The Ship Be Sinking

Mouth Almighty

I Feel a Need

A need for ‘Sheed

Forgive me my cliches, it’s been a long weekend and I have had beer. Possibly more on this tomorrow.

This is an interesting one. The deal is two years for the midlevel, so the only real consideration is how this effects the Celts as a contender. There’s some concern out there as to whether this means the end of Glen Davis in Boston, but in all honesty- the old cliche about banners flying forever really applies here. The Celts’ window to be more than a one-off is closing- it’s far better to go all-in here than it is to hope that somehow Glen Davis will be part of the next Celtics contender. Now, if he then signs with San Antonio as the rumor has it, maybe that calculus changes….

No one here really needs a discussion of Sheed’s game, so the questions are- what’s left of it, and how does he fit in on the Celtics. The latter question is probably the easiest to answer as he projects as a classic high-level 6th man, spelling the 4 and 5 in the regular season and probably playing the last 8-10 minutes of playoff games alongside Garnett next year. If he steps in to replace Glen Davis as a one to one swap it’s clearly a substantial short-term upgrade for the Celts, especially given that Sheed remains even in his dotage probably a far superior defensive player than Davis and is a major 3 point threat being added to a team which was 21st in attempts (though first in 3pt%). He makes the Celts even better at what they already were good to great at. The one concern is that he’s not an overwhelming offensive rebounder for a variety of reasons (2.8 OR%), and gives up a lot to Kendrick Perkins (10.7%) in that regard, which may effect how the Celtics play down the stretch of big games next year. When both your bigs are range-y jumpshooters, you often don’t get more than one bite at the cherry.

As to what he has left…that’s really a matter of opinion. His 2 year Adj. +/- is 6.49, best on Detroit in that span (according to basketballvalue.com, where I usually get these from); his 1 year, inherently less reliable statistically, is even higher. But his PER plunged in that time from 17.13 to 14.91. One possible interpretation is that his defense remained strong while his offense dipped- in fact if you dip into the constituent numbers, his usage rate and points/40 were the major components of his PER decline it appears. Charitably, you might say he was rehearsing for the 6th man role. Given what elements of his PER caused that decline and given that he’ll be moving to a better team and a theoretically easier role I’m inclined to guess that he’s got more gas in the tank and will be effective for the Celtics, but it does warrant concern when a 34 year old player sees his offensive numbers decline year-to-year so strongly.

I don’t think, and this is simply instinct here, that this quite puts the Celtics on the level of Cleveland, LA, the Spurs and possibly Orlando. But it puts them at most a quarter of a step below them with most of the offseason still to go and rumors of a Grant Hill signing in the works. If anything, I think the bottom line is that is cements the Celtics as one of the inner circle of the 2009-2010 season, which looks set to play out as 5-8 incredibly loaded contenders taking turns beating up on teams with poor rosters and a lot of cap space. It may not end up as the most exciting regular season, but next year’s playoffs are going to be incredible.

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July 6, 2009 - Posted by | Other NBA | , ,

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