Utah Jazz's Tony Bradley uses Summer League to display new physique, stronger game
SALT LAKE CITY — You might catch Tony Bradley on a late night run to Walmart or rolling around Salt Lake City.
The 6-foot-10 big man is hard to miss.
For the four weeks leading up the Utah Jazz Summer League, the center logged many hours in the practice facility.
As a result, he moved better, got stronger, and chiseled his 20-year-old frame before the start of this week’s action.
“I just feel like I’ve improved my body,” Bradley said. “That was one focus for the team for me to do and also myself so I’ve made some good progress."
With three summer league games under his belt, before heading to Las Vegas for the leaguewide showcase, Bradley logged a double-double in all three games to help Utah finish 2-1.
Bradley put up 15 points and 12 boards in Utah’s 92-87 victory against Atlanta on Thursday and averaged 14.6 points, 12.3 rebounds and two blocks for the week and received summer league standout honors with his teammate Georges Niang. Tyler Dorsey and John Collins of Atlanta; Kobi Simmons and Jaren Jackson Jr. of Memphis and Derrick White and Jeff Ledbetter of San Antonio were also recognized as standouts.
“He’s like a double-double every night,” said Jazz Summer League coach Mike Wells. “It’s just an important growth piece for bigs. They’ve got to play. Sometimes guards can do it in drills and stuff but I’m a big believer that big men have got to play.”
Bradley is looking to take the next step in his career, after a rookie season that saw him back and forth with the Jazz and the G League affiliate Salt Lake City Stars.
Jazz assistant Antonio Lang has been pivotal in Bradley’s offseason development with on-court work after his weightlifting routine throughout the week.
“Taking that leap is all with improvement, especially on defense showing my hands, challenging shots, things like that to show everybody that I’ve gotten better,” Bradley said. “For sure. That’s one of the main things is to try to show improvement to get on the court to show that I’m ready to get some minutes.”
I wouldn’t say there was any rough part of my rookie year,” Bradley said. “I just learned a lot and took it as motivation to try to get on the court.
Minutes will be hard to come by for Bradley if he doesn’t find his niche.
Playing behind Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert and veteran big man Derrick Favors is no easy task, but Bradley isn’t the same kid that appeared in nine Jazz games last season with averages of 0.9 points and 1.2 rebounds in 3.2 minutes.
He’s familiar with the system. He’s older. He’s sharper.
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With only one college season under his belt for the 2017 national champion North Carolina Tar Heels before entering the league, Bradley didn’t fully know what to expect. So that’s why he decided to devote this summer to getting better and so far it’s paying off.
“I wouldn’t say there was any rough part of my rookie year,” Bradley said. “I just learned a lot and took it as motivation to try to get on the court. Just watching what Derrick and Rudy do and try to put that into my game.”
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Published at Fri, 06 Jul 2018 04:47:00 +0000