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Summer Quandaries #51
September 21--6 days to camp

A Role for Semih?

Seems like every day I read comments calling for Semih Erden to be waived. There seldom is a driving logic to this proposed move—add a small forward (usually without a rational suggestion as to whom), get Rudy (as if there is a deficit at guard), add one (or more) of the new wave of workouts, or the always insightful “trade for somebody good.” To these pundits that see the path to Celtic improvement as addition by subtraction (of Semih to be specific), I would pose this question: All the other C/PF’s over 6’8” are looking 30 in the rearview mirror. If Doc is to rest an aging big man with an occasional half or full game off, who will patrol the paint in their absence?”

Do you see Big Baby and Harangody as the PF tandem? Perkins will be out for much/most/all of the season. Until/unless he returns, resting, or even worse an injury to, one of the seven footer’s will leave the Celtics suddenly short, in every sense of the word. I’m not saying that Erden should play a pivotal (yuk) role in the offense but he is a large, active, and reasonably mobile center who offers some presence, and deterrence, in the lane. Think of the relief role that Pollard was supposed to offer (but couldn’t from the trainer’s room). Think Rick Robey, Greg Kite, Joe Kleine, Eric Montross, Vitaly Potapenko—admittedly not an imposing list but several of those were the third string center on championship teams.

I don’t expect to see him on the active list every night but if Garnett or one of the O’Neal’s is taking the evening off, Semih will be suited up.

Lee Lauderdale 9/22/2010 12:29:00 AM Edit
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11 Responses so far.

  1. Bohemian says:

    Oh my, I hope he doesn't look at that list of players (Kite, Montross, Wardrobe Kleine) as his model to become a player in the league (aargh)

    What happens is that Semih hasn't been seen in the USA. If he had played in an American college he wouldn't be consider the top candidate to be waived. When a player from overseas comes he always gets the label of :

    -soft
    -bad defensive player
    -raw

    It happened to other players before, such as Drazen Petrovic or Dino Radja.

    Will Semih be a good player for the NBA? I sincerely ignore it. Will he become better than Joel Przybilla or Raef Lafrentz? Will he be like Marc Gasol? Will he end up being Sundov 2.0?? We can't know now, and same goes with other rookies. He needs TIME, and the same goes for Bradley, Harangody...

  2. Anonymous says:

    i mostly agree with what you write. and i think all semih needs is a little nba air and support.once he gets a role in the game and sees the support of the fns he will try his best to become better and better!!:)ilaykarabay

  3. Anonymous says:

    btw i accepted your request to follow me but your profile doesnt appear on my list....tnx

  4. Anonymous says:

    Personally, I would love it if he turned out as good a Joe Klein. Joe was a great backup. He played decent defense and had a very good outside shot

  5. tb727 says:

    I wouldn't consider Joe Kleine a "great" backup. He was pretty limited. I'd say he was about average to below-average mostly because he was such a high pick. He wasn't really better than Jon Koncak.

    And Bohemian although their games are different I predict Erden's production to be equivalent to Sundov 2.0 lol

  6. shelbyl says:

    Jermaine - potential injury
    Shaq - potential fatigue
    KG - we need him fresh for playoffs, don't want his knee to lose it.
    Perkins - out for at least half of the season

    I wouldn't waive Semih under such conditions. Who'll play Center & PF if an O'Neal is gone in the early season? Glen and KG plays for 40+ minutes, is this our back-up plan?

    The key to winning in NBA is having a real good front court. We cannot weaken the one area we're realy good at this year, not at this stage when Perk is still out.

  7. JR says:

    I actually thought Joe Kleine was pretty solid as a backup, so I'd be fine with that. I wouldn't overstate Erden's role and make him sound irreplaceable. If injuries hit us, there are still big men you can sign as place holders, Earl Barron types. Right now on the center depth chart he's behind Perkins, Jermaine, and Shaq and if necessary KG and Baby. So he's essentially the 6th option. He could project to one day be a rotation player on a contender, but won't be one this year, so if for example one of the non-guaranteed guys wows the Celtics in training camp, losing Erden wouldn't be like trading Joe Johnson or anything. Sort of like the Songalia trade. yeah he went on to have decent career, but I'm sure Danny doesn't lose sleep over his loss.

    Erden has potential. As good as he looked in international ball this Summer, he looked bad in NBA ball during the Summer League. He's a project that has the potential to be a center in the league, but guaranteed contract or not, nothing is set in stone. If someone beats him out in camp, so be it.

    Would it be a nice story if he made it and became a player? Most definitely. But many teams have stacked their rosters with 7 footers simply because of their heights and that doesn't translate to winning. I'll take a solid 6'9" player over a 7 foot stiff on the Celtics any day. Not saying Erden is a stiff, but just saying height isn't the be all end all. Excited to see the battles in camp. Lots of guys have a lot to prove.

  8. James Donaldson says:

    Hey who you calling a 7' stiff?!

  9. Anonymous says:

    some people conmsider Semih's height as an disadvantage but with the good leadership he can really be helpfull..he couldn't much show what he has got on the summer league because the league in Turkey was just over(his team was no.1) he was tired but he rested well now he has no more excuses left and i believe he'll do fine!! ilaykarabay

  10. boncul says:

    i agree with the commenter above. summer league wasn't a place to really judge him. he came shortly before it, had terrible jet-lagged, was his first time in the US to play with limited english, turkish league was just over and he had to leave the summer league early to start training with turkish national team for world championship.

    i think as he gets used the us, boston and improves his english, he'll settle into nba more and more.

    he is extremely agile for a 7 footer and knows basketball. won't be a "hero" but will be a good team-player given the chance. he still has to build up more and also improve his offense skills.

    patience is the key.

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