There hasn’t been much in this space in recent months, but with Celtics training camp just weeks away, that’s about to change. Leading up to camp we’ll have player profiles, stat projections, and a few interesting back-and-forths with other writers. The Celtics are taking part in NBA Europe Live to begin training camp, and Gary Washburn will be in Turkey and Italy providing coverage. The team kicks off the season on Tuesday, Oct. 30 in Miami with a game against the Heat.
Our roster focus is up first. Since Brandon Bass seems to get overlooked often, he’s up first.
Starting power forward
6-feet-8-inches, 250 pounds, 27-years-old
2012/13 salary: $6.5 million
Strengths: Bass is a very good jump shooter, and he’s able to spread the floor and draw out his defender. That’s a skill that opens up driving lanes for Rajon Rondo and space for Kevin Garnett. Bass is physically strong and is a great leaper . He’s consistent, having played in 59 of the team’s 66 games last season.
Room to improve: Bass should be a better rebounder given his skill set. He averaged 6.2 rebounds last season, which was a career high, but there’s still room to improve there. He’s not a shot-blocker (0.9 per game), and he’s never stood out on defense, though he was much-improved in Doc Rivers’ defensive schemes from the beginning of last season to the end. Defensive versatility was also on display in the playoffs when Bass guarded LeBron James.
Projections for 2012/2013: 75 games, 12.0 points, 6.4 rebounds, 31.5 minutes.
Outlook: Bass projects as the starting power forward once again. Jared Sullinger may push Bass from the bench, but it’s hard to see the rookie overtaking Bass or taking any of his minutes (Kevin Garnett, not Bass, is likely to lose minutes). Chris Wilcox is the likely injury fill-in if Bass is injured, but the Celtics are still shallow up front, and they’re going to lean heavily on Bass once again this season. Bass re-signing seemed to be a minor story in comparison to the rest of the team’s offseason moves, and that’s a shame considering he’s a starter and has proven to be a great fit. Glen Davis is making $6.4 million this season. Kris Humphries, another power forward who was on the free agent market, is getting $12 million.
What do you think of Bass? I’d love to turn this series into a forum for discussion rather than just talking at you. Any strengths or weaknesses I missed? Post in the comments section.