When you think about Avery Bradley, you think of a smaller guard who seems kind of lanky with a huge wingspan. Bradley has never been known as the biggest guard there is, but he had the lateral quickness, length and strength to lock some of the best scorers in the league down.
Well, now, Bradley is trying to add on to that package. According to Chris Foresburg of ESPN Boston, Bradley is now bulking up to prepare himself for next season. Bradley weighs 196 pounds now–the most he’s ever weighed, Foresburg says–and is going to give it his all in order to stay healthy for the entire 2013-14 Celtics’ campaign.
Foresburg says that Bradley has admitted that his body broke down at the end of last season. Bradley also said that he has been in Boston for the last two months playing basketball and working out every day.
This whole summer, I’ve bee playing every single day. I think I took like maybe three weeks off. My girlfriend kept telling me, ‘You need to rest, you need a break.’ But I was so excited to get back on the court and I’ve been here in Boston for maybe like two months, working out every day. Two a days. Me, Jared [Sullinger] and a few of the younger guys.
“I feel a lot stronger, sometimes even when I’m walking down the street in Boston, people will say, ‘You look a lot bigger now.’ And I laugh,” Bradley said. “I’ve been eating a lot different, I’ve been lifting every single day, I weigh the most I ever weighed — like 196, that’s a lot for me and I’m hoping I can stay like 188 throughout the season.
– Via ESPN Boston
This is going to be critical for Bradley’s career going forward. He’s always been a smaller guard, but he gives it his all on the defensive end guarding guys who are much larger than him. Bradley is going to play a huge role for the Celtics on both ends of the floor next season. He has to do whatever it takes to assure that he’s in the best shape that he can be in for next year–especially if Rajon Rondo misses significant time.
This is exactly what you want to see from a player like Avery Bradley. He’s doing his best to assure that he’s in the best health he can be. He’ll likely have to tone things down a bit defensively in order to revive his offensive game. Getting in better shape and bulking up could help with that. From the 2011-12 season to last year, Bradley saw a significant drop in numbers and still had a huge health problem. Take a look at Bradley’s numbers and games played when comparing the two seasons.
You can see that once he got significant playing time in 2011, his numbers went up. However, toward the end of that season he started to break down and developed issues in both shoulders. Once he came back in January of last season after shoulder surgery, Bradley struggled from the field. He shot almost 10% less than he did the season prior and shot more field goals on average than scored points.
Overall, he saw a dip in most pertinent offensive statistics for him. His responsibility increased and his numbers decreased. Staying healthy consistently could be the key for Bradley to become a factor once again offensively.
Hopefully, next season Bradley can have a fully healthy campaign. If that happens, I can see him having his best year yet as an offensive player.