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Analyzing What Makes the Rajon Rondo/Avery Bradley Backcourt a Lethal Duo

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 29:  Rajon Rondo #9 of the Boston Celtics directs his team against the Atlanta Hawks in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on April 29, 2012 at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. The Hawks won 83-74. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images
Matt ShetlerCorrespondent IMay 3, 2012

Since late March, when he was inserted into the Boston Celtics' starting lineup, Avery Bradley has formed a lethal duo with All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo.

The numbers back that up as the Celtics finished the season on a 15-5 tear with Bradley supplanting future Hall of Famer Ray Allen as the starting 2-guard. In the month of April alone, the duo combined to average 25.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, 15.7 assists and 3.1 steals per game.

Those are certainly numbers Celtics head coach Doc Rivers has to be happy with.

However there are a few reasons as to why Bradley and Rondo have become a handful to deal with for opposing backcourts.

First of all is their speed.

We know about Rondo’s excellent quickness. We’ve seen it for years and he’s established that he’s one of the quicker point guards in the NBA. But now you add Bradley to the mix and the Celtics could have one of the fastest backcourts in all of the NBA.

It has at least sparked some discussion in the Celtics' locker room as Kevin Garnett told Ben Watanbe of NESN:

"Avery's probably -- Rondo's gonna kick me in the behind for saying this, but -- he's probably the fastest guy on the team," Garnett said. "He's very explosive, and I just don't think he's had a lot of opportunities to show the things that he can do."

While neither player is an excellent scorer, together that speed creates opportunities for each other that may not be there with a slower guard. If anything, they make the defense work hard at trying to keep both guys in front of them throughout the game.

Bradley hasn’t been the best offensive player throughout his young career, but he’s coming along. Throughout the final month of the regular season he averaged 15.1 PPG and shot .520 from the floor and .545 from behind the arc.

DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 24:  Avery Bradley #0 and head coach Doc Rivers of the Boston Celtics talk as they leave the court after facing the Denver Nuggets during NBA action at the Pepsi Center on February 24, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated t
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Given Rondo’s ability to set up teammates for open looks, if Bradley is knocking down shots, he’s just another weapon at Rondo’s disposal.

Whatever they get from the duo offensively is nice, but where Bradley and Rondo make the biggest impact is on the defensive end of the floor.

Together they may be the best defensive guard duo in the NBA. That shows in the numbers as the Celtics could have been the best defensive team in the NBA after the All-Star break.

Their speed, agility and active hands make them very difficult for the opposition.

Opposing guards have to work very hard to get open looks when they play against Bradley and Rondo.

They are a wear-down pair who make you work extremely hard at both ends of the floor and have produced positive results while playing together.

Much has been made all year about the eventual replacement for Allen as he’s in the final year of his deal, but that replacement may have been on the Celtics' roster all along as Bradley and Rondo could have success as a duo for a very long time.

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