Here’s the Celtics Four-Point Play to appear every Wednesday on Sports of Boston. This is where I will compile four (4) small and related Celtics facts and offer my own spin on a variety of Celtics news stories. The general format will be a short blurb about the story first, then my reaction tabbed underneath it.
1. The Heat and Suns are close on a deal that could send Shaquille O’Neal to Phoenix in exchange for Shawn Marion and former Celtic Marcus Banks.
- I’ve already reacted and provided my analysis on the impact of this trade, but let me briefly say that this trade does in a weird twisted way make sense. The Suns needed bigtime size, and they got it. We’ll see if Shaq has enough left in the tank.
- I remember reading Steve Kerr articles from his days as a Yahoo! Sports analyst. He’s not very good at writing about or ranking teams (the Bulls were ALWAYS ranked in the top 10). We will see if this trade will bring a positive or negative impact to the Suns. I mean, he is a rookie-GM after all. My guess is that the Suns will benefit from it this year if Shaq is healthy in the playoffs. It may hurt in the next two years, however.
2. Kevin Garnett is still injured with a strained abdominal muscle and will probably be out through the rest of the week’s games, including a game at home against the Clippers (2/6) and a game on the road back in Minnesota (2/8).
- The injury may be more serious than I’ve been understanding it. If Garnett is being held out of the only game in Minnesota this season, there’s got to be a significant need for more rest.
- I’m sure he’s being held out because we’re winning the division by 11 games and still 3 games ahead in the Eastern Conference standings. Still though, his injury obviously bears some serious watching.
- I bet that Garnett will be in Minnesota nice and dressed up. I hope the Timberwolves have some ceremony prepared for his return. Is it too early to retire his jersey? At least give him a plaque or something.
3. Damon Stoudamire signed with the San Antonio Spurs earlier this week, so goodbye and good riddance. Rumors are swirling that Clippers point guard Sam Cassell would enjoy coming to the Celtics.
- I’ve touched on this as well, but allow me to touch more. Sam Cassell would be a wonderful fit as the backup point guard behind Rajon Rondo. It’s easy to see that the Celtics play much better when Rondo is on the court than when he is not.
- Cassell would also provide a nice security blanket for Rondo. Now he can know he doesn’t have to go 110% all the time and risk injury. Ideally, with Cassell, Rondo can rest assured that he will have a viable backup behind him.
- Bring on Sam Cassell! I want to start a fan club already. Can you imagine him with the rest of our talent? I’m salivating at the possibilities.
4. Speaking of Cassell, the Clippers come to the TD BankNorth Garden tonight to face the Celtics. Who are the Clippers?
- Well, the Clippers are coming off a win against the Knicks in New York (like that was a challenge). Their leading scorer is Corey Maggette with 20.9 ppg. White center Chris Kaman leads with a sizable 13.8 rpg to go with 17.2 ppg. Cassell rounds it off with a team-leading 4.6 assists per game.
- It’s going to be a nice audition opportunity for Sam Cassell. We already know Danny Ainge is interested. It’s just a matter of waiting for the Clippers to cut ties with Cassell. They’ll first seek to trade him, but I doubt there will be many takers willing to add his salary. Cutting Cassell with a buyout would allow the veteran to sign for a league-minimum contract.
- Let’s face it, the Clippers are just bad. I know they’re in the Western Conference, but 15-30 is bad no matter where you play. Seeing the Clips will probably be without Kaman (he’s got the flu too), the Garnett absence isn’t as huge. The Celtics should win this by 8 points.
Tags: Celtics, Four-Point Play, Kevin Garnett, Los Angeles Clippers, Marcus Banks, Sam Cassell, Shaquille O'Neal, Shawn Marion