Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
In a locker room cloaked in gloom from a fresh defeat, Paul Pierce perked up when the subject turned to Brandon Bass.
The Celtics captain praised the muscular forward’s performance against Oklahoma City Sunday, when Bass pulled down a career-high-tying 13 rebounds in a 91-79 loss.
[...] “That’s the Brandon we need every night,” said Pierce, whose Celtics face the bottom-feeding, 13-50 Charlotte Bobcats here Tuesday night.
[...] “I’ve got to be better, as far as being consistent, as far as defending and rebounding,” Bass said. “[Sunday] was a cool night to start doing that.”
[...] “He was very sound, very decisive in what he did,” Kevin Garnett said. “He moved the ball. I thought there were times when he was aggressive. He was active throughout the whole game.”
The KG quote there is the money quote to me, and it’s something I’ve been screaming about with Bass… BEGGING him to be…
If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll hear my regular begging for Bass to be decisive out there… to be aggressive and just do something. It’s like there are two guys name Brandon Bass within the same jersey.
Bass #1 is tentative. He catches the ball and looks around before trying to figure out what he wants to do. He gets the ball under the rim, crouches, and fakes 5 times before finally going up. He’s the guy that turns the ball over, gets blocked, and generally does something that might as well be the first pass in the opponent’s fast break.
Bass #2 is aggressive. This Bass goes right up with his shot. This Bass will take the occasional one dribble into the paint and attack. This Bass gets rebounds, blocks a shot, gets dunks. Aggressive Bass is some terrific Bass.
I never want Bass to be anything but who he is… except I want who he is to be decisive and aggressive on the court. Sure, it’d be nice if he spent the summer with Hakeem Olajuwon and developed some semblance of a post game. But I know that even if that were to happen, he’s primarily a mid-range guy.
That cool. I liked his game last year and, while I would like it to grow some with some added elements, I don’t want the core of his game to change. It’s just his mindset. Whether it’s confidence or something else, he needs to develop his on-court mentality to a point where he is comfortable going for his own offense from time to time.
I know there are a lot of options out there, especially when you start the game along side Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. But going for yours from time to time will generally help this team win. And, like Doc, I don’t care if Bass makes a good, strong, aggressive, DECISIVE move and misses or gets blocked. That’s going to happen too. Sometimes you make good moves and miss just like sometimes you throw a bad shot up and make it.
Brandon is a beast. He looks like he’s chiseled from granite. But he doesn’t use it to his advantage. Those shoulders need to be more than a way to make a suit look good. They need to be a weapon.
Maybe Dream isn’t the guy Bass should be seeking out. Maybe it’s Paul Pierce. Because I’ve seen no one use his body to wriggle his way into tight spots quite like the very broad-shouldered Truth. He’s a master and getting small to squeeze his way through tight spots and then widening back out and creating space.
Whatever tricks Bass needs to learn out there… he needs to start learning them soon. Start using that size in a more productive way and maybe it will get his head to a more comfortable place.
Comfort, in sports, almost always leads to consistency. It’s something Bass needs to find quickly. Jared Sullinger is waiting to take that starting spot away from him come September and October. Now’s the time for Bass to make sure he keeps his name in the opening introductions.
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston: Mailbag: planting playoff seeds | Power Rankings: C’s up to 9 | C’s sign Randolph to another 10-day | Pierce nominated for player of the week | Herald: Doc doesn’t know what to expect | NBA.com (scroll down): Q&A with Paul Pierce