Avery Bradley has divided opinion among Celtics fans for years now.
Some (including me), see him as a vital part of the organisation moving forward. Others see him simply as an inconsistent player that struggles with his shot for games at a time during the season.
In reality, Bradley has probably a mix of both in his five seasons in green. This season though, Bradley is better prepared than ever to make a huge mark on the NBA. He has worked hard on his three-point shot over the off-season and with another summer learning to play alongside Marcus Smart, the backcourt will be a defensive nightmare for the opposition.
Bradley is the longest-serving Celtic on the roster and whilst his leadership skills are still progressing, there’s no doubting that the way AB attacks every game is setting a great example for his younger teammates to follow.
If Bradley can consistently knock down corner threes it will be a huge boost to the team and give Isaiah Thomas and Smart the confidence to give him the ball when he’s in his spots and ready.
We all know Bradley is a gun one-on-one defender and I think every Celtic fan around the globe fondly remembers this block on D-Wade in the 2012 playoffs.
That is the kind of play Bradley is known for and if he can do things like that (obviously not every play will be as spectacular) night in, night out, Bradley could find himself on the NBA’s All-Defensive 1st team for the first time in his career. For Bradley’s defence to be recognised by writers and broadcasters who vote on the award, the Celtics will have to be a highly competitive team and make some noise.
With the depth assembled and Brad Stevens calling the shots, the Celtics are capable of doing this.