Avery Bradley put up six assists in just 18 minutes of action Tuesday night in Amherst. Bradley has never been known as playmaker, as his career 1.6 assists per game certainly backs up. Usually he is running around screens, camping behind the three point line, or trying to beat his man backdoor. One thing he is known for is working hard, and trying to improve his game every offseason. If Avery has improved his passing ability this offseason, then the first unit will be very difficult to stop.
Bradley has posted six assists in a game three times in his career, and he has posted his career high seven assists in a game twice. The Celtics are 4-1 in those five games. Isaiah Thomas is excellent at playing off the ball, which makes Bradley’s passing ability that much more devastating to an opponent’s game plan. Avery will turn 26 years old one month after the Celtics open their regular season. Given how well Avery has progressed with his defense, basketball IQ, and shot making, it shouldn’t be very surprising if he continues to improve as a playmaker.
Anyone who watched the game Tuesday night saw the starters get out and run any chance they could. Decision making on the fast-break will be an important measuring stick to see how much Bradley has improved in the playmaking department. Bradley’s confidence also appears to be at an all-time high, which could be the primary reason why he is starting to play at a very high level on both ends of the floor. Early in his career he struggled making the right decision, and was occasionally prone to mishandling the dribble, which lead to turnovers. Those turnovers led to Bradley being very conservative on the offensive side of the floor. He would look for his shot, and if the shot wasn’t there he would make the safe play to reset the offense. A more confident and skillful Bradley adds so much more to the offense, and if he continues to make the right decision more times than not, then I wouldn’t be surprised to see Avery getting All-Star considerations this season.