So Head Coach Doc Rivers has finally succumbed to the fact that former Texas guard Avery Bradley just plays better with the starting squad than Ray Allen does. Bradley, the 19th overall draft pick of 2010, was called up from the D-League Maine Red Claws on February 7th. When Ray Allen went down, Bradley’s minutes increased and he was comfortable enough with the team to score a career high 23 points against the Washington Wizards.
When Allen returned from his injury he remained on the bench instead of going back to the starting lineup. Some circles even say that Allen requested Bradley start but after a comment before their recent win over the 76er’s one is left to wonder.
“I don’t think it can happen for me to ultimately be comfortable with these 11 or so games we have left because none of us are getting into routines as far as settling in and what are roles are, getting practice time, understanding rotations and chemistry,” Allen told Pro Basketball Talk recently.
The franchise obviously knows that Allen will be a unrestricted free agent this summer but are content to let him come off the bench as long as Bradley is productive…and we ain’t talking points here folks. Let’s get one thing straight…Bradley is on the floor for defensive purposes…that he is becoming a steady scorer is just the icing on a cupcake. So when asked about coming off the bench, Allen responded
“If it makes us better offensively, I have no problem with it.”
The problem is it doesn’t make “offensive” sense, which is how Allen is geared. He is an offensive thinker but Doc knows that defense wins championships. With the Celtics holding the last five opponents (Heat, Spurs, Bulls, Pacers and the Sixers) to only 80.6 points per game which includes holding the Pacers to a season low 72 points, what are Allen’s chances he will be wanted by a team trying to get younger? It’s a chance both Allen and his coach are taking and, if the team has another let down come playoff time, Allen’s stock rises. If the Celts win it all, Allen could have very well started his last game as a Celtic.