Brandon Bass has one of the more unusual jumpshots in the NBA. Not for his release, but for the split-legged landing he finishes with at times.
That landing, in which Bass looks as if he is lunging, is not intentionally part of his formation. It is often the end result of a shot-gone-wrong.
When I land a certain way, you know what that means? That means Im trying to put everything into my shot, he explained. If you see me land different, like if Im landing and I split like this, it means I didnt put enough legs into it so Im trying to put whatever else is left into it. If Ive got good legs, you wont see me come up and down. But if Im landing splitting or some type of funny way, I didnt put enough legs into my shot.
Bass plays the majority of his defense with his upper body, leaving his legs for offense. He says his offensive game is self-taught and he is comfortable with the shot he has developed. Tall for his age growing up, he played the center position in high school which required him to use his legs to score.
I used to have to try to jump over everybody to get my shot off, the 6-8 power forward explained. It translates for me shooting the close shots, trying to jump over people to me being out in the perimeter shooting the same way.
Bass conditions his legs by logging hours on the StairMaster and doing power cleans during workouts. He also does yoga for flexibility, which he credits for helping him bounce back from hyperextending his left knee during Wednesdays game against the Atlanta Hawks.
When it comes to his shot, he hits the gym either before practice or at night on an off day. On game days, Bass shoots until he makes 100 baskets.
It doesnt take a lot, he said, Like 125 (attempts).
This season Bass is averaging 12.3 points per game and shooting 48.0 percent from the field. He cites increased minutes on the court as a key to his success this season. After moving from the bench into the starting power forward role (Kevin Garnett shifted to center as a result of Jermaine ONeals season-ending wrist injury), Bass is averaging 31.5 minutes per game, up from 26.1 last season with the Orlando Magic.
Following an 0-for-6 shooting slump against the Indiana Pacers on April 7, he bounced back a day later to go 8-for-10 from the field (18 points) against the Philadelphia 76ers.
I just think I was so tired that day. I had done too much, he said. In Indiana, I did yoga the day before the game. That took a lot out of me. Then I went to the game I did a crazy workout, so I had no legs.
Aside from his 100 shots, Bass is cutting back on his game-day routine as of late I just think doing less before the game, I do better before the game, he said. Since Saturdays field goal-less performance, he is averaging 17.0 points over the last three games and shooting 62.9 percent from the field (22-for-35 FG). He is also averaging 38.0 minutes during that span, including 42 in Wednesdays overtime win.
The key for my shot is just repetition, he said. Some people, for instance, like (former Magic teammate) Ryan Anderson in Orlando, he doesnt work on his shot. He doesnt shoot. He could just wake up, sitting for a year, and just shoot. But certain people cant do that. Like Paul (Pierce), hes got one of those shots where he could just shoot.
I have to work on that.