|Photo: Jim Davis (Boston Globe)
Brandon Bass gave reporters a piece of his mind on Monday, over the Celtics' potential and how he believes they can succeed in the Eastern Conference.
The Eastern Conference isn't as strong as it used to be. Teams like Milwaukee, Brooklyn and Miami are all under .500 teams but currently hold a playoff spot. Unlike the Western Conference, where a team that has a .500 record will always be outside of the playoff picture.
Bass believes the way the East is built works in Boston's favor and that his team should be able to consistently win games.
"We have enough talent in there to win every night," Bass told reporters Monday. "Look at the league a minute. The best teams in the league -- Atlanta is No. 2 and I don't even know who is No. 1, but they're beatable, too. There were times in the East where, if you were a bad team, you were a bad team. And the team that was No. 1 and 2, you were like 'Man, it's going to be tough trying to beat those guys.' But that ain't the case here, in the East, at least I feel that way." [ESPN Boston]Bass, who's playing time has diminished this season, especially after Rajon Rondo was traded to Dallas, isn't worried about how much time he gets on the floor. His only concern is how hard he works, and what he can do to make his team better.
"It ain't my job to take it no kind of way," Bass said. "My job is to work with what we have. That's what I do. It's sad to see Rondo leave, but at the end of the day, it's a business. Every year here somebody left. You've got to work with what you've got. I am a firm believer in that, I don't believe in looking for no people to come join a team -- I ain't looking and searching for a team to go to win a championship. That's not who I am. I'm into working with what we've got and making the best of it." [ESPN Boston]Since the Rondo trade, Bass is averaging 10.5 minutes per game. Newcomers Brendan Wright and Jae Crowder, two of three players who were traded from Dallas, add depth to what was already a crowded Celtics frontcourt. Crowder is averaging 12.3 and Wright is averaging 10.8 minutes.
Bass, who is playing in his fourth season with the Celtics, is a veteran who's an everyday player in the NBA but is on a rebuilding squad. Rebuilding teams in the NBA generally focus on developing their younger players.
Players like Tyler Zeller, Jared Sullinger, and Kelly Olynyk have earned their minutes this season. And so has Bass, but until Celtics coach Stevens can figure out who between Crowder and Wright fits best in his system, Bass will have to share his minutes with two of his newest teammates.
Coach Stevens is in a tough spot. He has the tough task of splitting time between his players, while waiting for Danny Ainge and company to make their next move. This Celtics roster won't look the same by the February trading deadline, Celtics could make a trade within the next three to four weeks, but he will have to do the best he can until then.
Due to his expiring contract, there is a good chance Bass is dealt this season. No one knows where to but if he is not in Boston's future plans, he's not going to see more playing time. Celtics fans would rather see Olynyk, Sullinger, and Zeller continue to develop. And if Wright is also someone who will be dealt, expect him to keep playing so that the Celtics can showcase him to increase interest from other teams seeking a back up big man.
Developing younger players is now the top priority for this Celtics team, this season is not about making the playoffs, and if they win games along the way, that's just a bonus.