|Posted by shawn cassidy on April 29, 2013 at 6:00 AM|
If you would have asked me who would have contained Melo. I would have said Pierce, or Green. Perhaps the Celtics zone defense. But not Bass. He's been a non factor on the offensive end. But when it comes to defense, Bass has answered the call. He forced Melo in one of the worst shooting games of all-time, and perhaps Melo's worst game in the playoffs.
“I tried to make him work," the soft-spoken Bass said. "It led to us getting the win."
Bass' defensive efforts have floated below the radar this season.
According to Synergy Sports data, Bass allowed 0.756 points per play
(536 points on 709 plays) and, among all NBA players with at least 475
defended possessions, Bass ranked seventh overall (teammate Avery Bradley topped that list at a minuscule 0.697, but Bass was in the cluster behind him).
Rivers heaped praise on Bass early in the series, suggesting that he played a "perfect" Game 1. With the team in dire need of ballhandling to aid Bradley, the Celtics moved Jason Terry into the starting unit for Game 3 and Bass struggled a bit in a reserve role. Rivers reversed course Sunday and reaped the defensive benefits.
"[Bass] did a great job," Bradley said. "Me, personally, I think we won the game because of Brandon. All credit to Brandon. He played great defense."
What did Bradley think was Bass' secret?
"Just trying to make everything hard on him," he said. "Melo is a great player. That’s all you can do, just try to make everything hard. I feel like Brandon did a great job."
Echoed Kevin Garnett: "Obviously, Melo's going to get a bunch of looks, he's going to get a lot of opportunity at shooting the ball. Guarding a guy who is, if he's not the MVP of the league, is very difficult. He's a handful and I thought BB just did what he could today and I thought he did it consistently."
Kudos for Bass. He's stepped up in ways that the Celtics desperately needed. Hopefully this is something that Bass builds on for next season. Bass could play more 3's then 4's in the future. Bass is undersized, and playing smaller guys could be the key for Bass.