Wafer (back) latest in long line of injured Celts

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Wafer (back) latest in long line of injured Celts

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- Two minutes and six seconds. That's all it took for Von Wafer to add his name to the long list of injured Celtics.

Wafer suffered a sore lower back during Thursday's game against the Hawks. He went to the trainer's room in the second quarter and did not return.

"When I came to the bench to start sitting down, it just got tight," he told CSNNE.com following the Celtics 102-90 win.

Doc Rivers said Wafer's back was bothering him before the game. "The last three games he's come in for treatment on his back."

Fortunately for the undermanned C's, Wafer does not expect to be kept out of action.

"I don't think it's that serious," he said. "I just think a day or two of treatment and rest and I'll be fine."

The Celtics need all the healthy bodies they can get. Even though Wafer is averaging less than six minutes per game this season, his playing time was expected to increase with the recent injury of Rajon Rondo.

Following Wafer's departure, the Celtics were down to just nine players against the Hawks.

"I tried to get it loose," he said. "But I've just got to come in and get treatment tomorrow and try to get it back right."

Follow Jessica Camerato on Twitter at http:twitter.comjcameratonba.

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Celtics-Raptors preview: DeRozan, Lowry a challenge for Bradley, C's

Celtics-Raptors preview: DeRozan, Lowry a challenge for Bradley, C's

BOSTON – Avery Bradley doesn’t mind being a standout, but this is probably not what he had in mind. 

Injuries have ravaged the Boston Celtics’ starting five to the point where only one player, Bradley, has been with the first unit in all 22 games this season. 

Just like Bradley was looked upon to step his game up in the absence of Isaiah Thomas (right groin) at Orlando on Wednesday, he will once again be challenged to lead Boston (13-9) to victory tonight when the Thomas-less Celtics face the Toronto Raptors. 

Bradley’s emergence as a two-way talent this season has overshadowed at times what has been another season of elite play defensively. 

And he’ll need to be on top of his defensive game tonight against a Raptors All-Star backcourt of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. 

Both Lowry and DeRozan present a different kind of challenge for Bradley who will spend time defending each of them at various points during the game. 

Lowry has good size, strength and deceptive quickness in addition to an under-rated perimeter game that will keep Bradley on his toes for sure. 

This season he's averaging 20.8 points, 4.9 rebounds and a career-high 7.6 assists while shooting 42.9 percent on 3's which is also a career mark. 

And DeRozan is having the kind of season that might get him a few league MVP votes. 

His 28.0 points per game ranks fifth in the NBA, but making his numbers even more impressive is that unlike most guards DeRozan doesn’t generate much offense from three-pointers.

DeRozan averages 1.8 three-point attempts per game which is the fewest attempts among any player ranked among the league’s top-25 scorers.

The 6-foot-7 All-Star is the master of the mid-range game which accounts for 31.5 percent of the points he scores. And when he’s not shooting the mid-range, he’s working a defender in one-on-one iso-situations. 

That helps explain why 76.4 percent of his two-point made field goals are unassisted. 

But here’s the thing about Bradley. 

As much as we give him props for what he does defensively, it’s his offense that has put him on the map as a potential All-Star this season. 

Bradley is averaging a career-high 17.9 points while shooting 47.2 percent from the field. He’s also averaging a career-high 7.8 rebounds per game in addition to shooting a career-high 40.7 percent on 3's.

But for Bradley, individual accolades are only going to come his way by the Celtics winning games; preferably against above-average teams like the Toronto Raptors.

And that would make both Bradley and the Celtics stand out this season.