Score Strip

  1. League: NBA
  2. Golden State vs. Denver
    4:47 2nd
    49 GS
    41 DEN
  3. LA Clippers vs. Portland
    5:38 2nd
    40 LAC
    56 POR
  4. Phoenix vs. Sacramento
    :48.8 2nd
    45 PHO
    46 SAC
  5. Indiana vs. Orlando
    101 IND
    86 ORL
  6. Chicago vs. Charlotte
    Final OT
    86 CHI
    91 CHA
  7. Washington vs. Boston
    118 WAS
    102 BOS
  8. Houston vs. New Orleans
    100 HOU
    105 NO
  9. Brooklyn vs. Cleveland
    85 BKN
    114 CLE
  10. Philadelphia vs. Miami
    100 PHI
    87 MIA
  11. Atlanta vs. Milwaukee
    111 ATL
    103 MIL
  12. Utah vs. Minnesota
    Final 2OT
    136 UTA
    130 MIN
  13. Toronto vs. New York
    92 TOR
    95 NY
  14. LA Lakers vs. San Antonio
    113 LAL
    100 SA
  15. Detroit vs. Oklahoma City
    111 DET
    112 OKC
  16. Dallas vs. Memphis
    Final OT
    105 DAL
    106 MEM
  17. View All

Boston Celtics: Avery Bradley in Best Shape of His Life, Ready for Big Role

Yahoo Contributor Network
Boston Celtics Reportedly Pass on Contract Extension for Avery Bradley

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Avery Bradley defending Jordan Crawford.

COMMENTARY | Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley entered the NBA with high expectations as the 19th overall pick in 2010.

At only 6 feet 2 inches and less than 180 pounds, Bradley has proven himself to be an exceptional defender in his first three years in the NBA, even being named to the NBA's All-Defensive Second Team in 2012-2013. But despite his early success, Bradley has yet to develop a consistent game on offense and still struggles to shoot from beyond 15 feet on a regular basis.

It's tough to remember when watching Avery Bradley that he is still only 22 years old, the same age as some college basketball seniors about to start their final season. His toughness and grit on the floor is reminiscent of a steely veteran defender who knows his role on the floor and has maxed out his potential.

But forget what you have seen from Bradley in the past. This offseason, he is on a mission to remind the world why he was one of the elite high school recruits just four years ago when he first entered the University of Texas.

Comcast Sports Net New England's A. Sherrod Blakely is reporting via Twitter that Bradley has been conducting two-a-day workouts since the season ended in May with only three weeks of rest. He has also been doing a significant amount of weightlifting and has implemented a diet designed to get bigger and stronger. The regiment is working; Bradley now weighs 196 pounds, a significant gain from the 180 pounds he ended the season with.

All indications are that Bradley is about to have a career season. He shot a career-best 44.2 percent from mid-range in 2012-2013, up from 42.1 percent in 2011-2012. His averages in assists and steals per-36 minutes increased as well last year to career highs, and his turnover rate also dropped by the same measure from 2 turnovers every 36 minutes to 1.8 turnovers.

Improvement couldn't come at a better time for both the Celtics and Bradley. Bradley is in the last year of his current contract, and Boston is likely going to be without All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo until December, if the recent reports are accurate. The current situation provides Bradley with a perfect opportunity to show the basketball world that he can lead an NBA franchise on the court, play even more physically on defense, and shoot more consistently for the entirety of the season.

Judging by the intensity of his offseason workouts, Bradley is well aware of the opportunity in front of him and is determined not to let it pass by.

Don't agree with me? Tell me why I am wrong (or right) on Twitter @THATCelticsGuy.

Justin Haskins is a New England native and a freelance journalist. He has been obsessively following Boston professional sports for 10 years and has been published in numerous online publications and websites.

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