Was working on an offseason feature today when a random question popped into my head: If I had to pick between Celtics guard Avery Bradley and Knicks guard Iman Shumpert, whom would I choose?
Both players are defensive stoppers. Shumpert just completed his second season, Bradley his third, and both players have been susceptible to injury. When healthy, both are starters.
Here's how some of the numbers break down:
Height, weight, age: 6 feet 2 inches, 180 pounds, 22 years old
2014 salary: $2.5 million
2013 stats: 50 games, 9.2 points, 2.1 assists, 1.3 steals.
Career 3-point percentage: 34 percent
Defensive rating: 103 (points allowed/100 possessions)
Height, weight, age: 6 feet 5 inches, 212 pounds, 22 years old
2014 salary: $1.8 million
2013 stats: 45 games, 6.8 points, 1.7 assists, 1.0 steals
Career 3-point percentage: 35 percent
Defensive rating: 103
Because of his height, Shumpert finds himself guarding forwards like Paul Pierce, while Bradley sticks to guards like Raymond Felton and J.R. Smith. We've seen how spectacular Bradley can be on defense, but Felton exposed him a bit in this year's playoffs. Shumpert's knee injury has lingered and is a concern going forward.
The guess here is that Bradley will bounce back in a big way when playing next to Rajon Rondo. Bradley shot 49 percent from the field playing next to Rondo. He has more upside. Shumpert has more of a classic shooting guard's build, but there's some question as to whether he can regain the explosiveness he lost following ACL surgery. If I had to make a gut call, I'd go with Bradley.
Who you got? Vote in the poll below.