Young, athletic guards seem to come a dime a dozen these days in the NBA. What separates the mundane guards from the elite are how versatile their skill sets are. Most guards can play moderately well with the ball in their hands on offense, but having a defensive edge is what elevates the guard to All-Star status.
Avery Bradley is your prototypical shooting guard, listed at 6-foot-2, 180 pounds. While playing through an injury-riddled season, Avery averaged 9.2 PPG and 2.1 APG with the Boston Celtics. While only playing 50 games last season, Bradley averaged 28.7 minutes per game, the highest of his career.
The most astounding stat though, comes through his steals per game. Bradley’s steals nearly doubled from the previous season, going from 0.7 steals per game in 2012 to 1.3 steals per game in 2013. This is what separates Bradley from other shooting guards in the league. Not only is he able to pour it on offensively, but defend some of the quickest ball-handlers in the league.
Heading into the 2013-2014 season, Bradley will average at least 28-30 minutes per game. If Bradley is able to stay healthy, we could witness a breakout season for the Celtics guard. Bradley’s defense will continue to be stellar, but his offensive game will need some improvement.
Bradley will definitely need to shoot above 40 percent from the field and 31 percent from beyond the arc in order to keep the Celtics offense flowing, especially with Rajon Rondo returning to the roster. The Celtics desperately need a player who can create offense with or without the basketball. Bradley has proven he can do just that.