Summer basketball often leads to ridiculous statistics. Gary Forbes scored 78 points in a Pro-Am game earlier this summer. Kevin Durant seemingly drops at least 40 every time he steps foot on a court. The defense is minimum and the offense is uninhibited by consciences or set plays, so scoring numbers soar.
So when Avery Bradley scored 16 points yesterday in the opening game of the Impact Basketball Competitive Training Series, that does not necessarily mean he played well. On the same day, Iman Shumpert poured in 25 points, Dahntay Jones 31, and Isaiah Thomas, the last pick in this year’s NBA draft, managed 28 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists. Even Damon Jones, who hasn’t played professional basketball since Lebron James was a beloved NBA superstar, scored 16 points. And Sebastian Telfair messed around and almost got a triple-double, with 22 points, 10 assists and 6 rebounds.
Bradley still has miles to travel before becoming a reliable professional point guard, and he knows that, which is why he’s in Las Vegas to participate in the Impact Training Series. This isn’t about scoring points, winning games, or earning the advantage in his personal matchup against Alan Anderson. It’s about getting much-needed reps, and mostly, it’s about improvement. (CSNNE)
The NBA is big on potential — that’ll get you in. But if you want to stick around, sooner or later, you have to produce.
For Bradley, that time is now. And that time is spent in this sweat box known as Las Vegas, working diligently to chisel out his frame and his game.
“That’s what I’m doing, little things like this,” Bradley told CSNNE.com. “I can come out, try and get better all the time.”
In case you were wondering, Bradley’s team lost, 102-86. Jermaine O’Neal scored 14 points in his game, but A. Sherrod Blakely noted, “It was clear that he was losing steam quickly. He can definitely help the C’s this upcoming season, but he doesn’t have it in him to play the kind of major minutes players in this league will be logging.”
Good thing he’s currently Boston’s only center, and even better, the Celtics will have zero cap space whenever the free agency period arrives. It’s time to get creative, Mr. Ainge.