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NBA Scout Dishes on Celtics Woes, Brandon Bass Struggling With Role

 

After nearly 24 hours to decompress a little bit after another Friday night debacle for the C’s, there have been quite a few substantial nuggets about the C’s floating around the web this weekend, as the team prepares for Ray-magedon tomorrow afternoon at the TD Garden. Let’s get caught up to date.

We’ll start with the always must-read Weekend Dime from Marc Stein at ESPN.com who covers a variety of takes from scouts on team’s across the NBA, including this one from an Eastern Conference scout:

“I thought they were starting to feel good about themselves, but I think I’ve decided they’re just not quite good enough. Their bench has to be playing at the top of their abilities for them to win. And they don’t have enough guys big-guy-wise that Doc [Rivers] is comfortable with.

“For them to win games, [Jared] Sullinger pretty much has to have a double-double. And we’re talking about a 6-[foot-]7 center. The other big issue is that they’ve got no one making any 3s. The Jet [Jason Terry] hasn’t been on the runway very often. And Avery Bradley, for all his defensive prowess, isn’t shooting the ball well, either.

“Paul Pierce is still great in big games, but I think he’s getting to that age — like a lot of guys do — where he paces himself. He gets up for the challenges of the Chicagos or the Miamis, but in some of these other games, he’s not quite The Truth.

“[Rajon] Rondo can change the game when he’s engaged, but … let’s just say he’s always very aware of his stats. And it’s very evident from where I sit that he’s playing for steals and assists sometimes instead of making the winning play or the easier play or defending his guy like he should.

All pretty fair points that C’s fans are all too familiar with at this point during the C’s recent slide, but always interesting to see scouts around the league taking note of the same exact subjects. Stein also had a bit more information in his rumor mill talk, continuing from his assertion the C’s were ramping up interest in J.J Redick Friday morning:

Although there are still live rumbles on the league’s personnel grapevine that this will actually be the February that Celtics front-office chief Danny Ainge finally parts with Paul Pierce or Rajon Rondo, I’m still pretty skeptical. As one team monitoring the Celtics said this week: “[Boston] has floated the idea of moving Pierce or Rondo out there for the last three years … but has never pulled the trigger.”

So it’s premature, to me, to throw Pierce’s name up there with Rudy Gay and Pau Gasol on the list of high-profile names available this trade season, even though we’ve heard more than one rival team speculate — given that the Celtics and Grizzlies, sources say, have indeed held some exploratory trade talks since Gay hit the market — that a three-way deal where Pierce lands in Memphis, Gasol goes to Boston and Gay joins the Lakers makes “some sense.”

Despite some rival teams assertion to Stein, I’d be absolutely shocked if the Pau Gasol ends up in Boston. Beyond the obvious reasons on the floor for giving up Pierce for him, the C’s salary situation for next year is not pretty and bringing in Gasol and his 19 million dollar cap hit would do serious damage as far as the team’s luxury tax situation and penalties moving forward. The C’s are undoubtedly looking at bigs, I just wouldn’t take Gasol as a serious candidate because of this reason, unless Danny found a way to ship a lot of the team’s pricy bench payroll out of time (highly unlikely).

With that said, given the talk of Doc Rivers “getting some guys out of here” Sunday night after the Pistons loss was enough trade talk for your liking, Wyc Grousbeck added more fuel to the fire last night on an NECN business show as well:

“There’s a likelihood of moves,” said Grousbeck. “[Coach] Doc [Rivers] hinted at thinking about it. [President of basketball operations Danny Ainge's] phone rings all day long. I think February will be a busy month, but can’t predict yet.” (Via: CSNNE.com)

Let’s keep that trade machine busy folks, you heard the man!

Finally, we have an interesting column and quotes via Greg Payne on ESPNBoston.com discussing the struggles of Brandon Bass in some terrific depth. We’ve been highly critical of Bass here on the Hub, and it’s interesting to get the guy’s own point of view after what has felt like a two-month long slump at this point for the power forward:

“I mean, at the end of the day, you want to do better than you did last year or the same,” Bass said after Thursday’s loss. “So, it’s a little bit frustrating. But, it’s a team game. You’ve just got to keep working and hope everything works itself out.”

When asked about his production, Bass suggested fewer minutes have played the biggest role.

“I mean, if you consider my numbers down, you’ve got to look all around,” Bass said. “So if you see my numbers down then you see my minutes. If my minutes are down, OK, that plays a role. Then you look at how many opportunities I get — that plays a role. And you get what you get.”

Asked if he’s satisfied with the season he’s having, Bass was very direct: “No, I’m not satisfied.”

If Danny finds any takers at the trade deadline, Bass may be the first guy to go with comments like that, questioning his minutes and his coach. He may be right about some, but it’s not a good look with the team struggling.

Plenty of more on the way heading into the Heat showdown tomorrow.

  • Vincent

    The reporter should have asked Bass if he deserved more minutes, considering his defensive woes, his poor shooting, his inability to rebound, and his awful +/- numbers. Or, hey Brandon, you really suck this year, why do you think your minutes have been reduced?!?

    • MisterMe

      bass for mozgov + randolph

  • elroz

    Well heck, Bass has been bricking jumpers all season long, except for a few games recently.

  • Phil725

    I predicted Green to be the first player booed mercilessly at home after he signed that big contract he could never live up to (think JD Drew,) but looks like I'm gonna be wrong there. Green is a magnet for hope among some fans, and at least he generally says the right thing. Bass' comments are both ridiculous, and show a complete lack of awareness of his whole situation. There's no acknowledgement of his struggles on defense which are the whole reason his minutes have fallen, and there's no accountability with himself at all. He comes across just like Jermaine O'Neal did when he complained about his role. The team is playing him 25-30 minutes a night while he loafs through games, plays defense almost bad enough to neutralize KG's and puts up career worst numbers across the board. You want minutes, Bass? Try doing 'one' thing to earn them. Complaining to reporters surely isn't gonna earn you any more.

    Bass is a barely useful player on offense who erodes any benefit there with horrible defense and rebounding, and he's probably already put up his best season. When fans look for players to blame for the team's struggles this year and the next few, he's gonna be very high on the list, and he has to play because there's no other alternative on the roster. It's to the point now that I'd actually prefer Green at the 4. And I hate Green at the 4!

    I disagree that he's more likely to be traded because of stuff like this, because what are you going to trade him for? I always ask people who want to trade the crap on the Cs roster for actual assets to think about things from another teams' perspective. What would you give up for Bass? I wouldn't take him for free. You really want to pay this guy 7m in 2015?

    And for the record, I'm still mad at CelticsHub for giving him a C- on the year. If that's highly critical, I want super ridiculously critical!

    /rant over. I feel a little better now.

    • Shneeba

      Don't put green at the 4, put sully
      I know he's a rookie but the way he's been playing shows he deserves to start

      • Phil725

        Sully's already playing as many minutes at the 4 as his foul proneness allows. KG's ideally limited to 28 minutes a game, and Sully fouls out somewhere between 25 and 35. That leaves ~38 minutes at the 4 or 5 you need to fill a game. They aren't exactly swimming with options there.

        As far as starting, Sully certainly deserves it in a vacuum, but what happens when you have Terry, Green and Bass all coming into the game at the same time? The bench (a strength right now,) would probably get killed. I think Sully's too important to the bench to replace that role with Bass.

  • Phil725

    Regarding trades, I continue to doubt any rumored trades with the intent of improving the team this year. There's just not an asset that other teams would want that wouldn't hurt the Celtics to the point that trading was futile.

    Blowing it up will certainly be looked at though. Did you know that this team won't have max cap space until 2016-2017 assuming they keep Rondo and Bradley? The team is still over the cap in 14-15 if Pierce retires/doesn't come back. With trade assets like Brandon Bass and Jeff Green (sarcasm,) we're looking at a five year stretch of mediocrity before even bottoming out if something isn't done soon. There's that much dead weight on the roster. Rondo will be in his 30s by the time you can add a serious piece around him. Even if he is a true superstar, will he still have enough athleticism then to make it worth keeping him through the next few years?

  • Unknown Dude

    Everything I have pointed out here on this website for months continues to hold up. Bass has and will continue to suck, yet why does it catch people by "suprise". Paul Pierce is not the guy he was before. Father time is here, and for those who want to deny that fact and blind yourself, feel free. I choose the realistic approach. Lastly, KG, Bradley and Sullinger are the only guys on this team that give you 100% effort on a nightly basis. KG doesn't deserve this, wish he would retire for his own sake.

  • Jonathan

    I think the Celtics should explore a package that sends Jeff Green, Jason Terry and Brandon Bass to the Lakers for Gasol. Right now, there are almost no takers for Gasoline due to his high salary, age, injury concerns and lack of productivity. The Lakers should be looking to get multiple players in return due to their depth issues. Since they are trying to compete now they don’t mind taking on those contracts (which aren’t much worse than Gasol’s) and all3 players are a decent fit. I think they consider this move – they need to get multiple players for Gasoline, and the Celtics are probably the only team who can actually take on Gasols salary and give a decent package in return.

    • Shneeba

      Who backs up pierce on the bench then??

  • Ummmm Yeah

    I cant believe that anyone thinks one of the softest big men in the league with a terrible contract is the answer for this team. The Celtics need a Al Jefferson or a Samuel Dalembert. Someone tough and can rebound, so they can move Garnett back to the 4. Where he played for 16 years for fucks sake.
    OR, we could trade our captain and/or half of our decent rotational players to get the same idiot that any true Celtic fan has rooted against for YEARS.. oh not to mention that it would lead to KG’s retirement and salary cap hell for the next 3 years.
    Fucking idiots.

  • Morpheus

    Bass is delusional. WTF? He’s complaining about minutes and his role? Bro you stink, you can’t rebound, you can’t hit jumpers(the only thing you’re actually good at) your bbiq is about as low as a pre schooler, constantly gets lost on rotations…and to top it off he blames Doc for his struggles? Oh man i can’t stand this fool. Danny can’t trade him soon enough. And i actually liked Bass last season.

  • CG12

    I've been unloading my Brandon Bass stock recently, and am now all out. One of his virtues has been that he is a "good soldier." If he is going off-message and bitching about his minutes, that is the sign that he officially has zero awareness of how he has been playing compares to what is expected of him. Really disappointing, especially for a team that has been almost entirely free of guys complaining about their playing time. I was very pleased when we unloaded the one notable headache in that regard – Big Baby – for someone who it seemed wouldn't ever be that way. Do guys really think that complaining to the media is going to help? So dumb.

  • Shneeba

    Look I love bradley but he's are one of our biggest trading pieces and the team needs to trade now before it's too late. Bradley is a great defender but when he gets into his 30s he wont be able to play such tight on-ball defense anymore. Waiting another year is a bad idea because pierce and Garnett are really going to start being extremley ineffective and injury prone. Blowing up the team I think should happen next year if we were to do it

  • MisterMe

    Brandon Bass For Timofey Mozgov And Anthony Randolph

  • MisterMe

    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=bbr5k

    Boston Gets
    Timofey Mozgov
    Anthony Randolph

    Denver Gets
    Patrick Patterson

    Houston Gets
    Brandon Bass

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