“I tell you what,” Rivers declared, “You give me [Rajon] Rondo and Avery [Bradley] andJason Terry and Courtney Lee and I’ll take that four-guard rotation over any other in the league.” – Doc Rivers via ESPNboston
In a word—no. Dissecting Bradley’s game, which we have done many times both here and here, shows that his wheelhouse is defense as well as offensive backdoor cuts. Both of these things he can continue to work on through spending time in the video room. This means he can be watching tape to see patterns amongst opposing ball handlers and specific defensive players who tend to turn their head all the while keeping his shoulders on ice. He may have to hire someone to work the remote, but that is an easy problem to solve. As outlined in the previous posts on AB, an area where he could contribute more to the Celtics is taking a step back and looking at the whole season, and playing for the future. The pacing required for his recovery will force his minutes to be less than last year, with a steady increase until playoff time. Another thing keeping his minutes at a reasonable rate is the loaded backcourt.
It almost transitions itself—the backcourt will work to Bradley’s advantage. When he does come back from double shoulder surgery, he will be surrounded by people to help him through the recovery process. Courtney Lee, Jason Terry, Dionte Christmas, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Kris Joseph and more will help push him in practice, exposing AB to many offensive and defensive styles, further expanding his basketball knowledge on both ends of the court. While they challenge him in the practice gym, the University of Texas product should still get plenty of on-court minutes when it matters.
Rivers and Ainge both know that the future of this franchise is centered on the backcourt of the future starring Rondo and Bradley. It is for this reason that I am not worried about minutes for Bradley, Doc will find somewhere to slip him into the rotation where he can comfortably get back into game shape. Once in game shape I have the utmost confidence he will continue to produce both in ways he did in the past, but use his time off to develop some of the lesser aspects of his game.
This is admittedly a very rosey outlook on Bradley’s game and recovery process. Injuries, especially shoulder issues, often linger and can prevent a player from actualizing their talents into quality performances. Bradley’s shoulder problems are what have the potential to hold him back, not the time off or crowded backcourt.
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