Here's the good news. Avery Bradley hasn't forgotten how to play defense. Chances are, he was even a little rusty and will keep getting better.
Bradley started opposite Mike Conley and held the Memphis guard to two shots (a successful 3-pointer and a runner from 6 feet) and two assists in 13:22 of shared floor time in the first half. In Conley’s remaining first-half minutes (8:22), he made 4-of-6 shots and generated three assists. In other words, even if Bradley’s offense was rusty (1-4 FG), he’s still effective on the defensive end.
But alas, it wasn't enough savioring for the whole team to turn around in one night.
Bradley sat for an 18-minute stretch before playing the final 70 seconds and finished with four points on 2-of-6 shooting with a steal over 19:31. He was minus-12, highlighting Boston's first-unit struggles.
I'm perfectly willing to be patient with Bradley. It is the rest of the team I'm at wits end with.
What did it feel like for Mike Conley when Bradley would go to the bench? "Relief. It was like I could breathe a little bit."— Steve Bulpett (@SteveBHoop) January 3, 2013