Avery Bradley Opted Out & Now the Lakers Are Done

Los Angeles Lakers’ guard Avery Bradley passed-up his opportunity to join his team inside the ‘Bubble’ in Orlando. The Lakers are in trouble.
Avery Bradley, NBA
Whether it's Rondo, Green, Caruso, Davis, or James guarding, the Harden and Westbrook duo is too good for Los Angeles without the services of Avery Bradley. | Image: Harry How / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP
  • The Los Angeles Lakers find themselves down 1-0 to the Houston Rockets in the West semifinals, and lack of perimeter defense is starting to show.
  • Avery Bradley’s decision to opt-out of the NBA restart inside the ‘Bubble’ in Orlando is costing the Lakers dearly.
  • Due to COVID-19 concerns regarding his six-year-old son Liam who has a history of problems recovering from respiratory illness, Bradley’s making the right choice. Unfortunately for the Lakers, it’ll cost them in the end.

Lakers’ guard Avery Bradley is an absolute glove on the defensive end of the floor. Without the services of their true lockdown defender, their best-of-seven West semifinal series against the Rockets is already looking very interesting.

Granted, they’re only down 1-0 with Sunday night’s affair on the horizon, but Rajon Rondo, Danny Green, and Alex Caruso will need to fill the void Bradley leaves behind. Good luck.

Houston’s Harden and Westbrook are offensive juggernauts with the basketball. Are you going to guard one of these studs with LeBron James or Anthony Davis?

Davis isn’t quick enough defensively, and wearing him out on the perimeter guarding one of these bucket-makers isn’t a good idea. With LeBron, you have the same issue–James could probably pull it off, but what happens when you need his offensive energy?

Guarding either Rockets’ superstar would make it difficult for James to have an impact offensively. If they can’t outscore Houston with 120-plus points per game based on Bradley’s absence during the remainder of this series, their championship run is effectively done.

Avery Bradley’s Defense Prompts Offense

In the video above, look at Bradley’s textbook defense on the perimeter. As you can see, his steal leads to an easy layup on the other end of the floor.

The remainder of the highlights from this game against the L.A. Clippers find Avery Bradley savagely showing all of the offensive tools as well. From attacking the rim to knocking down the three-ball, Bradley can do it all with the orange.

The Lakers desperately need him now, but he won’t return due to COVID-19 concerns related to his family. As mentioned above, his son Liam is immunocompromised.

Here’s what Avery Bradley had to stay in regards to his opt-out decision:

As committed to my Lakers teammates and the organization as I am, I ultimately play basketball for my family.. And so, at a time like this, I can’t imagine making any decision that might put my family’s health and well-being at even the slightest risk.

He added:

As promised also, I will use this time away to focus on the formation of projects to help strengthen my communities.

Defense Does Win Championships

The cliche that defense wins championships is a cliche for a reason.

Here’s Avery Bradley just toying with Al Horford at the top of the key. This young pup can flat play, folks.

With Bradley outside of the ‘Bubble’ in Orlando, I don’t see the Lakers getting past the Rockets. Whether it’s Rondo, Green, Caruso, Davis, or James guarding, the Harden and Westbrook duo is too good for Los Angeles without the services of Avery Bradley.

If Avery Bradley were in the house and on the Lakers’ bench, this might’ve been a relatively easy series for LeBron & Co.

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Randy Drautz

Randy Drautz

Randy Drautz is a professional sportswriter based out of the United States who has 7-plus years of experience producing NFL, NBA, MLB, college football, and college basketball content. Written for other reputed publications such as NGSC Sports. You can contact him at randycsu@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter, see his LinkedIn profile here, or check him out on Muck Rack.

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