Celtics missing another key player for Game 2 vs Hawks
ATLANTA (AP) The Boston Celtics went into Game 2 of the NBA playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks without another key player on Tuesday night.
Seven-foot forward Kelly Olynyk was sitting out because of a sore right shoulder. He tweaked a previous injury in Game 1 and was unable to practice on Monday, watching from the bench as the Celtics went through drills at Philips Arena.
''He's been playing through a pretty good deal of pain,'' coach Brad Steven said during his pregame news conference.
The Celtics were already without guard Avery Bradley, who sustained a severely strained right hamstring in the opener.
Bradley will undergo an MRI on Wednesday after the team returns to Boston, but he's not expected to return in the best-of-seven series. The Hawks were on top after a 102-101 victory in Game 1.
Bradley is the Celtics' second-leading scorer and best perimeter defender. After considering several options, Stevens decided to start Marcus Smart in Game 2, leaving Evan Turner to continue coming off the bench. Younger players such as second-year forward James Young and rookie guards R.J. Hunter and Terry Rozier could get more playing time, as well.
''Marcus and Evan have both started when Avery's been out in the past,'' Stevens said. ''It's more about being able to balance lineups and balance matchups and those types of things.''
Olynyk is one of six Boston players who averaged in double figures during the regular season, scoring 10 points a game. But he managed only two points in the playoff opener after re-injuring his shoulder in the first half.
The Celtics have another 7-footer, Tyler Zeller, who didn't play in the opener but could join the rotation. Olynyk was hopeful of returning for Game 3 on Friday night, after the series shifts to Boston for the next two games.
''We're just trying to take it day by day,'' Olynyk said. ''I felt a little bit better (Tuesday) morning, so I went to shootaround. But didn't feel quite as good when I got here (for the game). Hopefully a couple of more days of rest and we'll see how it feels Friday.''
Olynyk said he's not exactly sure the nature of his injury. For now, all he can do is get treatment and hope it gets better.
''It needs rest. It needs to calm down,'' he said. ''You can have a little pain and discomfort, but you can't play when don't have the strength to hold someone off to rebound the basketball.''
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