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Avery Bradley had one of his finest all-around performances of his entire career last night in game 5. He carried the Celtics for much of the game offensively and really ratcheted up the defense on Bulls superstar Jimmy Butler:


And when they say "while locking up Jimmy Butler", they truly mean it. Bradley played every minute with Jimmy last night and he made it tough for him every time down the floor. Butler shot 40% for the game and made only 14 points on the 15 shots he took. After getting to the free-throw line 23 times in game 4 Butler only made one trip to the charity stripe last night.

Now we all know the Celtics are a switch-heavy defensive team so obviously Bradley is not necessarily guarding Butler on every single possession or attempt, but just take a look at the numbers when he is:


Not to mention the fact that Butler is no slouch on defense himself. He's heralded as one of the better defenders in the NBA at his position and Bradley was able to abuse him last night. Here's a nice look at Bradley using Robin Lopez to screen Butler on a majestic take to the hoop:


After the game Butler spoke with the media and conceded he was outplayed by Avery:



No sense in hiding it. It was right there for everybody to see. On a night where Isaiah Thomas wasn't quite himself (6-17 shooting, 1-10 from three) and the Celtics as a whole shot terrible from the outside (9-40) Avery Bradley stepped up big time and carried them to a 3-2 series lead heading into game 6 in Chicago.


Related: Boston Celtics 108, Chicago Bulls 97 highlights (Game 5)

Photo Credit - Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Follow Mark on Twitter: @MarkAL401

Mark Allison 4/27/2017 11:27:00 AM Edit
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