Defensive monster Avery Bradley poised for All-Star season

Ryan Shea

Avery Bradley for years has done what’s been asked of him from the Celtics coaching staff. Coming into the league as a point guard with the Big 3 era, he struggled mightily to get minutes or make a meaningful impact on the court.

Fast forward to 2015, and Bradley has evolved into a solid scoring guard with great defensive ability. After the Celtics traded Marcus Thornton and a 2016 Cleveland 1st round draft pick for Isaiah Thomas, the team really needed a defensive anchor in the back-court.  Insert Bradley, who would be just as responsible for the team’s defensive success as Isaiah Thomas was the team’s offensive success.

The Celtics went on to sign Al Horford in the 2016 off-season following the trade for Isaiah Thomas, and asked Bradley to step it up yet again with his efforts as a primary rebounder to support Horford. And Avery Bradley finished out the season 2nd in rebounding for the Celtics with over 6 a game. At one point mid-season he lead the team with 8 rebounds.

While Isaiah Thomas would go on to hear chants of his name, “MVP, MVP, MVP!” as he averaged 29 points per game last season, the impact of Avery Bradley’s game for the Celtics was just as great.

But for some odd reason, Avery Bradley was not voted onto the All-Defense team by the media. What was Steven A. Smith’s reason? Devin Booker’s 70 point performance against the Celtics’ defense, where Avery Bradley DIDN’T EVEN PLAY! If anything, this further proves his worth as a defensive stopper.

The players notice too, as Damien Lillard went on to comment about how he was the best perimeter defender in the league last year.

Now Avery Bradley gets traded to the Detroit Pistons for Marcus Morris, a team with a hole at Shooting Guard with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope likely departing in free agency. In Stan Van Gundy’s system, Caldwell-Pope is often granted the green light to shoot whenever he wanted. Problem was, he didn’t always connect. Now Bradley gets a chance to shine on both the offensive and defensive end, where he will be given the green light to shoot while playing his usual stellar defense. Better yet, lots of the stars have left the Eastern Conference after the off season, providing even better opportunity to make it.

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