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.