No longer an arc nemesis

April, 16, 2012
4/16/12
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Scott Cunningham/Getty ImagesAll of a sudden, Avery Bradley can't miss from downtown.
Go back and read ESPN's 2010 NBA Draft Profile of Avery Bradley. Nearly two years after the Celtics snagged him with the 19th overall pick, and amidst his emergence as a starter, the scouting report seems pretty spot on.

Well, maybe except for only one of the two negatives listed: Lacks NBA 3-point range on his jumper.

Since Ray Allen was first sidelined by right ankle soreness in late March, Bradley has connected on 13 of 25 trifectas over the last 15 games (this after making just 1 of 12 to start the season). What's more, Bradley is 9 of 13 on triples over the past eight games since being reinserted into the starting lineup on April 5 (when Allen agreed to the bench role).

One night after making 3 of 4 shots from beyond the arc in New Jersey, Bradley canned 2 of 3 trifectas in Charlotte, including a clutch triple in transition with five minutes to go that ignited a little run to break apart what had been a four-point game.

The emergence of Bradley's 3-point shot is a testament to the work he's put in. While full-squad practices have been rare this season, not one has passed that hasn't ended with Bradley spending an extended period of time going around the arc (often shooting with teammate Sasha Pavlovic). Clearly all that extra time and effort has started to pay off.

Yes, Bradley can't do anything about the other negative on that 2010 scouting report ("undersized for his position"). But like his 3-point shot, he's proving that, with enough effort, he can overcome any negative someone lists about his game.

Chris Forsberg

Celtics reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Isaiah Thomas
PTS AST STL MIN
20.1 5.4 0.7 26.6
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Sullinger 8.1
AssistsI. Thomas 5.4
StealsM. Smart 1.3
BlocksT. Zeller 0.7