The Sheed Train is heading to Boston.
I’ve been a Sheed fan for a long, long time. I’ve always been drawn to players that play a little bit out of the norm in their position. I like point forwards. I like front-courts with ridiculous shooting range. I like rebounding point guards. It makes it even better when these players can play lockdown defense. Not only do these players become nightmares for match-ups, but they are great to watch because they keep us on our toes– what will they do next?
I also like vocal, intense, and loud players. They keep things on the floor interesting and fun, and again, keeps you wondering what they will do next.
Sheed fits the bill for making it on my list of players that I like. Better yet, Sheed fits the bill for making the Celtics a stronger team.
Think about what we just got for the MLE (roughly $5.6 – 5.8 million per year): a player that had a critical role in helping upset the Lake Show in 2004, a guy that can defend the 4 and 5 positions, a solid interior defender, someone who can really stretch the floor out all the way to the 3-point line which will make more room for penetration, a team player that would rather have the offensive weight on others’ shoulders, a good passing big man, and best of all… we get another player with a high basketball IQ. Remember that when Sheed left Portland he went to Detroit (well, to ATL for 1 game and then to DET!) and got planted into a system: he had a defined role and played with other guys who had defined roles. Larry Brown had a system in Detroit and that’s what made Sheed and his Pistons successful.
Guess what? Boston has a system! Guess what else? Sheed will have a defined role! THINK ABOUT THIS: we are getting a quality starter to be our 6th man. And we’re not talking a 6’-1” 6th man, we’re talking about a 6’-11” / 230 lbs. We have a 6th starter that has size, skill on both ends of the court, championship experience, and veteran presence.
Happy birthday, Celtics fans!
We already have the best defensive front-court in KG and Perk, and now you throw in Sheed. Sheed can play single coverage against any big in the NBA– including Dwight and Shaq. Sheed can play defense on the post. Sheed can rotate on defense. Sheed can guard the pick-n-roll. And better than this? The dude can shoot. I’m sure that Detroit fans suffered through multiple ulcers while watching him launch jumper after jumper instead of posting up on the block… but you can’t argue with his numbers: 36%, 40%, and 30% from the wings and center of the 3-pt arc, and a shooting average of 40% from the outside perimeter. And yes, he’s also an efficient post up player when he wants to be.
I’m freakin’ giddy.
Let’s think about some line-up possibilities:
- Rondo, Ray, Pierce, KG, Sheed — A quick, athletic lineup.
- Rondo, Ray, Pierce, Sheed, Perk — This isn’t even our best starting lineup and yet it’s still better than 29 other teams (if KG needs minutes on the bench, we have Sheed to fill that role quite easily).
- Rondo, Pierce, KG, Sheed, Perk — I can’t really think of too many situations where we might see this (to match-up against a team that plays big, maybe final minutes when there’s foul trouble or injury), but holy crap this is scary. Think about the kind of defensive set up Coach T could make with these 5 guys!?? What about a 2-1-2 zone: Rondo and Pierce on the perimeter, Sheed and Perk on the blocks, and KG playing free-safety. Whoa. Either way, I’m sure if you’re an opposing player coming out of a timeout and you see these 5 guys come off the bench, you’d be a bit freaked out. Again, who knows when this lineup will be put in place, but I can’t wait to be surprised.
- House, Ray, Pierce, KG, Sheed — 4 guys on the floor that can hit a 3 and 1 more that can hit from 18 feet. You also have 3 strong defenders in case you miss a shot and don’t have timeouts and therefore have to play this long-range shooting unit through another play.
- Pruitt (or other backup PG), House, Bill Walker, Scal, Sheed — This could be a fun lineup to watch because you just have an odd mix of players at once, but for the most part, guys with some good basketball IQ. Imagine seeing Pruitt, House, Walker, Scal, and Sheed playing with each other? Awesome.
Look– who knows what Sheed is going to be giving us. But we should all feel better and be able to sleep comfortable at night knowing that we just added one of the best possible free agents from this summer at an absolute steal.
People were ready to get into bed with Hedo, Ariza, Artest, Charlie V, Ben Gordon, Odom, and Jason Kidd. There wasn’t too much made over Sheed because of his mediocre season and concern about age catching up with him. But that’s where other teams had problems and the Celtics had an opportunity: most teams were looking for starters to sign during this off-season: Hedo, Ariza, Artest, Charlie V, Ben Gordon, Odom, and Kidd can all be starters with either a big price tag and/or a long-term deal. And Sheed? No one wanted to sign a soon-to-be 35 year old big man that’s on the decline. But again, herein lies the opportunity for the Celts: they didn’t need a starter. They needed a reliable 6th man as a guy that could potentially start for other teams, but would be willing to come off the C’s bench– check. The Celts needed length off the bench– check. The Celts needed a player that wouldn’t be a liability on either end and instead contribute on both ends– check. The Celts wanted a veteran– check. Most of all though, the Celts needed a veteran that would take the MLE in hopes of signing him on the attraction of playing with a REAL contender– check.
Sheed is going to add to the intensity of our Celtics team. In both Portland and Detroit, players revered him as a great teammate– a guy that would rather be the second or third option instead of the first. A guy that wants to play with a team that wants to play as a team. A guy whose history of technical fouls stem from his high intensity and emotions during the game. A guy that bought all of his teammates replica WWF heavyweight championship belts after the Pistons title in 2004– a reminder that they were champions and that they wanted to defend and repeat.
By tomorrow, Sheed will be a Celtic– very sweet words during this off-season.
I think I might even be purchasing a Sheed t-shirt jersey in the near future: the second highest honor I can bestow onto a Celtic player (the highest honor obviously is owning a jersey: Pierce and Rondo are the only 2 players currently with that honor).