Los Angeles • With Ed Davis sidelined for at least four weeks due to a fractured left fibula, it’s now time for Tony Bradley to show what he can do at the NBA level.
The 21-year-old Bradley has played only 15 games in his NBA career so far, nine in his rookie season, three last season, and three in garbage time this season. Now, though, he’ll get real NBA minutes that matter.
“I think Tony Bradley’s going to have an opportunity to play. He’s been working. When Tony came into the league, he was one of the youngest players in the league,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “With the lineups that we’ve had and the centers that we’ve had, he hasn’t had the opportunity that he’s going to have over the next few weeks or months, or however long it’s going to take to get Ed back.”
Snyder also mentioned that the Jazz could go small without Davis out there, when Rudy Gobert needs to rest. That could mean Jeff Green at the center position, or another small lineup.
On Sunday, Bradley played relatively well, even getting extra minutes due to Gobert’s foul trouble. He finished with eight points and five rebounds in 14 minutes of play.
Meanwhile, Emmanuel Mudiay also missed Sunday’s game due to hamstring tightness. Whereas Davis’ absence usually will mean a like-for-like replacement, Mudiay’s injuries — remember, he also spent time out during the preseason — have meant the ball is in the hands of Joe Ingles and Donovan Mitchell more than otherwise.
"I don’t think of it that much as ‘who’s the point guard’ as ‘who is our primary ballhandler at various times,’” Snyder said.
Doc’s comparisons for Kawhi
Back in May, Clippers coach Doc Rivers was fined $50K by the NBA for comments he made on Kawhi Leonard. Then, he was under contract with the Raptors, so his words violated the NBA’s anti-tampering policy.
“There’s a lot of great players,” Rivers said on SportsCenter. “LeBron is phenomenal, KD is phenomenal. Not that [Leonard] is Jordan or anything like that, but he’s the most like him. Big hands, post game, can finish. Great leaper, great defender, in-between game. If you beat him to the spot he bumps you off, and then you add his 3-point shooting.”
Now that Leonard is on Rivers’ team, he’s allowed to be more vocal about the comparison ... though he didn’t want to be.
“I was saying his body type is the most like Michael Jordan’s. That’s what I really said," Rivers said Sunday. “There’s no body type more like Michael Jordan’s than Kawhi’s, because of his hands and his length. And I said part of his game is the in-between game.”
Rivers said that he was surprised at how the comments got so much attention.
“I got it from Laker fans, because that meant that Kawhi was better than Kobe. I was getting all kinds of stuff,” Rivers said. “I didn’t care one way or the other, other than the $50K. Other than that I couldn’t care less.”