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 at the point didn’t work under Doc Rivers, and it doesn’t look any better under Stevens.
In three games, he has nine assists with 14 turnovers.
Bradley’s a great defender, evident by him being named to the NBA’s All-Defensive second team last season.
He can knock down the corner 3-ball, and his work ethic is as good as you’ll find in the NBA.
But he’s not a point guard!!
Bradley did have two bad giveaways late. With Boston down four and 1:29 to go, Bradley drove to his right and lost the handle on the ball, sending it out of bounds. Next trip down, the ball either slipped or Bradley was too hesitant on a simple pass to the right wing and the Pistons picked it off.
[...] For Bradley, running the point is not ideal and Boston often benefits when it pairs him with another guard to defray ball-handling chores. Alas, there’s no better option at the moment (unless Brad Stevens desires to toss undrafted rookie free agent Phil Pressey into the fire). Utilizing Bradley as the only pure guard has allowed Boston to get creative with its starting lineup, using two swingmen (Gerald Wallace and Green) with two other bigs (Bass and Faverani).
ESPN Boston: Postgame: Bradley and turnovers
I do not envy the job Brad Stevens faces as Boston’s head coach.
It’s been made obvious on a daily basis that Avery Bradley is not an NBA point guard. It’s not something that takes a lot of advanced analytics to decipher. It’s not something SportVu is suddenly uncovering. It’s something that you can see plain as day whenever Bradley is thrust into that position.
But what’s a better option? Do you take Bradley off the floor? No, because
Boston’s defensive rating (102.2 points per 100 possessions) drops 10 points when Bradley is on the floor (and rises 20.4 when he’s not).
So you need him to play defense, which he’s doing very well. And in some cases, like the first half against Milwaukee, that defense was key in leading to easy offense. So do you put someone else at the point beside Avery? Well, then your options are Jordan Crawford or rookie Phil Pressey. Neither of those options really do much to make you feel better, either.
The best option seems to be begging the solar system to move more quickly around the sun, bringing about an earlier December and the return of Rajon Rondo (and the end of this ridiculous November schedule). Stevens has little choice but to leave Bradley in there and hope his team figures out that they have no choice but to run like deer on the court to create offense. If they don’t find way to run, even off of made baskets, they are doomed to the ill-fated insanity of the square-peg-into-round-hole Bradley-as-point guard debacle.
And I hate putting it that way because when he’s not asked to do something he can’t do well, Bradley can do a lot of things well. When he’s a 2-guard, he can defend, and cut, and score much more easily.
He’s Michael Phelps being ask to swim wearing a lead vest. Take that thing off and he’s amazing. But shackle him with it, and… well…. we’ve seen it this season. Again. Just like we expected.
Page 2: MORAL VICTORIES!!!
“The hardest part is that we’ve really made a lot of progress,” said Stevens. “And what’s difficult is maintaining a positive feel about yourself as you’re not getting the results you want.
“Most of the world — and rightfully so — you know, we all pay attention to the result. And at the end of the day, we’ve got to try to get the result, but we can’t ignore progress and we’ve got to make sure we build on the progress. It is hard, because I think guys want the result to feel good about themselves.
“Hey, I want the result as much as anybody, but I can’t ignore the progress. We’ve just got to keep trying to make progress.”
The Celtics could be a 60 moral-win team this year.
I do think that it’s important to find some positives in the madness of an obviously bad season, but it really would be nice to see the end result be a positive one.
I know a few of you out there are fine with losing every game and you make jokes about Wiggins, but even in bad seasons, bad teams need good things to happen. They need to know they’re working towards something, and that the plan being laid out is a good one that will eventually work.
Moral victories are great. Actual victories once in a while will be better.
The rest of the links:
Herald: Pesky Celtics outmanned in the paint | Globe: Olynyk a bright spot for Celtics in loss to Pistons | CSNNE: Good the bad & the ugly: Celtics sloppy in loss | ESPN Boston: Bit of sunshine: Olynyk breaks through | WEEI: C’s fall to 0-3 after loss to Pistons