Yep, you just ignored all the points I made about these celtics teams not giving a full effort for large parts of the regular season the last few years. Bradley helped for sure, but he in no way turned our season around, KG, Paul, Rondo, and Ray finally decided to turn the switch on and play hard, as they did the year before when we went to game 7 of the NBA Finals after everyone wrote us off and booed the celtics off the floor in midseason for sucking badly against poor teams. Bradley had nothing at all to do with our success that year.
Wait a second - you just completely contradicted yourself. First you say "Bradley helped for sure", and then you followed that with "Bradley had nothing at all to do with our success that year".
Either way this entire quote is just plain garbage. Firstly most of our Celtics teams since 2008 actually started seasons strong:
* 2008 - strong start, won title
* 2009 - strong start, then lost KG to injury & defeated by Orlando in ECF
* 2010 - strong start, then lost Perk & defeated by Lakers in Finals
* 2011 - strong start, then lost Shaq due to injury, lost Perk in trade, defeated by Miami in ECSF
In 2012 we had a poor start. We lost Ray, Jermaine and Wilcox to early health issues and after the All-Star break we had pretty much no choice but to start Avery at SG, start Bass at PF and moved KG over to center as a temporary fix to all of our injury issues. From this moment on our team almost instantly transformed from mediocre to one of the most dominant teams in the NBA.
Our offense sucked royally - we couldn't score to save our lives. We couldn't rebound to save our lives. We were at or near the bottom of the league in both categories. We were still an elite team after the break because of our defense.
I will not by any means say that this improvement was ALL on Avery Bradley. KG's move to center seemed to revitalise him, and Bass found a niche' starting for us at PF. A LOT of our improvement however came from the impact Avery Bradley had on defense.
From the very first game AB started he immediately made an impact on the defensive end of the floor. He struggled offensively at the start (with his shooting, ball handling and decision making) but his defense was so good from the get-go that it keept him in the starting lineup, and it kept us winning games. Initially this was a temporary solution until Ray Allen returned, but once he started to gain confidence his offensive game improved dramatically and at this point his overall impact on the team became so significant that Ray never got his starting job back.
Look at his numbers. Look at the our performance with him on vs off the court. Look at the Net efficiency of our starting lineup with Bradley at SG and compare that to the efficiency of the same lineup with Ray Allen at SG.
You say he had no impact on the playoffs because he was out. Really? Let me quote a few passages for you.
With Avery Bradley on the floor last season the Boston Celtics defensive rating 92.9, the team’s best mark among their regular contributors. Additionally, Boston also fared worse defensively when Bradley was on the bench more than any other player, registering a defensive rating of 97.5.
Beginning with a March 25th win in Philadelphia that saw Bradley play a career-high 40 minutes, the Celtics registered an incredible defensive rating of 92.1 over the final 19 games of the season. Not coincidentally, Bradley played 25 or more minutes in all of them and Boston went 14-5, storming back from a disappointing 26-22 record to win the Atlantic Division.
in the 10 playoff games Bradley took part in before injuring his shoulder, he took things to a whole ‘nother level. His on-court defensive rating in the postseason? A team-low 87.9. Boston’s defensive rating when their dynamo defender was on the bench? 100.4, second higher on the team behind Kevin Garnett’s mind-boggling number of 116.5. Opponents shot a team-low (among regular) 38.2% when Bradley was on the floor, compared to 44.3% when he was riding the pine. Again, only Garnett’s trumps Bradley’s latter number, truly indicative of KG’s absurd worth to Boston’s playoff success. But aside from him, the statistics show that no player had as much of a positive impact in the postseason for the Celtics as Bradley.
The intersting part?
Last year our pace was 90.6, last in the league. This year it's 94.6 which is 19th in the league, so we are playing at a significantly faster pace. Faster pace means more, possessions and more possessions means more points scored by both teams - keep that in mind.
When Bradley was our starting SG in the playoffs our defensive rating was 87.9 when he was on the court. Our defensive rating was 100.4 when he was NOT
This year our defensive rating as a team (without Bradley) is 103.9, and the 4 other starters are the same. If you consider the faster pace we play at, that's roughly equivalent to what we were allowing in the playoffs last season without Bradley on the court.
Now this number isn't foolproof because it also factors in our entire team (rather than just the starting linup), but it's something to think about when you consider that our starting linup is playing roughly 70% of our total minutes.
When AB is back in the roster and back in shape (say 10 games in) it's very possible (actually probable) that our Def Rating will drop by about 12 points per 100 possession when he is on the court. Our overall team's defensive rating could very easily drop from about 7 points, down from from 103.9 to about 96.9, which would rank us as the second best defense in the NBA behind Atlanta (95.6).
Looking at AB's general statistics, there is no evidence at all to suggest a change like that not possible - in fact it's highly likely.
Take look at guys like Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett. Even the greatest shooters have nights when they are hot, and nights when they are cold. Look at rebounds - even if you get great position, sometimes the ball just doesn't bounce your way. Defense is the one single aspect of the game that you ALWAYS have control over. This is why an elite defensive player can impact a game more then even the most insanely good offensive player over an 82 game season. This is why KG still has more impact on us as a team than Rondo does. This is why AB is a MASSIVELY critical piece for this team, and why his extra minutes on the court were a huge contributer to the Celtic's improvement after the All-star break last year.