Avery Bradley's offense was always the question mark. The All-NBA defensive talent needed to close the gap between his defensive prowess and his offensive ability. The 2013-14 season, while still hampered with injury for Bradley, was a step in the correct offensive direction.
Some people have said that Bradley's shooting returned to the level it was at in 2012-13. That's true to an extent. His shooting percentages are very similar to what they were two seasons ago.
Here's a comparison of his last three seasons:
It seems like we can chalk up the 2012-13 season as a bit of an anomaly (or we can assume Bradley will be the type of player to have a good season every other year). The numbers for the 2011-12 and 2013-14 are pretty similar. His numbers from this most recent season are a little bit lower, however, Bradley was carrying much more of the offensive burden. He was taking 13.8 shots a game this past season. Two seasons ago he was shooting only 6.3 shots a game.
When you look at the break down of Bradley's shots from the floor over the course of the 2011-12 season in comparison to the 2013-14 season, it's clear why his percentages are a little bit higher. He was shooting from so much closer!
According to NBA.com, in the 2011-12 season Bradley took 402 shots, 178 of them were from 5 feet or closer to the basket. That's 44.2% of his attempts. In 2013-14 he only took 22% of his 825 shots from 5 feet or closer.
Obviously, Bradley's role in the offense changed this season. Doc Rivers helped Bradley's offense when he told him to just cut to the hoop. Now, Bradley's doing more of his work on the perimeter. He took a total of 525 shots from between 15 and 24 feet this season. It accounts for 64% of his shot attempts last season. Pretty astonishing when you consider only 43% of Bradley's shot attempts came from 15-24 feet in 2011-12.
Bradley's offensive game has changed. He is able to shoot the corner three more effectively, and finds himself on that spot of the floor more often. He made only 20 corner threes in 2011-12, but shot a staggering 56% on those shots. He even made 18 of 25 from the right corner.
This past year he made 48 corner threes on 126 attempts. A respectable 38%, but not elite.
Any way you slice it, Bradley's offensive game has changed. He is carrying more of the load, scoring more points, taking more shots, and making more jumpers. All of those things should be bright spots for Celtics fans, especially for those fans that are making the argument that Bradley should still be with the Celtics next season. He has become more of a threat to shoot, which can stretch out the defense. That was always a concern with the backcourt combo of Rajon Rondo and Bradley: the ability to stretch the defense out.
Now, Bradley is showing he can be a dynamic shooter. Paired with his defense, he could be a solid player in the next few years. As long as he stays healthy.
- Boston Celtics’ Bright Spots from the 2013-14 Season: Rajon Rondo’s Health
- Boston Celtics’ Bright Spots from the 2013-14 Season: Kelly Olynyk
- Boston Celtics’ Bright Spots from the 2013-14 Season: Brad Stevens
- A Look Ahead at the Boston Celtics Schedule This Week Along with Some Thoughts on Avery Bradley and Rajon Rondo
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