.
“He’s out for the playoffs,’’ coach Doc Rivers said before practice in preparation for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series with Philadelphia Saturday. “It’s disappointing whenever a player goes down, especially what Avery has given us this year. His growth has been terrific. He’s become a very valuable piece to our team.
“His ability to guard the best guard has really taken so much pressure off of [Rajon] Rondo, in particular, and not having him means Rondo has to go back to that role, and run the team. And that’s hard, especially against the team we’re playing, that has two guards that attack.
“But that’s the way it is. Listen, we’ve been a team all year that stuff happens and you move forward. That’s the way we’ve been and that’s the way we have to be tomorrow.’’
Keyon Dooling missed practice because of illness.
“Obviously, with Avery out, he plays a big role,’’ Rivers said. “So we need him to get healthy - soon.’’
Ray Allen returned to his starting role in place of Bradley in the last two games, but struggled defensively, fouling out in Game 6.
“Every game throughout these playoffs we’ve needed someone else,’’ Rivers said. “Marquis [Daniels] had a game in the playoffs in Atlanta, Brandon [Bass] had the game [in Game 5]. I think we’ll find somebody tomorrow.
“Avery’s a big blow, there’s no doubt. If I’m the guys on any other team and the fact I don’t have to play against Avery Bradley, I would sleep a little better. No one wants to play against Avery. Our guys don’t want to play against him practice. I mean, he’s a pain defensively, that’s what he does.
“We’re a great defensive team. What Avery did was, he allowed us to be a great defensive team and put an individual on one guy and say go shut him down. But we don’t have that anymore, so we have to go back to being just a great defensive team.’’
Paul Pierce on the Sixers’ approach to the game: “Understand everybody on their team has the ability to play one on one. There’s no one person you have to stop. You just have to be ready to take the challenge - Jrue Holiday, [Andre] Iguodala, Lou Williams, Thaddeus Young, all these guys - so you have to take the challenge.
“When we outrebounded teams, it usually means that we won. Obviously, there’s a lot of components to the game - you’ve got to shoot well, can’t turn the ball over. I really look at our turnovers, we keep our turnovers down, rebound the ball well, it gives us a good chance.’’
More aches and pains
Rivers on Pierce’s ongoing recovery from a medial collateral ligament sprain in his left knee: “I think he’s feeling better. An [MCL] sprain doesn’t go away, but I think he’s found a way of being more comfortable with it, and I think he’s also found a way of knowing what works for him with it - where I think it took a couple games to figure it out.’’ . . . Forward Greg Stiemsma (foot), who missed the second half of the Celtics’ 82-75 loss in Philadelphia on Wednesday, will be available Saturday. “In the second half, I put him in,’’ Rivers said. “And I thought he was walking up to go in - he was walking up to say, ‘Coach, I can’t go.’ ’’
Frank Dell’Apa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.