The Boston Celtics drafted Avery Bradley with the 19th pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. Though he was talented and active in his only year at the University of Texas, he was drafted as a project who could learn from the big three, and hopefully one day make some kind of impact.
Boy, is he making an impact.
For two years now, Bradley has been a solid defensive option coming off of Boston's bench. In very limited minutes, he really never displayed much on offense that would lead anyone to call for more time for him.
However, three weeks ago, Boston coach Doc Rivers decided that it was time to make a change in the lineup, and he moved Ray Allen to the bench, making way for Bradley to start. Defensively, Bradley has been the tough and consistent player everyone knew he could be.
The real splash has been on offense.
Bradley has made the move look genius for Doc Rivers, who now has a younger, tougher starting five, and an older, more experienced, more explosive bench. Not only is the team doing well, but the perception of the Celtics as an old, run-down team is changing because of the new-found youth and energy brought by Bradley.
And with his new-found success comes new-found comparisons for Bradley. Celtics fans that were once worried that the end of an era was happening right before their eyes are now thinking that they might be witnessing the birth of a new era. Players like Bradley, Rajon Rondo and Brandon Bass have breathed a little life into the aging Celtics core, and given hope to even the most skeptical of fans.
But how good has Avery Bradley really been? The next few slides will compare his hot streak to some of the career beginnings of past Celtic greats.