Doc Rivers likened Avery Bradley’s defensive impact to that of Scottie Pippen.
Bradley ranks first among NBA players in points allowed per play (0.669) and opponent field goal percentage (29.7), according to Synergy Sports Technology's game charting.
"It's like Scottie Pippen -- when you played the Bulls, you were praying that, 'I hope he guards the other guy tonight,' " explained Rivers. "Because [Pippen] was one of those guys that could guard the 1, 2, or 3. And you were hoping, 'OK, I hope [he guards the other guy].' I mean, how rare is it that you want Michael [Jordan] to guard you? Over Scottie.
"And I'm thinking that's Avery, and even Courtney [Lee]. Courtney's a good defender as well, but they're probably thinking, 'I'll take him over him.' And [Bradley's] feet are so good. I mean, he stays in front of the ball, he gets up into it, and it's big for us. He's really making us a better defensive team."
Bradley has 41 steals this season, with many of those picks having taken place before the midcourt stripe.
"You haven't seen guys get ripped at halfcourt the way Avery has done," Rivers said. "He has a list of guys now. I mean, it's almost every single -- he got [Russell] Westbrook, he did it [Wednesday] night to [Kyle] Lowry. You really haven't seen that since maybe Walt Frazier used to get guys, if you remember, with that strip at halfcourt. But to do it as consistent as Avery does it, I don't know if I've ever seen it."