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Avery Bradley will come back better… stronger… faster

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) November 20, 2012 Celtics News 10 Comments

Dating myself with a Six Million Dollar Man reference?  You bet your ass I am.  My favorite part about that open is their “technology” in the mid-70′s is dwarfed by most “get it free with a contract” smart phones.

One year ago, we were “optimistic” there’d be an NBA season.  We were not “optimistic” that Avery Bradley would make much of an impact with this team.

But… he did.  And now I fully expect Bradley to come back and save the team with his defense alone.  And he expects the same.

“I think even though I’m not playing, you can definitely get better because I’m getting my body stronger,” he said. “So, I’m definitely going to come back stronger and be a better player.”

One thing he’s focusing on… .seeing the game differently:

“I look at it completely different now,” he said. “Some things that Doc [Rivers] might see — because he sees a lot of things that players don’t see — I’m starting to see. Being a back-up point guard you need to know where everybody has to be. You need to know certain plays. Now, sitting back watching, I can try and become like [Rajon] Rondo as far as knowing where everybody’s supposed to be. Just trying to be the General..

I love that Avery is looking to be a better back up point guard.  But I’m adamant… steadfastly so… that he needs to be the starting 2-guard.  I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again.

Bradley’s on-ball defense, along with Rajon Rondo’s free-safety-like roaming in passing lanes, is a deadly combination.  It makes opposing back courts shit their pants.  It gets the Celtics early leads and puts pressure on the other team to come back from deficits.

From there, Courtney Lee and Leandro Barbosa can fight it out.  I honestly don’t care who steps up, but one of them has to assume the mantle of primary ball handler for the second unit (and right now, it’s obviously Barbosa by a mile).  Then you let Jason Terry roam around in his natural 2 spot and you go from there.

I fully understand that the “back up” point guard is only running the team in that capacity for about 8-10 minutes a game.  But I’d really prefer Avery spend all of his time on the floor firmly lodged in the jock of the best opposing guard, making him beg for space and disrupting the opposing team’s scheme.  That’s far more important to me than whether Lee or Barbosa are slightly more comfortable at the 2 than the 1.  They’re going to have to suck it up.

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  • Drew

    It’d be nice to be a top the standings when he comes back. Digging ourselves out of an 7th-8th place hole when he comes back would be more angering to watch than fun. Torture basketball, The Celtics love it.

  • eddysamson

    What are we looking at like 3 weeks now until his return? God damnnnnnn I cant wait. Hope his conditioning can came up with his full court press, though!

  • KY Celts fan

    We currently sit at 22nd in defensive efficiency. Avery will help when he returns. But, if we only jump to 17th or 16th instead of 2nd or 3rd like where we’ve been the past couple of years, then we can’t seriously consider ourselves contenders. Our offense is too terrible to carry us if our defense isn’t elite. That’s the ways it’s been since the ’08-’09 season.

    • LA Flake

      Avery is a transformative defender at his position. He is what we’re missing right now. Once he returns, it’ll become easier for Lee, Terry and Green to find their roles on this team. We will eventually need to unload Terry or Lee along with Bass though.

  • 17rings

    love this guy.. his effort, his attitude, everything.

    He is a wolf in sheeps clothing.

  • andy

    this team has consistently, year after year, been less than stellar during the regular season. it’s come at different times, but every year without exception, they put it together top notch basketball, especially when it counts, and as fans we’ve been lucky enough to enjoy entertaining and competitive playoff basketball for 5 years running….starting in 2008 w/ a championship, after the best single-season turnaround in NBA history

    i will take the ups and downs and frustrating play if not happily, at least curiously, feeling pretty confident i can expect more of the same when it matters.

    all that to say, i am optimistic bradley’s return, among other things, will help to continue this team’s rise and increasing cohesiveness.

    the preseason hopes were there for a reason & the track record is proven, i’m having a hard time feeling anything but optimistic.

  • Chris

    I don’t mind seeing Avery playing some minutes at the point while Rondo sits. Lee/Terry will get some time with Rondo, so Avery has his rest time. Though he can start at the 2, he can then step in to that role Harden played in OKC while Maynor was injured.

  • dk

    Hopefully he will help a lot. Although I think we’ve all seen this before where we pin all our hopes on the return of _____ player, as if that player will be the cure to all ills and get us back on track…but then if he starts slow there’s always the inevitable, “well, he’s getting his legs back needs to get back into rhythm, he’s been out for so long.” I just hope this team as a whole continues to improve and click, because AB will help for sure w/ D and rotations but he’s not a savior. Even though I know it’s early in the season, I just hate looking at the standings and seeing the Knicks, Nets and 6ers ahead of us.

    • Jim

      Couldn’t have said it better. It’s not fair putting all these hopes on Avery’s shoulders and it’s letting the rest of the team off the hook.They have to defend as a team, not expect Avery to get them out of a hole.

  • http://GreenHeadzBlog.blogspot.com ChiefGreenHeadz

    I agree with Jim…great analysis if Avery Bradley and why he’s important to THIS team at THIS time. The crazy thing is, I had a conversation that – I swear – was identical to the section of the post that explains what Avery does for Rondo and why it’s so important that he stays with this team as it is currently constituted. I make a reference to it in the post I did on my blog about potential replacements for Darko.

    http://greenheadzblog.blogspot.com/2012/11/who-will-be-center-of-attention-if.html