Bass 'terrific' in season opener against Heat

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Bass 'terrific' in season opener against Heat

MIAMI If only every game for Brandon Bass could be like the first game of the season.
For the second year in row, the 6-foot-8 forward tallied a double-double in the Boston Celtics' season opener.
Last season, Bass had 20 points and 11 rebounds in his debut with the C's at New York. 
This year, he racked up 15 points and 11 rebounds in Tuesday's loss at Miami. 
"My whole thing this year is I want to be ready when Doc (Rivers) calls me," Bass said.
The one thing Bass is more than prepared for, is to enter a season having to prove himself.
No matter how accomplished Bass may be, validating his talent to others never gets old. 
He was the SEC player of the year as a sophomore at LSU in 2005, and yet wound up as a second round NBA draft pick that year.
As a pro, Bass blossomed two years ago in Orlando with career highs in just about every major statistical category. 
That wasn't enough as the Magic included Bass as part of a sign-and-trade with the Celtics in exchange for Glen 'Big Baby' Davis (also a former LSU standout). 
Bass' first season with the Celtics was yet another year in which Bass' play exceeded anything he had done previously, and the Celtics rewarded him with a lucrative three-year deal worth about 20 million.
He has arrived, right? 
Not quite. 
Bass now finds himself fighting off rookie Jared Sullinger for the starting job at power forward. 
He has maintained throughout training camp that he's not concerning himself with starting or anything like that. 
"I'm trying to do all I can to make my game better, and help this team win," said Bass, who got the stating nod against the Heat. "That's all I'm caring about now."
During the offseason, Bass said his focus coming into this year was to improve as a rebounder as well as his man-to-man defense.
"Man, you can't ever be too satisfied or too comfortable in this league," Bass said. "You always have to be thinking about how you can make your game better."
And his efforts at improving have not gone unnoticed. 
Celtics coach Doc Rivers pointed out Bass' play as being one of the more impressive performances in the season opener. 
"He was terrific," Rivers said. "Brandon had a great game. Hell, he should have played 40 minutes."
Bass said his success against the Heat had more to do with desire than anything else. 
"I was attacking the glass and just having that mindset, to go out there and defend and rebound," Bass said. "As far as rebounding, every night I have to attack."
As well as Bass played on Tuesday, he is well aware that Rivers might decide to start Jared Sullinger against Milwaukee on Friday in the C's home opener.
"I just want to play my role to the best of my ability," Bass said.

Blakely: Celtics made the right choice in not pursuing Cousins

Blakely: Celtics made the right choice in not pursuing Cousins

NEW ORLEANS -- There will be a significant faction of Celtics Nation who will see DeMarcus Cousins’ trade to New Orleans as a lost opportunity for the C's, who could have offered a much more enticing trade package than the one the Sacramento Kings accepted.
 
The Kings received nothing even remotely close to a king’s ransom for Cousins, acquiring him in exchange for rookie Buddy Hield, journeyman Langston Galloway and ex-Pelican Tyreke Evans (who has never been the same since his Rookie of the Year season in 2010), along with a protected first-round pick and a future second-round selection.

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While the knee-jerk reaction is to focus on why Boston decided to not pursue a trade for Cousins, more important is what the non-decision means for the moment and going forward.
 
Think about what the Celtics have done in the last three-plus seasons.
 
They went from being a lottery team to one that has the second-best record in the East. They're holding the potential No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming draft; at worst, the pick will be in the top four or five. They have three of the most team-friendly contracts (Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder) in the NBA. They have promising prospects overseas as well as in the D-League. And they're led by a coach who has improved his coaching acumen -- and the team’s win total -- every year he's been on the job.
 
And it's all enveloped by a culture with a high level of selflessness, which has created a locker-room environment that has been more about fighting for each other than fighting one another or others off the court.
 
Do you really think Cousins’ talent would have trumped the baggage he'd be bringing to the Celtics if they'd acquired him?
 
For him to have fit in with this team would have required him to make the kind of changes that, frankly, I just don’t see him being capable of making at this point.
 
On more than one occasion, “not fitting in” with the Celtics culture was given to me as the reason why a Cousins-to-Boston trade never gained any traction with the team’s brass. Or coaching staff, for that matter.
 
While there's no denying that he's arguably the best center in the NBA, Cousins is a high-risk, high-reward talent that makes sense to pursue if you're a franchise which has nothing to lose by adding him to the mix. Like, say, New Orleans.
 
The Pelicans are 11th in the Western Conference despite having Anthony Davis, who has been asked to carry the weight of a franchise that has yet to figure out the best combination of talent to surround him with and find success.
 
The addition of Cousins not only provides Davis some major help, but serves as a reminder of just how desperate the Pelicans are.
 
While there are mixed reports on whether the package of assets the Kings agreed to was the best they could have received for Cousins, there was no way they were going to get anything close to comparable talent in exchange for him.
 
And that was solely due to the risk that any team was willing to take on in order to acquire him.
 
At some point, the Celtics need to take advantage of an opportunity to go all-in for a superstar player. But this was not that time, or that player.