Avery Bradley is the most underrated player in the NBA
Every team can use an unselfish two-man who can defend either guard position, shoot from deep, and keep the ball moving within the flow of the offense — and no one checks off all those boxes like Bradley.
His presence is the only reason Boston can get away with playing the 3-foot-4 Isaiah Thomas at point guard [Editor's note: more or less], and Bradley can play up to guard small forwards, as we saw in his phenomenal defense on Jimmy Butler in Game 3. Butler scored just 14 points on 7-for-21 shooting and zero free throw attempts, mostly thanks to Bradley.
There's a reason we named Bradley the starting shooting guard on our Eastern Conference superteam to take down the Cavaliers, and he showed it on Friday.
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Dwyane Wade can't carry a team in the playoffs any longer
With Rajon Rondo on the sidelines and Jimmy Butler struggling in Game 3, one expected D-Wade to rise to the occasion.
Instead, he went 6-for-18 from the floor for 18 points, and had just three assists (although he did have a couple neat blocks). Wade couldn't get past defenders to the basket, having to instead use his forte of fadeaway jumpers and spin moves in the paint to knock down the few shots he made.
While Wade led all Bulls scorers on Friday night, he faded into the background for large stretches of the game. That passivity is something we're not used to seeing from a future Hall of Famer of his caliber, but it's become the norm for Wade.
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Yes, the Thunder are better when Westbrook trusts his teammates
What do you know: Russell Westbrook trusted Victor Oladipo & Co. on Friday night, and the Oklahoma City Thunder came away with a big Game 3 win.
Yes, Westbrook still took over down the stretch, when the Rockets nearly stole a win. But Russ went deeper into the fourth quarter while relying on his teammates than he did in Game 2, which opened up his own offensive game late in the fourth.
Because Houston didn't know whether he'd try to score himself or dish an assist, the Rockets defense was a half-second late in reacting to Westbrook's drives, fouling him repeatedly and sending him to the free-throw line.
Despite a few missed freebies, the Thunder were able to control the pace over the closing minutes and keep the Rockets from getting hot.
Game 3 was Oklahoma City at its best — and Westbrook at his best, too. Now anything can happen in Game 4.