Bass overcomes dislocated finger to help C's to victory

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Bass overcomes dislocated finger to help C's to victory

CHICAGO Although he won't admit it, the best thing for Brandon Bass on Monday night might have been suffering a dislocated right ring finger.

It allowed him to focus his mind on something other than his play, which seemed to be just what both he and the Celtics needed in Monday's 101-95 win over Chicago.

Boston delivered what was as close as a team victory as they've had this season. But there was no mistaking the impact made by Bass, who finished with 16 points on 5-for-6 shooting, five rebounds, three assists and a pair of blocked shots.

And those numbers don't even begin to account for what he provided the C's in terms of his defense.

He has had bigger games scoring the ball and rebounding-wise since he has been in Boston. But Monday's performance was about as a complete a game as the Celtics have had from him since he's been a member of the Green team.

And to think that it came on a night in which he had to overcome playing with a injury to one of his fingers on his shooting hand, too.

"It probably made me stop thinking about my game so much," Bass said. "Just thinking about going out there helping the team anyway."

Did he ever.

"That's the Brandon we need every night," said C's coach Doc Rivers. "I told him, 'it doesn't matter if his shot is going in or not. When you play with that intensity defensively, good things are always going to happen.'"

That's why Rivers was especially pleased that the play that pretty much sealed the Celtics victory was a dunk by Bass with 22.4 seconds to play which put the C's ahead 99-93.

"He was rewarded for his effort," Rivers said.

Bass has repeatedly said that expanding his game to be more than just a pick-and-pop scorer was a priority this summer.

"I just feel I have to, defensively," Bass said. "This team, before I got here, when you came to Boston you worried about them defensively. You worried about them offensively. I just wanted to do my part, and do it to the best of my ability."

His efforts, both in terms of his play and how he fought through the dislocation of his right ring finger to keep playing, did not go unnoticed by his teammates.

"That was just another test," said Boston's Jason Terry. "Throughout the course of a season and a game, there's going to be situations ... are you going to man up, and tough it up, and fight through it? And Brandon showed tonight that he is obviously one of the toughest players on this team."

Kevin Garnett also viewed Bass' play as being instrumental in the Celtics (4-3) moving past the .500 mark for the first time this season.

"B.B. played well tonight," Garnett said. "From an energy standpoint, I thought we followed his lead tonight. Not just that, but I thought his defense fueled his offense. I'm happy for him."

Clayborn beats out Seymour, Vrabel to enter Patriots Hall of Fame

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Clayborn beats out Seymour, Vrabel to enter Patriots Hall of Fame

Raymond Clayborn has been voted into the Patriots Hall of Fame, beating out both Mike Vrabel and Richard Seymour for the honor. The corner, who is tied for the franchise record for interceptions with Ty Law (36), will be the 26th person inducted to the Hall. 

Clayborn was a three-time Pro Bowler (1983, 1985, 1986) during his 13-year Patriots career from 1977 through 1989. He was drafted by the Patriots in the first round (16th overall) out of Texas in 1977, and chipped in both in the secondary and as a kick returner. As a rookie in the return game, he averaged 31 yards per return and brought back three for touchdowns. 

Clayborn reacted to the news on Twitter soon after the announcement was made. 

"I was fortunate to be a season ticket holder during Raymond's entire Patriots career," Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft said in a statement. "For the first half of his career, he teamed with Michael Haynes to form one of the best corner tandems in league history. Throughout his career, Raymond was a physical, shutdown corner.

"One of my favorite memories was watching the 1985 team advance to the Super Bowl after Raymond helped us break the Orange Bowl curse when he stymied future Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino with a dominant performance against Pro Bowl receivers Mark Duper and Mark Clayton. Raymond had six passes defensed and an interception to help us claim our first conference title. It was the greatest upset victory in franchise history at the time and one the entire New England region celebrated. It is a well-deserved honor and I look forward to presenting him his hall of fame jacket."

Clayborn has been a finalist for each of the last four years but was not able to generate enough support in the annual online vote to beat out Ty Law (2014 inductee), Willie McGinest (2015) or Kevin Faulk (2016). Clayborn was eligible to be voted in by the senior committee since he's now been retired for 25 years, but he did not receive the requisite eight of 10 senior committee votes to be elected in that way. 

As it turns out, he didn't need to be. When Kraft called Clayborn with the news, he said Clayborn received over 40 percent of the vote to beat out the pair of three-time Super Bowl champs.