WALTHAM – Plus one, minus one.
During practice Tuesday, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said the team will be graced with the return of Avery Bradley, who hasn’t played in seven months and is coming off surgery on both his shoulders, for Wednesday’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies.
But the Celtics may be without point guard Rajon Rondo, who has been dealing with a bruised hip that caused him to miss the Dec. 29 game against Golden State and hindered him in Sunday’s disappointing loss to Sacramento, when he had just two points.
“When you’re getting beat down the court by a big, it’s frustrating,” Rondo said. “I’m OK. I’ll be fine. It’s not like I need surgery or anything. It’s just a bruise.”
Rondo was wearing slippers and sweatpants as the Celtics took the floor for practice, and while he said he hopes to play Wednesday, Rivers wondered if that’s a good idea.
“I didn’t think he was very aggressive [Sunday],” said Rivers. “When his guy scores 27 and he scores two, that tells you all you need to know. He couldn’t move much.
“We talked after the game and I couldn’t give him an answer, whether he was helping or hurting the team the way he was moving. But you want him on the floor, so it’s a tough call.”
Bradley, who stayed home during the Celtics’ four-game road trip, will definitely play Wednesday, though Rivers has yet to decide if that will be in a starting or reserve role.
With the team struggling defensively — the Celtics allowed 118 points to the Kings, including seven 3-pointers in the fourth quarter — Bradley, who Rivers called a top-five on-ball defender in the NBA, will be needed.
Bradley said he hasn’t felt any pressure, he’s just happy to be back.
“Just like any other day, I’m going to prepare today, go through practice, go over the plays and make sure I know what’s going on,” Bradley said Tuesday. “Tomorrow I’ll go out and play like I can. Prepare like I normally do.
“I’m excited, the team is excited, I’m sure the fans are excited. I’m just going to go out there and play Celtics basketball.”