One was nicknamed “Never Pass Bass.” The other is a point guard accused of passing up shots to pad his assist totals.
Of course, this relationship was going to work out.
Bass was already having a solid season for the Celtics while Rondo was rehabilitating from ACL surgery. Bass was chipping in 10.9 points per game while shooting 46 percent.
With Rondo back in action, Bass’ scoring is up slightly to 11.6 points per game, but his shooting is now up to 50 percent.
Many measure point guards not by points and assists but by whether he makes his teammates better. Bass certainly would give Rondo a vote of confidence.
Rondo and Bass already had chemistry from playing together since the 2011-12 season. But with Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen no longer with the Celtics, Bass is one of Rondo’s top targets because Rondo trusts Bass to make the shot.
That trust has been rewarded, as Bass is averaging 12.6 points while shooting 54.9 percent in the 14 games played with Rondo. On the nights Rondo rests, Bass averages nine points on 38.5 percent shooting.
To put it in greater perspective: In the first 40 games of the season, Bass shot 50 percent or better 18 times and scored at least 14 points 15 times. Bass is on pace to reach those milestones with Rondo in about 28 games: Bass shot at least 50 percent nine times and scored at least 14 points seven times in 14 games.
Think Bass would miss playing with Rondo? Their names were linked to countless trade rumors leading up to the February 20th trade deadline, but they remain teammates, for now. Both have contracts that expire in 2015, but the Celtics have only expressed an interest in signing Rondo long term.
There’s no reason why the Celtics can’t sign Bass to a new deal as well. He’s making a reasonable $6,450,000 for 2013-14 and $6,900,000 in 2014-15. Re-signing Bass won’t break the bank.
Bass is also 28, less than a year older than Rondo. If the Celtics really want to rebuild with Rondo, Bass would be a productive veteran for the team if Boston becomes a championship-caliber team quickly.
Think of it this way: Many people believed that Bass would be a valuable player for a contending team to trade for. He could be that same player for the Celtics when they become contenders again.
Whether as a starter or reserve, Bass is experiencing the best seasons of his career with the Celtics. If Rondo is going to be one of the league’s best point guards again, he will get there quickly with a teammate that never passes but sinks half his shots.
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