I think you have to have a shot blocker to make it work. Neither Bass nor Sully can protect the rim. The defense worked with:
and even KG
at center. It was great when KG was paired with another rim protector. I remember times, last year, when the defense was great with KG and Steamer on the court together.
This I agree with. Even as bad as JO was on offense. He was a willing participant on the defensive end. He gave no quarter and took no quarter. How can Bass be so much worse on defense this year than last? It can only be the effort he is putting out there unless he is hurt. If Bass and Sully are really that slow or unintelligent to at least get in position to give a hard foul in the lane they they shouldn't play. That goes for everybody at this point.
For the most part, I think Bass is just more exposed defensively this year than last year.
The defense hasn't been up to par elsewhere. The perimeter defense is allowing a lot more penetration than they did a year before + many of the big man combos Bass is in have been inadequate defensive combinations.
Consequently, Bass has been much more exposed defensively than he was last season. He was always a poor defender. Now he is just being placed in more negative situations so I think it is standing out more than before.