The Tacoma Two-Some: The Elevated Play of The Celtics Backcourt
When someone is asked to name the best backcourts in the NBA, many would flock to the duos in Golden State or Toronto, but there is a duo in Boston that has been taking the league by storm this season. Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley are playing some of the best basketball of their careers and are doing what they can to help the up and down Celtics make a name for themselves out East. Thomas, coming off his All Star nod last season, is averaging 26.3 points per game, which puts him 9th in the league, ahead of the likes of LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, and Carmelo Anthony. IT has also been working the ball around to his teammates, dishing out 6.3 assists per contest while minimizing his turnovers as well. As for his backcourt mate, Avery Bradley is playing the best offensive basketball of his career, whilst still maintaining his renowned play on the defensive end. These two are a large reason for the Celtics offensive success thus far this season, and are proving to be a duo that opposing teams most definitely have to account for.
Thomas is looking to make his second consecutive All Star squad, but with Bradley’s play this year he should be getting some serious consideration to be in New Orleans as well. Bradley, known for being one of the NBA’s elite defenders, has taken a tremendous offensive leap this year. This year these two have really set the tone for the Celtics, one that is leading the team in the right direction. The confidence that these two have been playing with has rubbed off on their respective back ups, Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart. These four are having the best years of their careers (with a small sample size for both Smart and Rubio) and the future of the Celtics’ backcourt is bright.
These two do much more than just score for the Celtics. Thomas is the team leader in assists and is among one of the league leaders in assist to turnover ratio. Thomas runs the ship for the green and white and is a large reason for Boston’s early season offensive success. Bradley on the other hand, is handling his own on the defensive end. Bradley, the team’s starting SHOOTING GUARD, is leading the team in rebounding. Yes, a 6’2” guard is leading an NBA team in rebounding. While this highlights the Celtics looming rebounding problem, it also showcases just what Avery Bradley means to this Celtics team. IT and AB surely have their finger prints all over every single Boston Celtics stat sheet, and this is why the two of them deserve to represent the Celtics in New Orleans at the All Star Game later this season.
How likely is it that the Celtics will have both Bradley and Thomas in New Orleans for the All Star Game? It will be highly unlikely but not impossible. Thomas is pretty much a lock for the squad, but most likely as a coach’s pick coming off of the bench with the popularity of the likes of Kyle Lowry and Kyrie Irving. Bradley on the other hand, will have a much tougher time making the team. He would have to be picked out of a group of very talented guards such as Dwyane Wade, Kemba Walker, John Wall, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and one of the aforementioned Lowry or Irving. If Bradley keeps up his stellar play from the first 20 games of the season, he will surely have a case to be in New Orleans come February.
While the Celtics have been criticized a lot so far this season on the instability of their frontcourt and their rebounding problems, there has always been one constant thing that the C’s have been able to depend on. The fact that number 4 and number 0 are going to come every single day ready to play, and to take the rest of the NBA by storm.