Bass' hard work paying off in sixth man role

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Bass' hard work paying off in sixth man role

BOSTON -- Brandon Bass turned heads when he scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in his debut with the Boston Celtics.

In the short time since then, he has established himself as a reliable contributor off the bench who can not only score, but also exemplify the Celtics foundation of defense.

On Wednesday night, in just the seventh game of the season, Bass recorded his second double-double with 15 points and a career-high tying 13 rebounds in a win against the New Jersey Nets.

There is no doubt Bass is fitting in with the Celtics. After being traded from the Orlando Magic in the deal for Glen Davis, his teammates and coaches are happy to have him around.

Brandons efficient, said Kevin Garnett after the Celtics 89-70 victory. He knows his game, he doesnt come out of that. Hes playing with a group of guys who are rooting for him and I dont think hes ever been rooted for like this. We sort of parade each other, we praise each other, but at the same time we push each other and hes no different from that. Hes falling right in to being a Celtic.

Garnett is one of the players who can benefit directly from Basss presence. Bass allows for him to take a breather while hes on the court. He also gives the Celtics a different look at the four spot -- a power forward who can both shoot a jumper and drive to the basket.

Its rare you can come out of a timeout and run a pick-and-roll for a pop for the big, said Doc Rivers. Its actually an iso for him to take someone off the dribble. Thats just nice to have. I dont think Ive ever had that.

Whether its scoring or playing defense, Bass has accepted his sixth man-type role on the Celtics. He talks of energy and bringing it each game. With that comes continuing the hard work the Celtics are seeing pay off on the court.

Before the season really kicked off I was doing two-a-days, coming back, getting extra shots up, and conditioning, Bass told CSNNE.com. Now on game days Im doing two-a-days, kind of like after our walkthroughs I put some shots up.

But thats what got me here, just hard work, consistency, and determination. Thats what got me here so Im going to continue to do that the rest of my career.

WATCH: Celtics vs. Raptors

WATCH: Celtics vs. Raptors

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Celtics-Raptors preview: DeRozan, Lowry a challenge for Bradley, C's

Celtics-Raptors preview: DeRozan, Lowry a challenge for Bradley, C's

BOSTON – Avery Bradley doesn’t mind being a standout, but this is probably not what he had in mind. 

Injuries have ravaged the Boston Celtics’ starting five to the point where only one player, Bradley, has been with the first unit in all 22 games this season. 

Just like Bradley was looked upon to step his game up in the absence of Isaiah Thomas (right groin) at Orlando on Wednesday, he will once again be challenged to lead Boston (13-9) to victory tonight when the Thomas-less Celtics face the Toronto Raptors. 

Bradley’s emergence as a two-way talent this season has overshadowed at times what has been another season of elite play defensively. 

And he’ll need to be on top of his defensive game tonight against a Raptors All-Star backcourt of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. 

Both Lowry and DeRozan present a different kind of challenge for Bradley who will spend time defending each of them at various points during the game. 

Lowry has good size, strength and deceptive quickness in addition to an under-rated perimeter game that will keep Bradley on his toes for sure. 

This season he's averaging 20.8 points, 4.9 rebounds and a career-high 7.6 assists while shooting 42.9 percent on 3's which is also a career mark. 

And DeRozan is having the kind of season that might get him a few league MVP votes. 

His 28.0 points per game ranks fifth in the NBA, but making his numbers even more impressive is that unlike most guards DeRozan doesn’t generate much offense from three-pointers.

DeRozan averages 1.8 three-point attempts per game which is the fewest attempts among any player ranked among the league’s top-25 scorers.

The 6-foot-7 All-Star is the master of the mid-range game which accounts for 31.5 percent of the points he scores. And when he’s not shooting the mid-range, he’s working a defender in one-on-one iso-situations. 

That helps explain why 76.4 percent of his two-point made field goals are unassisted. 

But here’s the thing about Bradley. 

As much as we give him props for what he does defensively, it’s his offense that has put him on the map as a potential All-Star this season. 

Bradley is averaging a career-high 17.9 points while shooting 47.2 percent from the field. He’s also averaging a career-high 7.8 rebounds per game in addition to shooting a career-high 40.7 percent on 3's.

But for Bradley, individual accolades are only going to come his way by the Celtics winning games; preferably against above-average teams like the Toronto Raptors.

And that would make both Bradley and the Celtics stand out this season.