Celtics guard Avery Bradley will be keeping a diary for ESPNBoston.com this season. In his first entry, he talks about an emotional offseason, the identity of the team, how the coaching style has changed this year, and the unique way his favorite movie came about. (--As told to Louise K. Cornetta)
Well, before we get to what's happening on the court, I thought I'd share that before the season started I became a father when my son was born. Being a dad is an amazing feeling. I can't ask for anything better than having a son. The hardest part of taking care of a newborn is sometimes I don't know what he wants. Sometimes I can't tell what he wants and then I feel badly. I am on diaper duty and change them all the time.
Right before he was born I lost my mom. It was a very tough time in my life. I went from a very low moment to a very high moment. It's just how life is and all you can do is pray. I've asked God for guidance. Now I'm doing just fine.
On to basketball ... If you asked me what position I play my answer would be a combo guard. I'm able to play both positions of point guard and shooting guard. Lately I've been used at shooting guard and I've gotten a better feel for the game as a result. Instead of having to come out right away and make plays for others, I've been able to get a better feel for the game as it goes along. I can get comfortable and become more relaxed on the offensive end when I'm at the 2-guard.
The Orlando game this past week was a good example of this. We got the win and I was able to come away with 24 points. My midrange jumpers are feeling pretty good. They are something I've been working on a lot. Not only that, but my teammates were able to find me and I was able to knock down open shots. That was a big game for me.
I take pride in my defense, too. Being good defensively is not something I really learned. Honestly, it's just a God-given gift. I've been playing defense like this my whole life.
Last year Jason Terry was someone I had known for a very long time. We are both from the state of Washington. He always likes to look out for people from his home state. We were very close. He was kind of like a big brother to me. So I guess you could say he looked out for me. But really the most influential people to my game have always been my family.
While I know I'm no longer a rookie on this team, I wouldn't say I'm a vet yet. It's been pretty cool to finally get a chance to help others out. People have been helping me out every single year since I've been here. Now it's my turn to return the favor. It's been a good opportunity for me.
I'd describe the team this year as a grind team. Overall that's the kind of team we are. I feel like every individual on this team would say they're a grind player because we don't have that one star on this team. Everybody is in the gym every single day trying to get better.
Our star players were traded this offseason when KG [Kevin Garnett] and Paul [Pierce] went to Brooklyn. I was heartbroken. Being here with those guys for years, I learned a lot from them. They kind of became my older brothers. So it was hard to see them leave but all you can do is wish them the best. I hope that they do well.
There are a lot of new faces on this team. I'd say we're jelling together very well. Because there are veteran players like Gerald Wallace, Keith Bogans and Rajon [Rondo], they keep us all together. We just have a great group of guys, honestly.
Doc Rivers also left this offseason as you know. Coach [Brad] Stevens has a different coaching style than Doc did. One is more laid-back, one is more intense than the other. The more intense is Doc for sure. Coach Stevens is pretty calm the whole entire game. He also likes an up-tempo style.
This team's goal is just like any team's. We want to win the championship. We will never sell ourselves short or count ourselves out. Our goal is to go to the playoffs and win the championship. My goal personally is to help this team out any way I can. I'm going to have the opportunity to try to make the first-team defense this year. That's pretty much it for my personal goals, but I feel like the sky's the limit if I work hard. Not seeing my name listed as a potential All-Star candidate didn't bother me at all. I was not surprised. It just tells me I have to keep working.
Friday night we lost to Portland. It was just a tough one. It's a game we could have had but unfortunately we didn't get it. We need to learn from our mistakes. We watch film to learn what we need to do to improve as a team. We're headed out on a three-game road trip. As we do, our hope is to continue improving as a team.
I started this diary with an off-the-court story and so I'll end with one, too. I'll give a recommendation and this time it will be for a DVD. I know everyone has a favorite movie: Mine is "All About the Benjamins." The reason is one summer I was in Mississippi with my family for the entire summer. My grandmother didn't have cable; all she had was that movie to watch. So I watched "All About the Benjamins" every single night. You can quiz me on it. I know that movie word-for-word. Check it out if you haven't seen it already.