Doc Rivers was effusive in his praise of Brandon Bass and his game 1 play. He said:
I really thought of all of our guys he played the perfect game for us.
That's high praise for a guy that scored just 4 points. But of course, it is the coach's job to look beyond the point column of the box score.
Although he scored just four points, he made both of his shot attempts from the field. He also led the game in rebounding with 10 boards and was the only Celtics starter who didn’t commit a turnover (the other four starters combined for 19 turnovers). Rivers is part of a basketball operations group that puts a high value on numbers. You won’t find a day in the year in which Rivers wouldn’t be happy with those numbers from Bass. However, in this instance, numbers don’t tell the whole story about how well Bass played. Rivers also noted what No. 30 provided in areas that aren’t tallied on a stat sheet. "I thought defensively he guarded Melo (Carmelo Anthony) well," said Rivers. "He took shots when he should have. He moved the ball a lot, because they were coming (at him). I don’t see anything that he did wrong."
A lot of things went wrong in the 2nd half, in particular on offense, but at least Brandon Bass wasn't one of them. So, we should just hold our breath and hope that Bass does exactly the same thing right? Maybe instead of "No Pass Bass," he could be "Good pass Bass" right? Not so fast.
In case you missed it, the Celtics could really use some more points on the scoreboard. Brandon is one of those guys that can knock down his shot regularly when he gets it at the right time and with the right amount of space. Brian Robb points out that a little more Bass would be a good thing, and that's on his teammates.
After reviewing the game video, Bass touched the ball plenty on offense, but never in spots where he could be effective. He fed the ball to Pierce and Jeff Green on the perimeter beyond the 3-point line, he performed a few handoffs, but then moved out of the way to help spread the floor pretty much all of the time. He was rarely involved in pick-and-rolls, and since the ball movement was non-existent in the second half, Bass never got the open looks he’s been routinely making.
A big story is the fact that Kevin Garnett wasn't involved enough in the first game. That will be goal number one in game 2. However, it would also be nice to free up Bass for a few of those patented step-behind-the-foul line straight away jumpers of his. And hopefully he can also keep up the good defense, rebounding, and floor spacing as well.
So you see, it is possible to be perfect and have room for growth. Especially when we have no room for error.