Bass making strides on defensive end


Bass making strides on defensive end

BOSTON Brandon Bass came to Boston with a well-earned reputation for doing many things well - being a good defender wasn't one of them.

Don't expect Bass to get any votes for a spot on the NBA's all-defensive team this year.

But there's little doubt that his much-improved play defensively has been among the reasons for Boston's improved play coming out of the all-star break.

He came into Tuesday's game having tallied a career-high four blocked shots in Boston's overtime win against the New York Knicks on Sunday.

With Jermaine O'Neal (wrist) out with a wrist injury, Bass has been inserted in the starting lineup.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Bass' improved play defensively has indeed been aided by being surrounded by the likes of Kevin Garnett.

"I didn't put Kevin at the 5 (center) and Brandon at the 4 (power forward) to make Brandon a better defensive player," Rivers said. "But it has because playing more minutes with Kevin has helped him."

More than anything, Bass' pride has driven him to step his game up defensively.

He's in the starting lineup with a foursome that have won an NBA title, so they've already proven what they can do in terms of helping the C's be successful.

"If I didn't step up, I'd be like the weak link," Bass told "I have a lot pride; it starts with that, pride. If you got pride, and are a willing defender, and you could be a great defender. I'm trying to get better everyday defensively, and still help where I can on offense."

Bass' improved play defensively hasn't been a smooth progression.

As tough as Rivers can be on his players when it comes to defense, the Big Four he says, are even tougher.

"If you're not doing what you're supposed to do, you're probably going to hear it from one of the four," Rivers said. "And I think that has been very good for Brandon."

Brown apologizes for 'distraction' caused by Facebook Live video

Brown apologizes for 'distraction' caused by Facebook Live video

Pittsburgh Steelers wideout Antonio Brown posted an apology on social media Tuesday night for his Facebook Live video that has caused a stir over the last few days.

"I let my emotions and genuine excitement get the best of me, and I wanted to share that moment with our fans," said Brown in a statement on his Twitter. ""It was wrong of me to do, against team and NFL policy, and I have apologized to Coach Tomlin and my teammates for my actions.

"I'm sorry to them for letting it become a distraction and something that they've had to answer questions about while we're preparing for a big game on Sunday."

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said on Tuesday that he has “absolutely no worries on the video's effect" on Sunday's game against the Patriots, but it was "selfish and inconsiderate" of his star wide receiver.

Brown could still be fined for violating the league's social-media policy. The policy states that players, coaches and football operations personnel are banned from using social media on game days 90 minutes before kickoff, during games, and before "traditional media interviews."

Koppen: Antonio Brown should know locker room isn’t time for Facebook posts

Koppen: Antonio Brown should know locker room isn’t time for Facebook posts

Former NFL player Dan Koppen says the team locker room after a win is a sacred place and that Steelers WR Antonio Brown should know not to be posting on Facebook.