Brandon Bass: What's The Problem?

I haven't posted in a while, so forgive me for any rust.

There's been a lot of "Brandon Bass-Bashing" lately, and I understand why, however everybody's solution just seems to be "Trade Him! Trade Him!", and even though Bass has clearly lost a step or two, I don't want to give up on him just yet.

Brandon Bass' season stats: 8.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, on 43.9% shooting from the field. This is a significant drop off from the 12.5 points, the 6.2 rebounds, and the 47.9% shooting from the field he was putting up in his first year with the Celtics.

In Bass' defense however, he is playing 4.3 less minutes than he was last season, and he's not getting as many touches. That could either be due to Bass' lack of aggressiveness, or it could be that there are more options on the court to choose from now vs. last season. Bass was averaging close to 11 shot attempts per game last season, and this season, he's averaging just under 8 shot attempts.

As far as Bass' shooting percentages go, I believe part of the problem is he's not shooting the ball in the spots he's comfortable in, which is of course, anywhere in the mid-range. This season he's shooting the mid-range ball at 45%. This is a drop-off from the 49% he was shooting the year before, however 45% is still a very acceptable percentage.

Bass seems to struggle in the paint area, and that's where more of his shot attempts are coming from vs. last season. Last year, Bass shot a mere 33% from the paint. He was only 19 of 58 in that category. This season he isn't doing any better, shooting the ball at 27% from the painted area (6 of 22).

Last season, the painted-area shots accounted for 9.2% of Bass' shot selections, but this season, that percentage has went up to 11.1%, so by logic, the more shots you take that you struggle to finish, the worse your overall field goal shooting percentage becomes. That then, ties into the idea that Bass is not shooting from mid-range as often as he might like. His shot selection from mid-range has gone down 3% from last season. Granted these are small percentages, but they do have an impact on his production on the court (and a lot of it is due to Bass simply having a common shooting slump).

Defensively is probably where Bass frustrates the most. Last season he was only allowing 99 points per 100 possessions, but this season he's giving up 105 points per 100 possessions. Bass needs to be more of a hound defensively, that much is obvious, but it's not like he's been a defensive juggernaut for his career. Going into Boston last season Bass was allowing 105.5 points per 100 possessions for his career. Bass has shown that he can play solid defense (like he did last year), and even though I'm disappointed in his defense now, hopefully he can turn things around.

Identifying the problem is only half of it though. The other half is to actually try and fix the problem. I don't like the idea of Bass getting more minutes, because that would mean less minutes for the bench bigs, like Jeff Green or Jared Sullinger. Bass is not having the best year of his career, but maybe just coming off the bench will give him a bit of a jump start. It sort of worked for Jeff Green in the preseason in the first game where in crunch time Doc Rivers made sure he was the best player on the court. I'm not sure if it'll work for Bass, or even if Doc will ever put him in a position where he's the best player on the court, but something has got to give.

That being said, I like Bass, he's more than willing to do anything the coaching staff asks him to do whether it be coming off the bench, or starting, Brandon Bass will do what it takes to help the team win.

What are your thoughts? Why do you feel Brandon Bass is struggling? What improvements can he make to his own game to improve his production on the court? Is there any hope for Bass or should he just be traded as soon as possible?

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