Last year Tommy Heinsohn made headlines when he compared Celtics D-League pick-up Greg Stiemsma to Bill Russell. Tommy wasn't comparing them as players, but solely as shot blockers. Well Goldy Blocks might have a new home this year far away from Boston, but he's putting up shot blocking numbers so far that even Russell might have been jealous of (Blocks weren't recorded back in his day). Stiemsma is averaging 4 blocks a game so far for the Wolves in only 16.5 minutes per game (Maybe the Wolves are trying to limit their whitest player's playing time to appease local civil rights leaders. Who knows?).
You'll recall that while Ainge was giving out big contracts this Summer to front court players KG ($12 mil a year), Green ($9 mil a year) and Bass ($7 mil a year), his interest in retaining the team's best shot blocker and only true center was very minimal. Ainge was willing to match up to only $2 mil a year and Stiemsma as anticipated found a richer offer. I'm not sure how good a player Stiemsma will become, but it's unfortunate that the Celtics basically discovered the guy, but only got to keep him for a year. It reminds me a bit of when the Celtics discovered Bruce Bowen, but then he ended up being a Spur for the majority of his career.
I really liked Stiemsma on the Celtics. yes he struggled in the playoffs, but he was playing, while being very injured. At least he played, which was more than the much more ballyhooed Shaq and JO did for us the past two years respectively. I do know that the Celtics have struggled at the center position ever since tearing apart the 2011 team by trading Kendrick Perkins for Jeff "Not James Worthy" Green. While Ray Allen was the headlining loss this offseason, it's much easier to replace a jump shooter than a true center. The Celtics added Jason Terry, Courtney Lee, and Leandro Barbosa. They have plenty of shooters. They could use a shot blocking center. Someone like Stiemsma.JR 11/05/2012 01:03:00 AM Tweet Edit