Admittedly, I've never been the biggest fan of Gerald. He's certainly played better than last year where he ran around like a baby deer, but I still think he should have developed into a better player than he currently is. However, watching last night's Sonics game from my treadmill this afternoon I was pretty much disgusted with his play.
I'm sure people will think I'm nuts seeing that last night he put in a rapid 18 points in 22 minutes along with a couple boards and steals, but count me with Doc (I can't believe I agree with Glenn) in the camp of Gerald is not playing well right now. My point is summarized in one word. Hustle.
In Gerald's case it is a lack of hustle that drove me to disgust. Defensively Gerald still plays playground (i.e. token) defense, particularly when his man has the ball. Two examples readily come to mind. He does not get low enough or exert enough effort to stay in front of his man. Ray Allen blew past Gerald quite easily on a drive from the top of the key - the reason he was able to get straight to the rack was because Gerald was too vertical and did not exhibit any form of desire in stopping Ray. The second example of a lack of effort happened on a broken fast break where a Sonic was pinned with no dribble 10 feet from the hoop along the baseline. Gerald was the closest man, and instead of rushing to the player and basically getting in the guy's shirt to cut off his passing angles, G$ moped along waving his arms. The Sonics player was able to find an open teammate at the top of the key and save the possession.
Offensively, Gerald is particularly frustrating. With his athleticism, ability to finish and mid-range jumpshot he should be much more than he is right now - a 3 point chucker, possibly the second coming of Antione. Yes he is shooting at one of the highest three-point percentages in the league, but that is not what Gerald was drafted to be. He should be a scorer and not a three-point specialist - if we needed a specialist we could have kept Luke Jackson. Since Pierce went out, Gerald has averaged 5.5 3s per game, with an 8 attempt and 9 attempt night in that span. Against the Sonics, his 9 attempt night, Gerald routinely camped at the three point line, at one point calling for the ball in a manner quite reminiscent of Antoine. Alternatively, Tony routinely received the ball outside of the three point line and attacked the basket with considerable success. By hanging out on the 3-point line Gerald is effectively wasting his athleticism while also making the Celtics much easier to guard and Gerald tends to look like a statue until he gets the ball.
Gerald's general lack of aggressiveness offensively and defensively is hurting his development and the team. I want Gerald to succeed, but until he shows some desire and hustle, I don't see the need to play him big minutes.