Injuries thin out Celtics lineup

Injuries thin out Celtics lineup
April 12, 2014, 6:45 pm
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Jared Sullinger was confident that he would be able to play tonight after suffering a left ankle sprain in Friday's win over Charlotte.

His ankle, however, had other plans

"He woke up swollen, stiff," said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. "Certainly he got it pretty good with an ankle sprain (on Friday night)."

And that puts Sullinger among the growing list of injured Celtics heading into tonight's game at Cleveland.

In addition to Sullinger, Boston will be without Jerryd Bayless (right knee bone bruise) and Rajon Rondo (left shin).

Also, Kris Humphries (knee tendinitis) will be a game-time decision.

To have so many players out isn't all that unusual this time of year for a team that's not going to the playoffs.

But Stevens reiterated that the Celtics' short-handed status has to do with injuries and injuries only.

"We certainly aren't shutting anyone down or that type of stuff," Stevens said. "It's once they feel better, they'll be playing."

The injuries have led to the Celtics preparing to unveil their 22nd different lineup. Phil Pressey, who had his second career double-double on Friday, will make his 10th start of the season at point guard. He is joined in the backcourt by Avery Bradley. The starting frontcourt consists of Jeff Green, Brandon Bass and rookie big man Kelly Olynyk making his seventh start.

That will leave the Celtics with an extremely thin bench.

"If Hump doesn't play we have eight guys," Stevens said. "When you have eight players, nine players, 10 players, those guys know they're going to play."