Speaking on the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said that Brandon Bass is a notch above what the Celtics anticipated when they traded Glen Davis for the forward this offseason.
"It's what we expected, but it's probably a little bit better. It is better," Rivers said. "He's a better scorer than even I thought. I knew he could score and I knew he could really shoot the ball and that's one of the things we really targeted this summer. We thought we left a lot of shots on the floor last year. … We felt like we needed a guy who could make that shot most of the time."
Following the solid defensive performance of Avery Bradley in the Celtics' 89-70 win over the Nets Wednesday night, Rivers said that the point guard may be "the best" when it comes to on-the-ball defending against point guards.
"It's obviously a physical gift, but he also has the ability to stay in front of the ball, slide his feet, to beat the guy to spots and that's an IQ thing, and that's very good," the coach said. "That's what we saw right away out of Avery and now he's doing it without fouling. Last year in the little stretch he was doing it at times with fouling, but he's better offensively this year. He had a little stretch at the end of the second where he turned the ball over a couple of times in a row, and those are the things he has to get better at. I just think Avery is in a pretty good place mentally. He understands who he is and what we need from him, and I think that's a good place to be as a player.
"First of all, there's not a lot of guys who want to do it, and Avery wants to do it. So, that's good," Rivers added regarding Bradley's ability as a one-on-one defender against guards. Asked if the second-year player could be effective defensively as former Celtic Tony Allen, the coach said, "I think he could be. We'll see. He can do it on points. He still struggles with 2's, guys who come off of picks, the Ray Allens of the world."
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