Is Avery Bradley Planning To Return Before End Of Celtics-Hawks Series?

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The Boston Celtics have their backs against the wall in their first-round playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks, but they’re not finished yet. Avery Bradley is hoping he can say the same.

The Celtics shooting guard significantly strained his right hamstring Saturday in Boston’s Game 1 loss, and head coach Brad Stevens said it was “very unlikely” Bradley would return before the end of the best-of-seven series.

But CSN New England play-by-play man Mike Gorman provided a ray of hope Wednesday morning.

“The most encouraging thing I saw (Tuesday) night at the end of the game, Avery Bradley, without the aid of crutches or anything else, got on the bus and came walking up the aisle,” Gorman said on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher and Rich,” via CBS Boston. “I said, ?Wow, you?re moving pretty well,? and he said he thinks he might be able to play before this series is over.”

“I asked if (Bradley) would play again, and he said he was hoping he could play next week,” Gorman added. “He said, ?If we can extend this series, I?m hoping I can play again.'”

The Celtics would greatly benefit from Bradley’s return, especially after Tuesday’s abysmal offensive performance that dropped them into a 2-0 series hole. Bradley is one of Boston’s better spot-up shooters and also provides a huge boost at the defensive end.

That said, Celtics fans shouldn’t get too optimistic. Hamstring injuries tend to linger, and even if Bradley is moving well in street clothes, making explosive movements on a basketball court is a completely different story.

The more pressing matter, of course, is extending the series, as the C’s have lost seven consecutive playoff games and will hope to snap that streak Friday when the series returns to Boston for Game 3.

Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images

Thumbnail photo via Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) and guard Avery Bradley (0) celebrate during the final moments of the second half of the Boston Celtics 104-97 win over the New Orleans Pelicans at TD Garden.

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