In the latest over at ESPN Boston, I tackled the shooting guard “controversy”. Here’s my pick:
Until his shoulders fell apart, Avery Bradley’s promotion to the starting lineup was running neck-and-neck with Kevin Garnett’s move to center as the biggest factor in Boston’s turnaround. The Bradley lineup (along with Rondo, Garnett, Pierce and Bass) was 19 massive points better per 100 possessions than their opponents. That spread includes both a devastating defensive efficiency number (92.96) and, surprisingly, a 112.54 on the offensive side. You don’t mess with those results. So, unless Bradley’s recovery precludes him from raising his arms above his shoulders, he should be the starting SG on this team. There’s probably a Courtney Lee counterargument here, but it can’t be based around his 3-point shooting (where Bradley wins 40.7 to 40.1 percent) or overall offense, where Bradley has shown a knack for finding off-ball seams and has displayed flashes of a useful off-the-dribble game. Start Lee early in the season while Bradley recovers, and against Joe Johnson-sized shooting guards, but otherwise, Bradley’s the guy.
Hit the link above for responses from the other panelists.