In a stark difference from the 2018-19 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers did an incredible job putting together solid role players around LeBron James and Anthony Davis for head coach Frank Vogel to work with.
One of these role players is Avery Bradley, a player who at one time was seen as a top-tier perimeter defender but due to some poor shooting slumps, has fallen off a bit.
However, in the final 14 games of last season with the Memphis Grizzlies, Bradley showed a bit of a resurgence and in that was a glimpse of the Bradley that wreaked havoc on opposing guards for the Boston Celtics. Now, Bradley is making a name for himself at 2019 Lakers training camp, and it’s put the whole team on notice.
Vogel spoke about what Bradley has been doing so far in training camp, saying that in the excitement of James and Davis, it’s been Bradley that’s been the topic of discussion.
“He’s the guy that everybody’s talking about. That’s the one thing that sticks out to me,” Vogel said about Bradley.
“We’ve got two of the best players in the world competing together, and all anybody’s talking about is Avery Bradley’s tenaciousness. That speaks volumes about what he’s been able to show in the first couple of days.”
If Bradley can continue to turn heads the way that Vogel is describing, then there’s no reason he shouldn’t be in the starting lineup when the new season begins. It’s very hard to envision a reason that a Bradley-Danny Green-James-Davis four-man grouping would fail — regardless of who the center is in that scenario.
Bradley has always been known for his defense and his three-point shooting. Last season, Bradley shot 35.1% from the three-point line, but if he can get it back to the 39-41% range that he consistently shot with the Celtics, then he may have become this team’s most impactful signing in terms of role players.
It’s also good to know that Bradley is impressing as much as he is with the amount of hype surrounding the other players on the team.
It makes sense that everyone would be looking at James and Davis but if not them, there are others that could steal the spotlight before Bradley. Green, Dwight Howard, and Alex Caruso all have more intriguing storylines entering the season.
However, if Bradley can steal the attention with his grit and tenacity, then that is a very good sign of things to come this season.