Ailing Bradley will try to play tonight vs. Pistons

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Ailing Bradley will try to play tonight vs. Pistons

BIRMINGHAM, Mich. Avery Bradley's status for tonight's game against Detroit is still up in the air, though the 6-foot-2 guard planned to participate in the team's morning shootaround.

To what extent was unclear.

One thing is clear: He's going to do whatever he can to get back on the floor, possibly as early as tonight.

"I think it's really Avery's call," said coach Doc Rivers. "It's a pain-tolerance thing. And that's a very painful injury. My guess is he's not playing, but he's going to try to work out today."

Bradley did not play in Boston's 100-99 overtime loss to Chicago on Friday because of a rib injury suffered in the C's 90-78 loss to New Orleans on Wednesday.

"It's still a little sore," Bradley said prior to this morning's shootaround. "I'll find out closer to the game if I'm going to play tonight or not."

He said the injury occurred when he took a blow from Hornets center Robin Lopez on Wednesday.

"I lost my breath, got hit in my . . . ribs, like the end of the game," Bradley recalled. "At first it hurt, but the adrenaline kept me going until I sat down on the bench and I felt it. And later on in the night, I could really feel it."

The injury is just the latest in what has been an injury-plagued career for Bradley, who is in his third season all with the Celtics, and all involving him missing some games due to an injury.

He has played in just eight games this season after missing the first 30 while recovering from surgery to both shoulders.

"Very frustrating" is how Bradley describes his latest setback.

"I already missed a lot of games this year. Not to be able to help my team is frustrating."

But the way Bradley plays to some degree makes him more susceptible to suffering injuries that can sideline him for a period of time.

While his current injuty may not necessarily fall into that category, Bradley does acknowledge that he may have to modify his game somewhat in order to stay healthier for more extended periods of time.

"Definitely, I feel as I get older I'll be able to pick my spots; be able to protect myself more so I don't get injured as much."

Teammate Jason Terry thinks Bradley doesn't need to modify is game but rather, his in-game attire.

"For him, he just has to play with padding, like Rajon Rondo," Terry said. "Ribs, shins, elbows, sleeves . . . because that's his game, going all-out. I think he should make that adjustment before he does anything else. But don't change your game; play the same way."

Added Rivers: "He'll probably be a guy that's injured. He'll miss some games but he'll get better at it and play a lot of games. He'll miss a couple games a year. But you want him to play the way he plays. That's what makes him effective."

WATCH: Celtics vs. Magic

WATCH: Celtics vs. Magic

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Celtics-Magic preview: Orlando's poor offense gives C's chance to bounce back

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Celtics-Magic preview: Orlando's poor offense gives C's chance to bounce back

Talk about your basketball extremes.

After losing a 107-106 heartbreaker to Houston and their high-powered offense on Monday, the Boston Celtics will be in for a very different -- and less successful -- foe tonight in the Orlando Magic.

The Magic beat Washington 124-116 on Tuesday night despite John Wall’s 52-point effort, but have been one of the NBA’s most offensively challenged teams this season.

Orlando ranks near the bottom in scoring (29th, 94.6 points per game), field goal percentage (28th, .426) and Pace (24th, 96.71) this season.

But Frank Vogel’s crew has been a defensive force thus far in the East even if their record might suggest otherwise.

They rank among the league’s best in several defensive categories such as scoring defense (4th, 98.0 points per game allowed); opponent 3-point percentage (3rd, 33.0 percent), opponent 3-point attempts (4th, 23.6) in addition to allowing a league-low 8.0 made 3's per game.

That will be a stark contrast from the let-it-fly-all-night style Boston had to contend with against the high-scoring Rockets on Monday.

But this set of games is exactly why Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge made of point of trying to put together a roster that was heavy on athleticism and versatility both in the frontcourt as well as on the perimeter.

Against Houston, Tyler Zeller recorded his first DNP-CD (Did not play -- coaches decision) of the season which made sense considering Houston basically plays void of a traditional center.

Orlando, that’s a different story.

Serge Ibaka, Bismack Biyombo and Nikola Vucevic now coming off the bench form a physical triumvirate of big men that can cause lots of problems for a Celtics team that will look to attack the paint often.

When it comes to scoring in the restricted area, the Magic allow opponents to shoot 57.6 percent which ranks seventh in the league. They rank highly when it comes to defending mid-range shots (5-10th, 38.3 percent), corner 3's (6th, 34.5 percent) and above-the-break 3's (8th, 33.8 percent) as well.

And while they have had their issues offensively this season, their recent run of success has been in part aided by a much-improved offensive showing. In their last five games, they are shooting 48.5 percent from the field which ranks fifth in the NBA in that span. For the season, the Magic rank 28th while connecting on 42.6 percent of their shots.

Orlando’s improved shooting with a defense that’s stingy as ever, will make this a tough game for Boston to come away with a victory.

Just as the Magic seek to continue their successful ways, the Celtics come into this game with something to prove as well.

While the missed lay-ups by Al Horford and Isaiah Thomas in the final minute of Monday’s 107-106 loss certainly were factors in the game’s outcome, there were a series of miscommunications earlier in the quarter that fueled Houston’s late surge.

Following the game, Isaiah Thomas pointed out how he called out a play that Jonas Jerebko interpreted as another play the Celtics called.

The miscommunication led to a turnover and subsequent lay-up which in hindsight looms huge considering the margin of victory was just one point.

“The two play calls sound alike,” Thomas told reporters afterwards. “In the heat of battle, I have to do a better job of making sure everybody knows what play we’re running. He (Jerebko) handed the ball back to me when the play wasn’t to hand the ball back to me. That was one of the turnovers that was the key.

Thomas added, “It’s not his fault. As a group, as a point guard, I have to do a better job of letting my guys know what play we’re running. Those little things, especially on the road, those make you lose games. But that wasn’t the play that made us lose. I’m not putting this on Jonas at all.”

Indeed, this team’s success as well as their struggles are the collective efforts of all their core players, Thomas included.

And for them to get back on track, it won’t be one or two players that will make it happen.

It’ll be a team effort, the kind that will allow Boston to find success against different teams no matter how extremely different their styles of play may be.