'No Pass' Bass eager to assist

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Celtics forward Brandon Bass likes to dish the rock as well.BOSTON -- With a two-handed, rim-rattling dunk, Boston big man Brandon Bass slammed the door on the Celtics’ 100-92 victory over the Washington Wizards Monday night. But it was a rare assist on a Rajon Rondo layup late in the fourth quarter -- just Bass’ second assist of the season -- that had Bass excited after the game.

“It feels like getting a dunk -- getting an assist for me –- because it rarely happens,” Bass said. “Usually I’m getting set up. Rondo is setting everybody else up, all the playmakers out on the floor are setting other people up. But I’m really excited.

“Somebody told me that one of my nicknames is 'No Pass Bass.' I want to continue to get set up by Rondo, but I want to be able to set other people up as well, you know? Return the favor.”

No Pass Bass has done more than return the favor so far this season. In fact, averaging 13.8 points per game, Bass has been one of the team’s most consistent and productive players through six games, certainly Boston’s top reserve.

On Monday, in just more than 31 minutes off the bench, Bass added 14 points (7-of-13 shooting) and six rebounds to his season totals. In addition to a couple of dunks -- all of the two-handed variety -- Bass was certifiably deadly from 15 feet, his soft, arcing jumper becoming more and more familiar to Celtics fans who are quickly forgetting about Glen Davis (the childhood friends were swapped in a sign-and-trade deal with the Magic at the start of the offseason).

“I've got confidence that I’m going to work on [my jumper] and work on it every day,” Bass said. “And, hopefully, when I need to make them, I make them.”

He’s been making them thus far, and, on Monday, coach Doc Rivers rewarded Bass with another chance to close out the game alongside Boston’s Big Four of Rondo, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett.

“That’s a good lineup,” Rivers said. “I love that lineup. That’s what we finished with because there are shooters galore, and it makes Rondo very productive because there’s nowhere to help.”

Said Bass: “Man, it’s great. [Before I got to Boston] I watched these guys, I was a fan of them, I enjoyed the way they played, I liked their chemistry. I’m just grateful to be a part of this team, part of this group.”

Garnett said the feeling is mutual.

“Brandon's played on some other teams with immense talent and our team is no different than that,” Garnett said. “I think the difference in our team and any other team he's played on is the way we've embraced him here. We've embraced him as one of us.”

Asked whether he’s been surprised by Bass’ dynamic, high-energy play, Rivers said, “No. The one thing we knew we were getting was energy. And we also knew we were getting a guy who could make shots. It’s amazing how many times -- we were talking about it [Sunday] night -- it’s funny, we won the game, we had the lead the whole game. But there were several times it was an 8-point game, it was a low shot clock, and they swung to Brandon and he makes the shot. And that’s what’s going on now. So we knew he could do that. His energy’s been great.”

There are a few things Bass still needs to improve on, Rivers said -- fully understanding the team’s defensive schemes is one -- but if Bass can figure out the defense, while continuing to fill it up offensively like he has, the big Baton Rouge native might simply need a new nickname.

The Bassmaster, perhaps?