Paul Abell-US PRESSWIRE
He's not a savior, but he's important. Just how important is yet to be seen.
The Celtics have had a litany of excuses for their .500 play this year. New faces, age, mental fatigue, etc. One of the common refrains (and desperate hopes being clung on to) is that things will get better when Avery Bradley returns. This isn't to put all the pressure on him alone. Everyone knows that everyone has to step up to right this ship. But an interesting thing will be that there won't be any valid excuses anymore.
They could use another interior defender, they still get a bit wobbly when going to their bench and they aren’t likely to recapture the impossibly efficient offensive spark that guided them to the Eastern Conference finals last season. With Bradley back, there will be nothing left to wait for, and no convenient delay by which to shrug off reality. Boston is a good team, and with Bradley back it’ll be better. But this group has a lot to figure out if it’s really going to give the top teams in the East a run for their money, as evidenced by its recent string of double-digit losses.
The new guys really should know the system by now and it shouldn't be all that hard to stop "over thinking" the game. With Bradley back, they can't even claim that they are a critical man down any more. I guess they'll just have to put up or shut up.