Avery Bradley played so well when Ray Allen was out injured last year, he meshed so well with the other starters, that when Allen returned Doc Rivers started bringing one of Boston’s big four off the bench. Bradley and Rajon Rondo looked like the Boston backcourt of the future. It was part of what pushed Allen out of Boston to Miami.
But through training camp and likely the start of this coming season Bradley is out, recovering from shoulder surgery. When the Celtics tip off the season against the Heat at the end of October it is likely Courtney Lee will be the starter at the two spot.
When Bradley gets healthy, does he get his role as a starter back?
Probably, says A. Sherrod Blakely at CSNNE.com. And like everything with the Celtics, it starts with defense.
While Lee is a solid defender, he doesn’t have the defensive game-changing ability that Bradley showcased when healthy last season…
And then there’s the fact that Bradley has earned the right to, at the very least, pick up where he left off prior to the shoulder injuries.
During Rondo’s strong play in the regular season, the C’s would often have Bradley defend the opposing team’s top guard. That took some of the defensive workload off Rondo’s shoulders, which in turn helped him and the C’s offensively.
It is possible that Lee plays so well, that the Celtics play so well with him in the lineup Rivers decides to stick with his hot hand. But smart money says Bradley gets his shot back as a starter. With the depth the Celtics have this year, Rivers can afford to experiment and let things play out a little more.
So, bet on Bradley getting to start again. But I wouldn’t bet the rent.