In a lot of ways I have no problem calling Avery Bradley the savior, because I think he is the heir apparent and embodies the true identity of the Celtics Ethos from tribal elder Kevin Garnett - DEFENSE.
While I have come to grips with all the hoopla around the future being Rajon Rondo and putting young fast legs around him to run, I think the "real" future or back to the future is the heir to KG's plus/minus intensity - Avery Bradley. While I have been critical of Rajon Rondo for gambling ways and sometimes lack of consistency on the defensive end, I have come to grips that he is and the Celtics are best served with letting him be a free spirit. I think Doc really understands and have been trying to convey that to the fan base over the last two years.
I think Avery allows Rondo to be even more potent defensively and in a sense - off the ball wreaking havoc in the passing lanes - therefore I think it is almost like we get two for one when he comes back. Additionally, it is going to make our whole defense better. The evidence is now in, execution of "small ball-uptempo" - built around Rondo - is not the strategy the identity that is a winning formula for us; as long as major investments like Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jared Sullinger are in the mix. As I think has already be eluded, by Doc, Danny, and numerous post, the Celtics are who we thought they would be, half-court, big plodding, suffocating defensive team, that be opportunistic of transition buckets off "stops".
My hope is that Doc does not waste anytime with the rotations (other than a couple of games for the youngster to catch his breath) in putting him in the starting line up. Let Jason Collins continue to play six minutes to open each half along, until Sullinger learns all the ropes. Eventually, I think the power forward role goes to Sullinger. I think Bass goes back to being a solid role player and we give the lion share of the minutes to Jeff Green (hopefully close to thirty).
I have read many post that are ready to ship Courtney Lee out but I see tremendous growth and development here; he now knows that Avery is going to be the starting and with good cause; his FG% is an impressive forty-seven percent and in the last five games he has shown that his three-point shot is coming back; he has a nice little mid-range game and shows ability to rebound and finish around the hoop.
With Avery being back and anchoring our defense with Rondo, KG, Pierce, and Collins; Jeff Green, Courtney Lee, and Jason Terry, can continue to "learn" the defensive rotations while taking on more offensive responsibilities. I think all three of them have the ability to be double digit scorers. I think Brandon Bass is going to feel less pressure and start knocking down the mid-range shots again. It is not that these guys are not solid citizens, but we are asking square-pegs to go into round holes and I fear we are spinning our wheels. Let's get these guys back to feeling relaxed and doing what they do without all the thinking.
I see the Celtics built very much like the Spurs - without the continuity as of yet - , but I think we were trying to build it without the foundation of our identity - DEFENSE.
Another insight that might be useful is the with the perimeter about the protected our "little disruptors", I think Jeff Green is going to be able to play more at the four - as teams will have less opportunities to set up their offense, particularly with dynamic power forwards.
So while it has been painful to watch the Celtics thus far, the truth is, the stars will align when the Heir Apparent comes back.