Saying that the Lakers’ weekend was successful would be an understatement. They kicked it off on Friday night, beating the best team in the league, the Milwaukee Bucks. The final was 113-103, as the Lakers enacted revenge for their first matchup with the Bucks in Milwaukee where they lost 111-104 in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score indicated. Then yesterday, they silenced the narrative that the Clippers had their number, winning 112-103. Both games included monster performances from LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but the two were helped in a big way yesterday from the Lakers’ starting point guard, Avery Bradley.
Bradley was helping with his usual in-your-face defense that he uses against the opposing team’s point guard, surprising everyone on Sunday as he also brought his A-game on the offensive end. He ended with 24 points (season-high) on some efficient shooting including making six of his 12 three-point attempts. Most of those threes came in the 3rd quarter, where the Lakers took over the game, not looking back until they won the game.
Avery Bradley has shot 46.9% on 5.3 3P attempts per game in the past 15 games. Check out the highlights from his 24 point performance yesterday, where he made 6 out of 12 threes pic.twitter.com/W7S9hUBQh3
— Lakers Outsiders (@LakersOutsiders) March 10, 2020
The veteran Lakers guard was asked about his strong game afterward, telling Broderick Turner of the L.A. Times that he’s always working on his shot. Bradley specifically stated that he would be in the Lakers’ facility late at night, long after each of the Lakers’ practices. Bradley also said that he was joined by Quinn Cook, Danny Green, and sometimes Rajon Rondo in these sessions. Here’s his full quote below:
“Me and Q [Cook], we’re in the gym every night. Don’t matter. Every night,” Bradley said.” Me, Q and Danny. Do [Rondo] comes every now and then. But every night, we’re in there. Don’t matter. Game, no game. It don’t matter. You put the hard work in. It might not kick in right away, but it’s going to kick in. It has always been that way. I just got to keep working. And to me, it’s always credit to God too, you know, always having that faith no matter what.”
Improved shooting for Bradley aside, this is just another story that captures how impressive the roster’s chemistry is between each player. Those four don’t need to put in random late-night sessions every night, but they do for the better of the team, and assumedly, they probably like each other.
The nights have to be helping at least a little, as Bradley currently stands at 37.0% from three this year, which would be his best percentage from there since his 2016-17 season with the Boston Celtics where he averaged 16.3 points per game with a 39.0 3P%. He’s done a good portion of that damage in the past 15 games, averaging 46.9% on an average of 5.3 threes attempted per game.
Avery Bradley is one of many Lakers who have basically reinvented themselves during this season, with Dwight Howard and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope being others. The Lakers will need Bradley to keep up his recent shooting success deep into the playoffs, as he can be quite the x-factor for them if he plays well.