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Most Improved Player - Where is Avery?

Posted by GeeZeeCeltics on April 9, 2012 at 11:45 AM

When you hear discussions about who should be the 2011-12 NBA MIP, you hear Kris Humphries being mentioned. Jeremy Lin. James Harden. Nikola Pekovic. Heck, Kevin Love. But why is Avery Bradley not there?


In the beginning of the season, Avery was completely lost on offense. Honestly, he was detrimental to the team. It was hard to watch through my fingers how Bradley bricked midrange shots so hard it seemed like he was trying to shatter the backboard. He was unable to run the team, even protect the ball at times. Zero confidence. Often stuffed at the rim. You name it. On defense, he was marvellous. On offense, he was a mess.


However, that's when the Cutter arrived. 


There are two things that are behind the run the Celtics are on right now: it's KG's return to being a 20-10 guy and it's Avery's resurgence. I think that Rondo's assist streak is a product of this - these two are helping him help them. (Yeah, I've heard that before. Ubuntu, guys.) With KG, it has something to do with him just taking and making more shots. With Bradley, though, it's on a whole another level. 




All of the things I named earlier that frustrated everyone about Bradley? Gone. We have seen him blossom before our very own eyes. This rennaisance began after Bradley was instructed by Doc to do a simple thing - if your defender looks away from you, cut to the basket. This is very simple, but sometimes the simple is, in fact, genius.


This new playing style for Bradley instantly made him into a different player. Playing along side Rondo, with the vision he has, cutting to the basket undetected is almost a sure bucket because if it's possible, Rajon will find you. The result was astounding. Avery's confidence picked up instantly as he made layup after layup, frustrating opposing defenses. And that was all that was necessary to open the floodgates.


The Cutter was born - a player who no longer looked like a deer in the headlights, someone who stepped into shots with confidence, who now took the ball to the rack with more oomph than before. Bradley even seems to begin making friends with the corner three - he's made a few from there. And even his point guard play - which seemingly has no connection with cuts to the basket - has picked up. He dished out five assists yesterday, at times making a few plays that reminded me of Rajon Rondo (him finding Ray in the corner for a three was very similar to that).


Speaking of that, he is apparently putting things he's learned from the vets to the test - I've seen him shoot layups very quickly, trying to hit the backboard as fast as possible. I also noticed this with Rondo before. This has resulted in goaltends two or three times against Avery, with the opposing big trying to block the shot. And even Pavlovic could teach Bradley something about using contact when driving to the basket. (I think there is also this one other Pierce guy who knows something or other about driving and contact but oh well.)


So why on Earth is Bradley not in the Most Improved Player talks? I have no idea. Perhaps it has something to do with not being too showtime. Avery's style is one of tenacity, not flamboyance. But, anyway, who cares. After all, it's the wins that are piling up, and that's what matters.



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10 Comments

Reply paul
1:12 PM on April 9, 2012 
Hell, Bradley has meant so much to us that he almost could be in the MVP conversation. But I have to give most of the credit for the recent surge to Rondo. Rondo has been stellar all season. What he has done recently is solve the leadership riddle, which has in turn made it easier for him to play more consistently, which in turn is moving him steadily into the league mvp discussion. As much as his assists come from Bradley and Garnett playing well, the unbelievably aggressive way he has been running the team makes this team more and more powerful on offense. While Rondo can be the lead weight that sinks through the bottom of the hull (eg. when he forgets to play defense on his man), he can also be the giant sale that takes us towards port. He makes us a contender. If he raises his game anymore, he could make us THE contender. I don't think teams fear Bradley or Garnett or even Pierce, though they respect what these guys can do. I think teams fear Rondo.
Reply GeeZeeCeltics
1:19 PM on April 9, 2012 
To be completely honest, I feel like we can't point out one reason to the Celtics surge. It's Rondo's assists and leadership, Kevin's renaissance, Avery's and Stiemer's rise and the stingy defense, all of those.
I totally agree that Rondo is more of a leader than the other guys, but I think that this team is back into the Ubuntu thinking. It's been hard to determine the best player of the game for a few times now, especially last night. You could give the victory cigar to Rondo, KG, Bradley or Bass and it would be fine whichever you choose. And this, in my opinion, is the greatest thing about this team. It is a unit where everyone conributes, but Rondo is steering it. And my goodness, is he steering it in the right direction.
Reply Franklin
3:00 PM on April 9, 2012 
Its crazy how Avery and Greg have stepped up so big. They have changed the Celtics season around.
Reply shawn cassidy
3:05 PM on April 9, 2012 
He is clearly the best option, but I think they go with points over actual impact,which is sad.
Reply paul
3:39 PM on April 9, 2012 
Basketball, at its best, is a game that heightened both the team and the individual, especially the way the Celtics have traditionally played it. It's like the Russell Celtics. Every member of the team was vital. No one player overwhelmed the rest, the way Chamberlain or MJ did. But that precisely was Russell's genius. He understood the team game as a team game more profoundly than any other player. Rondo has some of that same genius.

But Avery has been something so special, a true Celtic phenomenon. Has there ever been a player with a bigger impact on the game that didn't show up statistically?
Reply paul
3:39 PM on April 9, 2012 
Basketball, at its best, is a game that heightened both the team and the individual, especially the way the Celtics have traditionally played it. It's like the Russell Celtics. Every member of the team was vital. No one player overwhelmed the rest, the way Chamberlain or MJ did. But that precisely was Russell's genius. He understood the team game as a team game more profoundly than any other player. Rondo has some of that same genius.

But Avery has been something so special, a true Celtic phenomenon. Has there ever been a player with a bigger impact on the game that didn't show up statistically?
Reply GeeZeeCeltics
3:49 PM on April 9, 2012 
That is a magnificent analogy.
Reply Trey
10:58 PM on April 9, 2012 
Bradley, thank god Danny didn't trade him
Reply paul
11:14 PM on April 9, 2012 
The Ainge Express broke down, thank goodness.
Reply Celticslifer
11:17 PM on April 9, 2012 
paul says...
The Ainge Express broke down, thank goodness.



We all starpped a bomb to it, or stole the keys.
Reply jlil89
2:32 AM on April 10, 2012 
Come playoff time, their minds will change about Bradley. Just wait and see.