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.
“It’s like Scottie Pippen — when you played the Bulls, you were praying that, ‘I hope he guards the other guy tonight,’ ” explained Rivers. “Because [Pippen] was one of those guys that could guard the 1, 2, or 3. And you were hoping, ‘OK, I hope [he guards the other guy].’ I mean, how rare is it that you want Michael to guard you? Over Scottie.
“And I’m thinking that’s Avery, and even Courtney [Lee]. Courtney’s a good defender as well, but they’re probably thinking, ‘I’ll take him over him.’ And [Bradley’s] feet are so good. I mean, he stays in front of the ball, he gets up into it, and it’s big for us. He’s really making us a better defensive team.”
“Avery, I thought, single-handedly changed the game (Wednesday) night… I just thought (Kyle Lowry and Sebastian Telfair) got to the point where it became so personal with Avery that they forgot about their team, and it changed the game. And that’s what Avery does.
We can argue about being better with or without certain players all we want. The fact of the matter is for two straight seasons, the Celtics have started slow and turned it around after the All Star break…. and both of those turnaround can be centered around Avery Bradley.
Bradley is a game-changer. His emergence last year pushed Ray Allen out of the starting line up. His return from injury this year immediately transformed the Celtics defense from mediocre to menacing. And the constant stories of opposing guards begging Bradley to back off are combining to form a legend.
Avery Bradley doesn’t just defend opposing guards. He cracks open their skulls and sets up shop in their heads. When they walk into the gym already worried about getting the ball past him, he’s won half the battle. Against Toronto, he mind-fucked Sebastian Telfair into two technical fouls in 3-minutes. And unlike guys like Kevin Garnett, who will do so by talking, and talking, and talking, and jabbing, and grabbing, and talking…. Avery does with a quiet, almost assassin like blank look on his face. He sticks that stare right in your grill… as you’re trying to bring the ball up the floor.
When you spin… it’s there.
When you cross over…. it’s there.
When you come off a pick… it’s there.
It’s like that Old Spice commercial where the guy folds a royal flush because there’s a hawk in his face everywhere he turns. Avery’s the ball hawk. And when he’s in your face… you fold.
Related links: WEEI: Doc: “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen defense like Bradley’s” |
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