Avery Bradley excelling off the ball

David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Imagine that. Avery Bradley is better as an off guard than a point guard. Who saw that coming? Oh yeah, everyone.

The worst kept secret in the NBA was that Avery Bradley is not, and will not ever be, a point guard.  He's the best guard on the roster and he can handle the ball reasonably well, so by default he was thrust into that role again this year (despite multiple failed experiments in the past).

Stevens recognized this and made the switch to the surprisingly good Jordan Crawford at the point and started trusting undrafted rookie Phil Pressey with some backup point duties.  The result has been a revelation for Bradley.

For Boston Celtics, the excellence of execution - ESPN Boston

The Celtics are 2-0 since Crawford entered the starting backcourt. Boston's offense gets a jolt with him on the floor, but most importantly, the turnover percentage has plummeted (a mere 12.2 percent when he's on the floor the past two games). In fact, plays like this show that Crawford is saving possessions instead of giving them away.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens keeping an eye on college ranks - Sports - The Boston Globe

"I’m not just always having the ball in my hand and have to create for everybody else," Bradley said. "I can get a feel as a game goes on. I feel more comfortable playing with Jordan, or anybody. I just feel like I’m getting more confidence as the game goes on because I know my role. I know what [I need] to get me going and that’s my defense." Yes, defense, and Crawford explained why Bradley can be more effective at it now. "Avery doesn’t have to spend as much energy bringing the ball up, so he can exert a little more of his energy into picking up people, and that’s what he did," Crawford said. "He made some huge plays. He’s the catalyst for it and then everybody is communicating and believing in themselves."

More Bradley off the ball is a good thing for everyone.  I'm glad that Stevens has made the switch and I expect better things from Avery this year as a result.

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