Bass needs to return to double-digit scoring form

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Bass needs to return to double-digit scoring form

ATLANTA This is what happens when you have a season like the one Brandon Bass has had for the Boston Celtics.

This town is big on tradition, obviously.

So if you go a full season notching double-figure scoring night after double-figure scoring night the way Bass did, guess what?

You're expected to continue doing that and then some when the playoffs arrive.

Bass has appeared in 59 regular season games, tallying double-figure points 44 times.

Only Paul Pierce (56) and Kevin Garnett (54) have more games with 10 or more points scored than Bass.

Right now, Bass has failed to reach double figures scoring in four straight games the longest single-digit scoring stretch he's had as a Celtic.

Worried? Concerned? Frustrated?

None of the above, says Bass.

"It's not frustrating," Bass told CSNNE.com. "It's time for me to make my adjustments. It's just a game. I just have to make mine, and we'll go from there."

Bass said the Hawks have done a lot of switching on pick-and-rolls which has cut down on the number of open looks he's used to getting.

Head coach Doc Rivers believes Bass' recent struggles are two-fold.

"His mind is alive, which is never good," Rivers told CSNNE.com. "He's just gotta play. We showed him (video) . . . he's open. He's pump-faking; just shoot it."

Bass scored eight points in each of the first two playoff games, which extended his streak of single-digit scoring games to four in a row.

He'll be the first to tell you that he has to bring more to the game, even if it's not necessarily as a scorer.

"I just have to find a way to get more involved in the game earlier," Bass said. "Blocking shots or something, rebounding, get everybody else involved if they're going to try and take me out of scoring."

Rivers also believes that Bass' struggles at times have to do with not having Rajon Rondo on the floor.

"Not having Rondo does a lot of things," Rivers said. "The single guy it affects the most is Brandon, by far. Because Rondo's the guy that makes the passes on the picks and pops (to Bass). And Brandon has struggled in the games that Rondo hasn't played in."

However, the numbers show that Bass' play isn't all that off the mark in games in which Rondo isn't playing.

Of the 14 games Rondo has missed this season, Bass has played in 12 of them.

In those 12 games, he has averaged 12.5 points per game.

This season?

Bass averaged 12.5 points per game.

And as far as him shooting the ball, Bass has shot 47.7 percent without Rondo, and 47.9 percent with him.

With or without Rondo, the facts remain the same.

Bass needs to play better and bring the same kind of consistent mid-range shooting touch to the playoffs that he displayed during most of the regular season.

"I'm not worried about it," Bass said. "Like I said, they've made adjustments to my game. Now it's my turn to do the same."

Stars, studs and duds: Celtics put on defensive clinic in second half

Stars, studs and duds: Celtics put on defensive clinic in second half

This season the Boston Celtics have shown flashes for a few minutes here and there that they were an elite team defensively. 
 
But what they did in the second half to the Orlando?
 
Boston (13-9) put on a defensive clinic that overwhelmed the Magic on every level imaginable as the Celtics cruised to a 117-87 thumping of Orlando.
 
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens has been even-keeled when it comes to discussing his team’s play, win or lose. 
 
But even he couldn’t contain how pleased he was to see the way his players defended in the third and fourth quarters. 
 
“On defense, the second half was as good as we’ve guarded all year,” Stevens told reporters afterwards. “Really focused, really urgent. I felt good about that.”
 
Setting the tone for the Celtics was Avery Bradley who certainly was impressive with his scoring. 
 
But as much as he knew the team would need a boost offensively with Isaiah Thomas (right groin) out, that wasn’t his approach to the game. 
 
“I had a defensive mindset coming into tonight’s game,” Bradley told CSN’s Abby Chin following the win. “Just trying to get my teammates to playing the right way so we could come out and get the ‘W’ tonight. I’m happy with how all the guys played. We all played hard, and we played as a team.”
 
Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Wednesday night’s game.
 

STARS
 
Avery Bradley

Bradley picked up the scoring with Isaiah Thomas (right groin) out for Wednesday, leading the team with a game-high 23 points to go with four rebounds and three assists.
 
 
STUDS

Jaylen Brown

Arguably the biggest spark off the bench for Boston, Brown had one of his best games as a Celtic. He finished with 13 points which included a dunk over Nikola Vucevic that quieted the Amway Center crowd and just as important, provided a nice energy boost for Boston.
 
D.J. Augustin

He had the hot hand at the end of the second quarter, but was a non-factor in the second half as Augustin finished with 15 points – all of which came in the first half. 
 
Terry Rozier

This was a great confidence-booster for Rozier as well as his teammates to see him have a big game and make the most of his increased opportunity to play. He finished with a career-high 16 points off the Celtics bench on 6-for-13 shooting with five rebounds.
 
Nikola Vucevic

It doesn’t matter if he starts or comes off the bench. Vucevic is always a double-double threat on the floor. He finished with 12 points off the bench along with 10 rebounds for his 13th double-double this season. 
 

DUDS
 
Orlando second half defense

The Celtics got pretty much whatever they wanted, when they wanted it in the second half against the Magic defense which pulled a major disappearing act. Boston shot 61 percent from the field in the second half, and 45.4 percent from 3-point range.