MIAMIIf only every game for Brandon Bass could be like the first game of the season.
For the second year in row, the 6-foot-8 forward tallied a double-double in the Boston Celtics' season opener.
Last season, Bass had 20 points and 11 rebounds in his debut with the C's at New York.
This year, he racked up 15 points and 11 rebounds in Tuesday's loss at Miami.
"My whole thing this year is I want to be ready when Doc (Rivers) calls me," Bass said.
The one thing Bass is more than prepared for, is to enter a season having to prove himself.
No matter how accomplished Bass may be, validating his talent to others never gets old.
He was the SEC player of the year as a sophomore at LSU in 2005, and yet wound up as a second round NBA draft pick that year.
As a pro, Bass blossomed two years ago in Orlando with career highs in just about every major statistical category.
That wasn't enough as the Magic included Bass as part of a sign-and-trade with the Celtics in exchange for Glen 'Big Baby' Davis (also a former LSU standout).
Bass' first season with the Celtics was yet another year in which Bass' play exceeded anything he had done previously, and the Celtics rewarded him with a lucrative three-year deal worth about 20 million.
He has arrived, right?
Bass now finds himself fighting off rookie Jared Sullinger for the starting job at power forward.
He has maintained throughout training camp that he's not concerning himself with starting or anything like that.
"I'm trying to do all I can to make my game better, and help this team win," said Bass, who got the stating nod against the Heat. "That's all I'm caring about now."
During the offseason, Bass said his focus coming into this year was to improve as a rebounder as well as his man-to-man defense.
"Man, you can't ever be too satisfied or too comfortable in this league," Bass said. "You always have to be thinking about how you can make your game better."
And his efforts at improving have not gone unnoticed.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers pointed out Bass' play as being one of the more impressive performances in the season opener.
"He was terrific," Rivers said. "Brandon had a great game. Hell, he should have played 40 minutes."
Bass said his success against the Heat had more to do with desire than anything else.
"I was attacking the glass and just having that mindset, to go out there and defend and rebound," Bass said. "As far as rebounding, every night I have to attack."
As well as Bass played on Tuesday, he is well aware that Rivers might decide to start Jared Sullinger against Milwaukee on Friday in the C's home opener.
"I just want to play my role to the best of my ability," Bass said.
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