Brandon Bass‘ second year in head coach Stan Van Gundy‘s system has seen a dramatic improvement in almost all phases of his game. However, the one aspect of Bass’ skill-set that’s seen a noticeable change has been his defense.
Team defense, that is.
In the video, keep a careful eye on Bass the entire time. It’s easy to overlook what Bass is doing on the defensive side of the ball because, let’s be frank, it’s harder to notice or quantify a player’s impact on defense. It’s Bass’ attention to detail that stands out the most when examining his improvements defensively.
For example, on the first possession, Bass does an excellent job of rotating on Amir Johnson as Dwight Howard provides a double-team on Jose Calderon along the baseline. When Howard is done double-teaming Calderon, he shifts back to Johnson and Bass sticks with his assignment — Andrea Bargnani. Or how about the fourth possession when Bass correctly shows on the Toronto Raptors’ pick and roll? Later in the sequence, Bass does get beat by Bargnani along the baseline but he lets Howard provide weak-side help to stop the play. That’s proper awareness.
Again, these are things that people won’t notice but someone does and that’s Van Gundy. That’s why Bass is getting more playing time.