Avery Bradley’s role has changed quite a bit over the course of a few months.
Due to an injury that will likely sideline Rajon Rondo until sometime in December, Bradley is now forced to move from shooting guard to the point. Beyond that, newly-hired Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens has asked Bradley to play defense off of the ball - contrary to what the 22-year old has done in his days both in the NBA and at Texas.
Though he hasn’t been the only one having to make adjustments this season, he may be the one with the most to make. Still, he instills trust in the overall process and in his teammates and coaches.
“We’re all open to learning because we know we all need each other,” Bradley said. “Me, being a four-year guy, I know that I have to adjust to the new system a little faster, being one of the leaders on the team.”
Stevens appreciate Bradley’s willingness, and echoed that to reporters on Friday afternoon.
“I’ve really enjoyed coaching Avery because he’s been really receptive to being coached,” Stevens said.
Stevens also alluded to the fact that Bradley was seemingly becoming more comfortable handling the ball, and Bradley confirmed just that.
The fourth-year guard is playing in his first full preseason as a professional, as injuries have hindered him in the past.
“I feel a lot more comfortable at the point guard position this year, and I think that’s because of the coach and my teammates, more confidence.”
It appears early on that Stevens and Bradley are building a solid relationship. The two have become so close that Stevens even used a word nobody thought they would hear him say when talking about Bradley: elite.
“When you have elite ability, part of that is being versatile, part of that is being able to do a lot of different things,” Stevens said. “He has that.”
At the end of the day, Bradley hasn’t completely changed. His aggressive personality and the way he approaches the game are exactly the same as they have been in the past.
"Sometimes it takes the younger guys to understand that everything you do in practice translates to the game," Bradley said. “I have to lead by example, even the days you don’t want to practice, you have to come in and go as hard as you can."