BOSTON -- In yesterday's edition of What to Expect, our panel of CLNS Celtics beat writers shared their thoughts on what they expect to see from Jeff Green during the 2013-14 season.
The general consensus seemed to be that Green is in line to have a breakout year on the offensive end of the floor, as all three participants predicted he would tally at least 20 points per game. But today we move on to the next player on our list. Here's what our writers are expecting from Brandon Bass this upcoming season.
*Stat Projections include minutes per game, points per game, rebounds per game, and field goal percentage.*
Rich Conte (@richconte)
Brandon Bass enters his third season with the Celtics facing uncertainty about his place in the rotation, as well as his place in the franchise’s future. After a solid first campaign that saw him average 12.5/6.2 (in just under 32 minutes per game), his numbers dropped to 8.7/5.2 (in 27.6 minutes per game) last season. He redeemed himself somewhat against the Knicks in the playoffs with solid rebounding and some eye-opening man-to-man defense on Carmelo Anthony.
Coming out of training camp, Bass could find himself in the starting five or could end up as the forgotten man in Boston’s muddled frontcourt situation. He has proven himself to be a reliable role player for a contending team and the guess is that he gets minutes to start the season in the hope that he attracts interest at the trade deadline.
29.5 MPG, 11.2 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 48.5 FG%
Tim MacLean (@TimMacLean_)
When I think of Brandon Bass there’s only one word that comes to mind: Enigma. Here is a guy that put together the best statistical season of his career during the 2011-12 campaign and then immediately reverted to his old self the very next year. Don’t believe me? Here, take a look at the drop off in production that Bass suffered from his first year in Boston to his second:
2011-12 31.7 MPG, 12.5 PPG, 6.2 RPG
2012-13 27.6 MPG, 8.7 PPG, 5.2 RPG
Now it’s understandable – and too easy – for someone to say that thedecrease in his production is due to less time spent on the court. But does four minutes really make that much of a difference?
For example, Bass averaged exactly one less rebound per night in 2012-13 than he did in 2011-12. That’s it, just one rebound, no big deal right? Wrong. If Bass nearly equaled his rebounding numbers from the year before with less work during the next season, what does that say about his overall impact on the glass? Don’t get me wrong, BB is a terrific rebounder for a guy his size but perhaps he didn’t corral nearly as many misses as he potentially could have in 2011-12.
However, despite his dip in production last season, I still believe that Bass is in a great position to rewrite his own personal history by topping his best statistical season. For one, he will be on full display during the first half of the year, whether he’s in the starting line-up or coming off of the pine. And he’ll be rewarded with enough playing time to really prove that the near double-double per-36 minute average he has achieved throughout his career is no fluke. I expect to see Bass continuing to nail his patented mid-range jumper all while playing his tail off on the defensive end of the floor.
That said, though, there is a catch. While Bass will most likely post the best stat line of his career during his third year in Beantown, he may not be in green come late February. A logjam at the power forward position has made him expendable and the same goes for Kris Humphries. With both Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk expected to spend some time at the four this season, having a veteran like Bass on the roster has the potential to stunt the growth of the Cs young bigs. Besides, Brandon Bass is better suited to play a complimentary role for a contender. He’s great at stretching the floor and his aforementioned defense is a valuable weapon.
As I said, look for a big year out of Bass, no matter what role he plays in. But just remember, this could easily be the last we see of him in a Celtics uniform, so I suggest you don’t get too attached to his elevated play.
29.8 MPG, 13.7 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 52% FG
Sloan Piva (@sloanpiva)
Brandon Bass will continue to befuddle Danny Ainge and the Celtics this upcoming season, as his lack of confidence on both sides of the floor will dwindle further. His struggles with and without the ball will ultimately lead to his early exit from Boston, even if the franchise must eat the majority of his salary in a trade. A player with no legs in his jump shot, no body in his rebounding, and inconsistent footwork in his defense stands no chance on a rebuilding squad--especially one with an overabundance of power forwards.
23.7 MPG, 7.8 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 47.5 FG%, 83 FT%
Daniel Baker (@Daniel_Baker9)
Brandon Bass. He’s Ringo Starr. He’s Ocean’s Twelve. He’s the Boston Celtics best power forward and probably the one guy you forget about when talking about the team. Brandon Bass is going to play a major role this season.
Bass can D-up LeBron, play the kind of help defense Boston relied so heavily upon over the past couple of years, and hit 50% of his field goals. He’s not the most explosive guy on the court, but at 6’8”, 240 pounds, athleticism is strangely an underrated part of his game. He’s a power forward that stretches the floor on offense and most importantly, he’s consistent.
There aren’t many guys left on this Celtics team that give me the confidence Bass does. I know he can score 10-12 points without being the focal point, he will rarely be out of position on the other end and he’ll bring a high level of energy. Even with the addition of Gerald Wallace and Kris Humphries, guys known more for their rebounding, I still see Bass starting or being the first big-man off the bench because of his scoring ability.
28.0 MPG, 11.8 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 51.6 FG%