Now that we are five games into the Celtics 2013/14 campaign, there is enough evidence available to look at one of Boston’s most underrated players. Brandon Bass prefers to let his game do the talking, something one of his new teammates could learn from (yes you, Gerald Wallace). Now into his third season in green, Bass is the ultimate professional. He understands the strengths and weaknesses of his game intricately, sticking to what he does best while allowing his teammates to fill in the gaps.
Offensively, Bass is averaging an excellent 13.2 points per contest which is second only to Jeff Green. With Rajon Rondo sidelined, Green is the go-to option for the Celtics and is encouraged to shoot the ball and attack as much as possible. However, Bass hasn’t received the same amount of possessions from his teammates in contests, often given the ball out of position or out or range.
When the time comes to shoot the ball, Bass’ field goal percentage of 50% from the floor illustrates the confidence he has had in his jumper to start the season. That smooth mid-range jump shot is one of his biggest weapons, and was something that made BB so valuable to a team that took Miami to 7 games in the Eastern Conference finals two seasons ago. In addition to his mid-range shots and driving dunks in the open court, Bass has shown glimpses of a turnaround jumper in the post, as well as pump fakes to throw off the defence before rising above his opponent.
In Wednesday night’s game against the Jazz, Bass was the saviour for the Celtics down the stretch. While the C’s could only muster 13 points for the entirety of the fourth quarter, Bass was responsible for scoring 9 of those points, while assisting on another basket as well. He was the shining light in a very shaky quarter for the team, and demonstrated once again what a true professional he is.
Defensively, Bass’ averages so far of 5.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game rank him second on the team behind Vitor Faverani, who managed to post 18 boards and 6 blocks in one game. Chris Forsberg of ESPN noted how well Bass has defended through the first five contests too;
Of players with more than 40 possessions defended entering Thursday’s action, Bass ranked first in the NBA at that mark (out of 120 qualifiers). What’s more, opponents are scoring on a mere 22.6 percent of total possessions again him, the best mark in the league by nearly 3 percent.
He sticks to what he knows on both offense and defence, and goes about it with little fanfare. I think we have all been guilty of taking Bass for granted at times, but his performance against Utah was just another reminder that this man is an outstanding basketballer.