With Avery Bradley almost certain to miss at least some time at the coming season’s beginning, Courtney Lee is the obvious choice as a starting replacement. If Lee starts alongside Rondo, Jason Terry is free to come off the bench, a role in which he thrived for years with the Dallas Mavericks.
Doc Rivers confirmed as much to Bob Ryan Wednesday at the Action for Boston Community Development’s Hoop Dreams event (yeah, I know, we’re a little late on the news–but YouTube clips sometimes get lost, at least until @MrTrpleDouble10 of Red’s Army finds them).
“Courtney Lee will probably start to start the season, and then, when Avery comes back, we’ll see,” Rivers said.
As we’ve discussed on the King of the Court podcast, I’m a little worried that Bradley’s development will be stunted this season because of Boston’s back court depth. Rondo figures to play most of the 48 minutes, and Terry and Lee both deserve serious time. That could leave Terry, Lee and Bradley scrapping for mostly shooting guard minutes, or maybe each of them will have his minutes cut because of the logjam.
Terry should be fine with somewhat limited minutes because he has the confidence of Muhammad Ali. Lee should be fine with limited minutes because he’s always played a smaller role, and succeeded in one, even when starting. But Bradley’s just 21 years old. His confidence, which soared last season, might not be as permanent yet as Terry’s. If he plays just 15 minutes on certain nights, can he still show the confidence he only revealed last season once he started playing bigger minutes? Has confidence been ingrained in him yet, or was it just a fleeting mirage because he was succeeding at such a high level last season?
Obviously, it’s better to have more talent than less. Bradley could prove to be completely fine in a slightly smaller role. But the concerns, I believe, are legitimate ones.