With Kevin Garnett out, there's no security blanket for Brandon Bass and that's brought the best out of him over the last two weeks:
A sample of the featured story:
* BASS GROWS INTO ROLE: Over the past nine games, Bass is allowing a mere 0.684 points per play, according to Synergy data. To put that in perspective, that's an Avery Bradley-caliber number (for the season, Bradley has allowed 0.695 points per play, best in the NBA among those with at least 400 plays defended). Bass already was eighth on that list at 0.761 points per play, but the fact that he's elevated his defensive game without Garnett is unexpected. "Maybe the blessing is, without Kevin, we've removed the security blanket," Rivers said. "And Brandon, he has to be the talker now on defense.