WALTHAM — There was a feeling of uncertainty for Brandon Bass at Celtics media day, and he didn’t camouflage his emotions. Bass was concerned about his role in Boston during this rebuild and whether he fit into the team’s short-term plans.
Bass was unsure whether he was too old to be part of the future or whether his contract, which has two years left, would be sent to the highest bidder during training camp. It was an unsettling feeling, especially for a player who has been with four teams in nine seasons.
Six weeks later, Bass is cemented in the starting lineup, averaging 12.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, and a career-best 1.8 assists. He has returned to his form of two years ago, emerging as a steady mid-range shooter, key rebounder, and solid defender.
After being unclear about coach Brad Stevens’s plan for him, Bass is pleased to be given an opportunity to flourish.
“I just wanted to be the best Brandon Bass I could be,” he said. “That’s why I just come in here and get my work in so I can just be the best me and let everything else take care of itself.”
During the Celtics’ four-game winning streak, Bass is averaging 13 points and shooting nearly 48 percent.
“I just think everybody is out there playing to their strengths,” Bass said. “We’re moving the ball, sharing the ball with each other. The results have been great for us.”
The Celtics received some heartening news Tuesday afternoon when an MRI on Jared Sullinger’s right knee revealed only a bone bruise.
The power forward is listed as day-to-day and it’s uncertain whether he will play Wednesday against the Charlotte Bobcats.
Sullinger was injured with 2:31 left in the second quarter when he took a hard charge from an out-of-control Maurice Harkless of Orlando.
Sullinger continued to play in the Celtics’ 120-105 win and finished with 14 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists in 25:28.
Sullinger sat out Tuesday’s practice at the Sports Authority Training Center.
“Jared got hit on that collision under the basket and he’s got a sore knee,” Stevens said before the MRI results were known.
After missing the season opener because of a team suspension, Sullinger is averaging 11.3 points and 5.1 rebounds in a reserve role.
The Celtics are still talking about their improbable victory over the Miami Heat Saturday, in which Jeff Green drained a buzzer-beating 3-pointer over the outstretched arm of LeBron James.
While Stevens hardly had any reaction, and immediately prepared his team for a potential overtime in case officials called it a 2-point basket, assistant Jamie Young sprinted on the court to celebrate, hopping on the back of veteran Gerald Wallace.
“You can’t hit Gerald like that, Jamie, Gerald’s 31 years old,” Stevens joked. “You can’t just tackle him from behind.
“Honestly, I know this sounds crazy, but this is my job. We have a game on Monday when we win on Saturday, and my wife sent me a text that said, ‘Congratulations you beat the Heat, now you have to beat human nature.’
“It doesn’t stop. You’ve just got to keep it going and I’ll smile, remembering the good times, after the season. We got tough ones ahead, hopefully a couple of good ones ahead.”Gary Washburn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow him on Twitter at @gwashNBAGlobe