NEW YORK As Brandon Bass packed up the last of his things before the team headed to Miami, he will look back at his Boston Celtic debut as a bittersweet experience.
He had 20 points and 11 rebounds Sunday, the kind of performance that would be music to the ears of any coach.
But it came in a 106-104 loss to New York, a game that was up for grabs until the final horn sounded right after Kevin Garnett missed a relatively wide open jumper.
"I mean . . . I just wanted to come out and contribute in any way I can," said Bass, visibly disappointed with the game's outcome. "I just wish we could have won tonight; I just wish we could have won."
Bass is new to the Celtics, so he hasn't been around this group long enough to know that, win or lose, this team is all about the next game, the next opportunity to be great.
And when they see how Bass performed in his first game, still learning the C's system, you can understand why coach Doc Rivers is excited about what awaits the C's this year with Bass as a main cog off the bench.
"He can play; the kid can play," Rivers said. "He's tough. He can finish. He can offensive rebound. He can do a lot of things."
Making what he did on Sunday even more impressive was that despite the numbers, Bass still has a ways to go before he understands fully how to play within Rivers' system.
"He's doing it right now, second-guessing half the things he's doing because of the execution part of it," Rivers said. "He's late on a lot of stuff because he's just not sure yet. He's just going to keep getting better and better as the year goes on."
BOSTON — John Farrell might have stopped short of actually stumping for a deal. Still, the Red Sox manager on Thursday morning spoke highly of the potential impact of a trade and indicated his players are waiting to see what this front office can add to a first-place team.
From a morale perspective, Farrell sees a potential boon in an acquisition.
“I think it’s always a plus,” Farrell said. “It’s a strong sign that everyone is aligned to support, add to, fortify — however you want to describe it — an area of need. And I think there’s a lot that goes into — there’s almost an injection of maybe that support or, further momentum that, OK, this is going to better equip us to go deep into the season.”
The players, Farrell said, have an anticipation for the possibility of a trade as well.
“I think there is. I think players carry that,” Farrell said. “They’re well in tune. Maybe some of them might be wondering OK, am I out?...So there’s a tentative period of time that we’ll go through here in the next 10-14 days. But adding to [the team] I think is always a positive.”
A day earlier, Farrell noted the improvement the Yankees made in their trade for Todd Frazier, David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while officially in the Dead Zone of the NHL offseason.
*A great sight to see is Buffalo Sabres forward Kyle Okposo taking the ice in a summer league in Minnesota after a health scare at the end of last season.
*Nolan Patrick might be fresh off abdominal surgery, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to be rushed if he plays for the Flyers.
*Here’s an offseason power ranking of the offseason moves for the NHL teams, and the Bruins rank 28th out of 31 teams with the organization being “stuck” in the estimation of this writer. I don’t disagree that they’re kind of paralyzed right now until David Pastrnak signs an extension, with other things being held up because of that. The Paul Postma and Kenny Agostino signings were about as small time as you can get on July 1. But the Bruins’ goal for this summer wasn’t to win in the offseason moves department, but instead continue to let their interesting mix of young players and established veterans grow into an effective mix. Winning the offseason power rankings really isn’t the thing for the Black and Gold, and that’s perfectly okay given their situation.
*There’s a wide gap between the Detroit Red Wings and Tomas Tatar with salary arbitration looming.
*It’s a good thing that Barstool Sports is here to ask the really tough questions, like whether Jaromir Jagr is being treated unfairly by NHL teams because of his hair.
*PHT writer James O’Brien has Johnny Gaudreau really high on the window for the Calgary Flames to compete over the next three years with the young, talented group they have in place.
*Nico Hischier is looking to be a playmaking force for the New Jersey Devils right off the bat after being the No. 1 overall pick in Jersey.
*A slew of soon-to-be college sophomores starred in development camps across the NHL and showed what they learned at the NCAA level.
*Classy tweet from the Arizona Coyotes wishing war hero and distinguished statesman John McCain well in his battle with brain cancer.
*Players that are on AHL contracts will be allowed to participate in the Winter Olympics this season. While the loss of NHL participation would be a difficult blow to the Olympics and fans, part of me is happy that some of these AHL guys will get to experience playing for their country when they might not have been able to otherwise.
*For something completely different: Paul Pierce sees some very good things with first-round pick Jayson Tatum, but he’ll need to see “killer instinct” from the Celtics rookie for him to live up to the Pierce comparisons.