March has not been too kind to Brandon Bass, who is sporting a true shooting percentage of 50 percent, which would match his lowest for a month this season. His performance from the free throw line has dipped a bit as he has been to the stripe less often recently. Additionally, for the first time in a year, he is averaging single-digit points in a single month. Even with him having a down month, I feel it is time to appreciate the nine-year veteran.
During this season, two Celtics have played in all 71 of their team’s games. Most likely, if you have a watched a good portion of this 2013-14 season (I know it has been brutal at times), you would know one of them. That would be Jeff Green, the man everyone in Boston wants to critique. However, before looking at the title of this article, I am not sure you would have said that Bass is the other player.
Do you remember the last time Bass missed a game for the green? We have to go all the way back to a far away place when… Mickael Pietrus was starting for your Boston Celtics. No. 30 was last inactive on February 22, 2012 when Pietrus played a game-high 44 minutes in a 119-104 loss in Oklahoma City. Since then, Bass has played in 212 consecutive games, including 26 postseason contests (25 of which he started). In addition, only 12 NBA players have participated in more regular-season and playoff games than he has since joining the Celtics at the beginning of the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season.
Bass is also in select company with regard to his free-throw shooting. His 85 percent shooting from the line is 15th-best in the league, and his 91 percent postseason free-throw shooting is fourth-best all-time (hopefully sooner rather than later we can see that 91 percent rise). Bass is currently on pace to have more points, free throws and rebounds than he has had in any single season before. He is getting to the hoop at a better rate than he ever has as a Celtic. Not only are his 2.9 free throw attempts per game on pace for his best in green, but his rebounding percentage is as well.
There is another part of his game I am championing: his reduced shot distance. After attempting his shots at an average of 11.5 feet in his first two seasons in Boston, he is down to nine feet per attempt this season. There are many reasons to appreciate the 28-year-old Louisiana native, and if he continues trending in the right direction, the $6.9 million owed to him in 2014-15 are well worth it.