Avery Bradley’s shoulder popped out, the team doctor shoved it back in and Bradley rested for a couple quarters. He later returned in the final frame to provide some clutch play, but the shoulder issue isn’t going away.
As Doc Rivers explained, “This is the third time now in two weeks his shoulder’s come out. Can’t be a good feeling. Number one, it has to hurt like heck. The good news is it did what it did in the past where it went right back in and he got his feeling. That’s what happens when your shoulder goes out; you lose the feeling in your hand. You can’t go back in until it comes back. Tonight it did.”
I’m no doctor and I’ve never had a shoulder injury. But when the good news is “his shoulder popped back in and the feeling in his arm returned,” that can’t be perfect.
Bradley is playing through all kinds of pain, but let’s throw that aside for a second. Think about how afraid you’d be if your shoulder could pop out of its socket at any moment — if at any time you could rise for a layup, Elton Brand could inadvertently strike your arm, and suddenly your shoulder could be hanging limply by your side and feeling like its being stabbed by 12 knives. I’d be completely debilitated by fear. Even if I could charge through the initial pain, there’s no way I’d be able to play freely knowing that at any time my shoulder could come flying out of its joint.
Bradley wasn’t initially supposed to return yesterday.
“I didn’t think we’d have him,” Rivers said. “At halftime they said we wouldn’t, and then when I walked out (Trainer) Eddie (Lacerte) said, ‘Hey, I think he’s going to try to give it a go.’”
So of course, Bradley flushed home a dunk and then drilled a monster three from the corner. This kid is 21 years old — just 21 years old! — but an absolute gamer.