Bradley (left) could be a key asset to solving the Celtics point guard dilemma.
Rajon Rondo is arguably one of the best point guards in the league.
He averages 13.5 points per game, 13.7 assists per game and 4.8 rebounds per game in 38.5 minutes. He’s also shooting 51.7 percent from the field and 31.6 percent from three-point range.
Rondo currently leads the league in assists, while leading all point guards in minutes per game.
However, the latter might be an area of concern for the Celtics.
The reason for this increased playing time—a career-high for the 26-year-old—is quite simple: other than Rondo, Boston lacks a true point guard.
The team has tried utilizing Terry, Barbosa and Lee at the position throughout the season; unfortunately, none of the three have measured up.
Playing Terry at the point would be unfavorable, as his scoring is too much of an asset. Having him control the offense would render his outside shooting and off-the-ball movement almost useless.
Lee, on the other hand, has looked downright clueless whenever he’s been thrown into the role. Then again, he hasn’t looked comfortable playing at any position for the Celtics this season.
Barbosa would seem to be the best fit out of the three. He even started a game at the position during Boston’s Nov. 15 loss to the Brooklyn Nets.
While the 30-year-old did finish with 17 points, he only managed two assists. Furthermore, the team only totaled 17 assists in Rondo’s absence. That’s seven short of their 24.3 assists per game average that has them ranked second in the league.
Injured guard Avery Bradley might just offer the best solution to the dilemma.
In 64 games last season, Bradley averaged 7.6 points per game, shot 49.8 percent from the field and shot 40.7 percent from three-point range in 21.4 minutes per game.
However, the numbers only tell part of the story.
In 28 games as the starter, the 22-year-old averaged 12.3 points per game and upped his shooting percentage to 50.4 percent. That includes a 15-game stretch to close out the season where he led the team with 15.1 points per game, shooting 52.0 percent from the field and 54.5 percent from beyond the arc.
While his play last season more closely resembled that of a shooting guard, Bradley spoke on his desire of becoming a better point guard in a recent WEEI interview with Rob Bradford. He even went as far as to call himself a “backup point guard.”
This is great news for Celtics fans.
While Bradley’s scoring will always be his biggest threat, an added versatility at the point guard position can only help.
It’ll most certainly help get Rondo a much-needed rest more often.
A worn-out Rondo benefits nobody, especially a team with aspirations for the playoffs.