Celtics’ Bradley To Allen: Thanks, Ray!

Some of the more impassioned, green-blindered NBA fans in Boston are cranky about veteran shooting guard Ray Allen’s decision to leave and crankier still toward Allen for opting to sign as a free agent with the rival Miami Heat, who have put the Celtics down the past two springs.

Avery Bradley, though, approaches it from a different direction. He might have mixed feelings about Allen no longer being with the Celtics – it does, after all, further clear the way for Bradley’s rising role — but he has only warm fuzzies toward the man himself, regardless of his new address.

Without Allen’s generosity to a young, unproven backcourt player, this whole storyline might be playing out different. And Bradley appreciates that, as related by ESPNBoston.com’s Chris Forsberg.

“Ray was a great tutor,” said Bradley, who struggled with his ability to generate offense early in his NBA career but blossomed last season as he became more confident in his jump shot.

“I’m sad that he’s gone, but we all wish the best for him. But he definitely meant a lot. He helped me out every single day. Sometimes I’d just be working out and he’d be watching on the side. He’d get up and tell me what I needed to work on, or tell me how I can be more consistent. I really thank him for that.”

Bradley shot a mere 34.3 percent from the floor during his rookie season, and those struggles trickled into his second season, particularly as the Celtics worked to develop him as a backup point guard.

Once the team put the focus on Bradley as a shooting guard, he flourished. His confidence grew as he utilized his cutting ability to generate easy hoops, and his jump shot — something coach Doc Rivers swore he showcased during the team’s practices — soon followed.

As it turned out, Bradley’s improvement offensively made it easier, then imperative, for Rivers to rely on the younger man’s defense at the position. That didn’t go over well with Allen when he returned from ankle issues, and that was one of the dominoes that eventually led to his stunning and rancorous departure to South Florida.

The Celtics will be counting on Jason Terry and Courtney Lee, two summer acquisitions, to pick up any scoring slack. But another way to gauge the Allen-Boston split, once Bradley is fully recovered from two offseason shoulder surgeries, will be to compare his offensive production to Allen’s, adjusted for minutes.

In 2011-12, per 36 minutes, Allen averaged 15.1 points and 2.5 assists while shooting 45.8 percent overall and 45.3 percent on 3-pointers. Bradley was at 12.7 points and 2.3 assists, hitting 49.8 percent of his shots and 40.7 percent from the arc. Factor in Bradley’s superior defensive skills and it’s quite likely he closed the gap via points denied to the other guys.

This season, there might be no gap at all – or it might favor appreciative Avery Bradley – thanks to the professional shooter who was willing to share.


  1. Mathew says:

    I always knew he would become a pretty good basketball player.

  2. bu says:

    Bradley should continue to start to create havoc & disrupt opponent’s backcourt, while Terry comes in for 1, & courtney comes in for 2. Whoever plays well, & depending on match ups, finisheds the 4th quarter.

    Key is Bradley’s shooting. If the continues to improve, he’s becoming very very effective player & the Celtics have a great backcourt rotation wl 3 younger guards + a veteran who might need to be replaced in 2 yrs.

  3. Bigg Lynch says:

    And like i read some were…… Rondo will be calling ray personally to say ” How do you like them apples ” LOL

  4. Bigg Lynch says:

    Avery bradley + Terry + Courtney lee Celtics upgraded from ray !

    Banner 18 …. Remember this comment in the finals

    They will BEAT THE HEAT!!!

    It will Be A Lakers vs Celtics Finals

    with the celtics winning in Game 7

  5. icantdunk says:

    lakers fan here, bummed allen left for the heat (but like pierce said allen has to do right for his family). I have always liked Terry… maybe lakers celtics final, maybe thunder heat… melo and durant both looked scary good during the olympics

  6. Avery Bradley: Thanks, Ray!……..for giving me the starting SG job!! hahaha

  7. fernando says:

    Celtics are makin it to the finals! we have a squad. and wit bradley healthy , celtics are quna a heck of a team this year.

  8. daniel says:

    really looking forward to the new nba season!! bradley to start at sg, terry 6th man and courtney lee will be 3rd option behind him, and dont forget dooling, who is a competent backup and can hit 3’s…would be able to play terry/lee pg/sg combination too! deep, deep guard rotation! lets go C’s!!! sullinger had a good summer league, hopefully that will translate to frontcourt depth and solid backups for pf/c!

  9. bball says:

    Celtics are beasts! With rondo+bradley+pierce+sullinger+garnett and a deep bench they will do amazing! GO CELTICS!!!!!!!!

  10. knicks fan says:

    m n

  11. GreenMachine9 says:

    the celtics probably cant get delfino, so they should go after t-mac. at this point he would be low-risk, high-reward and would probably accept the veteran minimum. he can play SG and SF, so that definitely helps and who knows, he might pull off another high scoring game here and there. anyways he would be good off the bench

  12. RosstheBoss says:

    Ray Allen like Jason Kidd has been a morvelous mentor to so many young players. This is a model for teams to develop young talent, bring them in with a veteran that can mentor them as they gain confidence and acclimate to this level of play, very few and I mean very few players have the ability to immediately impact a professional team as a rookie.

    Here’s a thought, if they CONSISTENTLY produced well in college they will more than likely bring similar production as a professional. If they struggled with producing CONSISTENTLY in college they will more than likely struggle as a professional.

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  14. Joel says:

    This season he was way better… but with the new additions, it will be hard… will Terry be a 6th man and Avery will start? or will Terry or Courtney starting?
    Will he have to go back to a backup point guard where he wasnt that good doing it?
    I just hope they find some minutes for him.