If the teams play again this season, the Celtics will presumably have Sam Cassell (and an active P.J. Brown) in tow. While Boston's grizzled guys continue to gush over the addition of Sudden Sam, the Detroit locker room was decidedly less impressed. There is a feeling among their brethren that Cassell is at the end of the line. While the Celtics will look to him to improve their pick-and-roll opportunities at the offensive end, the Pistons were salivating at the possibility of exposing him with the same weapon at the other end.
"Defending pick-and-rolls is not Sam's forte," noted Pistons coach Flip Saunders.
The Pistons lose two out of three regular season games against the Celtics, and face the prospect of playing a GREEN team strengthened by PJ Brown and Sam Cassell and all they can say is Sam "doesn't defend the pick-and-roll very well "?
Ray Allen was 1-9 last night, in part because he chased around Rip Hamilton, but also in part because he played 38 minutes.
You throw Cassell in at the off-guard for six minutes, and, lo-and-behold, Ray Allen is a whole fresher and more energized when he's in the game, including the fourth quarter.
That's right. I expect Cassell to play a good 4-10 minutes per game at the two-spot, probably with Rondo at the point. I love Ray Allen, but he's proven that he is most productive when well rested, and Cassell at 6'3" is only an inch shorter than Jesus.
If I were the Pistons I would be more inclined to worry about having to guard a well-rested Ray Allen, a deadly big-game gun in Sam Cassell, and even a sixth-man assassin like Eddie House than I would be inclined to get excited about how well (or poorly) Sam defends the pick-and-roll.
Boston's defense is not a weakness, and Sam Cassell won't make it one either.
Good try, though, guys.