Boston Celtics 2013-14: Brandon Bass Will Be Key
There are some players in the NBA that are just easy to dislike. Maybe you find them dirty, or think their play style is selfish. Heck, maybe their postgame attire burned out your corneas.
In today’s league, you certainly have a wide range of options. On the flip side, there are just some players you can’t help but root for. I can’t think if a single person that wasn’t somehow elated when Brian Scalabrine threw down one of his monstrous dunks. There’s just something majestic and timeless about Rasheed Wallace getting called for a technical.
Then of course, you have the unnoticed players; those with average contracts, solid play, and neutral-colored interview suits.
Perhaps one of the greatest examples of the unnoticed player is Boston Celtics power forward Brandon Bass. Originally brought in from the Orlando Magic in an under-the-radar deal, Bass has proved his worth to Boston greatly. However, rather than showing off his worth through big numbers and mind-boggling defensive strategy, Bass has shown himself to be worthy of Celtic green just by doing what he does.
As the Celtics move forward into their history facing what will than likely be a sub-par season, things are going to get tumultuous. New coach Brad Stevens has to find a rotation that works. Rookies may underperform. Rajon Rondo isn’t returning until December. The bench is solid, but unproven.
Needless to say, in a shaky era of Celtics basketball, Bass is going to be a welcome sight. Last season, Bass put up eight points and five rebounds per game, with some solid defense. Not All-Star numbers by any stretch, but throw in the fact he played 81 out of 82 games in the regular season, all while shooting .483 from the field, and a clear picture of Bass’ value begins to form.
Aside from his good numbers, Bass also proved himself able to come up big when asked to cover LeBron James when necessary. And while covering James is a hard task for any given player, Bass did so respectably and managed to score on him here and there on the other end of the floor. Of course, who could forget his dunk on Dwyane Wade, which was a highlight of his impressive performances against the Miami Heat in general?
Characterized by his steady and seemingly “automatic” mid-range jump shot, Bass represents stability and solid play for a Celtics team that will be intensely looking for its identity. For all the inconsistency and confusion coach Stevens will have to deal with, he has a solid performer in Bass to lean on when necessary. This season, you can expect Jared Sullinger and Bass to form a tight defensive unit down the stretch this season.
While we might not get to see any Bass playoff moments anytime soon, we can watch him keep the pace and be a valuable piece in the Celtics’ rebuilding process moving forward.