There are days when the Boston Celtics are done practicing, but Avery Bradley is still on the court.
Few see the work that Boston’s 6-foot-2 guard puts in on a regular basis. But the results are becoming undeniable.
Whether he’s starting or coming off the bench, Bradley has become a consistent scorer for the Boston Celtics.
And Monday’s performance in Boston’s 105-95 win at Miami ranks among his better two-way efforts this season.
He led the Celtics with 25 points on an efficient 9-for-15 shooting. And when the game got tight down the stretch, it was his defense on Dwyane Wade which include a blocked shot, that helped lift Boston (10-8) to yet another impressive road win.
Bradley was quick to point out that his production offensively would not have come about if not for the efforts of his teammates who put him in position to score.
“My teammates, were able to find me,” Bradley said. “I had it going; I made a few shots.”
And has he continued to knock down baskets, his teammates went into feed-the-beast mode and kept getting him the ball.
“We all want to see each other do well,” Bradley said. “They kept telling me to ‘shoot the ball, we’ll get you open.’ And that’s what they continued to do.”
But to Bradley’s credit, he’s doing his part to get open with what appears to be improved ball-handling skills and a level of confidence that we have not seen from him in the past.
“I’m happy for him,” said Boston’s Evan Turner. “He stepped up and played some great defense. It deflates the other team. They keep trying to make runs and it deflates the crowd as well. He played great tonight.”
Boston led most of the second half, but their control was definitely threatened by the hot-shooting of Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh who 30 and 21 points, respectively.
A 3-pointer by Bosh cut Boston’s lead to 81-80 which seemed to wake up an otherwise docile Miami Heat crowd.
But there was Bradley who calmly sank a 3-pointer to make it a four-point game.
Back came Bosh to make it a one-point game again, and there was Bradley creating a buffer for the Celtics with a jump-shot.
The Celtics finally put the Heat away with a 9-2 run to close out the game.
And while there were a number of Celtics whose play was significant to the victory, the go-to guy on Monday was Bradley.
“At the end of the day, it’s the work that you put in,” Bradley said. “I put in a lot of work on off days.”
It’s a very small audience that sees that work up close. But the results are undeniable.