While not regarded as the same lockdown defender that he was in his prime, Avery Bradley still brings an incredibly high defensive IQ to the table. After breaking out with the Boston Celtics, Bradley has bounced around over the past two seasons and hasn’t really been able to get comfortable on any one team. While the Lakers’ expectations are high and Bradley’s leash probably won’t be too long if he underperforms, don’t be surprised to see him carve out a bench role and have a solid bounce-back campaign.
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Lakers’ Avery Bradley has ‘Something to Prove’ This Season
Bradley seems to have a strong understanding of why he was brought on board. Despite seeing his scoring averages peak around 16 points per game with the Celtics, he knows he was brought to the Lakers to be a defensive pest on the perimeter. The Lakers’ revamped roster has put a heavy emphasis on getting quality defenders on the second unit and Bradley should be at the forefront of that.
After going through four teams in two seasons, Bradley is ready to make his mark on the Lakers and prove that he not only deserves to stick around long term but is still one of the league’s better defenders. A former All-Defensive first and second-teamer (once each), Bradley was considered one of the league’s premier defenders as recently as 2016 and while he has lost a slight step athletically, there isn’t any reason to believe he still can’t produce as an extremely effective defender with lesser minutes off the bench.
In his last full season – split between the Clippers and Grizzlies – he mostly struggled as a Clipper before breaking out in the last 14 games on the Grizzlies after being traded. Bradley saw his averages jump from 8.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 2 assists up to 16.1 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 4 assists with the Grizzlies. While not a massive sample size, the upward trend in production is certainly promising and may hint at a solid bounce-back year from the formerly elite defender.
Lakers Play Number Roulette With LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Jared Dudley
In a strange twist, it seems that LeBron James is NOT giving up number 23. With some pressure from Nike regarding huge potential losses on their end, the Lakers have decided that James will stick with 23 while Anthony Davis will now take Jared Dudley’s assumed number of 3 and Dudley takes over LeBron’s now vacated number 6.
While at the end of the day Anthony Davis doesn’t end up with number 23, it seems to be the thought that counts as LeBron James apparently made it abundantly clear that he wants to prioritize getting Anthony Davis involved in the gameplan over his own personal success.
Source: New feed