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Four Questions for the Streaking C’s

 

sheedangrySo your Boston Celtics are in the midst of an 11 game winning streak and maintain the best record in the NBA. I’ve been sitting here for the past hour trying to think of something worthwhile to write about this team. There’s really not a lot to complain about when a team is playing this well and responding to all the challenges laid before it.

Based on this realization, I have come up with a few questions to ponder as the C’s begin an easy 3 game home stand before a showdown with Orlando on Christmas Day. Most of these are serious, while some are tongue in cheek but I’ll be curious to hear everyone’s take on them.

1) When will Ray Allen catch Rasheed Wallace in 3 point attempts this season?

Sheed holds a 15 shot lead in this department (122 to 107) but Allen has been closing in during recent weeks despite taking a much lower percentage of 3′s on the whole this year. I put the over/under at January 15th. In all honesty, whatever day it is, it can’t come soon enough.

2) Who is the best defender on the Celtics?

You hear all the time about Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins getting all kinds of defensive accolades. Deservedly so, I might add. However, by one statistical measurement (Defensive Rating) the best defender on the Celtics is none other than……Rasheed Wallace?

Sheed actually ranks 2nd in the NBA with 95.9 defensive rating just behind Gerald Wallace of the Bobcats who is rebounding at an astronomical rate. Now, it’s clear that this best defender label does not pass the eye test with Wallace, but it does bring to the forefront how Wallace’s defensive contributions have been going under the radar. Here’s a list of the top 10 rated players defensively, according to Basketball-Reference:

1. Gerald Wallace-CHA 95.6
2. Rasheed Wallace-BOS 95.9
3. Lamar Odom-LAL 96.6
4. Greg Oden-POR 96.8
5. Kendrick Perkins-BOS 96.9
6. Kevin Garnett-BOS 97.3
7. Rajon Rondo-BOS 97.5
8. Dwight Howard-ORL 97.9
9. Erick Dampier-DAL 98.4
10. Marcus Camby-LAC 98.5

There’s some pretty good defensive company for Wallace on that list. The guy hasn’t been hitting the offensive glass but has rebounded and defended well in the post as well as force numerous turnovers on the block.

That being said, it goes without saying that there is no way that Wallace is the best defender for the C’s. So out of the other 3 C’s you see on that top 10 list, who takes the crown thus far? KG? Rondo? Perk? A tough decision in my estimation.

A couple more Q’s on Tony Allen and Eddie House, after the jump:

3) Can TA do more good than harm for this team?

This is really more of an excuse to encourage you to add to Zach Lowe’s creation of a TA’s Do’s And Don’t List. Quite an impressive list has been complied thus far by Zach and you readers and I’m encouraged by the progress we have made thus far.

As far as TA goes, I believe that the pros he brings to the table could outweigh the cons as far as this team goes. Outside of Rajon and Perk, this team is extremely old and lacks athleticism at times. TA has shown the ability to bring a bit of energy, athleticism, and aggressiveness that the aging bench unit has lacked as a whole at points this year.

We all know Allen’s numerous pitfalls, but let’s all keep in mind that he is only four games into his return thus far. There is time for improvement and though consistency can not be counted upon, progress is not out of the question. He’s got an 8 week job interview here before Marquis returns from injury….let’s see if he can make the most of it.

4) Is it just me, or does Eddie House lack rhythm shooting the ball this year?

His numbers aren’t terrible, at least not from 3 point range (37.9%) is below is career average by a couple percentage points but is still a highly respectable number. For some reason though, I can’t help but feel Eddie has been out of sync all year shooting the ball. I think part of that stems from just how well he shot from deep last year, setting the C’s single season record for 3 point shooting percentage.

He spoiled us Celtics fans with that performance but just does not seem to be “in the zone” like he was last year. It’s still early and the law of averages will likely play out here but for a guy who was brought here to do one thing, I’d like to see Eddie get his groove back. Maybe it’s just me or has anyone else noticed this?

That’s all for now, much more to come here at CH this week including another podcast and an introduction of another new feature here at Celtics Hub.

  • http://www.celticshub.com Zach Lowe

    Defensive rating is about 75 percent determined by a team’s defensive performance. The net plus/minus #’s suggest Sheed has had a neutral effect on the team’s D, which is really good.

  • Brendan Jackson

    Umm Zach, your glasses are slipping down the bridge of your nose. You might want to push them up.

  • Billy Bob Thorton

    Sheed actually ranks 2nd in the NBA with 95.9 defensive rating just behind Gerald Wallace of the Bobcats who is rebounding at an astronomical rate. Now, it’s clear that this best defender label does not pass the eye test with Wallace

    You spend too much time worrying about numbers.

  • Tom Anderson

    Spare me another season of waiting for TA stories. He’s proven he can’t stay on the court and in his brief healthy interludes shows a basketball IQ not worthy of the Celtics. Seems like there must be someone out there for this roster spot with more real potential. And oh, isn’t painful watching Eddie try to advance the ball?

  • Mick

    What’s impressive is that four of the top 7 names on that list are Celtics. If the team continues to progress as a defensive unit, committing nightly to defending and rebounding, it could arguably be the greatest defensive team of the post-hand checking era.

  • Jay P

    2) You’re completely forgetting to mention he’s coming in off the bench, and playing a lot of minutes against second string big men.

    3) No. The answer is no. I can’t believe you even had to ask.

    4) Eddie will be fine, yes, we were spoiled by last year. I’ve felt the same way, it got to the point where during certain stretches last year, he’d put the ball up and you could turn away, you just knew it was going in. He’s still shooting at a good clip, and he’s still contributing to this team. It’s a non-issue.

  • Tom

    Sheed is also playing with a bunch of second stringers, so he doesn’t have the best supporting cast. I understand he can’t jump or move quickly, but I am always amazed at how good his hands are and how smart he is as he knows when to slap the ball and when to strip it (Something TA can’t do).

    Eddie shot poorly the first month of the season too, I expect him to be back to 38-40% by year end.

  • Ross

    1. I’ve been enjoying Allen’s penetration game and the easy layups. His 3′s will come up, especially as our injured players come back.

    3. I’m troubled about our ‘old’ legs and am still seriously missing Leon Powe and the high-flying energy he brought off the bench. I call that style of play “the Garbage Man”. All great teams have some … the guy that flies in and jams the missed shots off an offensive rebound. I’m hoping that Shelden Williams can be that style of player, I’m sure thats why he was brought in.

    4. I’m certain Eddie is not getting the minutes he did last year (need to look up). House is one of the most under rated bench players and at points last year, under utilized. As the season progresses, I hope Eddie picks up more minutes and his numbers come up a bit.

  • MikeD

    The best defender on the Celtics is Tom Thibodeau. The combination of his schemes and Doc Rivers ability to keep the team focused and competing hard every night make up the perfect coaching tandem for a team like the Celtics. But if I had to pick one player I might say Paul Pierce at this point. His one on one defense has been phenomenal, as well as his transition D. He has a strong, wide body and plays angles perfectly. He plays “textbook” stop the ball and stay in front of your man defense. It has truly been a joy to see him playing so well for a great team the past couple of years after his up and down career here in Boston.

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