The Celtics are making something of the off seaon remaining 'in the conversation' having signing significant players in Von Wafer, Shaq and Jermane O'Neal.
Wow! Who would have thought that Boston would finally get Von Wafer!
I have been dying to write or say that, because one of these new Celtics is garnering more than his fair share of media attention and genuine excitement from fans (myself included), and it is not the player who sounds like a German biscuit. All these acquisitions are significant,
filling a need for big bodies and rebounders at the and the 5 and filling the thin wings at the 2 and the 3. But what does this all mean to the C's in a 2010 - 2011 season where the NBA landscape has significantly altered?
Von Wafer is a guy who has been in the league just under half a decade and has been followed by a bad rep. I am not condoning players making unreasonable demands and putting a great big 'I' in the word team - but sometimes a player just needs the right environment and a coach to give a little. Doc is 'giver' but he is also a hard liner in relation to players destroying team chemistry. Von Wafer explained to media that he was willing to do what Doc said and be a part of the team, saying that Rivers stressed he wants a team player in Wafer if he wears the white and green in 2010 - 2011. Von Wafer even said he wanted to get into the gym and study Celtics defensive schemes - a mandatory thing to mention at a press conference to establish good credibility as a player.
But Danny Ainge has taken a calculated risk in Von Wafer. This risk could potentially pay off; Wafer is natural Athlete, can score from any where on the floor (when his game is on) and at 6' 5'', can play the 2 and the 3 if needed. He is a shake and bake instant offense kind of player, Boston could do with a little more of this. Along with Nate Robinson, the C's have two wild cards to unleash on the parquet. Boston's lack of points off the bench shall be boosted with the acquisition of the former Florida State baller. This, I believe could make up for his perceived lack of D, but he in the right place to learn how to clamp down.
Shaquille O'Neal. Ok, well a 38 year old O'Neal. And a lot has been said about the big fella. We all know the things Shaq has achieved. 4 rings. Dominating the low post. Missing free throws over three decades (sorry, couldn't help it). He is a player who had a significant impact on the game when he entered the NBA 18 seasons ago. Now, he is less 'Impact' and more 'impact off the bench'. In the modern NBA, offenses run and players are like eagles. Shaq is condor with a bit of albatross. He ain't an eagle. But if the condor / altatross can get the offensive glass then get the outlet pass to Rondo, finish at the rim with authority, box out players with their massive frame and get other players into foul trouble - then the eagles can afford to give him 20 minutes a game at least.
Jermaine O'Neal is possibly the most potential laden and option at the 5 for the C's (Sorry Semih, you gotta play first). Jermaine is an efficient center, and that is vitally important for the Celtics. Why? He is one of the least turn over prone centers playing today. Perk is a great a center and defender of all star bigs, but suffers a bit in the turn over department. Think about what that could do for a team like Boston that turns the ball over a lot? J.O'Neal has has a consistent shot, could possibly slide to the 4 in certain line ups, is a great shot blocker and rebounds. All good when he is healthy. If 'big J' get into a groove, avoids being hurt and commits to what Doc Rivers is setting down he could have a renisance year.
News that broke whilst this post was being written; Rasheed has been waived and is retiring which leaves a roster spot and need for Luke Hangody. The rook will get on this Celtics team based on his potential, great summer league games and his nose for the ball. If he can get into a groove playing at the 3, that would see him getting even more minutes and really propel him to become a piece of the of the next generation for the Green and White. I really like this kid, I hope he gets a run.
More news as it comes.
Green and White for life.