Jameer Nelson begged Avery Bradley, “don’t pick me up”. It didn’t work.
Avery Bradley, the Boston Celtics backup PG who was starting in place of the injured Rajon Rondo, played stifling defense on Jameer Nelson throughout Orlando’s record setting low output and loss to Boston on Monday night. Anyone who watched the game could immediately tell that Bradley was getting into the head of Nelson.
When asked by Brent Barry of NBATV what he saw from Jameer Nelson in the 3rd quarter, Avery Bradley responded with a very telling quote:
“You know what, he seemed like he didn’t really want to bring the ball up. I looked at him and he kept telling me throughout the game, ‘don’t pick me up, 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.” – Avery Bradley
On first glance that quote is a lot more than telling, it’s completely damning of Jameer Nelson. Once entitled as the ultimate chip-on-his-shoulder competitor, Jameer’s confidence right now is clearly shaken. I have no doubt that Jameer was saying those things to Bradley in a tongue in cheek manner, but those are the types of jokes that are made on the court that are much more serious than they are a joke.
Further backing it up was the fact that Jameer could do virtually nothing against Bradley’s defense other than just bring the ball up the court. By the time Jameer made it past the three-point line and tried to get the Magic into their offense, there was often less than 10 seconds on the clock. Or, ins less words, a recipe for offensive disaster.
While Jameer’s confidence may be shaken, it’s his actual inability to initiate the offense that is a major concern at this point. In 15 games, Jameer has played well in maybe 3 or 4 out of those. The PGs he faced in those games were Derek Fisher, Raymond Felton and D.J. Augustin. Three players who are known around the league as either 1) having no interest in playing defense or 2)being 37 years old.
The Boston game plan against Orlando has always been to out-physical Dwight and his teammates. The rest of the league now has a free lesson in the “full court press” from Avery Bradley and Doc Rivers on how to not just stop Jameer Nelson, but to shut down the entire Orlando defense. Thanks a lot, Doc!
You can watch the full video of Avery Bradley being interview by NBATV here.