I missed yesterday so I'll have to run two profiles on whatever day Scot Pollard is scheduled for. It will be like Christmas.
Player: Sam Cassell
Strengths: Mid range jumper, post up game, experience, willingness and ability to take the big shot. The Celtics have only lost by double digits twice all season. So I don't want to overstate what Cassell has brought to the team. They were good long before his arrival. But he definitely adds to the swagger and that sense that Boston is never out of a game. Realistically there aren't many guys that can get into a heated war of words with a star player (Chris Paul) from the bench.
Weaknesses: Age, defense and the fact that if his shot is not falling the second unit suffers.
Go to Move: Cassell is a master at creating space. Check out the tutorial he put on for TNT. Bonus points because Cassell is at the point in his career where everyone knows what he is doing and he can still get it done. In fact that clip is Cassell at his finest. Confident, hitting shots, calling people out (Kenny Smith).
What a Difference a Year Makes: After a promising 2006 season the Clippers struggled, finished 40-42 and missed the 2007 playoffs. And this year was not off to a worse start. Now Cassell is in the mix with a 60 win playoff team and he fits right in.
Shining Moment This Season: It's funny to watch that earlier Sam Cassell mid range jumper tutorial and then see him make those moves and hit those shots in a real game. That win over San Antonio was the start of a Texas Triangle sweep that pushed the Celtics to another level. And with Ray Allen in civilian clothes it was important for Cassell to step up. That three pointer at the 1:17 mark was huge.
If not in Boston which NBA team would make the most sense?: At this point in his career it would have to be a team in the playoffs mix. And I did think about what he could do out west. Would San Antonio take him over Damon Stoudemire? How about in Oakland where he could get shots and play defense occasionally? Or how about Denver where he could reunite with George Karl, throw another personality into that mix and upgrade the point guard position? I see flaws in all of those situations and in the end would put him in Cleveland. I'm sure LeBron James would love to have another veteran aboard, especially one that can hit a big shot.
Random Point of Information: Cassell attended the basketball powerhouse Dunbar High School in Baltimore, Maryland. That's the same school that gave us Muggsy Bogues, Reggie Lewis, Reggie Williams and David Wingate. Strangely the other four all played on the same team at Dunbar. Finally, Cassell has played in Houston, Phoenix, Dallas, New Jersey, Milwaukee, Minnesota, Los Angeles (Clippers) and now Boston. Somehow he was a Sun, a Maverick and a Net in one season (1997).
Contract Situation: Much like P.J. Brown, Cassell is signed through the end of the season. However, unlike Brown I don't get the sense that Cassell is ready to call it career. I could see him signing up for another season if the Celtics would have him. They'd limit his minutes early on and build towards the playoffs.