Avery Bradley’s Absence Will Have A Huge Toll in the Boston Celtics’ Journey

By Mark Loiselle

According to ESPN Boston’s writer Chris Forsberg, Celtics’ guard Avery Bradley underwent left shoulder surgery on Friday and will be out for the remainder of the 2011-12 postseason.

“He’s a guy who wants to be out there,” Paul Pierce said.

Throughout this year, Bradley has consistently experienced shoulder injuries, particularly dislocation. His left shoulder has been separated more than enough times this postseason, which is quite an unexpected  forthcoming for the veteran team.

The second-year guard was exceptionally involved on both sides of the basketball for Doc River’s team this season. Time and time again, he stepped in as a starter remarkably when shooting guard Ray Allen was suffering from ankle injuries.

Going into the 2011-12 season, no one could pinpoint which Avery Bradley would step up, but he made his impact last year with the Maine Red Claws and has shown the front office who he really is, a strong defender and versatile athlete that can sustain his basketball IQ.

His impact on the floor is imperative for the Celtics to be successful. He provides defensive presence in the back court and makes the opponent’s offense commence with 20 seconds on the shot clock. In this season, Avery Bradley has been accountable with experiences in guarding top figures in the NBA like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Kobe Bryant.

“Definitely one of the best on ball defenders in the NBA,” LeBron James said months ago.

Unexpectedly, the former Longhorns guard’s offense was strong. In the regular season, he averaged 7.6 points, 1.4 assists, and 1.8 rebounds per game. In the postseason he averaged 6.7 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 0.8 assists per game but did all of the little aspects that don’t show up in the box score.

Since Bradley is out for the rest of the postseason, Rajon Rondo will not have his young and athletic guard next to him pushing the tempo up the floor.  Bradley has always been known to be one of the best cutters on his team displaying constant angles to the rim, and taking it strong to the basket.

If the Celtics do win the Philadelphia series, the Miami Heat series will be bumpy ride to the finals without Bradley on the court. When Ray Allen or Paul Pierce are taking a break the backup guard usually comes in and presents scoring for the Celtics, and subsequently was a closer when “Jesus Shuttlesworth” was having a rough shooting night.

Regarding the potential Heat series, he would support the defensive side of the ball on Dwayne Wade. One of the members of the Miami Duo can charge to the basket easy and without Bradley in the series, the presence is lost. Boston will have to utilize a mix of Mickeal Pietrus and Keyon Dooling to supply some kind of leverage to the absence of Bradley.

Looking forward, the Celtics’ guard has been handed a promising future with the team, but if his injury woes displays a complication, it is hard for Boston to rely on him for years to come.


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