So these guys are basically saying, if Bradley goes down again with another injury, our season is over, because he's basically the only hope we have. I don't like the sounds of that to be honest. The Bulls are still winning without their best player in Derrick Rose, but we cannot win without a role player like Bradley?
The difference is that Bradley is more important to us then Rose is to Chicago.
Chicago had so much success last year not because of their scoring, but because of their top 3 defense. Rose is an average defender, so even with him out the bulls were STILL a top 3 defense. Noah, Deng and the bench anchored that defense, and you could argue that any one of those components (Noah especially) was just as important as Rose. This is why when Rose went down Chicago as a team didn't really get much worse, but when Noah AND Rose when down they crumbled. Take away the offense and Chicago can still grind out wins, but take away their defense and they are nothing.
Derek Rose is (at the end of the day) just Monta Ellis on a large market team. He's an undersized SG in a PG's body. He's not a fantastic shooter but he's great at using his athleticism, ball handling and body control to drive and finish around the basket. He's not a fantastic defender or a fantastic playmaker, but he's at times been forced to play PG simply due to his lack of size and his ability to handle the ball. Still Ellis has averaged ~25PPG over much of his career, and he has pretty much always been the best player on his team. If he played for a mass market team (like NY, Boston, Chicago or LA) with a top 4 record in their conference he would be a guaranteed All-Star and a regular MVP candidate.
The moral of the story here is that Rose is grossly overrated. He's a very good player but he's nowhere near as important to this Bulls team as people belive. Put any volume scorer in his place and the Bulls would be the same team.
Moving on to Boston, and we have had a similar team philosophy - we are all about defense. We have never been a great offensive team, but we have been successful as a team because we have consistently had a top 3 defense in the league. Take away a key offensive player and we can still win with out defense, just like we did when Ray was out with injuries hurt last season. However, take away one of our key defensive pieces (Bradley or Garnett) and we would struggle to make the playoffs simply because we dont have enough scoring power to overcome our weakened defense.
This is why Avery Bradley is not just important, but absolutely CRITICAL to this team. When Ray went out last season, if Bradley never stepped up the way he did defensively we would never had had near the success we did. We would have missed Ray's presence far more. However because Bradley impacted on our defense so dramatically, out defense improved to the point where we were making up for the scoring we lost with Ray (and then some).
Take away one of our key scorers and we can still grind out games, as long as our defense is at an elite (top 3) level - we proved this last year because our offense all season was horrendous. For our defense to be at that level we need both KG and Bradley out there on the court. But if we lose one of those two defenders and our defense drops outside the top 10, we simply do not have enough scoring power to offset that loss. We can't simply outshoot opposing teams. It probagly hurts us more to lose an elite defender (Bradley, KG) then it does to lose an elite offensive player (Rondo, Pierce).
At least that is my theory!