Despite record, Stevens will not shut down injured players

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Brad Stevens wants his players to play out the string.

Avery Bradley has a strained Achillies.  Jared Sullinger has a deep thigh bruise.  Kris Humphries has a strained right patella tendon.

Given the fact that the Celtics are eliminated from the playoffs, it is logical to ask if Stevens would consider simply shutting down these guys and letting the rest of the squad play out the season.

Nope.  It sounds like Bradley and Sullinger are looking to play on Wednesday.  Humphries is going to be out for at least the next two games but if he can go, he'll go.

Humphries (knee) set for MRI - Boston Celtics Blog - ESPN Boston

"If he’s able to play, he’s going to play," said Stevens. "That’s just kinda the way we’ve approached it all year. We want to be cautious if he’s got an issue and clearly he’s not feeling good right now. Hopefully the MRI reveals that it’s nothing and he can play at least a couple more games throughout the rest of the season."

Should the Celtics shut down their injured players? -Celtics blog - Boston Globe basketball news

"There is no talk of shutting anyone down," Stevens said adamantly. "None. Zero. The only way somebody would be shut down is if they physically can’t participate."

"It's really important to do your best and go after it every single day," Stevens said. "This is a real challenge. I talked about it the other day, you find out a lot about people with five games left in a season when you're on an eight-game losing streak."

I can understand this logic and I agree with it.  Even though I'd like a higher draft position, I think it is still important for the coach and players to approach the game with a winning attitude.  There are precious few games left for Stevens and his staff to evaluate the players on this team.  Decisions will be made this summer about who to bring back and you need to understand what you have before you know what you need to add.

With all of that said, I do think that the team will take a cautious approach to these injuries.  If guys are legitimately hurt, they'll sit.  But Bradley apparently threw down a 360 dunk in practice and Sullinger said he was feeling a lot better.

Rondo, by the way, will still not play on the back half of the last back-to-back game.  So there's that.

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