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Defending Brandon Bass’ Late Game Miss

Everyone has been killing Brandon Bass lately.  It seems as though he’s played worse than he did last season; a season that earned him a hefty pay raise.  CelticsHub has been no exception when it comes to pointing out Bass’ inconsistencies on offense and his failure to stay focused enough to consistently make the correct defensive rotations.

This is why it’s important to point out the moments when Bass does something right; especially if it may not be completely evident.  For example, take a look at the following play from Monday’s loss to the Miami Heat:

As the clip indicates, the game was tied at 103 with 45 seconds to go.  The first option on the play was Jason Terry on a fade to the corner.  When Terry couldn’t get open, Bass gave Pierce a ball screen and popped when his man, Chris Bosh, committed to Pierce.  While Bosh was recovering, Bass had a lane to get to the hoop and took it.  The layup attempt rolled across the rim and and the Heat snagged the rebound.

I could almost feel the growns and eye-rolls from CelticsNation.

I can’t believe Brandon Bass attempted to drive on Bosh!

Why is he even on the floor?!

I wish Kevin Garnett wasn’t sick, cause now I am!

These thoughts and more all because the ball missed going in the bucket by fractions of an inch.  It was just a total tough break from a guy who actually made the right play.  Doc Rivers confirmed as much after the game:

“Paul came off, it was for Paul first. I thought Brandon made a terrific read. I want my guys to be aggressive…honestly, I don’t think you’re going to get a much better shot than your big at the rim at basket. I’ll take all those shots.”

The Celtics get killed for taking contested jump shots and not driving the ball to the basket.  Bass made a good read and just missed the layup.  Had he paused, Bosh would have completely recovered, eliminated any semblance of a driving lane, and the Celtics would have wasted any opportunity to have the last shot.  In an ideal world, the ball would have gone in and the Heat would have had to decide whether or not to go for the tie or the lead.  Meanwhile, the Celtics would still have another shot to win the game.

In talking after the game, Brian Robb pointed out that Bass had and open Avery Bradley cutting baseline.  While that’s true, I would much rather have Bass attempt to finish at the rim than try and make a dish through traffic.

Whenever Bass is asked about anything involving his play, he repeats that he is “just trying to be aggressive.”  It’s abundantly clear that it is exactly what Rivers wants him to do.  We can quibble over whether or not that is good strategy for the overall game plan, but it wouldn’t matter in this case.  Bass made the right play, just with the wrong result.

Rivers tells the media over and over that this is a make-or-miss league.  The C’s missed.  Let’s hope they make some tonight against the NOLA Hornets.



  • Anthony

    I disagree that CH has been critical of Bass' play this season as the people who make posts here. Having said that, however, I had no problem with the Bass taking it to the basket on that particular play. The only thing that would've made that play better is if Bass was inside the 3pt line before he drove to the rim. He had a good look and that's all we can ask for.

    Bass has picked up his aggression and has been playing better in the past 4-5 games. Hopefully that continues for the next month and the playoff stretch.

  • Troof

    Thanks for pointing this out, Brendan, I completely agree this was a great look with a bad bounce. Bass had showed some aggressiveness earlier in the game, and I'm just happy if that continues.

    Let's not forget this was not the C's only miss down the stretch – I mean, we were up 10 with 9 mins left.

  • Anthony

    Hey Brendan, how about a post about the Lebron dunk on JET?

    I hate all these articles and videos saying how it was the dunk of the year, yada, yada, yada. And Lebron's post-game response to it. I appreciate JET for trying to go for the foul and IMO it just didn't have the same flair as the Deandre dunk. Also, it WAS worth only 1 point (because of the tech)!! 1 stinking point!! Lebron just mad that JET knocked them out in the 2010 Finals. That's just my 2 cent on it.

    • High Rollers

      The only reason that dunk bothered me is because it should have been two on the other end. If I remember correctly, we had just stolen the ball. We shouldn't have allowed them to steal it back.

      • Anthony

        It was unfortunate and JET probably should made that pass but you can also see it from another point of view. The Celts were turning the ball over left and right and most of them came from trying to make lead passes to start the break. It is what it is. I guess I'm just trying to defend JET.

        • High Rollers

          No, you're absolutely right. Like Paul said after the game, C's should have just been a little more patient. The best part though was that the C's just played on. In heavyweight bouts the hits will keep on coming from both sides.

  • High Rollers

    Brandon's a microcosm of this team in the sense that when he hesitates, he looks way more YMCA than NBA. When he's locked in and not distracted or hesitant, he looks an awful lot like a world-beater. This group won't win much on default settings. We're immensely talented, but in an active, go get it kind of way. (Dare I say a young kind of way?) We don't just walk in and roll over people. It's gotta be a ground up kind of thing. All energy, all the time.

  • CelticsBIG3

    Sure it was a good look, but I can't imagine that was the play Doc drew up. I mean really? Jeff Green was on fire. Maybe it was designed to catch Miami off guard?