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Did Brandon Bass Mean More to the Dallas Mavericks Than They Thought?

Keith L.Correspondent IMay 2, 2010

ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 02:  Brandon Bass #30 of the Orlando Magic scores over Danilo Gallinari #8 of the New York Knicks during the game at Amway Arena on December 2, 2009 in Orlando, Florida.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

His career averages of 6.7 points and 3.7 rebounds say that Brandon Bass is an expendable role player, someone Dallas believed they could replace with minimum wage players in James Singleton and Tim Thomas rather than match the $16 million contract offer from the Orlando Magic.

After becoming a Magic teammate, he has literally fallen off the map, only playing sparse minutes in 50 games this season and only one minute in the playoffs.

He could possibly be considered expendable on the Magic, playing behind Rashard Lewis, Dwight Howard, and Marcin Gortat.

However, the intangible qualities that Bass possess would have probably put Dallas into at least the second round of the playoffs this year and possibly even further.

Brandon provided the Mavericks with a physical presence that no one on the roster could provide other than maybe Deshawn Stevenson.

He provided a jump shot second only to Dirk in terms of smoothness. He provided the most reliable bench scoring next to Jason Terry.

His ability to get to the rim and free-throw line could get other big men in foul trouble. And adding on to that, he is an 82 percent career foul line shooter who go to the line nearly three times a game in his last year in Dallas in under 20 minutes a game!

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Beside this, Bass could also team up with fellow undersized player JJ Barea in a nearly unstoppable pick-and-roll. Barea had speed and a knack for penetration and Bass was automatic in the mid range jump shot while also being able to roll to the basket.

The lack of this go-to play could explain the inconsistencies the Maverick bench had this year.

He was also a match-up difficulty playing with the starting lineup. Usually relieving Erick Dampier for fourth quarters of games, Bass was stuck playing center at the height of 6'8". His range spread the floor and got him open shots whenever Dirk or Terry was doubled.

His defense was also surprisingly good despite guarding much larger players (even Yao once.) Bass would push and shove and use is 250 lbs frame of deny good position and prevent easy shots. While he would occasionally get beat because of his lack of lateral quickness, Brandon would make sure to foul hard to prevent a lay-up.

Referring back to the match-up against San Antonio, Bass would have provided a player that the Spurs couldn't stop.

Coming off the bench, Bass would have the size to fight inside with Dejuan Blair, while also being able to keep him out of the paint with his shooting range.

He would also have provided a consistent scoring option from the reserves since Terry and Barea were hot and cold the entire series.

Place him with the starters and Antonio McDyess would have to move off Dirk to guard Brandon. Dirk would then have Duncan on him and be able to make Duncan work hard on defense and possibly get into foul trouble.

With a player that can cause this much trouble for the Spurs, the Mavericks would most likely have advanced. Having a player like Bass causes trouble for any team and it is unfortunate Orlando is under-utilizing him.

Perhaps Stan Van Gundy will finally realizing what Brandon can do after witnessing for the second time that three-point shooting team will not win the NBA Championship.

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