BOSTON That right shoulder injury that has limited Avery Bradley isn't quite right just yet. But he says it won't be an issue on Sunday when the Celtics host the Eastern Conference-leading Chicago Bulls.
"I'm going to be ready for Sunday," Bradley told CSNNE.com. "I'm playing Sunday."
And hopefully, he'll see more than the seven minutes of action he had in Friday's 86-74 loss at Toronto.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers had no plans of using Bradley that night because of his injury. But considering how poorly the C's looked at both ends of the floor, with little to no signs of life or energy in his players, Rivers didn't have much of a choice but to give Bradley a shot.
As it turned out, it was Bradley delivering a shot of much-needed energy which helped Boston cut a 16-point deficit down to seven at the half.
But Bradley admits it took a bit of convincing.
"I had that look on my face," Bradley said, "you put me out there and I'm just going to give all I got. He put me in, and that's what I tried to do."
Moments into the game, Bradley forced a turnover.
For the game, the Celtics were plus-seven with him on the floor.
Rivers pointed out a number of mistakes made by his team in Friday's loss, including at least one made by the coaching staff.
Yes, it had to do with Bradley.
"He was great," Rivers said. "I should have gone back with him (in the second half), honestly."
Rivers said he was close to doing so, but Rajon Rondo - who had a rough first half for the C's - began play better in the second half so Rivers opted to stick with him.
"I thought when we went small, he's better equipped to see the floor, Rondo is, to facilitate," Rivers said.
And while Rivers acknowledge regretting he didn't play Bradley more, he knows the struggles of his players left him few options that he'd normally turn to in the second half.
"They put me in a terrible position. We're down, we're scrambling, we're going small," Rivers said.
As for Bradley, Rivers said, "that effort, it was awesome."