February 28, 2008
- Just a day after saying a buyout from the Clips was unlikely, Sam Cassell is packing his well-traveled bags once again. Marc Spears at the Globe has the goods on Sam Cassell’s imminent buyout and move to Boston. It will be the eighth stop of Sam’s NBA career. Cassell will back up ETB favorite Rajon Rondo and provide a scoring punch off the bench. He should also eat into some of Rondo’s minutes as the season wears on, but most importantly he provides a veteran presence at the point and a backup option in case Rondo get injured or into foul trouble in the playoffs. When Rondo missed some time earlier this year we saw just how thin the Celts are at the point, as the offense completely stagnated and they weren’t able to generate any penetration from up top.
Sam Cassell Photo Credit: Icon SMI
The two have nearly opposite skill sets, with Sam I Am a purely offensive player and spot-up shooter with some of the biggest balls in the league. This move isn’t as major as you might think, but I fully expect Cassell to knock down some big, clutch shots in the playoffs. Over the last dozen plus years he’s been one of the best clutch shooters in the league and he’s money from the line (86.1% FTs for his career). In late-game situations the Celtics just got even more scary. When the game comes down to the wire, how do you cover these guys? They have multiple options capable of knocking down big shots and you simply can’t double-team KG, Ray Allen or Paul Pierce anymore. It’s not a done deal yet though, as the Globe’s David Lefort points out, “Cassell has to clear waivers by midnight Eastern on Friday to be eligible to play for another team in the postseason.”
- When I suggested that two-time MVP Steve Nash might be overrated, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. A torrid 48 hours of angry and ecstatic comments ensued in what has to go down as the most fevered and divisive debate in ETB comments history. Over 200 people weighed in with some very well-reasoned arguments on both sides of the issue, along with the usual gaggle of morons. The crux of my argument was that he’s a very poor player on defense, and that’s at least half of the game of basketball. Elite players can’t just be great half the time. I also mentioned that Chris Paul was a better player right now because his game is so well-rounded.
Fast-forward to Wednesday night, when Nash’s Suns visited Paul in The Big Easy. Paul dominated Nash on both ends of the floor, breaking his ankles early and often, dropping dimes on his head and completely shutting Nash down on defense. Real MVP candidate Chris Paul finished with 25 points, 15 assists, 6 boards, 3 steals and just 1 TO while holding Nash to 8 points on 1-of-6 shooting with 13 assists, 0 rebounds and 4 TOs. New Orleans cruised to an easy 120-103 win. That is all.
- In other PG news, Bibby did Sacramento last night. After he was shipped to the ATL I fully expected Mike Bibby to become the playmaker at the point the Hawks have been lacking for years, but it didn’t happen right away. Bibby finally blew up as the distributor we thought he could be though, with 24 points and 12 assists with just 1 TO, albeit against a soft Sac Town defense. Bibby got everybody involved as he, J-Smoove, Josh Childress, Al Horford and Joe Johnson all finished in double figures and Atlanta shot .48.2% FGs as a team. Bibby is now averaging 6.5 assists as a Hawk, and if he can start to gel with these young cats in Atlanta, look for the Hawks to make some noise from here on out and earn themselves a chance to be embarrassed in the first round by Detroit or Boston.
- A heads up to all you bloggers out there, our boys over at Hardwood Paroxysm are planning a very special tribute to one of their least favorite players: Kobe Bean Bryant. I’m planning on hosting a hilarious Friars’ Club Roast. Audience participation is encouraged.
The Lakers have the best bench in the NBA, injury news around the league, the debut of Devin Harris and a tribute to one *very special* young man after the jump…