Avery Bradley Plays Such Suffocating Defense, Opponents Have Asked Him to Ease Up

Avery Bradley, the third-year guard from Texas, is developing a reputation as one of the best young defensive players in the NBA.

Long and pesky, he shot the ball much better last year (49/40) and coming off an injury, isn’t the offensive threat he was in 2011-2012. But defensively, he’s hounding players to the point that they’re complaining to him. Witness his defense this week on Philly’s Jrue Holiday:

And in January, Jameer Nelson of the Magic begged him to ease up:

According to Bradley, Nelson begged him to back off: “I looked at him and he kept telling me throughout the game… ‘don’t pick me up.’ And that’s when I knew that if I brought pressure, he didn’t want nothing to do with it.”

I can’t remember the last time an NBA player asked an opponent to relax on defense. What are Holiday and Nelson expecting, an easy pass to the basket? Some breathing room? Avery Bradley is my new favorite Boston Celtic.

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