Found January 02, 2013 on
Avery Bradley returns on Wednesday for the Celtics and could be the spark they need
The Boston Celtics are struggling in 2012-2013. As the schedule turns from 2012 to 2013, the Boston Celtics are two games below .500 and their troubles are highlighted by a post-Christmas west-coast swing where they lost three games to the Warriors, the Clippers and the Kings by an average of 21 points a game. To put it in perspective, in the Big Three 2.0 era, the Celtics only lost eleven games by 18 or more. In one week, they lost three of them. Things aren’t exactly rosy in Boston when it comes to the Boston Celtics.
This team won’t make excuses. They have never been a team known to make excuses. Talk to Kevin Garnett or Paul Pierce or coach Doc Rivers and they would all say that this basketball team isn’t very good right now and their record reflects that. One of the biggest reasons for their struggles has been inconsistency and that starts with their starting line-ups. Unlike in previous seasons, the 2012-13 edition of the Boston Celtics has been unable to settle on a starting line-up, throwing guys like Jason Collins and Jason Terry into the line-up at non-injury related points in the season. Both guys were expected to come off the bench or, especially in Jason Collins case, barely expected to see the basketball court at all. When the Celtics lost long-time guard Ray Allen to free-agency, inconsistency in the starting line-up could have been expected, but the Celtics had a guy to step in and be the starting two guard for the Boston Celtics. In fact, in 2011-12, whenever this guy was on the court, the Boston Celtics were a better team. They went 20-9 when he started last year and were the best defense in the NBA, allowing an average of 92.9 points per 100 possessions.
The guy I am talking about is Boston Celtics two-guard Avery Bradley. Bradley came into the line-up last year when Ray Allen was battling ankle problems and was an immediate spark for the Boston Celtics for all the reasons that I already mentioned. In addition, he was an above-average spot-up shooter as well as a quality off-ball cutter to give Celtics point-guard Rajon Rondo extra-options in the half-court set. He was vital for the Celtics last season and there is a thought, based on his defense and extra depth he provided, that the Celtics may have gotten past the Miami Heat had Bradley been healthy.
Wednesday night, Avery Bradley sees the court for the first time in 2012-13 after recovery from off-season shoulder surgery. For a struggling Boston Celtics, he is the first step towards hopefully righting the ship. For one, he finally allows Celtics coach Doc Rivers to settle on a rotation. Courtney Lee never panned out as this teams starting two-guard while waiting for Bradley’s return. This caused shuffling and forced Jason Terry, the expected sixth man, to be thrust into the starting line-up. No longer will this be the case. Bradley will take his starting role, Terry will go back to the bench and Lee will shift further down the depth chart. The sooner that Doc Rivers settles on his starting front-court the the sooner that the Boston Celtics can establish a consistent starting line-up and start developing chemistry between their units.
Bradley also improves a defensive unit that has not been “Celtics” caliber in 2012-13. His energy and tenacity shuts down most teams best guards and limits the amount of lane penetration that attacks players like Garnett and Jarrod Sullinger. This should help the Boston Celtics. On the dark side of things, Bradley’s return allows the Celtics to properly evaluate where they stand as a team. If Bradley comes back and the Celtics improve, then perhaps minor moves to improve the front-court should be made to make this team a contender. If things go poorly, however, then perhaps full-scale changes need to be made. Obviously, that’s the doomsday scenario and not preferred.
I also don’t see this being the case. I see Bradley coming back, taking a little bit to get back into the swing of things before ultimately being a huge spark for a Celtics’ team that needs a big one sooner rather than later.
BEST OF MAXIM
Avery Bradley made his return to the court Wednesday in the 93-83 loss to Memphis, and he brought a little reality with him.
The team did show some flashes of confidence with number zero back and had more fight in them than the previous few games, but one thing became clear as the game progressed: Avery Bradley is not the savior of the Celtics.
Granted, he only played 20 minutes...
Avery Bradley was back in uniform for the Celtics on Wednesday, re-assuming his title as the league’s best perimeter defender. His return did not keep Mike Conley from going off for 23 points or prevent the Grizzlies from shooting better than 60 percent in the first half, but the Celtics were encouraged by Bradley’s play in his season debut nonetheless. Conley admitted he felt...
Another home game and we are treated with Tommy Heinsohn's tweets. He was very excited for Avery Bradley's return and had some high praise for him before the game.
Ready for the return? "Avery Bradley is probably the best on-ball defender in the entire league...THAT is how good he is!"
— Tommy Heinsohn (@CSNTommy) January 3, 2013
I agree with Tommy that...
During practice Tuesday, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said the team will be graced with the return of Avery Bradley, who hasn’t played in seven months and is coming off surgery on both his shoulders, for Wednesday’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Bradley said he hasn’t felt any pressure, he’s just happy to be back.
“Just like any other day, I’m going to prepare today...
Doc Rivers says he's more concerned about the fact that the Celtics haven't won more than 2 in a row this season than losing 4 straight. Below Doc discusses if he cares how players react to losses.
Videos courtesy of the Boston Celtics and Chris Forsberg respectively.
BOSTON — Avery Bradley can be forgiven for forgetting that, unlike him, his Celtics teammates were not playing their first organized basketball game in more than seven months on Wednesday. In talking about his pain-free return from double-shoulder surgery, the third-year guard struck some of the same tones his teammates were using weeks ago.
“We’ve just got to find ourselves...
According to ESPN, Boston Celtics’ guard Avery Bradley is expecting to make his debut on Wednesday against the Memphis Grizzlies. “Just like any other day,” Bradley said before the team’s practice. “I’m going to prepare today, we’re going to go through practice, go over the plays, make sure I know what’s going on. And tomorrow [...]
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Molly previews the return of Avery Bradley tonight and the Celtics match-up with the Grizzlies.
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These aren’t the Celtics. They can’t be.
That’s likely the agonizing response of many C’s fans throughout this losing streak, which was extended to four games Wednesday night when the Grizzlies showed up to TD Garden and controlled play for four quarters en route to a 93-83 victory. And the fact of the matter is that the Celtics have some serious flaws.
The C’s now sit...
WALTHAM, Mass. — 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.
Bradley has heard those folks’ cries for help, but as he prepares to...
After every game, we’ll take stock of how each individual performance affects the player’s overall value.
Offense: Defense: Overall:
Whether by injury, by choice, or by a lack of ability, Rondo’s defense has regressed badly. Avery Bradley started out on Mike Conley, putting Rondo on Allen, and Allen promptly exploded for a 6-8 shooting...
Rajon Rondo might not be ready to return to action for the Boston Celtics on Wednesday, but fellow guard Avery Bradley expects to play for the first time this season. Bradley underwent offseason surgery on both shoulders. Rondo bruised his right hip Thursday, didn't play Saturday, then struggled through 36 minutes Sunday, scoring two points. "I'm excited, the team...
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.
“I think Doc is probably going to try and tweak the lineup again and do some things different. We’ll just try to be patient with this team as long as we can,” said the president of basketball operations.
Rajon Rondo and the Boston Celtics fell to the Memphis Grizzlies 93-83
Still looking affected by his hip injury, Rondo was unable to penetrate as well as he normally would. Played great help defense, but with Bradley off the floor he was unable to keep up with Conley's speed due to his hip. Jumper was completely off today, and made...
Coming off a strong performance against the Brooklyn Nets on Christmas day, it was easy to think some of that good fortune may translate into momentum going into a west coast road trip to California. That did not happen.
The Celtics got demolished by the Clippers, Warriors and Kings on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday respectively. Celtics beat writer Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe...