Rivers expects everyone to play despite injury

Rivers expects everyone to play despite injury
May 8, 2012, 3:45 pm
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ATLANTA The off days since the Boston Celtics Game 4 win didn't bring about the improvements in health that the C's would have wanted.

Still, with a chance to eliminate the Hawks tonight, Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers said he expects his usual cast of characters on the floor tonight.

Following Sunday's 101-79 win over Atlanta, Rivers was concerned that injuries might prevent some players - namely Paul Pierce and Avery Bradley - from playing tonight.

Pierce suffered a left knee injury during the Celtics' morning shoot-around prior to Game 4, and re-aggravated it in the first half of the C's Game 4 win. He returned in the second half, but left for good after the Celtics built up a substantial lead.

Bradley has had been bothered by a sore left shoulder that made his availability uncertain prior to Game 4.

Other injuries of note include Mickael Pietrus (hamstring) and Ray Allen (right ankle), although Allen's injury appears to be the least bothersome of them all right now.

Rivers said prior to this morning's shoot-around that as of now, he didn't expect to have to make any changes to the lineup due to injuries.

"Everyone's going to play, I think," Rivers said.

Even Allen, who has shown no signs of a setback in the two games he has played after missing nearly a month of the season with a right ankle injury.

"Ray feels good; he's probably the healthiest right now," Rivers said.

Healthy is not something Avery Bradley would use to describe how he's feeling now, or will feel anytime soon.

The pain associated with the shoulder injury that bothered him throughout the season, has become worse in the playoffs.

Prior to being given the green light to play on Sunday, Bradley went through a set of pre-game shooting drills under the watchful eye of the C's medical staff.

That's unlikely to happen tonight, with Bradley tellingCSNNE.comthat he has every intention of playing tonight.

"It's still sore," he said of the shoulder injury that cost him one game during the regular season. "I know it's going to be sore. I'll just fight through the pain. I'll be alright."