Boston Celtics shooting guard Avery Bradley will most likely miss the start of next season due to a shoulder injury that continuously nagged him in last season’s playoffs and ultimately led him to miss the series against the Miami Heat.
It is quite a shame because Bradley made a huge difference last season once he was inserted into the starting lineup and certainly could have used this past offseason to improve his offensive game. Only 23, Bradley has a bright future and another offseason of development would have been huge.
He is arguably one of the best defensive players in the league and his on-ball defense is truly a pleasure to watch. He is expected back sometime around the middle of the season and the team has positioned itself nicely to withstand an injury to Bradley by also having Jason Terry and Courtney Lee in the fold. Lee is an excellent defensive player who should thrive in Doc Rivers system, while Terry is a veteran who never seems to be rattled and who always seems to hit the big shot.
This brings up an interesting question. When Bradley returns, who should Rivers start at the shooting guard position? Terry seems to be out of the question, as he has made a living as a 6th man and gives the team desperate scoring punch off the bench that they have often lacked.
It is important to keep in mind that the Celtics really took off last season once Bradley was inserted into the starting lineup. He is a great fit for what they do. He is an excellent cutter and developed a great rapport with point guard Rajon Rondoas the season progressed. He is a capable outside shooter, but his bread and butter is clearly on the defensive end.
Lee brings similar qualities to the table, including a slightly more rounded offensive game. This truly seems like a situation where “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Either way, the Celtics will have great depth at the position. Overall, it seems like the right move to have Bradley remain in the starting lineup and strengthen the bench with Lee.
Rob Lunder covers the Boston Celtics for Rant Sports. For all Celtics news, check out the Boston Celtics homepage on Rant Sports.