3-on-3: Avery Bradley
1. What improvements do you want to see from Bradley?
Call his rookie season a redshirt year because, as Doc Rivers was quick to point out in June, Bradley never had a chance given the ankle injury to start the season. Being healthy should allow his natural abilities to take over and a year in the NBA -- regardless of the lack of playing time -- will aid his development. Given the time he spent with Rivers in Orlando before the lockout, I'm eager to see if his point guard abilities have improved. The Celtics will look for shooting in the free-agent market, so Bradley might be most valuable as a backup point guard, especially if the team isn't able to bring back Delonte West (or even if they do).
2. How do you expect Doc Rivers to use him (if at all)?
Rivers said Thursday that it's imperative to get more from the bench this season, particularly given the game-heavy schedule. I still gotta see some younger players get extended time before I'm ready to believe Rivers will actually lean on them. The Celtics could really benefit from finding Bradley consistent minutes and seeing what his potential is. The only way he'll truly blossom is with court time and it might help them determine what exactly his role can be. If his defense is as it was advertised and Bradley shows some offensive progress, there's potential for him to get his foot in the rotation door and what he does from there is up to him.
3. What’s the career prognosis for Bradley?
Simply too early to tell. Between injuries and lockouts, it's been tough for Bradley to simply get on track in the NBA. That said, he just turned 21 and there's plenty of room to blossom for a defense-first guard in Doc Rivers' system. Year 2 could be a defining year. If Bradley establishes a role, he can start the growing process. If he doesn't, it'll be important to keep him invested and encouraged, mentally.
[Your turn: What's your take on Bradley? Is he poised for big things in his sophomore season, or will he be stuck at the end of the bench again? Sound off in the comments.]
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