Well we have all watched the first 45 games of the season and have seen the ebbs and flows of the NBA basketball season. The question now becomes when have we seen enough to end the Rasheed experiment? While we most likely will have to wait for after this season for things to be reevaluated the question is is it too soon? Let me make a couple of points as to why to pull the plug now and options in fixing the situation:
1.) When we brought Rasheed in we thought at the very least he would give us some much needed length off the bench and also a post presence that was so badly needed after the horrible Mikki Moore era. While there have been glimpses of the length and presence we needed it hasn't even been close to enough. I don't think we can call Rasheed an above average defender anymore and i also don't believe he will ever force himself into being a post player and has resigned himself to stand out by the three point line and become a jump shooter.
Solution: The first thing I would do to bring us some length that wants to bang bodies underneath would be to give Shelden Williams some more minutes and try to let him regain the confidence he had at the beginning of the season. By no means am I trying to even think that Shelden is the more talented or more accomplished player obviously, but i believe at this point in both men career Shelden is much more likely to want to bang bodies and protect the rim better than what Rasheed is willing to do right now. Now before March 1st I would bring a Tony Battie like player into the team to just bring bodies off the bench and allow for somebody to step up out of our big rotation, maybe this will inspire Rasheed to do what is really needed for him to do (doubtful that will ever happen but you never know.)
2.) This i believe is the biggest down factor to what Rasheed brings to the basketball team and that is his personality. While I believe this doesn't affect some players such as our big three or even rondo seeing that he is obviously an all star caliber player. i believe it has had an enormous impact with Perk and that is troubling. Kendrick Perkins has always been a hard worker since the big three came together and also has been a team to player to a "T" but now i can see the frustration in his eyes that he is no longer playing the crunch time minutes for his team. During the hawks game tonight ( January 29th) he seemed to be so disappointed in the fact that he was not able to go out there and battle with his team. Perkins tonight was a +5 while Rasheed was a -13 and the fact that he was not on the court at the end of the game to me is extremely troubling. With three hall of famers and an all star point guard is it really necessary to have a six foot eleven power forward stand out by the three point line and practically do nothing else? What we need right now is Perk's toughness and defensive IQ while he may not have the name recognition outside of Boston it is becoming more and more clear that he is the one who deserves the crunch time minutes not Rasheed!
Solution: After the Lakers game on Sunday I would call a team meeting between Doc, Danny, and all of our bigs and discuss a plan for the rest of this season. I would tell Rasheed that while he will still be a part of what were trying to do Perk will be the guy we will go to down the stretch. He is the guy who has won a championship for them and is the guy who deserves with his play to be playing the minutes.
In no means is that a reactionary article to the past two days where we have been sub par and not playing to our potential it is simply stating that Rasheed is hurting more than helping. There is absolutely no justification for Wallace to be getting big minutes over Perkins, Perkins has played better than Rasheed and has more of a connection with his current teammates. While I am sure that Wallace is popular with his teammates it has become clear that the Sheed experiment has not worked and that we need to go back to what made us successful!