Perspective is one of my favorite words. Maybe because perspective is one the most important things in life. A lack of it will make you look like a fool. A healthy dose of it can make you look like a genius.
One of my favorite examples of perspective is when you put two bottles on a table and line them up… from a certain perspective, it looks like there’s just one bottle there. Anyone looking from that one, unwavering perspective would argue to the death that there’s only one bottle… when the ability to look at a situation even just slightly differently will show you you’re wrong.
It’s important in everything. From the most serious problems in life, to the fundamentals of basketball. For Avery Bradley, who is coming off his two shoulder surgeries, that change in perspective has already changed his game.
“I ask Rondo so many questions now,” he said. “I watch a lot of film because of him. It’s funny because it seems like I was just a rookie yesterday and now I’m helping the rookies and sometimes I’m helping the older guys because I look at the game differently.”
Changes in perspective can be so powerful, that they produce epiphanies. After a lifetime of seeing the game a certain way, suddenly, Bradley has been exposed to something entirely new.
“There were some of those things (head coach) Doc (Rivers) would yell at us about,” Bradley said. “[He would] look at us like, ‘Are you serious? You don’t see that? You don’t see what I see?’ We’d be like, ‘No, we don’t.’
“Now I see those things and I look at people that way, like, ‘Why aren’t you doing things that way?’ I look at the game completely different, it’s weird. It’s like once you know the plays and you feel comfortable, you know all the other teams’ sets, it’s like you know everything and it’s just easier. I know Paul (Pierce) and them can say the same thing, too.”
Advantages in the NBA, or any other professional sport, are slim. Avery Bradley (who only just turned 22, by the way) is fast, but so are a lot of guys. Mental preparation in the NBA can be the difference between getting to the right spot on the floor and getting beat or fouling a guy. Avery Bradley is quick, has great footwork, and can play tremendous on-ball defense just based on physical skill. If the mental part of this game matches the physical… then Bradley’s return (which is getting closer) will be a game-changer for the Celtics.