BOSTON- Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers recently let the world know that injured shooting guard Avery Bradley is not going to be returning until at least December. While Bradley’s recovery from the two shoulder surgeries that ended his season early last year is going well, the progress made in the recovery is just not going to be there to allow Bradley to play before December. The news from Rivers dispels all rumors that Bradley might be ready early and possibly in time for the start of the year that have been swirling around NBA circles.
The fact is Bradley being out does hurt the Celtics. Any time a team loses a defensive weapon like Bradley, they are a weaker team and the Celtics are no exception. The Celtics got Courtney Lee and that move will pay huge dividends for the Celtics will Bradley missing the first two months of the year, but Lee is just not Bradley. Lee cannot defend like Bradley does and is not nearly as quick and athletic. Lee will hold down the fort and do a solid job, but the Celtics will not be at their best until they get back the defensive force that is Bradley.
There are those that feel that Bradley missing time will stunt his growth or Doc will not play him upon his return. Those people are out of their minds. When a player as talented as Bradley puts his game together like Bradley did last year, the switch is turned on permanently. The injury of Bradley’s did not hurt any of his natural athleticism (no ACL tear or serious knee injury) and thus he will return the same player physically. Bradley figured out how to be aggressive and smart defensively. Bradley also found a role in the offense that showcased his great speed and movement away from the ball as he would score off quick cuts to the hoop. Bradley also finally started burying the jump shot that he has worked so hard on. These are skills that are there enow and are not going to vanish just because he is missing only two months of his young career. These facts means Bradley is an effective weapon and thus will play upon his return. December looks like the time frame for this return and I cannot wait to see Bradley hounding the opposing offense with relentless tenacity. Remember Go Green or Go Home!!!!!!