It took a year and a half, but the Celtics finally admitted today that Avery Bradley is not a point guard. That in order for him to become a NBA player he will need to play the shooting guard position. I've been saying this for as long as I can remember, but fans wouldn't believe it. Hopefully they will now. Here's Doc describing Avery at the 2:
"Avery has no ballhandling responsibilities. He’s playing a pure 2 right now, and it’s freed him up to play. Keyon has created two players, because Avery is better that way. You watched Avery last year. I thought he was paralyzed when he had to run the position, when he had to call plays. In the 3-on-3 pickup games he was terrific, so that told me, ‘Well, let’s make him that, and stop trying to make him a point.’ ”
And now here's Doc's observation of Bradley from his short stint in Israel:
“They moved him to the 2,” Rivers said. “They tried to play him at the point, but when you watched the games he was at the 2, that told you they saw the same thing. The two games where he played well over there, he was at the 2. That’s what he does, and that’s good, because we want him to get on the floor. Defensively he can really help us, but he has to play all year, so when the playoffs start he’ll be able to guard guys.
Ok, so people can leave me alone now when I dare not to list Bradley as a point guard. I think Bradley has the potential to be an NBA rotation player if he puts in the hard work on his jumper. He'll be undersized at the 2, but several players have still made a long career with that impediment. One player I'd like Bradley to emulate some is the former Celtic Dee Brown. Brown played shooting guard at about the same size and after a few years developed a very nice outside shot.

What's important to remember is that just because a player doesn't have the height to be a shooting guard, that doesn't make him a point guard. To be a point guard you need to have the handles and court vision. Bradley doesn't really have either. Bradley would be a college junior if he hadn't entered the league early, so he still has a few years to carve a niche in this league, but if he doesn't get court time this season the "bust" label might start flying. He was picked 19 in the 2010 draft and Danny Ainge has gone as far as saying if Bradley was in this past June's draft he would have been a top 5 pick. Personally I think that's crazy talk. Not one GM in the league wouldn't hang up on Danny if he had offered Bradley for a top 5 pick. Bradley would have been lucky to sniff the first round in my opinion.

Due to Bradley's athleticism and the fact that he seems to be a hard worker, I'm hopeful that he'll show signs of being a player this year, but since Ainge drafted Rajon Rondo, he's been striking out in the draft at the guard position. Ainge drafted Gabe Pruitt over Marc Gasol and then J.R. Giddens over DeAndre Jordan in consecutive drafts. The next year he drafted Lester Hudson, but that was at the very end of the 2nd round, so nothing was expected. Then came Bradley. Ainge's first draftee as a Celtic GM was also a point guard. The immortal Marcus Banks, who had the handles to play the point, but not the court vision.

Ainge did go on to draft some solid guards: TA, Delonte, and Rondo, so it's not like he always strikes out in the backcourt. It's just unfortunate for a former guard like DA that he's recently been missing badly drafting guards. Will Bradley change this bad trend? Leave your thoughts in the comment section.

JR 12/15/2011 09:47:00 PM Edit
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12 Responses so far.

  1. Reean says:

    It's a real good thing E'twaun can play PG AND SG then huh? lol kinda messed up 6'4 PG with and 6'1-6'2 SG seasons gonna be interesting

  2. Jay says:

    This isn't news? Doc said this last week. Certainly was obvious

  3. Anonymous says:

    thats right I'm one of the smallest players on my team and they force me to play at the point because of that. but when I play at SG, I'm much better. size does not matter at PG or SG

  4. JR says:

    Good point Anonymous. Very few shooting guards post-up anyway, so it's not like an inch, 2 or 3 matter at the sg position.

  5. Anonymous says:

    He's not a PG anyone that knows basketball can see that.

  6. Great observations from Doc, i still want him defending the better of the opponents guards when he is on the floor because I love his defensive ability.

  7. Ben says:

    About Moore playing the point and Avery at the 2....

    Defensively Avery could match up with the point guard coming up the court and E'Twaun could match up better with the 2.

    Also an outside shot is essential. I'll never forget games at the Garden/Fleetcenter..


  8. celticfam worddddd says:

    Good call JR, I can gouge for your beliefs, as I have also felt the same way. Though with Delonte injuring his wrist and Nate chucking, i think they felt more obligated to get him to play point. Avery just doesn't see the floor like that--cant run a team, which is fine, just means he's no point guard.

  9. MikeBragz says:

    i dont think moore will play a lot of minutes this season. because the C signs dooling. i agree with anonymous did you guys watched how AB played last season he can really go inside the paint real easy coz of his speed. the only issue is his shooting touch.

  10. Anonymous says:

    i honestly think danny was right saying he would have been a top five pick in last years draft. it was a really weak draft and avery's status only would have gone up. this kid was the #1 prospect going into college (ahead of john wall on ESPN) and then he decided to go to UT and be coached under rich barnes. i think he'll be a solid combo guard and a much better offensive player than TA but i think they have very similar games

  11. Anonymous says:

    A few of us folks on CelticsBlog have been saying this since he was drafted.

    He has always looked so much more natural moving off the ball and then making a play off the catch, whether that is to drive or shoot. I think if someone else is calling the play he just lets his body go into execution rather than worry about second guessing himself.

    He has a very nice catch-and-shoot motion. He did not get enough chance to take many shots with the Celtics last year,, but whenever he's actually gotten significant minutes - in H.S., college and notably during his D-league stint last year - he's shot for good percentages and as he gains experience those will probably go up.

    Regarding the 'height' issue, when you are playing defense on the perimeter, height is less important than lateral footwork and technique because your goal there is to deny passes and/or drives into the paint. Goal number one is to force them to HAVE to take a low-percentage contested outside shot. If they do, then you've already won over half the battle. From that point, sure, height helps you contest the shot better, but that is easily made up if you have instincts, a 37.5" max vertical and a 6' 7.25" wingspan - all of which Bradley possesses.

    Those long arms are a very useful defensive weapon.

  12. Anonymous says:

    danny doesn't not know players at all. look at his trades this year. yeah, right !!!!!!!

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