Boston Celtics‘ defensive extraordinaire Avery Bradley is understanding and fully embracing his role as a game changing defensive force. Even against the highest caliber of opposing guards, Bradley takes on the challenge with pure delight and makes a living out of simply keeping guys in front of him and forcing them into dribbling fits. Bradley’s impact and the energy that he plays with is contagious, and it continues to strengthen the Celtics defensive swagger in phenomenal fashion at the perfect time.
Bradley’s game continues to grow to the pivotal point of him fully accepting the remaining responsibility to pick up after the loss of fellow starting back-court partner in Rajon Rondo. Bradley has emerged as not only a leader of the Celtics young core moving forward, but a player that can lead by example without speaking loud volumes. Bradley’s effort remains consistent and for a team that battles it’s own nightly inefficiencies, effort like Bradley’s goes a long way and eventually sets the bar for the rest of his teammates around him.
Bradley is starting to become a force that teams really have to think about when matching up with the Celtics. There has virtually never been a performance by an opposing guard in which Bradley has been either dominated or turned into a non-factor. Bradley can score zero points, dish out zero assists, grab zero rebounds, and still have a colossal impact on any game. This is what makes Bradley a truly unique entity to any basketball team. He has an immediate impact on the floor as soon as the ball is in-bounded and his ability to cause discomfort in an opposing ball-handler setting up the offense is one that teams are really going to have to focus on overcoming.
Bradley’s offensive game is obviously the biggest area where his focus in his own development should be. Over his last ten games, he has not only managed to take most of the workload in moving the ball on offense, but he’s also averaging a very decent 11.1 points, three rebounds, 2.6 assists, and two steals per game in 33 minutes. He continues to turn heads around the league all while being just 22 years old and making a humble $1.6 million per year. He is making a serious case for defensive player of the year even if still missing a good portion of the season. He continues to improve and those around him are honored to have his efforts on their side. Bradley is a true difference maker that remains a special and unique player to watch league-wide.
Eric St. Cyr Covers the Boston Celtics for Rantsports.com Follow Him on Twitter @EricJsaint