Rivers Claims Bass Played a 'Perfect Game'

NEW YORK – Brandon Bass scored only four points during Game 1 against the Knicks, but Doc Rivers still believes that his starting power forward played the “perfect game.”

Yes, you read that correctly: the perfect game.

Bass, Melo

Doc Rivers was very pleased with the way Brandon Bass defended Carmelo Anthony during Game 1.
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images

“I really thought of all of our guys he played the perfect game for us.,” Rivers stated.

Many people would be quick to base Bass’ play simply off of his scoring total in the box score. That shouldn’t be the case, because he provides a lot more than scoring to this Celtics team. When you look past the scoring column, that’s when you’ll find all of the good that Bass brought to the table.

Although he scored just four points, he made both of his shot attempts from the field. He also led the game in rebounding with 10 boards and was the only Celtics starter who didn’t commit a turnover (the other four starters combined for 19 turnovers).

Rivers is part of a basketball operations group that puts a high value on numbers. You won’t find a day in the year in which Rivers wouldn’t be happy with those numbers from Bass. However, in this instance, numbers don’t tell the whole story about how well Bass played. Rivers also noted what No. 30 provided in areas that aren’t tallied on a stat sheet.

“I thought defensively he guarded Melo (Carmelo Anthony) well,” said Rivers. “He took shots when he should have. He moved the ball a lot, because they were coming (at him). I don’t see anything that he did wrong.”

Kevin Garnett didn’t, either. On Monday, KG spoke about all of the different things Bass brings to the table and concurred with Rivers’ statement that Bass’ impact cannot be judged solely by a box score.

“He’s like glue, man,” Garnett said. “He does the small things that you don’t really see on the stat sheet. Big part of our team.”

Bass was one of the only Celtics who brought the goods at both ends of the court on Saturday. He made life difficult on Anthony when the two were matched up and Bass also made good decisions on offense. He did not seek shots or force the issue, which is a trait many people associate with the eighth-year pro.

The reason Bass finished with only four points and two shot attempts was because the rest of the team’s offense was out of whack. Rivers has spoken for three days now about how terrible the team’s offensive spacing was on Saturday. In order for Bass, who relies heavily on his jump shot, to succeed, the team must space the floor well.

You can bet confidently that Bass will finish with far more than two shot attempts if Boston showcases great spacing on Tuesday night. Great spacing will lead to open shots, which Bass loves cashing in on more than any other Celtic.

“If he gets them, he’ll take them,” Rivers stated with a smile. “You don’t have to worry about Brandon not taking his shot, that’s a fact.”

That being said, there is no guarantee that Bass will get more looks at the basket during Game 2. The Celtics hope that he does, because that would mean that their offense has returned to its typical self.

If Bass happens to finish Game 2 with only four points and two field goal attempts, don’t jump on him too quickly. Appreciate everything else he provided, because he may have played the perfect game.