Brandon Bass embraced the starting role, but he didn't want to receive it because of a someone else's misfortune.
Bass was moved back into the starting lineup after rookie Jared Sullinger underwent season-endinglumbar disc (back) surgeryon Friday. Sullinger had replaced Bass in the starting power forward spot the previous two contests, including Wednesday when he left the game with back spasms.
This isn't how Bass wanted to return to the starting lineup, though. He wanted to earn it.
"I don't want somebody going down to be the reason for something," he told CSNNE.com. "I just want to continue to build on what I'm doing."
Bass is averaging 7.5 point and 4.8 rebounds this season. He says the entire team will have to step up to fill the void Sullinger left behind, especially on the glass. The 20 year old was averaging 6.0 points, 5.9 rebounds, and was one of the Celtics most aggressive rebounders.
"Sully hit the boards hard," said Bass. "The past three weeks, he started to be a game changer as far as rebounding. That's what we'll miss, that's where everybody will have to continue to improve as far as being on the glass."
Now the Celtics are left to play through the absence of two of teammates. Rajon Rondo suffered a season-ending ACL injury last week.
"You want everybody to be healthy," said Bass. "So I just wish him (Sullinger) and Rondo a speedy recovery."
Jae Crowder praises what it's like to play for Brad Stevens, and how playing for him has rejuvenated him as a player.
WALTHAM, Mass. – NBA players are creatures of habit so you can understand why Al Horford was just a little bit out of his element on his first practice with the Boston Celtics.
After nine seasons with the Atlanta Hawks, Horford hit the free agent market this summer and signed a four-year, $113 million with the Celtics.
Horford acknowledged that his first practice with the Celtics “was a little different” but added, “It’s definitely a weird feeling, but it feels right to be here.”
Players, coaches, national pundits, the list is seemingly endless when it comes to folks who believe Horford is an ideal fit with the Boston Celtics.
“He can do score in the paint, shoot 3s, defend, pass, he can do it all out there,” Amir Johnson told CSNNE.com. “He’s going to fit in well with us.”
But like any rookie or newcomer to a team, Horford admitted he had some moments when he was a step or two late getting to where he needed to be on the floor.
“We’re running through a lot of plays, a lot of concepts being thrown out,” Horford said. “It’s a matter of getting comfortable with all the sets.”
As much as he will work to figure things out, Horford is wise enough to know he’ll need the help of his new teammates, too.
“I’m going to lean on a lot of the guys,” Horford said. “I’ll definitely ask a lot of questions. Avery (Bradley) already has gotten in my ear, anything I need he’s there for me. I just want to get acclimated as fast as I can.”
Horford also said that head coach Brad Stevens has been extremely helpful in assisting him in speeding up his learning curve.
“Coach (Stevens) is very sharp, very . . . he explains things well,” Horford said. “He explains things well. He wants practice to move along. The pace of practice, definitely a faster pace.”
But you won’t find Horford complaining.
Horford is clearly excited about starting this new chapter in his basketball career.
“For me it’s more of a relief, finally being here in Boston, house, being settled,” Horford said. “Now we can just focus on the season.”