The longest-tenured Celtic, Avery Bradley, has had an excellent offensive season, averaging 13.9 points on 43% from the field.
But his bread and butter will always be what he gives to the team on the defensive side of the ball. In the 2012-2013 season, the then 22-year old guard, made second team NBA All-Defensive team.
Just like a few years ago, the now 24-year old, believes he should, again, be in the running for the accolade:
Per Mass Live's Jay King:
I think I should make the defensive team every year. I know I'm the best on-ball defender in the NBA
As far as the possibility of making the defensive-team, Bradley deserves to be considered for the first-team never-mind second, or third. Time after time this season, his on-ball pressure defense has led to the opposing teams inability to get into their offensive sets. For example here, where his ball-hawking leads to a Lou Williams turnover:
But when Bradley does take a chance, he makes plays like this gem against Orlando last month:
The former University of Texas Longhorn, is one of the quicker defenders in the league, and showed it with this excellent chase down, during a much needed win last week over Indiana:
Those three plays exhibit the different defensive style Bradley provides to a Celts team that may not rank in the top of the league statistically on that side of the ball, but it's not due to a lack of effort from the Tacoma, Washington native.
Bradley goes on to talk about his perception around the league from fellow players:
I know if players sat down and thought about it, they're going to say me. For sure. Not to take anything away from anybody else.
The confidence from Bradley is music to the ears of fans who remember the 19th overall selection, in the 2010 draft, as a quiet rookie, seemingly hesitant to speak in front of the camera.
In the off-season, Bradley signed a $32 million contract that left some people questioning General Manager Danny Ainge's mindset, handing out that kind of cash to a guy that hadn't shown the ability to stay on the court. But Ainge's trust in Bradley has paid off, as the guard has appeared in a career-high 75 games this season.
All these factors are a positive sign for Bradley, whose four-year deal, like his defense, is looking like a steal. Teammate Marcus Smart may get more of the publicity for his ability on defense, but it's time Bradley, again, gets recognized for his talent on D.
Follow CelticWelch on twitter @CelticWelch Rob Welch 4/12/2015 12:54:00 AM Tweet Edit