Avery Bradley out Friday for Celtics, could miss more

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In the eight games he’s been back from off-season shoulder surgery the Boston Celtics have played better defense and started to look like fans expected the team to before the season.

Now he’s out again.

He will not suit up Friday night against the Chicago Bulls due to a rib injury and could miss more than one game, reports A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com. The injury occurred during the win over the Hornets on Wednesday.

This means the bench guys — Courtney Lee, Jason Terry and Leandro Barbosa — will get more minutes and need to step up. Bradley has been scoring 8.1 points per game but it is the other end of the floor where he has made the biggest difference.

In the last five games, the Celtics have held opponents to 41.8 percent shooting overall and 97.3 points per 100 possessions (fifth best in the NBA for that stretch). Those are both markedly better than the team’s season averages — that is the end of the floor where the Celtics can’t let up vs. Bradley. Especially against the Bulls, who we know will defend.