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Your Morning Dump… Where Bradley can’t be the savior

Nick Sannicandro January 2, 2013 Avery Bradley, The Morning Dump 15 Comments

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

Avery Bradley must have left his green-tinted halo at home, because the Celtics’ supposed savior was missing his angelic glow on Tuesday.

Bradley has not played competitively since May 18, yet many fans and observers seem to be counting on him to rescue the Celtics from their current slide.

NESN – Avery Bradley Not Being Counted Upon As Savior For Celtics, But Can Ease Rajon Rondo’s Load Defensively

Since the start of the 2012-13 NBA Season, much of the talk had been about how great the lineup will be once their young guard Avery Bradley returns from season ending shoulder surgery that he endured last season. Initially, Bradley was viewed as a complimentary piece, a way to complete the puzzle in a sense. Combined with Jason Terry, Rajon Rondo and Courtney Lee the four would provide one of the most unique yet dynamic backcourts in all of the NBA. Each has a forte, something they thrive at whether its a wizard of creative passing, coming off the bench and contributing, the deep ball, or in Bradley’s case defense.

As the season has progressed and the Celtics have shown serious signs of trouble, the growing concern among Celtics nation caused many to turn Bradley from the complimentary player that he was supposed to be, to the messiah who will come in and turn the program around. Much of this can be credited to the denial that man fans live in, while the other half can be rationalized to some degree. Many fans feel that since Bradley is a defensive gem, and the Celtics have been struggling on defense that he will be the piece they needed.

I say not so fast though. The Celtics struggles have been primarily INTERIOR defense rather than perimeter defense where Bradley specializes.  Unless Bradley grows another foot and learns the Mutombo finger wag soon, he will not be fixing the interior defense. Where Bradley will help the interior defense is that Bradley is less of a risk taker than Rajon Rondo is on the perimeter. The problem with taking risks on the perimeter is that it leaves your interior guys vulnerable to looking bad as they are often late to come and help (especially with an older team that doesn’t move as fast). Bradley is far more secure on the perimeter than Rondo and won’t allow guys to slip through as easily which will help the inside guys just a little bit.

Is what Bradley brings to the table enough to turn things around overnight? Not even close, but if fans have a realistic approach towards Bradley and see him as a key piece to the puzzle, rather than the one to fix it all, there will be far less pressure on Bradley to be something that he has not yet become; the leader of the team. This is not to say that Bradley cannot develop into said player, but lets remember that just a year ago there was talk that he may not even make the team during training camp, and many fans viewed him as a bust already after just one season of riding the pine.

I understand the fans desire to win now, but if winning now means placing a significant amount of pressure on a growing star and possibly over-burdening him with tasks he is not ready to perform (especially as he comes fresh off surgery) which could potentially stunt his growth, then I would rather not win now and allow this team to grow and bud into something special in the future. For all of the Red Sox fans out there, think of this as similar to the Daniel Bard situation, a player with tremendous abilities thrust into a role that he did not belong in yet , causing a train wreck of events leading to his demotion mid-season.  Hopefully the Celtics will have learned from their cross town partners mistakes….

The rest of the links:

Boston Herald – Bradley practices, Rondo sits and wonders about tomorrow night – Mark Murphy , CSNNE- Bradley set to return Wednesday vs. Grizzlies- A. Sherrod Blakely , CSNNE Rondo (hip) questionable for Grizzlies game , A. Sherrod Blakely , ESPN Boston : Three predictions for 2013 – Chris Forsburg  ESPN Boston- Practice notebook: Turning the page – Chris Forsburg Boston Herald- Pressures back on – Mark Murphy, NESN- Rajon Rondo Says Avery Bradley Is Best Desfensive Guard In NBA - ESPN Boston- A boost from Bradley

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  • Willowgreen

    missing wilcox hurts the C’s too, he is the best big man of the c’s except for kg

    • Jester00

      Um Sully is Wilcox cannot rebound a lick

  • Sam

    I don’t think the Bard analogy makes all that much sense, unless the Celtics suddenly expected Bradley to take on a large part of the load offensively.

    I’d be more than satisfied if Bradley averaged double digits in points this season. His upside might be loftier than that, but for this season he’s a role player.

    The main thing with Bradley is to not expect him to be anywhere near 100% out of the gate. Due to the nature of his injury I can’t imagine he’s had a lot of opportunity to practice in the gym over the last 6 months or so. He’s going to be rusty.

    But the tenacious defense will still be there, hopefully.

  • RedsLoveChild

    Bradley`s return merely improves Boston`s chances of getting the #8 playoff seed, before getting crushed by the #1 seed in Round 1.

    Without Bradley {and no other moves}, there will be no Celtic post-season this year.

    Until the Celtics get younger & longer, we will remain being what we are…a team that the opposition cannot wait to play!

    As for Bard-Bradley, they both have immense talent, but only Bradley combines his talent with mental toughness and a determination to be great. Bard does not.

    • Nick Sannicandro

      My reference to bard is one of fans putting expectations of a player far too high too soon. Yes bradleys headstrong but you dont want a player to focus on being something hes not as opposed to growing his skillset into something very good

  • Nathan

    I’m not the biggest Red Sox fan but does a terry francona to doc rivers analogy make sence? This goes back to the morning dump yesterday but it feels like doc right is a lot like terry in the beer chicken collapse.

    For the record I would hatehatehate to see doc go and I don’t think he should or will

  • JR99

    First, fans’ expectations do not put “pressure” on a player. The coach’s expectations, or those of the GM, sure. Not the fans’.

    Second, the OP here completely misunderstands the defensive problems of the Cs this season, though he touches on the reality a little (but nowhere near enough). Sure, it LOOKS like an interior problem. But the fact is that the vast majority of the breakdowns on the inside have been caused by Rondo’s inability or refusal to stay in front of his opponents. He has been a total SIEVE this season, and that’s what has created the defensive breakdowns we’ve seen — his man, the ball handler, goes by him like RR’s not there, causing a scramble to cover the penetrator and throwing our D right out the window.

    Bradley goes a LONG way to solving those problems. From now on, it will not be Rondo’s job to slow down the other team’s best player. That job goes to Bradley. And that fact alone should make a HUGE difference in the final outcomes of games.

    Of course, Bradley has also shown that he can score quite efficiently, when properly fed by Rondo. That should help too.

    So is he the “savior”? Nobody’s gonna say that per se, of course. But yeah, his arrival to the rotation could well mark the beginning of a turnaround for the Cs this season…. pretty much as it did last year.

    So the headline here? It’s all wrong.

    • eddysamson

      THIS! Its all semantics. So you say hes not the savior but he is a ‘key piece of the puzzle’…so what you’re saying is we are missing one of the more important pieces of a puzzle…implies its incomplete without that piece. So maybe the word savior is a bit strong. But if hes finishing the puzzle…well seems like he is a sort of savior type doesnt it?

      This is the same blog that said the AB BB PP RR KG starting 5 went like 20-7 (dont know exact numbers) with insane defense statistics. Well looks to me like the only thing we’ve been missing here is AB. And since AB had shoulder issues his legs should be good so his full court press should be fine right off that bat. I expect he does in fact make an impact (or at least when he gets back up in minutes, I dont know what he will start at)

  • Larry Legend

    Please don’t ever compare the Celtics with the red sox again. And comparing AB to that fraud Daniel Bard is offensive at best to Bradley. Guy busts his ass and plays extremely hard. Bard is an overhyped head case who has an excuse for everything yet accepts zero resposibility and never worked hard a day in his life. Guy represents the Red Sox perfectly: an mentally weak, excuse maker with little to no accountability. That guy is soft as baby shit.

  • Art

    Depending on what happens tonight and going forward, Doc and Danny’s reputations are on the line. They’ve made the personnel decisions over the last couple of years, including the Perkins trade, and brought in the new players in the offseason. If guys like Green and Lee turn into failures, this will be on them and will mean extreme disappointment for all of us, especially in Danny, who I think is a fairly good judge of talent, especially in the draft. Some of the names that have been lost, Posey, Perkins, Tony Allen, Baby, Powe, all defensive talent and none soft.

  • kricky

    AMEN!

    AB played so well last year that it’s easy to forget that he has less than half a season’s experience as a major rotation player.

    The last thing we need is for unrealistic expectations to stunt the growth of a promising young player who is coming off a major injury.

  • Nick Sannicandro

    To the poster who said i was off base on my defensive assessment…the problem is most certainly interior defense as much as it is rondo…we have nobody banging inside bass does nothing defensively kg is the only real defending big id put out there and even he has issues against bigger bodies.

  • KGino

    In the playoffs last year, the Celtics had a +20.1 point difference per 100 possessions with AB on the floor. Over 20 points, think about that.

    I’m not saying he instantly makes us a title contender, we have a lot of gelling to do before then (or a trade to make). But there’s no denying the celtics will be MUCH better with a healthy core of RR AB PP & KG.

    As long as he makes us a respectable team again (one that is above .500), I consider him a savior.. cuz what we’re watching now is just plain embarrassing, and is NOT Celtics basketball.

  • http://www.bloodsketball.tumblr.com AHager

    This article touches on, but underplays the importance of Avery Bradley’s ability to stick with the other team’s point guard. I think one of the biggest problems so far has been Rondo getting torched and the rest of the team scrambling to compensate and leaving holes all over the floor. I’m not under any delusion that Bradley alone will right the ship, but he will help make an immediate impact on defense. At the very least I hope the Celtics will stop making mediocre offenses (and players) look like champions. This will cut down on big momentum shifts which result in Celtic moping which result in missed open shots.

  • Quest

    AB is still only one piece. Still missing pieces for one a good backup point guard who can make decisions, a backup Big man centre to reduce KG min and fill in the rebounding gap for extra pts especially against some of these bigger teams. Yes defense dictates offense but those shots still have to fall in and we are sure failing in that dept. IDK there seems to be a deeper problem than filling in the 1-5 spots. Everyone keeps talking about the “potential” on this team but where has it disappeared to or why is it taking so long to develop on the floor?
    Rajon and KG talking about lack of trust/communication/energy and plastic people? Why is this all happening moving into the halfway mark….with all this “potential”??