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Get it, Mike!
When Avery Bradley was nearing a return there was a buzz around the team that is not normally associated with a combo guard who averaged 7.8 points and 1.4 assists a game last season. But as the first four games of Bradley's season have shown - he's not your typical twiner who chips in ~8 points a game. His on the ball defense and energy level has transformed the team. After giving up 98.1 points a game the first 30 games this season, the Celtics have given up just 86.3 PPG in the past four. The main reason? Bradley.

Today on Toucher & Rich, Celts play-by-play man Mike Gorman spoke glowingly of Bradley. Among the best quotes (link - audio at bottom of page).

On his energy level raising the team's level of play.

Energy on a basketball team is contagious, and if you get a guy that plays with a ton of energy you have to play that way yourself. You almost get embarrassed if you're not playing that way yourself. The Celtics, for a greater part of the season, really had only one guy in Kevin Garnett who consistently played with energy every night. Now they have two.

On Bradley's defense, which one of Gorman's contemporaries calls 'the best he's ever seen'.

It’s the passion that Avery plays that position with that makes everybody raise their game up, [NBA Commentator] Mike Breen, who’s seen a lot of basketball, told me after the game (Bradley is) the best on-ball defender he’s ever seen. He can cover point guards; he covered Melo a couple of times last night. Just to see him get down in that crab-like position, he gets in front of people and keeps himself in front of people. If the offensive player gets a step, it’s great to watch, he anticipates where the guy is going to go with and cuts off the angle and ends up in front of them again.

On the Celtics being as much Bradley's team as they are Rondo's or KG's.

They take on a personality and they’ve taken on Avery Bradley’s personality the last three games. The Celtics were at their best — and have been at their best the last four or five years — when they took on Kevin Garnett’s personality. Now it’s a combination of KG, and as much as he would tell you this is [Rajon] Rondo’s team, I’ll tell you traveling with them KG is still the man. But on the court, it’s Avery Bradley’s team in the sense he sets the example and everybody else follows it. If they continue to do that, they’ll turn this season around.

And finally, if you were not yet sold on Gorman's respect for Bradley, when the topic of Bradley for Cousins came up - Gorman said not only would he not make that trade, he took it a step farther.

I can't think of anyone of the top of my head short of Lebron James, few other big names like that - Kevin Durant, that I would consider trading Avery Bradley for. I know that sounds outrageous but I just wouldn't do it. We've seen in the last week what his presence can do

Ok so that might be a bit aggressive, but considering the lack of talented big men in the league, and the fact that the Celtics are all set in the PG department - it's not quite as outlandish as it sounds (Note: I'd trade him for James Harden and a few others for sure, but that's a conversation for another day).

Considering Gorman is around the team daily, him calling the Celtics 'as much Bradley's team as anybody's' is fairly incredible to hear. And with the Celtics about to start a run 10 of 13 games at home - now is the time for the C's to position themselves for the stretch run.

Follow Mike on twitter - Mike_Dyer13

Michael Dyer 1/08/2013 12:43:00 PM Edit
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