Bass ready to go to work on his game this summer

Bass ready to go to work on his game this summer
May 14, 2013, 3:15 pm
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(USA Today Sports Images)

BOSTON — Iron Man 3. The Great Gatsby. Star Trek into Darkness.

Brandon Bass may check out all three blockbuster flicks this summer.

But the video he's really looking forward to seeing is one of himself, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of 2012-2013: The Brandon Bass Edition.

"I think everybody likes to see highlights of themselves," said Bass, who made it clear that he plans to pay close attention to what he did not do well this past season. "For me, being that I am a worker, that's what I do. I dedicate my life to the game in the summer. So I have to watch my mistakes and improve on them."

Bass averaged 8.7 points per game last season, down from 12.5 the previous year. In fact, his numbers in just about every statistical category were down from the 2011-2012 season.

Part of that had to do with him struggling to adapt to a role that was different than it was a year earlier, in addition to the emergence of rookie big man Jared Sullinger whose presence cut into his minutes as well.

But down the stretch, Bass seemed to assert himself in a familiar role as a scorer. In the month of April, he averaged 13.9 points and 5.8 rebounds while shooting 57.3 percent from the field -- all significantly better than his season averages in those respective categories.

However once the playoffs arrived, it was Bass' play defensively that turned heads.

Several players stepped up as the Celtics avoided a playoff sweep with a 97-90 Game 4 overtime win against New York. In that game, Knicks All-Star Carmelo Anthony had a game-high 36 points. But Bass' defense limited him to shooting 10-for-35 from the field.

"(Bass) was the star of the game as far as I'm concerned," Celtics head coach Doc Rivers said after the win. "He just defended, and did it over and over and over again."

Bass' teammates had similar comments after the game.

"We won (Game 4) because of Brandon," said Celtics guard Avery Bradley who was recently named to the All-NBA Defensive second team. "All credit to Brandon. He played great defense."

Said Bass: "That was cool to show that I could defend multiple positions. Hopefully next year it'll lead to us advancing to the next round."

By no means is Bass considered a defensive stopper against those players, of course. But his ability to make players like Anthony work a little harder than usual showcased his versatility as a defender, something he hopes to build on next season.

"I would say I just played my role to the best of my ability," Bass said. "From last year to this year, my role changed. It has a lot to do with how I played, how I started the season. But the plan is to go back home, rest up and come back better."

And unlike last summer, Bass doesn't have to worry as much about his future. Following the 2012 season, Bass opted out of the final year of his contract and became a free agent. While he listened to some other teams besides Boston, Bass said at the time he opted out that his intent was to re-sign a longer team deal with the C's.

In July of last year, he signed a three-year, $19.3 million contract with the C's. While that did provide him with some job security, that doesn't necessarily mean he'll stay in Boston.

This past season was a disappointment on many levels for the Celtics. Bass knows it. He also knows that president of basketball operations Danny Ainge will use whatever assets he has at his disposal to make the Celtics a better team.

"For me, I'm just going to be prepared for any and everything and I will be prepared for any and everything," Bass said. "Whatever role that I play next year, I'll be great. I want to be great in that role, whatever it is. This year it started off rough. But (it's) like that sometimes, that's life as well."