In the Bonus: Bradley's improved jumper

In the Bonus: Bradley's improved jumper
November 30, 2013, 2:15 pm

All the talk following Boston's win over Cleveland on Friday centered around Jordan Crawford's third career triple-double and Jeff Green's 31-point monster of a game.

Lost in all the brouhaha was the efforts of Avery Bradley who had 21 points while shooting a ridiculously efficient 9-for-11 from the field.

Throughout the summer, Bradley made it a point to become a better elbow jump shooter which is where a large chunk of his points on Friday night came from.

It's a good shot for him to take, evident by him shooting 46 percent on elbow jumpers while the league average hovers around 39 percent.

The improved elbow jumper is more than just a product of his hard work towards becoming a better player.

It became a necessity for him this season because of the uncertainty surrounding Rajon Rondo's return from a torn right ACL injury suffered in January.

Without Rondo's playmaking skills, the Celtics had to manufacture points differently to start this season.

So in comes Bradley with a much-improved, mid-range and elbow jump shot game that teams have consistently failed to defend effectively.

For Bradley who leads the team in shots per game (12.9), redistributing his shot-taking has been a big part of his improved shooting.

Known primarily for hitting baseline jumpers and corner 3s, those shots make up a smaller percentage of his offense this season.

Last year, baseline jumpers accounted for 11.1 percent of his shots.

This season?

That figure is down to 9.1 percent.

And the corner 3-ball represented  22.4 percent of his shots taken last year.

This season, only 13.8 percent of his shots are from that area.

Not surprisingly, most of Bradley's shots this season (38.4 percent) are elbow jumpers which is up from last season when 24.7 percent of his shots came from that part of the floor.

"I'm just trying to get better in every part of my game," Bradley said. "No matter how good I play in a game, there's always room for improvement. And that's what I'm trying to do everyday, just try to keep getting better and better and help my team win."