Shavlik Randolph has seen a lot in his basketball career. Before he came to Boston, he saw action in Philadelphia, Miami, and Portland. He is currently on his second 10-day contract, and is playing for the chance to stay on this roster for the rest of the season. He's seen limited time in 3 games now, with his last stint against the Charlotte Bobcats being his best effort of the season. He received some quality minutes due to Garnett's absence, and managed to come through with a team-high 8 rebounds. Randolph gives the team a legitimate 6-10 body, that is unskilled but also willing to work. Some players are sometimes given the label of "hustling" if they aren't really good at anything, but it is not always an indication of a lack of talent.
At the very least it seems he is ahead of D.J White in terms of getting a new contract, according to Doc Rivers. Randolph played far more minutes than White did against the Bobcats, and Doc made it known that it was completely intentional. “He was great. I thought he just came in and made things happen,” Rivers said. “He rebounded the heck out of the ball, both ends, offense and defense. Threw his body around. So, it was good. He made a couple of great passes and some instinctive cuts to the basket, so I was really happy with him. I just thought Shav played better. I thought D.J. came in and played OK, and then Shav came in and played great, so I played Shav.” Now the difference between the two of them seems miniscule, if there even is any, but the words of Doc must be kept in mind when we debate which big has a better chance of staying.
Randolph isn't going to be a difference-maker. He most likely will not even be active in the playoffs. He is 29, so his future with this team is bleak too. But for the rest of this regular season? Where we want the best record possible and to rest our veterans? He isn't a bad option. He is a pretty crappy offensive option from anywhere on the floor, but he has been a pretty stable rebounder for most of his short NBA career. On a team starved for size, especially with Garnett's health in question and Wilcox's inconsistency, he can find a role. Some may think this is a lot of words to use for a guy like Shavlik Randolph, but stories of guys who couldn't break into the NBA on their first couple tries getting a bigger taste of it make me want to cheer him on. And it's not like we're giving a random scrub a contract just for the heck of it. This guy can give us something, which is rebounding.
Shavlik knows how his fate isn't in his own hands. He mentioned how he thinks the, "majority of the judgment was made before I was brought over here". But in what he has shown on the court, you can't help but think he wouldn't be bad as the 4th big off of the bench.
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