WALTHAM, Mass. -- Boston Celtics starting point guard Evan Turner was one of five players whom coach Brad Stevens held out of the team's offday workout on Thursday, but Turner reaffirmed that a lingering right thumb injury shouldn't force him to miss any game action.
Turner originally sprained the thumb in a loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Jan. 14. Despite having it wrapped during recent games, the injury has been aggravated with Turner in apparent discomfort at times during Boston's recent road trip.
Turner wasn't wearing any sort of wrap as he meet with reporters after the team's workout Thursday and said of the thumb, "It's all right. It's getting better each day. It'll be fine... When it gets bent back, it kind of hurts a little bit. I'll be fine."
Turner is averaging 9.2 points, 4.5 assists and 4.5 rebounds over 25.3 minutes per game. Those numbers improve to 10.8 points, 5.8 assists and 5.4 rebounds over 28.7 minutes in the 19 games he's played as a starter.
Stevens said any decision about whether Turner plays rests with the player and team trainer Ed Lacerte. "That's Evan and Ed's call," Stevens said. "I"m just a coach who -- if they say, 'Yes, he can play’ or ‘Yes, I am playing,’ then he plays. I don’t ask any questions beyond that. If he can’t play, he can’t play. If he doesn't feel comfortable playing, he’s not going to play. That hasn’t been the case thus far."
No sleep 'til Houston
After concluding a season-long six-game road trip with a loss on Wednesday night in Minnesota, the Celtics arrived back in the Boston area around 2 a.m. on Thursday morning. Stevens elected to put the team through a light practice/walkthrough Thursday afternoon and the Celtics will skip their usual morning shootaround on Friday before hosting the Houston Rockets.
"I figured that, while we’re on a unique travel schedule and sleep schedule, we’ll stay on it as long as we can," Stevens said. "Most of those guys are fine. A couple of them are in the same situation as I am where, hey, no matter what time you get home, your kids get up at a certain time and you better be up. Most of these guys got to sleep in."
Dawkins drops in
Andre Dawkins, the D-League standout signed to a 10-day deal last week by the Celtics, joined his teammates for the first time Thursday after spending the start of his stint on assignment with the Maine Red Claws.
Dawkins got practice reps Thursday and spent time after the session getting up shots with Jae Crowder.
Said Stevens: "Another reason we practiced today was it was a good chance to get Andre with these guys for a day. I thought that was a good opportunity because Maine plays [Friday] and Saturday."
Dawkins was promptly reassigned to Maine after Thursday's practice.
Stevens recalled Dawkins from his Duke days and said, "He was certainly elite shooting the ball, that’s always stuck in my mind. I watched what he did in the D-League early on in the year, and so I was excited that we got a chance to sign him."
Asked about trying to avoid pressing while on a short-term deal, Dawkins said, "Just got to play basketball. They brought me in for a reason. They obviously saw something in me. Just got to keep doing whatever it is that got them interested in the first place."