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Irish Coffee: What’s up with Celtics’ Avery Bradley?

Before the Celtics [1] season started, I made the case for a breakout Avery Bradley performance [2].

So far, I couldn’t be more wrong.

Of the 385 players who have appeared in an NBA game this season, Bradley ranks in the bottom 25 in both offensive rating (367th) and defensive rating (361st). In 42 minutes on the floor during the C’s first six games, he has five rebounds, two points (1-9 FG), one assist, one turnover, zero steals and zero blocks.

In terms of HoopData.com’s advanced statistics [3], it doesn’t get any better for the Celtics reserve. In addition to ranking dead last among the 146 NBA guards who have played at least five minutes a night in PER (-5.5) and efficiency rating (-0.2), he ranks second to last in scoring (0.3) and true shooting percentage (11.1%).

A few more of Bradley’s advanced stats among those 146 guards to drive the point home:

The only positive I could find: He’s held opponents to 3-of-16 shooting (18.8%). No wonder he may have dropped behind E’Twaun Moore [4] on the depth chart. Yet, he and the C’s brass remains confident (via Boston Herald [5]).

The Trying-To-Do-Too-Much-In-Limited-Minutes Theory actually makes some sense, but at some point you can have all the defensive talent in the world — but if you’re a shooting guard who can’t shoot it becomes a problem.


Prior to the season, Celtics captain Paul Pierce [8] stoked the theory teammate Ray Allen would play another five years in the league. In an interview with Fox Sports Florida [9], the 36-year-old Allen threw another log on that fire.

“My body feels good,” Allen said. “Whenever you’re with a great organization, it makes it easier, and it makes it funner, and it gives me a great chance to play until I’m 40. I don’t know how many guys in the history of this league have done it.”

Allen will be a free agent next summer. When asked if he wants to re-sign with the Celtics, he offered a quick, “Yeah.” Does he think he can get another multi-year deal from them at 37?

“Yeah,” said Allen, in the second-year of a two-year, $20 million contract. “That’s what I want.”

After watching Allen drop 28 points on them in Game 2 of the season, the Heat stars had high praise for him.

  • LeBron James [10]: “Ray Allen can play until he’s just tired of playing basketball. There’s no age limit for him. He has a fountain of youth he’s not telling anyone about. I tell him on the court, ‘I don’t know how you do it.’ He looks like 25 or 26. … He’s in unbelievable condition.”
  • Dwyane Wade [11]: “It seems like he never gets tired. … He’s a jump shooter, and his legs are still there at the end of games. It’s amazing. It’s a testament to him and the way he takes care of his body.”

For all the acclaim Allen has received, one player took umbrage with the future Hall of Famer. In an interview with Yahoo! Sports [12] columnist Adrian Wojnarowski, Pacers forward David West disagreed with Allen’s suggestion that he spurned the Celtics [13] for dollars over wins.

“I know he understands the type of man I am,” West said. “I just thought it was more coming from the perspective where he didn’t have all the facts, all the information. I’m a very thoughtful person. I don’€™t rush into anything. I think at my own pace. I make decisions at my own pace. This was a decision that was thought out. I examined it from top to bottom. People who know me know that I’m not going to just say, ‘Well, they offered me more money, so I’m going to sign there.’ That’€™s not how I operate.

“This group has such good young pieces, I really think this is going to be one of the better teams over the next two years.”


Before we jump into the links, let’s take a look at the expected starters for Wednesday night’s matchup — with Jermaine O’Neal [14] expected to play for the Celtics and Deron Williams, Kris Humphries and Brook Lopez [15] all expected out of the Nets [16] lineup.

  • Celtics: PG Rajon Rondo [17]; SG Ray Allen; C Jermaine O’Neal; PF Kevin Garnett [18]; SF Paul Pierce
  • Nets: PG Sundiata Gaines; SG MarShon Brooks; C Mehmet Okur; PF Shelden Williams [19]; SF Damion Jones

In CSN Washington’s comparison [20] of John Wall [21]‘s progression to Rajon Rondo‘s rise to stardom on the Celtics, both Rondo and Wizards [22] coach Flip Saunders [23] spoke candidly about their respective supporting casts.

  • Saunders: “Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are all going to be Hall of Fame players. John didn’€™t walk into that type of situation. John has more pressure on him. What he’€™s got to do though is understand that, let that go and just play.”
  • Rondo: “It’s been very key to my success. Without these guys, I don’t know where I’d be. Not a knock on the players Wall’s playing with, it’s just having veteran guys are big for a young guy. I’ve been around these guys four or five years now. I’ve seen their work habits. … They helped me mature as a man.” …

When I read the NBA.com headline “Westbrook for Rondo could benefit Thunder and Celtics [24],” I was naturally intrigued — only to read as Sam Smith detailed the zero reasons it makes sense for the C’s and the many reasons it makes sense for the Thunder. Here’s a snapshot.

It hasn’t fully occurred to the Celtics, or maybe it has with rumors they tried to trade Rondo for Chris Paul [25], but it’€™s over for them and time to blow it up. Who are they beating in the East with that front court lack of size? Danny Ainge knows you need a star to start, and Westbrook could be it. The hope is former teammate Jeff Green [26] can return from heart surgery next season, and you are on your way. The Celts made this mistake in the late ’80s hanging onto Kevin McHale [27]. OK, you can keep Paul Pierce. But they should move Ray Allen to get something, though Kevin Garnett’€™s salary is too large. They should have learned their lesson from the ’90s. Free agents don’€™t want to go to Boston, either.

It’€™s also a perfect deal for developing Oklahoma City. You get a defensive oriented point guard. So now you can put James Harden [28] in the starting lineup, the classic shooter to play off Kevin Durant [29] and a clear pecking order of talent. Now Thabo Sefolosha moves where he belongs, but can play with Rondo at times in a defensive backcourt. Rondo’s contract is reasonable for an All-Star, and the Thunder have enough pieces to make the deal.

Um, isn’t Rondo a star? His two straight All-Star appearances and 16.5 points, 10.5 assists and 6.0 rebounds per game certainly suggest he is. So the Thunder gets a purer point guard, better defensive player and more attractive contract, and the Celtics swap a star for a star and don’t solve their lack of size issue? Hmm. …

After Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins [30] demanded a trade, Ainge made a long-distance call to Sacramento, according to the Boston Herald [31]. Here’s hoping he just wanted to say hello to Kings GM Geoff Petrie.

(Have a question, concern or conception for tomorrow’€™s Irish Coffee? Send a message to @brohrbach [32] on Twitter.)