Brandon Bass should be sending thank you cards to Rajon Rondo and Paul Pierce for stealing the spotlight after the first two games of their playoff series, and in turn taking the heat off of himself. The reality is that since the playoffs began (and even late in the regular season) Bass has seemed like….well a fish out of water.
Should this be much of a surprise? History would say no. Bass has historically seen a recognizable dip in production once the postseason hit in each of his five seasons, so it should come as no surprise that Bass has looked a bit out of place at times on the floor in the first two games. Entering Game 3, Bass is shooting 42% for 8 PPG and 5.5 RPG after averaging 12.5 PPG, and 6.2 RPG on 48% from the field during the regular season. Bass' minutes have increased in the playoffs, averaging two more minutes than he did in the regular season, so minutes aren't the problem…so what is?
Bass is still just 26 years old, he is still a puppy in NBA years and really has yet to make a serious playoff run with any of his previous teams (he was on the Mavericks the year Orlando went to the Finals), he has only 30 games of playoff experience and may not be comfortable with the pace of the playoffs yet. But it is much more than this, the reality is this is Brandon Bass.
There is a reason why he is a decent bench player at best, he has flaws in his game; the biggest of which is his streaky shooting. As a player that rarely passes, his shooting is forever going to be under the spotlight of fans, his hot streaks will be blazing hot while the cold streaks will be miserable. It just so happens that Bass is entering a cold streak at the worst possible time for the Celtics. Thankfully Paul Pierce was able to bail the team out on Wednesday, but in order for the Celtics to continue to move through the East, someone else is going to have to contribute, and one of those players is Brandon Bass.
Bass is an average defender and slightly above average rebounder, so the fact that shooting is so much of his game, he HAS to be doing it well for him to have any real value to the Celtics, if Bass is struggling he will only hurt the team by forcing bad shots and then playing hot potato with the rock once he loses his confidence as we've seen over the first two games. Bass is a catch and shoot player, once he has to think about passing the offense stalls completely, unfortunately this is something that Celtics fans have to live with as there is no other way to get a shooter going than to have them continue to shoot. Celtics fans can only hope that it happens sooner rather than later.