Post-game Reactions

….it’s not every day you use TWO bad puns in a headline that don’t really make sense! Huzzah!

Brandon Bass has been only slightly less than awesome this season.  He’s just the type of young and athletic player the Celtics have been looking for the past couple of years, so it’s not hard to understand why he’s the go-to big off the bench.  The C’s can count on him for a consistent and effectual  spot start and Q5M sub for Kevin Garnett.

This is part of the reason why I was so surprised when Bass missed the Grizzlies game last week with a knee injury. Here’s Doc Rivers explaining Bass’ absence:

“I actually think it’s just the accumulation of the games. He had some swelling in it, so we’re just going to sit him.”

Pretty innocuous, although it seems a little strange that Bass would miss a biggish game against a good Western Conference team (despite the terrible record) to rest a minor injury with the Bobcats on deck.  As we now know, Bass was back on the floor on Tuesday and looked no worse for wear.

Well, almost no worse for wear. There was a moment in the first quarter where Bass completely blew a defensive rotation and Paul Pierce used all of his teeth to chew him out. I wanted to ask both of them after the game about the play and about Brandon’s progression as a team defender but then Pierce had to go and break a record. Apparently, no one wants to talk about the minutiae of team defense when someone scores 21,797 for his career…


But I am obviously in the minority. I’m probably also in the minority when it comes to trying to over-interpret what Doc meant when he said, “it’s just the accumulation of the games.” If Bass had a knee injury, he had a knee injury. What I can’t shake is that usually we know about all injuries, even little nagging ones. We didn’t get any indication Bass was playing through something until we found out he was scratched.  That, plus the fact that this little respite came after two straight games where Bass let his emotions get the best of him.

First, in the Celtics blowout win against Toronto Bass got pulled to the ground by his jersey while trying to get a defensive board.  While on the ground, Bass showed his displeasure by grabbing the legs of the puller (Amir Johnson) before realizing that no one has ever looked tough holding on to someone’s ankles.  I asked Brandon about this play after the game and he gave a great response:

It’s really hard to keep your cool when you get hit midair, which is a big part of why I wanted to check in with Bass about this play (and also because big dudes get hit a lot and being a big dude by normal people’s standards, I can sympathize with Bass).

I took his answer and was satisfied.  It’s nice to get perspective from a guy who bangs downlow night in and night out.  But then Bass broke my heart by getting a technical in his very next game against the Knicks after he chest bumped Amar’e Stoudemire.   I felt betrayed.  Where was the levelheadedness of the guy in the video? Each of these are most-likely isolated incidents, but when you factor in the day off for knee swelling for the very next game it makes you think.

Despite the previous 600 words, I’m not trying to make something out of nothing.  I swear.  This is more of a “something to keep in the back of your mind” as you continue to watch Bass for the rest of the season.  Furthermore, I asked Eddy Rivera of MagicBasketball about Bass and he relayed that Bass “definitely has his flaws. As a person, though, he’s a stand-up dude.” So I defer to Eddy’s expertise as he covered Bass for a lot longer than I have been.  I will agree that our locker room encounters have been nothing but pleasant.  And even if the missed game was just a chance for Bass to get collected -to rest, to get his nose in the playbook- that’s not such a bad thing.

It’ll be interesting to watch the big man rotation going forward.  Kevin Garnett continues to play like it’s 2005.  Chris Wilcox has proved to be a consistent energy player off the bench, something the Celtics have lacked for the past couple of years.  And we’ll keep hearing about JaJuan Johnson’s garbage time dominance as he continues to languish on the bench.

Then there’s also the little rumor going around that the Celtics are looking to add to their already crowded front court.  I wouldn’t read too much into that.

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  • wally

    i don't get it, what's your point? what are you trying to say?

    • jacksobd

      Yeah, sorry if it was unclear. Just a quick commentary on the bench and something to look for in Bass going forward. Bass is SO close to being a complete player. If he could just get the defensive rotations down he'd be in the running for 6th man of the year.

  • W2.

    I think he is trying to say that Bass is still Bass. A guy who can score, but is limited due to his un-level-headed-ness and his inability to rotate defensively and if and when the ship sinks he might be responsible for it (keep it in the back of your mind?).

    From where I sit, our team defense is solid and Bass helps with scoring which we need and even though I am at times shocked at his ability to be out of step on defense, I miss Glenn Davis not at all. Actually, the same can be said for Perk. Which surprises me.

    I miss DWest though.

  • NHBluesMan

    that article on Rondo for Gasol made me laugh… the guy is making a stretch based on a comment with no real significant meaning, haha

    • IBleedGreen

      The trade doesn't even make sense. It will make both teams worse.

  • CG12

    Bass is one of those guys, like Rondo, who can periodically check out for a while. Just stand straight up, watch the ball, and totally lose where he is and should be. If you contrast that with Bradley, KG, JO, and Pietrus, who all work hard to keep in good position, it is quite glaring.

    But Bass is still so much better than Baby. His offense is worlds better. He can be trained to be a better team defender and his athleticism makes him an excellent one-on-one defender. And he does generally seem like a level-headed guy who isn't going to throw tantrums and act like a teenager, like Baby would do. Baby was fun, but I'm sure it gets a little tiresome for his teammates. I feel kind of the same about DWest – I loved that guy, but it isn't hard to imagine that his personality and personal issues could make him a volatile presence in the locker room. The stability and professionalism of AB, Pietrus, Sasha, Quisy, and E'twaun are probably a welcome change.

    • Rachel

      I haven't heard anything about Delonte being an issue in the C's locker room. I know he's struggled with bipolar disorder and had that whole crazy gun incident (there was a great interview where he explained it last year) but my impression was that he was really grateful for the chance to come back to Boston and committed to being professional. I miss that guy.

      I don't miss Big Baby. I still miss Perk most of all.

      • michael

        perk is struggling badly in OKC, if he still was here i dont think he would be much of a contribuidor, JO is looking good. i only missed TA, but after a couple of last interviews, not anymore.

  • phillips

    but what about the comments on bass's knee? you are saying it was made up(so he could watch defensive video and maybe rest)? or that there is a problem with it that's not being said?

  • ripsonics

    if that trade happens.

    i say we lead an angry mob to Danny's house with fire and pitch forks

    you fill in the rest

  • tbunny

    To me it seemed like Bass' defense has improved during the season and he's working well against big guys. Maybe he missed a rotation but that will come.

  • Celts die hard!

    i think if we trade just Gasol for Rondo(no other celtic player), that lineup(Dooling starting PG) could win it all THIS year, i pretty much have no doubt about it if everybody is healthy. BUT that would mean NO re-building process at all, and kiss the franchise furure goodbye for maybe 3 years… so the question is… this year tittle? or the future?

  • George

    @Brendan Jackson
    It seems as if you've read into it far too much.

  • skeeds

    I have no worries about Bass. If it's a character issue, this locker room has a great history of keeping it together, having to work with some difficult divas. I would expect that someone like Bass would react a bit to the big 3's authority. Still, Doc made Sheed,Shaq and JO buy into this team's philosophy, and those are some monster, brontosaurus sized egos to handle.

    As for defense, I'm 100% sure that Bass will play better and better on D until he's excellent. Doc Rivers, if nothing else, has made a better defender out of EVERY single player he's coached in the big 3 era. None of his players is ever a "bad" defender, and if he managed to make reliable defenders out of Baby and Nate, Bass will have no problem getting it together.

    Oh, and that Lakers' rumor? That's a big stretch. Huge, actually. And for the C's, it would be disastrous. I know we're all high on Pierce playing point-forward and the rooks showing some potential, but the road to a championship passes through the best PG in the league (Rose), and a team that will win every other matchup by far (Heat). An elite PG is a necessity for a run to the Finals.

    • jeremy 201

      of course the PG position is VERY important, especially with rondo. BUT wouldn't you change that for a guy that puts +20 pts +10rb in a playoff series against MIA and CHI?

      • skeeds

        Nope. 14 points 12 assists and 6 rebounds from Rondo are good enough for me. Not to mention, on who's time is Pau gonna get those stats? Him, Bass, and KG can't all play at the same time. And moving one of them to the 5 postition will only make our post presence weaker, none of the 3 is a big threat in the post…

        To be clear, it's not that Rondo is irreplaceable. It's that PF isn't a spot that really needs fixing. If there's a trade for a strong, offensive minded center, like Nene or Hibbert for example, I'd be more open to trading Rondo.

  • jeremy 201

    on who's time? on JO's and Wilcox. im not talking of gasol as a PF, im putting him straight up as a center. and if that's weak, well then we and perk are shit, cause they beat us in 10' with center: gasol and odom: pf….