Tempting as it might be to fixate on Mo Williams’ (first-ever?) dunk during Cleveland’s 101-93 defeat of Boston in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals Saturday, instead, we’ll consider the grim performance of Celtics F Rasheed Wallace. Sheed “has to play better D”, says master of understatement Doc RIvers, while Celtics Hub’s Zach Lowe offers a more harsh assessment, “C™s fans have spent all season lamenting Sheed™s shot selection, but could it be that his defense is what makes him too much of a liability to play?”
Despite vowing to turn up his play when the post-season started, Sheed has basically been a disaster in limited minutes. He™s missed 13 of 20 shots, hasn™t made a single three-pointer or grabbed one offensive rebound. His PER is 4.8, which would have ranked 329th out of 331 qualifying players in the regular season.
So why is he playing over Shelden Williams?
Simple: Offensive potential. Shelden Williams works his ass off, but he™s not an accomplished offensive player and he likely never will be. He has shaky hands and an inconsistent touch, and he has trouble finishing at the rim. He has no post-up game.
Sheed has the potential to carry the team™s offense for a five-minute stretch. He was 1-of-5 from the floor in Game 1, but three of those misses were gimmes”two bunnies and a wide-open 12-footer from the left baseline. (The fourth miss was a rushed three, which we can™t have). If Sheed makes two of those three misses, the calls to bench him would be a lot quieter today.