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Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Over/Under: Brandon Bass

By Chris Forsberg

Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty ImagesCan Brandon Bass make another leap during the 2012-13 season?
We've got a few more weeks to fill before training camp starts, so we're throwing one more end-of-summer series at you to finish up the offseason. This time, ESPN Boston colleague Greg Payne and I are playing a game of over/under. Each day, we'll pick one Celtics player, set some benchmarks, and offer our thoughts on whether he'll finish over or under that statistical prediction.

Up first: Brandon Bass, who inked a three-year deal to stay in Boston this offseason and is pegged to resume his role as starting power forward during the 2012-13 campaign.

Games played: 68

* Forsberg: Over. Bass has only missed a total of 13 games the last two seasons. Knee woes kept him out for a handful of games late in the first half last year, but he showed an ability to play through bumps and bruises, often bouncing up after hitting the floor hard.

* Payne: Over. Bass is a gamer, capable of enduring many of the routine maladies that befall NBA players over the course of a season. With no medical issues on the radar heading into the season, there's no reason to prematurely think Bass won't participate in 70+ games.

Minutes per game: 31.5

* Forsberg: Under. Injuries in the frontcourt forced the Celtics to run Bass hard last season. This year, they'll have the luxury of backups like Jeff Green (when he's not at the 3) and Jared Sullinger to help fill minutes at the 4. Bass is only 27 and he can expect a young-man's workload, but the overall depth should allow his average to dip a tiny bit.

* Payne: Over (slightly). Jeff Green is Boston's only real backup small forward right now, which will take away from his time at the four spot. With it still unclear how many minutes Jared Sullinger will warrant this season, Doc Rivers will lean on Bass to fill up the majority of the time.

Points per game: 12.0

* Forsberg: Under. The Celtics will likely be more balanced in scoring output if the likes of Green and Jason Terry can provide an offensive boost off the bench. The trickle-down effect could be less shots and lower output from Bass, who shot a career-high 10.7 shots per game last season. The focus for him should be on getting his field goal percentage back up (49.3 percent for his career; 47.9 last season).

* Payne: Over. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett will probably see continued dips in the scoring column (not substantial ones), which will put more of an onus on Bass and Rajon Rondo to score for the first unit.

Rebounds per game: 6.0

* Forsberg: Over: The Celtics absolutely need Bass to be more active on the glass. His 14.9 defensive rebound percentage was up from his final season in Orlando, but still below the 17+ percent he averaged in two of his first three seasons in the league. The Celtics need him to utilize that athleticism to be more competitive on the glass.

* Payne: Over. It's pretty much a necessity at this point. Bass is far too athletic -- and capable of carving out space in the paint with his considerable frame -- to not be closer to averaging double-digits on the glass.


 
Your turn: Offer your over/under predictions in the comments section.