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Summer Quandaries #20
Aug 20—41 Days to camp


Best Camp Battle

I think that far and away the best battle in camp will be Avery Bradley covering Rajon Rondo. I suppose you thought I was referring to competition for a particular rotation position. I think there will be a couple, but not very many. This is really too bad as it is one of the best sources of improvement, both individually and for the team. The tiered makeup of the team, however, does not lend itself to challenges.

Entrenched starters (save at Center) are not likely to be threatened by the second team as it contains no young stars on the verge of breaking out. A limited second squad is unlikely to be displaced by a last five composed of rookies or near rookies. This is particularly true when that last third of the roster contains only one player drafted higher than deep into the second round.

If Bradley is completely recovered from his surgery then his penchant for defense combined with his excellent quickness is likely to give Rondo about as much trouble as any but the top tier PG defenders who are big enough and strong enough to both body him off his driving angles and to contest his shot inside or out. Now I don’t think Avery’s handle is good enough to challenge Rondo when Rajon is on defense, but I do think that the experience will be about the best high pressure instruction that Bradley could get. Avery is my dark horse candidate for several things—fastest improvement, most likely to displace the man ahead of him, most likely rookie to see significant playing time, most likely third-teamer to grab rotation minutes, first rookie in years to play his way off Doc’s bench and onto the court. Yeah that kind of stuff.

If he hits the ground running, and defending, come December 15th, he might just make Nate the bargaining chip to get that defending three; assuming Danny still sees the need and Gaffney hasn’t made a statement (but that’s a column for another day).

Lee Lauderdale 8/20/2010 08:46:00 PM Edit
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2 Responses so far.

  1. Bailey says:

    When does Rondo return from team USA? Does he miss any part of camp?

  2. bballee says:

    Bailey,
    Shouldn't be a problem: "The 2010 FIBA World Championship will be hosted by Turkey from August 28 to September 12, 2010." --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_FIBA_World_Championship

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