BOSTON — Avery Bradley will be taping his ankles for the remainder of the season — and probably for the rest of his career.
Bradley returned to the court for the Boston Celtics on Friday after missing the previous 13 games and 19 of the last 22 with an injured right ankle. Before the game, he claimed he wasn’t worried about his conditioning and only mildly worried about his timing. But he was concerned with getting a good tape job.
“The reason I ended up spraining my ankle is, I always taped last year and this entire year I wasn’t taping,” Bradley said. “As a result of me not taping, I injured myself. So now I’ll be taping every single game, shootaround and practice.”
The fourth-year guard couldn’t really explain why he made the decision to stop taping this season. He just knows now that it was the wrong decision.
“I just tried something new this year,” he said, “and it didn’t work.”
Bradley did not appear to be badly hampered by the tape. He moved well, although his jump shot was inconsistent and he finished with nine points on 4-for-12 shooting. Games are pretty much Bradley’s only opportunity to get reps in five-on-five situations, which Celtics coach Brad Stevens acknowledged before the game was “kind of a trial by fire.”
Live practices are few and far between at this point in the season, so Bradley was not sure how long it will take for him to get his rhythm back.
“It’s hard to say,” Bradley said. “It might be one game, might be two games, I don’t know. I just have to go out there and be confident and take what the defense gives me and get to my spots.”