Bass: 'I would love to be back here'

789090.jpg

Bass: 'I would love to be back here'

MIAMI While so much of the talk following Boston's 101-88 season-ending loss to the Miami Heat centered around the Big Three's demise, there's another key player for the C's who will have to make some tough decisions this summer as well.

Brandon Bass is under contract for next season, but he can opt-out of his deal and become an unrestricted free agent.

That would open him up to a slew of teams that are likely to be willing to pay him more than the 4.25 million he's set to earn during the 2012-2013 season.

Just to get a feel on his market value, put it like this.

Former Celtic Glen 'Big Baby' Davis, who was traded to Orlando in exchange for Bass, inked a four-year, 25.7 million deal with the Magic.

You would be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn't believe Bass, at the very least, is worth the kind of money that Davis is hauling in.

The only thing Bass is sure about when it comes to next season, is that he wants to remain a Boston Celtic.

"I would love to be back here," said Bass, who had 16 points on Saturday. "For any player, this organization is the organization that you want to play for."

For most of the season, Bass was known primarily as a mid-range shooter who every now and then, could play with power going to the basket.

Both Bass and C's head coach Doc Rivers have talked about his growth throughout this season in becoming a more complete player.

Fans saw just how far Bass has come with the Celtics when he was asked to begin Game 7 guarding three-time league MVP LeBron James.

Even when Bass struggled earlier this season in grasping the Celtics defensive concepts, Rivers maintained through that time that Bass could hold his own as a one-on-one individual defender.

There's holding your own, and then there's holding your own against James.

Of course James still got his points on Saturday - 14 in the first half, 31 for the game - but the bulk of them in the first half came from the free throw line and most of the fouls committed where not by Bass.

Meanwhile, Bass did his part to match James point-for-point as he led the C's with 14 first-half points which was a big part of Boston's 53-46 halftime lead.

"They asked me to guard him," Bass said. "I was just going to go out there and give it all for my team. It didn't matter who I was guarding. I just wanted to give my best."

And if the C's have their way, Bass will get another opportunity to deliver his best next season in Boston.

"This group was like family," Bass said. "We had fights and ups and downs, but at the end of the day we all fought for each other. I'm just grateful to be a part of this group."

Celtics-Cavaliers preview: Game 5 is about respect for Boston

Celtics-Cavaliers preview: Game 5 is about respect for Boston

BOSTON – From the outset of this season, the Boston Celtics were swimming upstream when it came to getting respect. 

No matter how many wins they racked up, no matter how many upsets they managed to pull off, they were never going to do enough to satisfy the court of public opinion which wanted one thing and one thing only from the NBA: A third installment of Golden State against Cleveland in the NBA Finals. 

The Warriors did their part by running through the West with 12 wins in as many playoff games. 

Meanwhile, the Celtics will try to not just stave off elimination tonight, but continue to delay what so many believe is an inevitable Golden State-Cleveland Final.

Boston’s Al Horford understands that while the league this season has seen lots of individual success as well as teams that have overachieved, the thirst for Golden State versus Cleveland remains stronger than ever. 

“We understand that’s what everyone has been talking about since the beginning of the season,” Horford said. “For us it’s just to focus … and play the Celtic way. And just come out here and fight and we’ll take it from there.”

The Celtics did that in Game 3 with Avery Bradley delivering one of the more memorable shots in the Brad Stevens era, a game-winning three-pointer that hit the rim four times before falling with 0.1 seconds to play as Boston squeaked out a 111-108 win.

Boston did a lot of good things in Game 4 and seemingly went into the half sensing that maybe just maybe they would even up the series at two games heading back to Boston for tonight’s Game 5 matchup. 

But Kyrie Irving picked up the slack for a foul-plagued LeBron James, lifting the Cavaliers to a 112-99 win which puts them now just a win away from advancing to the NBA Finals. 

Not only have folks both in the media as well as fans who have rooted for this series to be over, even merchandise sellers like Dick Sporting Goods have anticipated this series as already being over.

“It is what it is,” said Boston’s Jae Crowder. “It’s been like that all year; a lot of guys counting us out. At the same time, we’re trying to put ourselves in position to win each and every game.”

While that has been the goal, it certainly hasn’t worked out that way in this series. 

Despite Games 1 and 2 being at the TD Garden, the Celtics lost both games by a total of 57 points. 

And while they won Game 3 and had the Cavaliers on the ropes in Game 4 before losing, they know their chance to play NBA Finals spoiler is just about up. 

“We know that’s the Finals that everybody wants to talk about, what everybody is looking forward to,” said Boston’s Marcus Smart. “We understand it. But we work just as hard as these guys. We just have to keep going out there and working. We’re not going to give it to them, and stuff like that. We just have to make it tough on them.”