The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the league’s most fortunate teams in that they get to put three superstar talents on the court every night in the form of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook. However, team-building doesn’t end there, as you need role players that fit well alongside those superstars.
One player who proved his value in that setting in 2019-20 and is back with the Lakers again is Avery Bradley. Bradley was brought in by the Lakers just days before the first game of the season and has played his way to a starting role due to his defensive prowess.
He’s also been able to do so because of his ability to fit with James, Davis and Westbrook as a spot-up 3-point shooter. He’s shooting a career-high 41.3% from distance this season and believes that his confidence and preparedness are the reasons for that success. “It’s challenging, but it’s the talent within itself being able to play on a championship-contending team and playing with superstars.
“You have to put in the extra work, you have to always be ready because a pass can come at any time and you have to be confident,” Bradley said of playing alongside stars. “Shoot the ball with confidence and know that sometimes you’ll make it and sometimes you won’t. But you can affect the game in so many different ways playing with superstars and that’s my focus going into every game and hopefully it can become contagious. And like I said, it can be any guy’s night on any given night so I’m happy with the way we played tonight.”
Bradley also gave his take on the Lakers as a whole and what they need to do to be more consistent. “There’s a saying ‘the ball finds energy’ and tonight, I was just trying to energize our team on the defensive end obviously and like I said, the ball was able to find me on the offensive end,” Bradley said.
“I’m hoping that can be contagious and we can continue to keep moving forward as a team and build off this game because if we can play this way every single night with the roster we have, I feel like we’ll be in every game and give ourselves a chance to win every single night.”
The pressure to succeed is particularly high for Bradley, who is on a non-guaranteed contract. However, the hope is that he can play well enough to earn a full-time roster spot ahead of his guarantee date in January.
His mentality certainly fits what the Lakers are trying to do with James, Davis and Westbrook.
Bradley compliments James’ performance
In a blowout 116-95 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, James was in command of things from the jump. He finished with 33 points, five rebounds, six assists, three steals, and two blocks. Bradley took note of this elite outing from James.
“That’s what stars do. They’re able to control the game and that’s what he was able to do tonight.”
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