With training camp underway in El Segundo, the Lakers are already deep in position battles for the starting roles on the roster. With three of the starting spots already filled for the Lakers between LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Danny Green, all eyes now turn to the most intriguing position battle of training camp.
Coach Vogel has been fairly consistent with his “defense-first” approach as it relates to the mentality he wants the Lakers to have throughout the camp and upcoming season. With that mindset, former All-Defense team player Avery Bradley has been making a lot of noise through the first days of camp often having descriptors like “tenacious” and “relentless” often associated with his defensive work ethic so far.
While savvy fans are high on the potential of Alex Caruso alongside Quin Cook, and veteran Rajon Rondo; Bradley presents a unique opportunity for the Lakers to pair another defensive stalwart on the wings next to Danny Green to complement the dynamic offense of James & Davis. Danny Green clearly presents a clear example of floor spacing thanks to his superior shooting ability from the arc, Avery Bradley presents a different type of offensive skill set that is just as important to the Laker offense.
Back Cuts, Beets, Battlestar Galactica
An aspect of Bradley’s game that is really great is his ability to read exactly when to back cut on his defender. During his tenure with the Clippers, they actually ran two distinct actions that utilized his cutting abilities.
The first type of action which the Clippers utilize which involved Screen & Roll action that draws everyone’s attention creating an easy back cut layup opportunity.
In the video below I refer to it as PNR 2 Backcut
The second type of action is a misdirection where the Clippers try and get a low/mid post up and then on the opposite side they use really subtle screens and misdirection to create 2 on 1 situations for defenders. This would lead to Bradley getting a free cut to the rim.
I refer to it as Post Up – 2 on 1 Cut in the same video below
Then the last thing I wanted to share is how Bradley is a great at naturally reading and reacting to defenders on his back cutting depending on different situations.
Watch how Bradley enables easy scoring opportunities through different actions and his natural read and react cutting abilities
Smooth (Baseline) Operator
Another underrated aspect of Bradley’s game is how he plays using some of the most limited playing space on the court: The Baseline
Often used as an advantage to defenders, Bradley moves around the baseline creating additional opportunities on missed shots and even utilizes what defenders expect him to do to get a quick first step to the rim.
When combined with his athleticism and contortion ability to get reverse layups and avoid being blocked, Bradley can very conceivably help utilize an area of the court commonly ignored by many offenses.
For Avery, attacking the baseline seems almost natural for him when for many others it is probably a deterrent.
In this video, watch how Bradley operates along the baseline creating opportunities in limited space
While the coaching staff continues to optimize the starters, players like Avery have underrated abilities that can help maximize the uber talented LeBron James & Anthony Davis.
With a mind set in constant motion that matches his on court effort, Bradley looks to be an excellent complement to Danny Green’s defensive prowess.
When combining his cutting abilities with James’ and Davis’ passing abilities and vision, Avery Bradley not only has an opportunity to be an outstanding defender, he has a chance to be a high quality offensive player as well.