So last night's game against Cleveland answered yesterday's question about whether the 2009-10 Boston Celtics have another gear. The answer appears to be yes, and maybe another gear and another gear.
Let's start at the bottom and work our way up.
Shelden Williams--He hit not one, but two-fifteen footers. Actually, I believe the college 3-point arc is 18-feet from the basket. That would make one of the two shots a 19-footer. Shelden hits one of these just about every game. How many does he have to hit before you-know-who issues some sort of amendment to their earlier unqualified criticism of his jumper?
Rasheed Wallace: His purpose on this team is slowly being reduced to one--stand outside the arc and heave it when the time comes. I'm not sure I approve, but he hits enough of them that I'll withhold judgment until further notice.
Rajon Rondo--Did Mo Williams really get named to the All-Star team last year over Rondo? Puhlease. The Rondo jumper is back. The old jumper. This will unsettle some of you. But one thing I've learned about certain Celtics' fans over the last two years is that they can be sort of anal. They need everything nice and tidy, preferably in a box. Example: The Celtics need a traditional back-up point guard. This has been an obsession of Celtics' fans since Rajon Rondo ended their last obsession (the Celtics need a traditional starting point guard). Why do the Celtics need a traditional back-up point guard? It's unclear, but I say it's just because. Well, Marquis Daniels is doing very well, thank you, despite the fact that he's the furthest thing from traditional when it comes to point guards. So what's my point? The same thinking applies to Rondo's jumper. Is it ugly? Yes. Does he hit it with semi-regularity, including some in very important situations? No doubt. But you'll still hear Celtics' fans bemoaning the fact that Rondo's jumper doesn't score high in the artistic merit column. Life isn't perfect, people. Deal with it.
Paul Pierce: You can tell winter is approaching, because bears and squirrels are preparing for hybernation, while Rajon Rondo and Paul Pierce are preparing to come out of their's. Paul Pierce lives for the fight. He lives to duke it out with the other big kids in the neighborhood. As noted earlier, he may not play like MJ 24/7/365, but when the big game comes and its crunch time, I want the Truth on my team.
Squisy: If this is what we can expect from Marquis Daniels in important games, sign me up for his fan club. The dude was the best player on the floor for the second time in pre-season. He's starting to remind me of Michael Cooper. Even his three-point shot looks a little bit like Coop's, only Daniels never converts his. I've been drooling over an end-of-game line-up that consists of Perk, Sheed, KG, Paul, and Jesus. Replacing Perk with Marquis might be worth considering, too. And don't forget Rajon, especially if Rajon is having one of those nights.