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 Tweet Edit