Fishing for Bass

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Fishing for Bass

After last night, it's silly to bring any sort of pessimism to the Celtics table.

They played their best game in nearly a month. Why not just shut up and enjoy?

And that's what we've done for most of the day, but before I close up shop (remember, I'm retiring tomorrow), there's one concern that's worth mentioning.

Brandon Bass.

Actually, "concern" is too strong of a word at this point. But there's no question that since the playoffs began, Bass has yet to live up to the reliable standard he's set for himself.

The stats tell one story:

Regular Season: 31.7 minutes, 12.5 points, 6.2 rebounds and shooting .479 in the field.

Playoffs: 31 minutes, 8.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and shooting .414 from the field

But more than that, Bass just hasn't been present. Do you have any real memories of No. 30 from the first four games of this series? Is there one play, jumper, rebound or defensive stop that sticks out in your mind?

I've got nothing. I know he's scored. I know he's rebounded. I know he's played some great team defensive, but he just hasn't been a factor. And this is a guy who's spent the last six month playing that reliable role for the C's. We've spent the last six months celebrating him for that. For being the rock that Big Baby never could be.

But if there's one thing about Davis, it's that (aside from his last year in Boston) he always steps up when the lights are brightest. The playoff are his time. And again, this season, he's averaging 20 points and 9.5 boards through the Magic's four postseason games.

The Celtics don't need that from Bass. All they need is what he's given (12-14 points, 6-8 boards, .01-.06 assists a night.) Game 5 would be a good time to start delivering.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

McDaniels: 'Wouldn't surprise me' if Belichick coached into his 70s

McDaniels: 'Wouldn't surprise me' if Belichick coached into his 70s

When will Bill Belichick retire? The Patriots coach is 64 years old, and he's been on record saying that he won't be coaching into his 70s like former Bills head coach Marv Levy. But it sure seems like Belichick has plenty of energy to stay at the job for some time, and the results, you may have noticed, have been pretty good. 

MORE FROM McDANIELS: 'Don't know' who'll play quarterback Sunday

Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels joined WEEI's Kirk and Callahan Show on Monday morning, and he was asked about how much longer his boss might work. Would McDaniels be surprised if Belichick coached into his 70s despite what he said on NFL Network's A Football Life documentary back in 2009?

"It wouldn't surprise me," McDaniels said. "I know Bill loves football. His drive and his passion for the game and to try to do everything we can to prepare our team to win each week, I haven't seen one change in it. It's a great privilege to coach for him. He certainly kind of sets the tone for us. I don't see any difference in that since when I first started here. I look forward to coaching for him for as long as he'll let me."

Some have speculated that McDaniels could be the next head coach of the Patriots whenever Belichick decides to hang up his whistle. The 40-year-old has been up for head coaching positions since he's returned for his second stint in New England, but he's still with the organization that gave him his first NFL job in 2001. 

McDaniels, who left to be the head coach of the Broncos in 2009 and 2010, was asked if he values the offensive coordinator job with the Patriots more than a head coaching opportunity that might not be the perfect fit.

"I love where I'm at," McDaniels said. "I've said before I think we all have aspirations to grow and get better and improve and potentially move up and what have you. Who knows? Maybe that day happens, maybe it doesn't. But I know this: I'm really thankful to have the opprtunity that I have to coach the players we have here and to work underneath Bill and Robert [Kraft] and the Kraft family. It's a privilege here. I feel like I have one of the best jobs in the world. Just thankful that I have an opportunity to come here and do it each week."

Pierce to play one more season with Clippers, then retire

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Pierce to play one more season with Clippers, then retire

It's official: Paul Pierce will play one more season -- but only one more season -- in the NBA.

The former Celtics star announced today in a video post on The Players Tribune site that he will return to the Clippers in 2016-17, then will retire at the end of the year.

"[I’ve] got one more ride left," said Pierce. "One more season. One more opportunity . . . With the Clippers, in the city where I grew up, I feel like I have that opportunity on a great team. We’re hungry. We want to win a championship."