Well this is a good thing. Per the Celts official twitter:
Doc: "Avery had a practice the other day in Chicago and half the team was asking, 'Why is he not playing tomorrow?' He was that good."
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) December 20, 2012
On the surface it seems crazy that a guy who averaged 7.6 points, 1.8 boards and 1.6 assists in 21 minutes a game last season is being viewed as such a game changer. But in reality, it's not. Now I'm not saying that Bradley will come back and immediately cure all of the team's ills. But he does cure (in my opinion) two of the team's biggest problems.
1. Exterior defense - Avery Bradley may be the best on ball defender in the NBA. Sure you could make the argument that it's former Celtic Tony Allen, new Nugget Andre Iguodala or even Lebron (when he's in a zone), but what we witnessed out of Bradley after he entered the starting line-up last season was extraordinary. And I'm not just talking about his block on D-Wade.. He transformed the Celtics defensively, and when he returns he will greatly help the team's struggles on D. Will he cure all of their issues? No of course not. Their struggling interior defense will still need to be addressed, but with Bradley on the floor opposing big men will be getting the ball in good offensive position less frequently. He will also help relieve Rondo of some of his defensive duties, which should help #9 out a lot.
2. Setting the bench - Bradley's return means that we will finally be able to permanently return Jason Terry to the bench. The Jet has been taxiing back and forth between the bench and starting line-up, but the role he was acquired for was the 'bench spark' that this team has sorely been lacking the past few seasons. Getting Terry, Courtney Lee and Leandro Barbosa settled into their new roles will really help the team find their identity, which thus far this season has been missing.
As of now Bradley is shooting for a January 2nd return, but if his teammates have anything to say about it - it may be sooner.
Follow Mike on twitter - Mike_Dyer13 Mike Dyer 12/20/2012 07:47:00 PM Tweet