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Bass floundering under spotlight of playoffs

Nick Sannicandro May 4, 2012 Uncategorized 41 Comments

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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. 

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  • paul

    Bass will be fine, I think. When you consider that he is, at best, our sixth best player, we are doing pretty good.

  • KY Celts fan

    hmmm… maybe this is why Orlando was ok with trading him. with the exception of last season, Baby has as reputation of stepping it up in the playoffs. And he’s done very well for Orlando without Howard.
    but it’s only been two games. everyone played terrible in Game 1, and he didn’t have Rondo in Game 2 whom he plays very well with. We really need to wait til next series to start analyzing.

  • Jason

    Small sample. Hate to credit Atlanta with anything, but they have been contesting jumpers well. It’s affected KG as well. Bass is a jump shooter. This stuff happens. He could continue to miss or go 10 for 12 tonight. No one knows. Personally I think Rondo’s going to adjust from Game 1 and figure out how to get both of them many cleaner looks.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/the_bantam the_bantam

    To start, I love Bass. The way he plays, the strength he brings and his humble attitude are great for this team. And like you said, when his jumper his falling, combined with his youth and ability to eat minutes he’s extremely valuable. My concern is that in a 7 game series team can game plan for him pretty easily. Yet with our starters, that should be fine because other teams shouldn’t be keying on him.
    It’s only Game 3, and 42% isn’t atrocious (sorry Peaches). And who knows, if that foul/jump ball goes the other way in Game 1, and we go to OT, we may be praising his hustle and diving for loose balls….

  • http://profile.typepad.com/redslovechild1 Redslovechild

    Floundering?
    It`s a little early…they`ve only had two playoff games.

  • Jay

    The real probem with Bass in the playoffs is not his offense. Atlanta is a very quick defensive team so he wil not get a lot of time to catch and shoot the jumper.
    Bass is really inept when it comes to playing team defense. Watch how he “shows” in the passing lane or doubles-off his man to meet the ballhandler at the top of the key only to leave a WIDE OPEN passing lane or a clear path to the rim. I’m thing specifically about Jeff Teague & Josh Smith.
    What’s worse is he does not hustle with the same defensive intensity as the other Celtics veterans – even guys like Dooling & Marquis. It’s almost as if Bass is afraid to make contact or play too rough. Get a clue Brandon, and get it quickly dude! These are the playoffs. If you haven’t learned the defensive rotations or how to runup & down the floor with intensity & purpose (just watch Kevin Garnett) then you shoud be sitting on the pine!
    Doc Rivers knows this and he sat Bass in Game 2 during crunchtime of that 4th quarter comeback. It’s easy to milk a lead or just go through the motions… but when you have to play hard defense & rebound, it’s a VERY different story.
    Again, GET A CLUE BASS!

  • James Eisenman

    You are really not a very astute poster. You are so sure of yourself because you pull out meaningless stats and then misuse them. Brandon Bass helped get us here. His play has been stellar all year long. No true streak shooter shoots 48% on the season, unless you think Larry Bird was a streak shooter. You have isolated two games. He went 3-7 in each game. That is 42%, sure BUT, if he made one more of those shots, ONE, his percentage would rise to 50%. Then your ridiculous point would be out the window. Plus, he’s only played an average of 33 minutes a game. That’s only more than he averaged in the regular season BECAUSE YOU’RE COUNTING THE PART OF THE SEASON HE WASN’T STARTING. All the other starters are playing over 40 in the first two games. My God, if you use you’re method of analysis, KG and PP should just retire before tonight’s game. KG is 13-32 and PP is 17-45. That’s way below 42%. Hell,, Alan Iverson made about 10 all-star teams and he shot 42% FOR HIS CAREER! And Brandon Bass will not hurt us because he will start chucking up shots. He does not force shots. He only takes what he’s comfortable taking. Baby! BABY!! I loved Baby but he only “traditionally stepped it up for the playoffs” IF YOU FORGET LAST SEASON!!!!! That’s why he was traded! Oh yeah and also because he was immature and a bit of a head case. Brandon has been a godsend this season. He’s had two perfectly decent games. I’m sure he’ll have some standouts. He’s a mature, serious young guy. He plays hard and doesn’t bitch. He’s stepped up to starting in the playoffs. He will be fine. Hell, he is fine. You, on the other hand, are Paul armed with statistics. You do not know what you’re saying but couch it in numbers and dare people to challenge your numbers. I have a background in accounting and basketball. I can tell you two things – numbers can lie but your eyes usually don’t. Put your calculator away and watch the damn games. Paul IS Rondo. You apparently are Mitt Romney.

  • James Eisenman

    Hmmm, were you talking about Bass or Rondo????

  • KY Celts fan

    you’re getting to be as bad as paul and Coach Bo. and what does Mitt Romney have to do with anything?

  • James Eisenman

    Well, KY, as your governor, Mitt Romney reduced taxes and reduced the deficit. He did it by raising fees for EVERYTHING in Massachusetts. Then he claimed that reducing taxes caused the deficit to be reduced. The tax reduction, of course, made things worse. That’s misusing numbers to make a false point. Doesn’t anyone on here get it?

  • Quest

    Small margin of error in the playoffs so Got to step up like now.

  • KY Celts fan

    1) Mitt was never my governor as I live in KY. But there’s no way for you to know that, so no big deal.
    2) All politicians cherry pick numbers. Mitt does it. Obama does it. It’s politics. But this is a sports site. Let’s leave politics at the door and just enjoy the Green.
    3) Romney reduced the deficit WHILE cutting taxes? How is that a bad thing? I think you just convinced me to vote for him.

  • paul

    Well, lets be patient… we will see if the Garden can get him going

  • sev

    Bass isn’t that inconsistent with his jump shot(not anymore than most players). I would consider big baby a streaky shooter. The problem with Bass is he has NO post moves at all(unless you count an open lane two handed flush), so players seem to be guarding him that way. Obviously passing is not his strength either, but I think he will be fine. Maybe the playoffs do get to him mentally, but during the season I wouldn’t consider him a streaky shooter. Also I thought I read on here about how great he was at defense or at least individually, with advanced stats to back it up.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/sothewind Lee in Oregon

    Hopefully some home cooking gets’s him back on track. It’s only two playoff games, but I thought he struggled the last couple games of the season too. The good thing is, he’s still taking the same shots he took and made all season. Wouldn’t mind seeing a dunk or 2 from him tonite. I expect big things from your boy #9 tonite, GO C’s!

  • James Eisenman

    Well, lol, you’re from Kentucky so you have turtle face as your Senator and Ron Paul’s crazy son, so I WILL leave politics aside. But my point was simply that it’s not that he cherry-picked numbers. He used numbers to lie or mislead. They can be manipulated. You can’t rely on numbers alone like this poster does because they can be misleading. You would not want to vote for Mitt Romney if you were getting married, getting a fishing license, getting a gun registration license because those fees skyrocketed 300%-500% to make up for the deficit caused by the tax cut. We can call it a fee and not a tax and all pretend that it’s not a tax but it is. My point again, was to point out that you can’t attack a guy for shooting 42% of 14 shots in two games. He’s not lying about the statistics. He’s lying or misleading people about their import. They don’t mean anything. If Brandon Bass shot one shot in Games 1 and 2 and you attacked him for shooting 0%, it would be turned around in Game 3 if he made 1 shot and now he “skyrocketed” to 50%. My point is, if you watched the games, Bass was not outstanding but he was fine. He went 3-7 two games in a row. The other team is playing playoff defense. He normally feeds off of passes underneath and getting open when the other teams double on the other Celtics. He hasn’t been getting many of those looks. Point out his stats after we play the winner of the Chicago/Philadelphia series. And, as Gene Hackman kind of said, “we will face the winner of that series (I think he was talking about making some free throws).” If Bass hasn’t evened out his numbers by then, throw some stats at me with a headline “Bass Floundering Under Spotlight of Playoffs” and I’ll give it some respect. But don’t play phony numbers game with me. I was trained as a forensic accountant before I became a lawyer. I don’t look at your claims about numbers, I look at the numbers that they are actually based on. And I watch the games to tell me what really happened. I don’t need a stat sheet to tell me what did. Although, I do admit, I was shocked when they announced that Paul had 14 rebounds in the last game because I guess I wasn’t focused on who was getting them. See, I’m not such a dick after all. :-)

  • James Eisenman

    I had no idea the KY stood for Kentucky. I thought it had to do with the lubricant. ;-)

  • Tim

    This is a terrible, terrible post. Disgraceful, to be more precise. Floundering after 2 games? 2 games is not enough sample size to judge someone, especially using statistics like fg% which could easily jump to over 50% with a good game tonight.
    John and Chuck — who is this writer and why did you let him post this?

  • http://profile.typepad.com/lobbe Caterpillar from Italy

    Who wrote this post? A Lakers fan?
    This is garbage. A long post full of hate toward a player who has been on of the biggest surprises of the season, a player who simply helped us a lot to get here.
    Last year banging on KG antics, this year sanctifying every single Rondo play, and now this Bass-hate post out of the blue..
    bah.
    Go Bass, go Celtics!

  • Quest

    This is the playoffs not the regular season. So bring your A game every game. The playoffs is what it is all about. You can’t handle it be passed on to another team.

  • KY Celts fan

    Once you made the sale, you can stop with the pitch. You’ve already convinced me to vote Romney, you don’t need to tell me anything else.
    and I always thought it was too small a sample size to make a judgement on Bass. that’s all you needed to say. save the rants for Oprah.

  • James Eisenman

    Oh, geeze, you’re one of those guys. Wow. Who was ranting? Don’t comment on my posts if you don’t like the answers.

  • KY Celts fan

    what guys?

  • James Eisenman

    Those jerky guys. A guy who is letting his political beliefs get confused with the point that I was trying to make. Who doesn’t want to hear facts and, when he does, calls it a “rant.” Who tells people that they should save it for “Oprah” when he has no real response. One of those guys. As I said, if you don’t like the response, don’t comment on my posts and I won’t comment on yours.

  • James Eisenman

    This guy posts here every so often and dares people to challenge his statistics. Then he misuses the statistics to come to the conclusion he already had before he cited the statistics. He has predicted Indiana to win the East based on his inciteful use of statistics. We’ll see if that happens and if Bass “flounders” beyond having 2 3-for-7 games and playing solidly. It is garbage. I agree completely.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p0168ea46c4fe970c Nick Sannicandro

    I dont see why Bass is so beloved around here…he had a great start to the season, a poor middle part of the season and a 50/50 end to the season and has struggled in the playoffs so far. People seem to think he is this irreplaceable guy but lets be honest Orlando was willing to trade him for Baby, actually Orlando was willing to take in TWO headcases (Wafer and Baby) in exchange for Bass. He is a GREAT complimentary player but a starter? No way…. some team is going to offer him stupid money this offseason and Celtics fans are going to go insane when they don’t match that offer because Celtics fans grow far too emotionally attached to mediocre players, reality is he’s over achieved and cant live to those expectations anymore

  • James Eisenman

    Now, at least you’re being honest with your slanted opinion against Bass and not hiding behind your biased statistics. You don’t like Bass. WE GET IT! Forget his GREAT mid-range shooting and his creditable inside game. Forget the fact that he averaged 12 points a game and shot 48%. Believe me, except for a couple of playoff games, Orlando would grab Bass back in a second because Baby has been a total bust for them other than these games. Bass hasn’t struggled in the playoffs so far. He just hasn’t been sensational. You can’t defend what I posted earlier so you just posted as if you’re not the writer of the article. You don’t like him. You have no real basis for it so you hide behind your trumped up, misleading stats. He is NOT a mediocre player. You are a mediocre judge of talent. He is not a superstar but I would take him on my team any day of the week. He started because we needed him to. You really have no idea what you’re talking about but yet, somehow, they let you write articles claiming that you have analyzed the situation statistically, when, in fact, you’re just stating your biased opinion. Some team probably will offer him a lot of money and he’s earned that right because, as you admit, he is a GREAT complimentary player. He’s starting because he is the best complimentary player we have since Wilcox and O’Neal and Green left us in a mess. And he’s done a GREAT job under the circumstances. You really are full of yourself and have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about. Shame on you.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p0168ea46c4fe970c Nick Sannicandro

    I’m a mediocre judge of talent? Bud you dont know me, you have no clue what my credentials are and how much ive studied not just the current NBA but the NBA over history. Ok he can shoot the ball name me one other thing that he does that makes you go WOW this guy was a STEAL…he hardly bangs it in the paint, his post game is non-existant and for a guy his size thats sickening. He doesn’t hustle back on D which is why the Celtics are often caught with their pants down on fast break. Its wrong that Bass is usually lagging behind guys ten years older than him. And lastly he plays a hell of alot of ‘Ole defense. You wanna say I don’t know anything about basketball, say it all you want but you have NO clue how much of my life I’ve dedicated to the game and studying the game. You clearly only have an issue because Bass is your binky

  • Jay

    James,
    Fat, Dumb & Stupid is no way to go through life son.
    I’ve been a season ticket holder since the 1960′s & have worked for the Celtics. I’ve probably FORGOTTEN more Celtics games & Chamiponship series than you’ve witnessed….so don’t attempt to be a smart ass. It doesn’t become you.
    Now, back to basketball. Don’t confuse the price the Celtics paid (a steal) or the regular season numbers (whether as a 6th man, 7th man or starter) with his effectiveness in the postseason. Playoff Ball is a completely different level of intensity than the regular season – even if the season were condensed due to the work stoppage.
    Nobody is questioning Brandon Bass’ contributions this year and like most Celtics fans I hope they are able to secure a long-term contract going forward (he holds a $4Mil Option for 2013), given the franchise’s propensity to be cheap since the refusal to match the New Orleans Free Agent Offer for James Posey, etc. etc.
    Postseason basketball is about MATCHUPS! Let me say that one more time so you don’t get confused. Postseason basketball is about MATCHUPS. Who cares about stats – especially individual FG%!
    Look at how a player fits within the team style of defense (in-case you didn’t notice the Celtics rely on defense to win). Brandon Bass is a step or two slow when he shows at the top of the key. He has doubled off Josh Smith numerous times in this series only to leave him wide open for dunks. A guy like KG knows how to play halfcourt D… Bass does not. Often times he winds up looking at a teammate after a rotation or assignment was blown. This has nothing to do with the man’s personality or his ability to contribute to the overall team chemistry. I love his personality as well, and Big Baby was one of those “me first” players who reall hadn’t proved anything.
    Tonight was the 3rd game of the series – and once again Doc Rivers recognized that Brandon Bass was not good enough to be part of the 4th qtr rotation (especially late). MP3 was given the nod to cross-match the 3 & 4. Likewise when Avery left with an injury it made the rotations even tighter. Bass just has yet to prove he can play at this level in the playoffs. Perhaps if we advance and draw Chicago in the 2nd round the matchups will be better for him because the halfcourt spacing should be better. Until then, STFU and watch the game!

  • James Eisenman

    What a lot of words to say what? I didn’t say Bass was perfect, i just said he was not floundering in the first two games. He was fine. Not outstanding but not floundering and tha same was true tonight. You spent a lot time to say nothing. And I’ve been watching the Celtics since 1965, so don’t try to impress me with your phony cred.

  • James Eisenman

    You wasted your life then!!!!! You may have studied but you learned nothing. Bass is not my binky you phony.But he is not the disaster you claim he is. Most of your criticism about his defense applies more to Rondo. Devote your life to something you actually understand. I don’t know what that might be but there must be something else. Because if it’s basketball, you’ve wasted a lot of time and effort. All you can do is hide behind phony stats.

  • James Eisenman

    And by the way, Jay, I STILL play basketball with people 30 and 40 years younger than me. Who’s fat, dumb and stupid? I’d play you 1-on-1 but you wouldn’t be able to get your ass out of your season ticket. Send your grandson out and I’ll beat his ass too. You can analyze from the sidelines. Just keep the word count down!

  • James Eisenman

    And my first championship had Ramsey on the team. How about yours big mouth?

  • James Eisenman

    Oh, by the way, Mr. Stats, leading shooting percentage of the Celtics, starters after 3 games? Brandon Bass at 45%. KG is shooting 44%, Rondo 42.5%, Bradley 40% and Pierce 35%. So, where are your phony stats now? Not a great game for Bass but fine. Who else is going to be better? Baby did not shoot anywhere close to 45% last season. This season, when he’s been kicking ass in the playoffs is shooting 42.5%. So, what do those numbers mean? Nothing really, except your citations are bullcrap!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p0168ea46c4fe970c Nick Sannicandro

    Im not going to even waste the internet space tearing your ass apart dude. I have more basketball knowledge in my left asscheek than you do in your entire body so go troll someone elses stuff cuz your not going to get to me im pretty secure in what I know

  • Tim

    I’m with James. I’ve been a fan of Redsarmy’s stuff since 2006…. this is the worst article I’ve ever read on this site. Biased, unconvincing, and premature. Let Bass play 10 games in the playoffs before you form your opinion. And when you do form your opinion, back it up with real evidence.

  • James Eisenman

    The problem is your basketball knowledge is in your left asscheek. All people who are half smart like you are secure in what they know. Because they’re not smart enough to know all the things they don’t know. I would bet a million dollars that you never played in a real high school or college game in your life. See, much of my REAL knowledge came from studying the game on the court. Be secure. Just put your troll posts on Fakers Nation where they belong!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p0168ea46c4fe970c Nick Sannicandro

    actually I played two years of college ball but thanks for asking pal

  • James Eisenman

    Yeah, right.

  • James Eisenman

    Two years of playing NBA video games in your dorm room doesn’t count

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