Avery Bradley to Make Season Debut Tonight

by January 02, 2013

The Boston Celtics will be getting a desperately-needed shot in the arm, as Avery Bradley is set to make his season debut tonight against the Memphis Grizzlies. Bradley has spent the last seven months recovering from multiple shoulder surgeries. Per the Boston Globe: “Jared Sullinger said the 22-year-old guard has more offense to contribute than some might think. Rajon Rondo called him the best defender in the NBA at the guard position. Coach Doc Rivers said Bradley was a top-five on-ball defender and basically would eliminate one guard from the opposing team. The compliments kept coming in. But all with a disclaimer after the team’s 14-16 start: We’re not asking him to save our season. ‘We’re just not doing that,’ Rivers said. ‘That’s [the media]. I haven’t said to our team one time, ‘Guys, when Avery comes back …’ So that’s from outside the team, not from inside the team.’ One thing Rivers was certain about is that the Celtics can’t win games when they’re allowing as many points as they have recently, including 118 to a Sacramento team that averages about 96. The Celtics have allowed 98.1 points per game, 17th in the NBA. They’ve given up more than seven 3-pointers per game, 15th in the NBA, while allowing opponents to shoot 37.5 percent from downtown. Last season, with Bradley a fixture in the lineup and attached to an opposing guard, no team defended the 3-pointer like Boston, which allowed a feeble 30.8 percent and just five treys per game. […] Bradley, who stayed in Boston for extra practice during the Celtics’ four-game road trip, will definitely play Wednesday, though Rivers has yet to decide if it will be in a starting or reserve role. ‘I’m just going to go out and play hard,’ Bradley said. ‘That’s all I can do. That’s how I play. Go out there and leave everything on the floor. Tomorrow, that’s what you guys will see.'”