One of the most entertaining player archetypes in the NBA is the high-volume shooter. There’s a reason that so much attention is given to players like J.R. Smith, Jamal Crawford, Carmelo Anthony and Nick Young. Sure, those guys have big personalities, but the mentality and special skill-set that it takes to play offense the way that they do is fascinating as well.
However, one of the less fascinating things in the league is when players who don’t naturally have the skill-set or mental-make-up of a high-volume shooter try to be just that. When that type of thing starts to happen, it actually gets kind of sad and painful to watch. Through the start of the 2013-14 season, Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley is starting to fall into that second category of players.
Through his first three years in the league and with Boston, Bradley started to earn himself a solid reputation as an above-average perimeter defender and a guy that can be effective offensively when he’s playing within himself. With a poor supporting cast and Rajon Rondo still out with his knee injury to start the year, though, Bradley has been doing anything but playing within himself on offense.
On Tuesday night against the Houston Rockets, Houston dictated the pace, playing up-tempo. In that style, Bradley chucked up a ridiculous 22 shots on the night. Considering that he’s not a great or consistent offensive player, though, he hit only five of those attempts and finished the night with just 11 points.
Giving Bradley his due, he has had three games in the last two weeks where he’s taken 14 or more shots and shot over 50 percent from the floor, but that still doesn’t mean it’s a great look for this Celtics team. If I’m Boston, I’m deterring Bradley from playing this way if I can and if my ultimate goal isn’t to tank (though that is probably the ultimate goal of this team even if they won’t admit it). I’d much rather see Bradley adopt a role as more of a distributors, which isn’t happening as he hasn’t notched an assist in his past five games and is averaging less than 1.5 assists per game this season. Bradley isn’t the type of player that should be just chucking whenever he has the ball and the Celtics’ record more or less reflects that as the sit at 4-8 in correlation to how Bradley has been playing.