Thursday, February 24, 2005

Eight

Antoine Walker, welcome back. The Celts have reacquired The Bomb for Tom Googs, Yogi Why Is He Named That Stewart, and Gary Payton. Is this a good move? I will say definitively, no. Marcus Banks can not play an NBA point gaurd, and Delonte West isn't ready yet. Toine has point skills, but that doesn't work on a fast break team. He needs to be under the basket rebounding (9.4 rpg this year Mr. Blount) and finding the point for an outlet. He can't do both. This will be a wonderful chance for Boston to truly see what they have in the young 1's, but I'm not sure they'll be happy with what they find. The Ninth believes that West will be a successful point guard, but not quite yet. And Banks, so far, just doesn't have it.

One player that will almost certainly benefit is Paul Pierce. While I think GP helped Paul a lot, Pierce played his best basketball when Walker was in town. He has not been the same since, and that can't be anything but psychology. Who woulda thought. On the other side, I believe you'll see a lot less time for Mark Blount with LaFrentz playing more 5. A major factor in Walker's return is his ability to hit the boards, and he and Raef should make a pretty good pair on the glass.

All in all, I don't love the move for the overall success of the team, but as a fan, I can't wait to see that first wiggle. Estimated time, Friday 9:11 eastern.

P.S.- Kudos to Ryen Russillo of the Zone who broke this story first. A big step for the best NBA guy in Boston. Ryen has also mentioned that Atlanta will likely waive Payton after the acquisition. Not entirely sure why. There is a chance though that GP could then immediately resign with the Celts. A dream scenario, but it could come to pass.
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