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.