As I begin to write this article, I feel the need to apologize to Brad Wanamaker for my initial opinion of him. Granted, his first few games this season he appeared to be very Terry Rozier-esc with a lot of ISO play and hero ball. I have zero tolerance for that kind of basketball. However, as the season progresses I'm seeing less of ISO and more team ball from Brad, which is making him a very valuable asset in Boston.
I want to back up to last season for minute to when I was a huge Wanamaker supporter. Every time he stepped onto the court he seemed to affect the game in a positive way, as proven by his +/- of 144. I couldn't understand why Coach Stevens didn't utilize him more, especially when Rozier's time on the court was less than stellar (as indicated by his -39 +/-). I often wondered how much differently the impact from the bench would have been if Brad played more, and Terry less.
Let's fast forward through the summer and into the start of the 2019-2020 season. Terry is now in Charlotte and Brad Wanamaker is in the position to prove what he can do. And as I said before, I was not impressed early on. He has redeemed himself, however, beginning with the Charlotte game on November 11th. In his 16 minutes on the floor he totaled 9 points, 3 assists and 3 rebounds. He was perfect from 3 as well as from the free throw line. His game against Washington on November 13th was fantastic! He put up 10 points and 5 assists, which is evidence of his team-mindedness while on the court.
He continues to be a hug boost from the bench, and provides the highest scoring after our starters. He is now earning a more prominent roll on the team. I realize after the explosive debut of Tremont Waters people will inevitably begin to question Wanamaker's effectiveness compared to Waters. That would be a mistake. The recent trip out west is a clear indication that Brad is a difference maker. He totaled 55 points and 21 assists. His experience is an asset over a young Waters, and Brad's maturity in knowing when and how to pass the ball is something Tremont hasn't yet developed.
Brad had certainly put time and hard work into his basketball career and never given up. He went undrafted in the 2011 NBA draft, but that didn't discourage him. He went to Italy and other European leagues and earned numerous awards while there. He eventually signed a one year contract with the Celtics in 2018. Despite an unimpressive debut on October 16th against his home town 76ers, the Celtics saw something they liked and resigned him this past July.
Now relying on him even more because of the injuries of Hayward and Kemba, he really has an opportunity to find a resting place in the heart of every fan. I look forward to seeing more production from our eldest team member. Keep moving the ball and shooting your shots Brad, and as always, #bleedgreen!
Featured Image by Clutchpoints.com