When I was making highlights for Avery Bradley during his Celtics days, I seem to remember that I would often go in HARD on him for what I deemed to be his poor shot selection. He was an old-school shooting guard stuck in the modern era. His reliance on the pull-up midrange jumper was a sad anachronism in that time when teams were beginning to figure out that the area between the paint and the three-point line was the last place you should be looking to score from.
As the years wore on, Bradley started emphasizing his three-point shot a little bit more, to stay in line with modern NBA trends. I still regarded him as too much of a me-first player, a guy who had a lot of confidence in his scoring ability but not much in the way of actual scoring ability.
That changed tonight. Those modern NBA trends that he was aligning himself with? They were violently discarded for this game as a whopping ten out his fifteen field goals were pull-up midrange jimbos. If this video was happening six years ago, I would mock him for his unwise shot selection and his tunnel vision. Now, I’m in awe at how one player can so wildly deviate from established NBA norms and actually be successful at it. It’s crazy. I’m sure my tune will change as Bradley attempts to recreate the feats of this game in subsequent games (likely with much less success) but for now I’m in “begrudging respect” mode. I officially am giving respect to Bradley right now. Officially, but also begrudgingly.