As much as I appreciate Bradley's defense, his offense just hasn't been there this season. Yes he had a couple of good games, but I'm becoming increasingly impressed with how Courtney Lee has been playing as of late.
Since Bradley has come back from surgery, he's been averaging 7.5 points, shooting 39.8% from the field, and 30.6% from 3-point range in 24 minutes. I understand that Bradley is coming off of a season ending injury, and so I'm not saying that he should be benched for the rest of the year, but he should be benched until he gets his rhythm back.
Time certainly worked for Courtney Lee who has been playing increasingly well throughout the season. He had a good opening night against Miami, but struggled through the month of November. During November he averaged 5.1 points a game, shooting 42.1% from the field and 18.2% from 3-point range, in 23.9 minutes.
Since November, Lee's numbers have taken a significant jump that's worthy of a starting spot (since Bradley has been struggling thus far). In the month of December, Lee has been averaging 8 points a game, shooting 46.9% from the field, and 38.5% from 3-point range, in 25.1 minutes.
In the month of January, his points haven't taken a significant jump, but his percentages have jumped slightly. So far in January, Lee has been averaging 8.1 points, shooting 50% from the field, and 40.7% from 3-point range in 17.9 minutes.
The 17.9 minutes is a problem though. Bradley has been struggling offensively, while Courtney Lee has been playing very well as of late. Despite Bradley averaging slightly more than 6 minutes of playing time compared to Lee in the month of January, he's only been attempting 1.7 more shots a game. In addition, Bradley isn't nearly as efficient as Lee has been thus far, despite how much the Celtics have been struggling as of late.
During this 5-game losing streak, Avery Bradley has been averaging 5.5 points, shooting 39.1% from the field and 30% from 3-point range in 24.5 minutes. Lee has been averaging 8 points a game, shooting 40.5% from the field, and 37.5% from 3-point range in 18.9 minutes.
If Lee starts over Bradley, yes, there might be a little bit of a lag defensively, but hopefully the offense more than makes up for the slight drop off in defensive intensity. The only issue I may have with Courtney Lee is his assertiveness. He doesn't call for the ball like he should. Putting him in the starting lineup can hopefully boost his confidence. The only reason why I would hesitate to have Lee in the starting lineup, is because the bench may take an offensive dip with swapping Bradley for Lee.
Jason Terry has been struggling a lot, along with Jeff Green, and Barbosa doesn't see much playing time. But I think Doc Rivers should still give Lee a chance to be a starter again. It wasn't even as if Lee played poorly as a starter in the first place, he just wasn't hitting his 3-pointers. As a starter Courtney Lee averaged 9.5 points, shooting 48.9% from the field, and 28.6% from 3-point range, in 29.2 minutes.
What are your thoughts? Should Lee start over Bradley? Should Bradley keep his starting spot? Should either player be traded? Should both be traded?