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Avery Bradley: Death by a Thousand Cuts

What a game from Avery Bradley last night against one of the worst teams in basketball! He’s made some big leaps this season, mostly because he has a new favorite thing: cutting to the basket when his defender ignores him to pay attention to a more dangerous player. This is a major step up from his old favorite things: bricking 8-foot jumpers and hiding from KG in the towel bin.

Below is the Avery Bradley cuteau par example: Jordan Crawford is on Bradley in the corner as Rondo brings the ball up. Three seconds later, Crawford appears to literally forget Bradley is even there and just casually turns his back on him. Bradley springs into action–PWING!–and bolts along the baseline to the hoop, where Rondo attends to him. Bradley cuts baseline all the time now, so Rondo (and often KG in the high post) are always looking for it.

The result of Bradley’s cutting (not that kind) (how sad would that be) and all the extra open looks at the basket is that he’s converting 64.8% of his shots at the rim. That’s seventh in the league among point guards, and higher than any season-long at-rim efficiency rate in the career of Rajon Rondo, a notoriously good finisher.

After the jump, two more “deep cuts” from Bradley last night.

  • rajons headband

    this reminds me a lot of tony allen. tony got good and has now become one of the league's elite cutters. we should remind ourselves that avery is 21…. the similarities between him and allen are pretty consistent (great on ball defenders, awful shooters, athletic, cant dribble). tony has an inch or so on him, 40 lbs, and primarily guards wings whereas bradley guards ball handlers but still…ill take it. also, as last night clearly showed, i think doc needs to change the rotation to pull ray early and let avery play with rondo. this would benefit avery (he could play good defense against the other starting 1 or 2, depending on the matchup), could play off the ball with rondo, and ray could come in and be the primary scorer with the 2nd unit once Doc brings the rest of the 2nd unit back in

    • Handsome

      Agreed on pretty much everything you said. The only thing I wanted to add is that I think there's more hope for Bradley's jump shot. His form is decent enough, he just has a tendency to rush and it messes with his timing. I don't expect that he'll develop into a sniper by any means but I'd wager good money that he ends up being a better shooter than TA.

      • CelticsBIG3

        In my mind he's already a better shooter than TA

  • happeljuice

    i agree, but bradely cutting to the rim isn't all that new to his game. basically he did it all season long. nevertheless he's done it never as effective as last night.

  • Handsome

    It is a lot of fun watching Avery receive hand-offs from Garnett in order to cut to the basket. KG is just so long that he gives AB all the space in the world to catch the ball and finish cleanly as the defender can't get past Garnett's huge shoulders in time.

  • Luke Walker

    Honestly what encourages me so much about AB is the fact that he keeps trying to find ways to stay on the court. He looked like he was going to see mostly the end of the bench all season again – but he started with the tenacious defense. He found a way he could contribute to the team. He played to his strengths, played on ball defense extremely well, and then started to develop on offense with his cutting. Look he's no Ray Allen, doesn't have the natural ability to score that most teams want off the bench…. but he found ways to make his strength and his game translate into minutes into the NBA. There's a lot to be said for that. Rondo has done the same (on a much bigger scale) and there's something to be said for Doc I think that players are able to do that under him.

  • ripsonics

    If we got better results with Bradley starting and Ray off the bench would anyone be opposed to that? Correct answer: no.

    My question is, could it work…? Bradley is a good player, and anyone in the world will play better with Rondo, KG, and Paul, than they would with what's left of our bench. If you could bring Ray off the bench, and target him when he comes in against second level SG's that might work.

    In a season that's gunna be a wash anyway, why not give it a shot. Maybe I'm crazy…unsure at this point. This team has caused me to lose my mind…..

    Go C's

    • Lakershater13

      I think bringing Ray off the bench would be great. You would be making tired players or bench players try to follow Ray while running all over the place. You would probably get him easier looks. Spurs do it with Manu.

    • Luke Walker

      I've been feeling for a while that Ray's best position at this point is a 6th man off the bench. I'm not knocking him, but I feel he is declining really quickly and opposing starters are having an easier time shutting him down. Bringing him off the bench and taking some of the back up 2 guards in this league to school might be a better fit for him.

  • CG12

    Avery isn't just learning how to shoot. He is a very good spot-up shooter who simply hadn't found his confidence and rhythm until he got enough minutes. If you read any of the reports on Bradley going into the draft, they ALL note that he is an excellent spot-up shooter – not just OK, but very good (see DraftExpress, for instance). He isn't really a long-range shooter, but the corner 3 seems to be in his 15-20 foot comfort range. If defenders shade him to the hoop in order to prevent the back cut, he can sit in the corner waiting for a swing pass.

    I am turning into the president of the Avery Bradley fan club. He can play D like you just don't see anywhere else. He pushes the ball up the floor. He hits jumpers. He throws down big dunks. He has a nice raport going with KG. I hope the Cs hang on to him for the long term, because he is a serious baller. And he is still really young – just turned 21 in November. Keep doing it, Avery.

    • NHBluesMan

      alot of people often forget that coming out of high school he was projected to go before John Wall in the draft… his ankle injury during draft evaluations made it possible for the C's to snag him- for all the crap Danny gets about his drafting, Bradley is definitely an upside thus far

  • Sophomore

    This is great stuff!

    What I really love is that AB did it to the Wiz two plays in a row. In your last vid, he scored points 14 and 15 for the Cs. In your first vid – in what looks to be the Cs' very next trip on offense – AB back cuts for a layup again!

    Gotta love playing the Wizards. You can use the Benny Hill music as a sound track for their D highlights.

  • What I really love is that AB did it to the Wiz two plays in a row. In your last vid, he scored points 14 and 15 for the Cs. In your first vid – in what looks to be the Cs' very next trip on offense – AB back cuts for a layup again!
    Good thought http://perfect-essays.net