Celtics need a fine season from Avery Bradley

The data, and the eye test, suggest Bradley took a step back in 2012-13. As much as the Celtics’ announcers raved over his improved jump shot, Bradley’s overall field goal percentage fell to 40.2 percent from 49.8 percent the previous year, while he went from hitting one out of every two shots from 10-15 feet to hitting only one out of every three from that range, according to HoopData. His 3-point shooting accuracy fell to 31.7 percent from 40.7 percent. Most worrisome, his accuracy on corner threes dropped to 34.7 percent last season from 55.6 percent (in an extremely small sample) in 2011-12.

These numbers aside, anyone could see Bradley’s difficulties at the other end of the court in the playoffs, when his most obvious skill, his on-ball defense, virtually disappeared. Raymond Felton made a mockery of the Celtics’ boast that Bradley was “the best ball-stopper in the league” by having his way with No. 0 in the pick-and-roll. With Jeff Green and Brandon Bass stepping up defensively on Carmelo Anthony, a fair argument could be made that the Celtics would have won their series against the Knicks if somebody, anybody, had been able to slow down Felton.

Reported by Ben Watanabe of NESN