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I have already written twice about how Celtics players who were seriously injured last year were on their path to an impressive return. I might have cursed Green after the piece I wrote following his preseason performance, yet my take on Wilcox was apparently spot on. I've hence decided to roll the dice on Bradley as well, inspired by Jessica Camerato's article on him.

Bradley, just like Green did, apparently has used his time off to gain some new perspective on basketball, on the way he plays and sees the court.
Unable to do many physical activities with his upper body, Bradley focused on the mental approach to the game. He studied film -- a lot of game film -- after watching Rondo do the same over the years. Soon he began seeing the court differently, comparing the realization to solving a Magic Eye puzzle. By shifting the way he watched the action, he opened his eyes to a completely different point of view.

This is great to hear, and there is more foundation for hope in Bradley's case. He has initially suffered setbacks due to injuries and that caused him to never get a grip on how things worked. Rondo's injury last year made him intern next to Paul Pierce as point forward, and actively observing how things worked with less responsibility on his shoulders helped him grow.

Another problem he had was knocking shots, and I recall Doc saying something like "Well, he makes those shots all the time in practice, so at some point they will start falling." They indeed started falling post-All Star weekend, and next thing we know majority of Celtics fans started begging that he replaces Ray Allen.

Bradley has been on an impressive journey basketball IQ-wise. His willingness to learn, to listen, his attitude in general has always been positive aspects about him. That he has studied to become a better ball handler will probably contribute even more to his confidence and the range of things he can achieve on court (since opponents will take him more seriously the more he plays, and he will need to spice things up a little at some point)

It is good that Bradley sees those post-surgery sleeplessness nights as a reason. It is better that he has listened to every word the doctors told him and has taken extra caution with his shoulders. It is best that his grasp on things have constantly evolved and there are signs that trend will continue.

We all hope that when he comes back, he'll be the same old Bradley. Well, we might even see a better one. At least there is enough proof to show that he will try that no matter what.

semioticus (shelbyl) 11/27/2012 01:08:00 PM Edit
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