Celtics need rookies to step up in Avery Bradley's absence

With Avery Bradley likely out for the remainder of the series, Brad Stevens has to make a handful of changes to the Celtics rotation. Luckily for Boston they have Marcus Smart who will be able to match the tenacity that Bradley gives on the defensive end of the court.

While Smart will be able to fill some of the void, the Celtics are going to need a little more help from guys who don't normally contribute as much.

No not Jordan Mickey, he's probably going to sit this one out. However the other rookies may have a huge role in the Celtics advancing to the second round. Terry Rozier has played well enough to stay on the floor, and R.J. Hunter put up 11 points on 4-6 shooting in the Celtics second-to-last game of the regular season against the Hornets.

Listen, I'm not saying that Rozier and Hunter are going to combine for 40 points, but if the two of them can hold their own for a couple of minutes and even hit a few shots? That'd be perfect. At the very least, R.J. Hunter will stretch the floor, and I'm sure Brad Stevens will find a way to use that to the Celtics' advantage.

Will the two first-year players be able to help Boston even up the series before heading home? Who knows. But one thing for sure is that the Celtics will be ready tonight.

Photo: AP Photo: Charles Krupa