Big matchup For Bradley

Big matchup For Bradley
February 19, 2013, 9:14 pm
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I don't know how Avery Bradley spent his All Star Weekend. Maybe he stayed back in Boston, or vacationed in the Tropics. Maybe he went home to Seattle, or passed the time running at full speed on a hamster wheel. I don't know. But whatever he did, I hope he's ready for tonight's match-up with the Nuggets.

You remember the last time Boston and Denver faced off. It was that classic triple overtime game on the Sunday after the blizzard. You remember the heroics of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett and the C's shocking the world for their seventh straight post-Rajon Rondo victory.

But you might not remember that over the course of that amazing win, Bradley the C's lock down perimeter defender was abused like we've never seen before (or since) by Denver's Ty Lawson.

Lawson finished with 29 points, nine assists and six rebounds. He also beat Bradley for a last second, game-tying hoop in regulation, and hit a shot with 18 seconds left in the second OT to put the Nuggets up three (before Pierce's own last second magic).

Naturally, it didn't help that Bradley was in foul trouble for most of the game (before fouling out in the second overtime), but that just comes with the territory. And that had a lot to do with Lawson, against whom Avery picked up three of his six fouls.

The Nuggets took the floor that snowy night having won nine straight and 15 of their last 17 games. Oddly enough, they haven't won since responding to that loss in Boston by coming up short in Toronto and Brooklyn before breaking for the break. However, those losses had nothing to with Lawson.

He followed up his 29-point performance against the Celtics with another 29 against the Raptors and 26 against the Nets. He also had nine assists in all three games, and shot a combined 35-53 from the field (that's 63 percent) and 9-14 from three (that's 64 percent!). Bottom line: Lawson has quickly developed into not only the Nuggets floor general but their most explosive and reliable scorer. That may say as much about the inconsistencies of Andre Iguodala. That may also not give enough credit to Danilo Gallinari (who's averaging 21.2 points in 2013). But no matter how you look at it, Ty Lawson is the head of this Denver attack, and in the famous words of David Ortiz: If the head is right, the body is going to function right. If the head is messed up, then the body is going to be all over the place."

Avery Bradley is the Celtics resident head hunter. Lawson who possesses a deadly combination of speed, strength, range and determination around the rim is and will continue to be one of Integer 0's toughest assignments. And tonight, Bradley's success will have a lot to say about on which foot the Celtics will start the second half, and no doubt set the tone for tomorrow night's rematch against the Lakers.

Should be fun.
Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

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