Dare I? Yes I believe I do.....
Alright, lets have it out, one big post on everyone's favorite player.... Brandon Bass! What do you think, I want to know, do we keep him, trade him, amnesty him, add him to the cheering squad, what do you think?
Before I get to far out of hand, let me explain. I've been following Celticsblog for a while now, and it seems that the most controversial player on the C's at times has been Brandon. So understanding that, I want to see what you all think, what's the best move with Bass. I would prefer this doesn't boil down to an argument of weather or not Bass is a good player (I'm looking at you Mr. Schultz... :), but instead constructive comments about Brandon's future with the team in your opinion. Let me give you my own experience this season, as well as my thoughts now after the C's first round exit.
The first part of the season, I was mildly annoyed with Bass. He didn't seem to be the same player. He wasn't hitting the outside shot, and his rebounding was sub-par. It just wasn't what I was looking for. Luckily for Brandon tho, we had this game named Jason Collins at the time who made me tear my hair out on regular intervals. Such was my hate for Mr. Collin's, that Bass by and large went unnoticed in my eyes for the early part of the season, outside of the occasional missed jumper.
Then came the trade deadline. After a rash of injuries derailed the C's season, my beloved Collins was dealt at the deadline, and this is really when I began to notice Brandon.
What I noticed was, he missed wide open jumpers, didn't rebound very well, wasn't capable of playing D on larger opponents for long periods of time, annnnnd the worst was any time he would get the ball directly under the rim, he would never finish, talk about frustrating! I'll admit, by the end of the season, I was ready to amnesty Bass, send him to the D-League, or find some other suitably cruel punishment for him.
But then the playoffs came, and I was reminded why we love/need Bass. By and large, Bass kept Melo in check (no I don't mean Fab ;) Not only that but he was scoring better. I also believe he might have rebounded better, if KG hadn't been hellbent on getting every rebound that came off the glass. All of this happened, and I went WOW, Bass can do something, and not just do it, but do it well. He locked in on, and slowed down probably the best pure scorer in the league. This to me made him instantly valuable.
The league today is one of great swing 4's. LeBron, Melo, Durant, George (at times), Josh Smith, etc. and if you're going to beat them, you have to have someone who can slow these guy's down. For an example see George on Melo or LeBron. So I get it, it's important to have someone on the team who can shut these guys down, and so now I'm thinking maybe Bass can do that.
I think this offseason we're going to nee to address our Big Man situation, and tweak it some. If we can swing a starting Center, then we'd move KG to the 4, and have Bass, Sullinger, and Shav backing KG up at the 4 with no help to speak of at the 5. By the same token, if we have KG stay at the 5, then we have Bass, Sullinger, and Shav at the 4. Who starts? What lineups do we want Sully in, and what lineups would we rather Brandon be in? Is there a possibility to play Bass at the 3 at times? I don't know, I'm just shooting ideas out there, I'm hoping you guys can help.
We could also trade Bass, but keep in mind, he's got a tough contract, and I don't know that many teams would be willing to take that on. I think that's a mistake on their part, everyone could use a swing-4 defender, but to each their own. We could also amnesty him, and clear out his tough contract, but I don't really see how that helps us. If you are going to suggest a trade, please keep it reasonable, let's avoid anything that looks like this: http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=bfkfe7p
Finally, I will give you my personal opinion. After seeing what he is capable of, I'm for keeping Bass. We need a guy who can shut down the aforementioned players, and Bass has shown some ability to do that. He's also shown the ability to hit the outside shot at an average to above average level. I'm interested if we could play Big Ball, and possibly move him to the 3 for limited minutes, but that's unlikely. As for trading Bass, personally I'd only do this if we got better value back ie. a solid backup PG, or a starting quality C, just to name a few.
As for the Sully vs. Bass starting question, I'd actually prefer to start Bass. Here's why, Sully will be coming off of injury, and I'd like to slowly bring him back. Also, while Sully showed an ability to take charges, his defense is still developing, and I'd rather have Bass on the floor in that respect. Finally, I'd like to see Sully become comfortable coming off the bench as that's where I see where he can help us the most. We need some Big's off the bench, and Sully can produce. I also don't see Sully becoming a legitimate starting PF of 18ppg and 8rebs. I see him at his peak being more of a '12ppg, 6reb. Type of guy, which is good, but I'd like to have that firepower coming off the bench. Think Taj Gibson.
As for Bass starting, he gives you what he gives you, but let's be fair. He's not going to be a beast on the boards every night, and he's not gonna average 25ppg. He'll give you hustle, tough D on the aforementioned guys, and an intelligent player who Doc likes, and one who already knows the system. And it's for all these reasons that I'm for us keeping him. What do you guys think?