No matter how much we want to make it all about Pierce, Garnett and Rondo we can't discount the importance of the role players. During the preseason, there were rumblings of whether or not Brandon Bass or Jared Sullinger should start.
Three games into this banner chase, it is plain to see that Sully is the better fit with the starters. This isn't an indictment on Bass' skills, but a testimony to the high basket IQ of the rookie. Bass is an excellent offensive player. His mid-range jumper is automatic and a thing of beauty. Unfortunately Brandon does not have the nose for rebounding or the ability to recognize where or when to pass the ball.
Bass is our modern day version of the 'black-hole,' a la Kevin McHale. This is an interesting dynamic. On the surface, it seems like Bass, should have the position on lock-down if only because of his experience from last year.
But this isn't about incumbency, it is about what group of players work well on the court. If it's offensive potency you want to start the game, Bass is your man. However, if you are looking for the intangibles such as rebounding, setting an effective screen and not needing a play ran for you; Jared Sullinger is your man.
In Boston's lone win in this young season, Sully managed to garner 7 rebounds and showed that with more playing time he can correct his mistakes. He has been the focal point of every defensive scheme every step of his pre-NBA journey. This gives him a decided advantage over Brandon, because he is use to making decisions with the ball in his hands.
There is also something that I want to bring up that may pave the way for Bass being traded possibly for Atlanta's Josh Smith. We all remember how Rondo brought his crew to Cali in September. It was rumored that Josh Smith was part of this cumbaya session.
No one thought anything of it at the time, but the whispering in this blogs shout-box has shown Josh to the C's maybe a possibility. The question is, do we have enough to make it work? I believe that a combination of Bass and if possible C-Lee and a draft pick should get it done.
This may not happen until the trading deadline, but I have a sneaking suspicion, that Rondo, and KG would welcome that trade. If only because it would inject a modicum of athleticism to the starting unit and justify keeping Sullinger on the bench. if this happens, J-Smoove will get the guidance he needs from KG to become that perennial all-star that seems to escape him in spite of his numbers.
So, until this scenario becomes a reality, Bass should go back to being what he is. An above-average mid-range shooter that provides the bench with the scoring punch it needs.