It’s fully understood what Boston Celtics undersized guard Avery Bradley brings to the floor on an extremely consistent basis. His lock-down defensive mentality and his ability to shut down perimeter players has lit a fire under a depleted Celtics squad, and created some serious match-up issues for opposing teams.
His impact may be great and there is never a question of effort, but Bradley really needs to improve his offensive game in order to give the Celtics a fighting chance come playoff time.
Bradley’s offensive game has grown significantly since he has come into the league, and even more so now that he’s had to step up in the absence of point guard Rajon Rondo, but opposing teams will still gamble on him taking those jumpers.
His shooting form looks to have improved, but he still hesitates when trying to create off the dribble. He’s a below-average dribbler as is, which doesn’t necessarily mean that driving the lane will ever be easy.
One of the (many) issued with the Celtics offense is that they have to work so hard for points and not many buckets are coming in an easy manner. The Celtics lack the ability to get inside without Rondo, and it’s forced them to turn to the jump shot even more frequently.
Bradley may never be a knockdown type of guard that teams will have to smother defensively, but he could surely become a 15 point-a-night guy with the right amount of progress. Over his last 10 games, Bradley has shot at a decent 49 percent clip, and averaging a respectable 12.2 points per game, nearly three points higher than his season average.
The numbers look as if they are climbing, but he has to start hitting bigger shots and simply becoming more dependable with the ball in his hands. Otherwise, Bradley is simply the best defender in the league and not much else.
Overall, it’s not a bad spot for him as an individual or the Celtics team as a whole, but if the Celtics want any hope at a deep playoff run, Bradley is going to have to grow up on the job.
Eric St. Cyr Covers the Boston Celtics for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twiter @ericJsaint