(Joseph Sherman/Los Angeles Lakers)

Avery Bradley Steals Spotlight in Early Days of Camp

by Joey Ramirez
Digital Reporter

This is hardly the first time that Avery Bradley and Rajon Rondo have dueled in training camp. After spending seven seasons together in Boston, the former Celtics have brought their competition to Los Angeles.

Bradley has drawn rave reviews for his defense in the first four days of camp, and Rondo has embraced the challenge put forth by his former (and current) teammate.

“He said, ‘Make sure you guard me every single practice, so we can get better,’” Bradley said. “That has to be everybody’s mentality.”

Furthermore, in year one of the LeBron James-Anthony Davis pairing, Bradley brings experience with playing on superstar-laden teams. He points to his tenure with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett for his ability to fit on this club.

“If I took days off, KG was gonna cuss me out,” Bradley said. “I had to make sure I brought my A game every single day.”

Bradley’s defense has impressed far more than only his fellow guards. Davis himself sees how much of an impact the nine-year vet has made on his squad.

“I’ve seen Avery play defense from afar, but to see it every day the way he gets after it and competes,” Davis said, “it’s pretty special. He can really guard the ball, to the point where Coach [Vogel] said, ‘If he’s on the ball, just pass it.’ He’s very special on the defensive end.”

Bradley’s defense has set the tone at UCLA Health Training Center, and it’s up to the rest of the roster to carry that into the preseason and beyond.

One key will be the presence of three key rim protectors — Davis, JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard — who have combined for 18 top-10 finishes among the league leaders in blocks.

“If I’m guarding the ball, I know that I have guys behind me who can block shots,” Davis said. “… It gives everybody the ability to be Avery Bradley in some sense (laughs).”

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