The Avery Bradley trade makes it easier for the Warriors

BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 11: Avery Bradley
BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 11: Avery Bradley /

The Boston Celtics trading Avery Bradley to the Detroit Pistons should give the Golden State Warriors a little more space if they meet in the NBA Finals.

More from Warriors News

It was reported early this morning by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN that the Celtics traded guard Avery Bradley to the Pistons for small forward Marcus Morris.  Now, this is a huge blow to the Celtics because they lose one of the top perimeter defenders in the league because of the Gordon Hayward signing. It also leaves question marks of who will provide the same defensive presence at the guard position, since Bradley’s backcourt mate, Isaiah Thomas is a defensive liability. As big of a blow it is for the Celtics, it provides big dividends for the NBA Champs.

Bradley is known as one of the best perimeter defenders as I mentioned above. His pitbull mentality on defense of getting into the space of guards is one of the traits that makes him such an elite defender. His quick hands and anticipation leads to steals and strips of some of the elite guards in the league such as the Splash Brothers. The video below shows some of the defensive prowess Bradley possesses against the Warriors at Oracle Arena this past season, in which the Warriors lost and only scored 86 points.

Bradley was a hound on defense against both Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. In the video, Bradley was tasked the assignment of slowing down Thompson and occasionally guarding Curry on switches or whenever Thompson was not on the floor. He would get into the air space of both of them, bumping them and not allowing them to get off a clean look at the basket. When they would get a clean look, Bradley would contest with high hands and sometimes coming up with a block or strip. The number of deflections that Bradley came up on both Curry and Thompson were more than usual than they would.

Next: Top 25 Warriors in Franchise HIstory

In this March 8th game against the Celtics, Curry had 23 points, five rebounds, six assists, one block and four turnovers with a +/- of -3 on the night. Thompson had 25 points, six rebounds, one assist, two blocks and two turnovers with a +/- of +5 on the night. They were a combined 4-of-17 from beyond the arc on the night with Curry going 2-of-9 and Thompson going 2-of-8. These are not the prettiest percentages and a chunk of that has to do with the exceptional blanketing defense Bradley played on the two stars.

Now, with Bradley going to the Pistons, there is a little bit more freedom for the Warriors two stars to roam around without having to worry about Bradley on their back and in their air space. He was the Celtics’ best perimeter defender and now that he is not on the team, the shooting percentages from three and the ability to get air space from their defender should be easier for Curry and Thompson.