The Boston Celtics are one of the most intriguing sides heading into next season after the acquisition of Al Horford in the frontcourt.
However, their backcourt duo of Avery Bradley and Isaiah Thomas is what has brought them to the proverbial dance.
The former is a lockdown defender and the latter is an explosive scorer. There is a beautiful balance between the two, but there is little doubt that Bradley is the lesser known of the two.
Well, the man at the two-spot wants to change that, and he believes his play in recent years, especially on the defensive end, should ensure he is mentioned in the same breath as Kawhi Leonard and Draymond Green.
"If we’re playing well this year, I’ll give myself a chance [to compete for the Defensive Player of the Year award] because, to be honest, I feel like I should always be in that conversation," said Bradley. "I think I’ve [been left off the] defensive team because of our [lack of] success in the past. We weren’t winning as many games and I’m not going to name some players, but when I was looking at the list I’m like, ‘That person got more votes?’
"It’s just because they had a better year, they played longer, they were on TV more - all those things help you out. This year, I feel like the amount of TV games and how we should be playing this year should be able to help me be in that conversation.
"You can ask all the best players in the NBA - there’s not one player in the NBA that guards them like me. I know [San Antonio Spurs forward] Kawhi [Leonard] is a great defender and [Golden State Warriors big man] Draymond [Green] - to me, he’s a really good defender. For someone that plays defense, I appreciate watching him play defense. It’s really amazing."
There is little doubting Bradley's defensive capabilities, he's an excellent defender. When looking at how Leonard's and Green's defensive play correlates to how the Spurs and Warriors perform respectively, maybe the Celtics man is right in his assertion about success playing a part.