Boston Celtics’ shooting guard Avery Bradley is likely set to return to the court for Sunday’s game against the Orlando Magic according to head coach Brad Stevens. Having Bradley back will be of huge assistance to this struggling Celtics team. Sitting currently at 15 wins and 33 losses, the Celtics have become the 3rd worst team in all of basketball. Avery Bradley most likely will not be a complete fix to their current downfall, but he will at least make the team play a lot more competitively.
Avery Bradley is referred to by many experts and players around the NBA as one of, if not the best, on-ball defender in the NBA. Bradley’s defensive skills are nothing to scoff at. His ability to shut down some of the best backcourt players in the league is truly astonishing. Some even say that if Bradley had played in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals matchup against the Heat that the Celtics would have prevailed. Bradley was out because he had separated both of his shoulders. Bradley is a game-changer and could have very well changed the outcome of that series. He is truly a vital piece of this franchise’s ultimate goal of being successful once again.
Before suffering an ankle injury, Avery Bradley was having a career year for the Celtics. Obviously his defensive play can’t get much better, but the area in which Bradley has much improved is scoring. Avery Bradley, this season, has been a proficient scorer from all areas of the court. He is able to drive to the basket and finish, something that had hindered his game in previous seasons. He has also improved from the 3-point line and the free throw line. Bradley’s points-per-game average has gone up an impressive 6 points from his career average prior to this season (8.6 to 14.5, according to ESPN.com).
Without their prime defender at the two position, the Boston Celtics have gone 1-5. Now, assuming he suits up to play on Sunday, the Celtics will hopefully improve their play. Their lineup will not only include one of the premier defensive players in the game today, but a player that can also score with his pure athleticism and quickness if he needs to. Celtics fans now can only wish that their prime shooting guard can finish an impressive season healthy and ready to play for every game in the second half of the NBA season.