We are spending some time looking back over the Boston Celtics championship season… in an effort to truly appreciate the efforts of those involved. In our seventh installment of our series, we continue our appreciation of the players.
Open packet, add minutes, stir.
That's essentially the user-manual for Eddie House. To paraphrase Dennis Green: He is who we thought he was. And we're going to let him get away.
Eddie has said this season that he's a shooter. He wasn't signed to bring the ball up the floor. He was signed to come in and do what he did. Tee up that lightning quick release and make opposing defenses pay for slacking off him to double-team someone else. It was a master-stroke by Danny Ainge. Load the team up with very affordable guys who can drain shots from the perimeter… and when anyone left that shooter to double Pierce, Allen or Garnett… they'd get burned. Eddie House fit perfectly in to the plan.
But as the season rolled on, Eddie was asked to step outside his role a little, and bring the ball up. He never complained or refused. He just did what he was asked to do. Even when people (and we were among them) said the Celtics couldn't survive without a true point guard to back up Rajon Rondo… he did what was asked of him.
Even when that back-up point guard came to town and started to usurp House's minutes, he stayed strong. His frustration was evident, but he kept saying the right things and making sure that everyone knew he'd do whatever the team needed him to do.
And when it was clear that the old dog wasn't going to be learning any new tricks, Eddie came in and did the things he was signed to do. Shoot and score. The expletive-laden trash talk came free. Will anyone forget the multi-syllabic string of FCC-cringing trash that he was talking to Paul Pierce in Game 4 of the Finals… when Pierce hit him for the basket that gave the C's the lead in that huge comeback? It might have taken him 30 words to tell Pierce "that's what I do… when I get the ball I shoot."
And that's the beauty of Eddie House. It's also why we got him as cheaply as we did. The ever-confident, "shoot because its my job" attitude that allows him to keep doing what he does. But this year, he added an element to that game. He became a dependable team-guy. His shots went up frequently, but not so much so that they destroyed the offense. He even passed a few up when he knew it was for the best.
Eddie House may not be back with the Celtics last year, but I'm actually OK with that… because I feel like he's earned more money than we're willing to pay. I'm happy to see Eddie leave to get a few extra million dollars with another team because he's earned the chance to make more in one year than he has over the past 4 combined. He earned it because he did his job, did it well, and did it even when we were wondering if the regular season was really his swan song with the C's. And for that, Eddie, we appreciate the job you’ve done in helping us achieve the ultimate goal… an NBA title.
Herald: Sweet deal for McHale | Why no Chris Douglas-Roberts? He plays no D | Globe: Brooklyn next for LeBron? | Souza: Acquiring key pieces in case free agents walk | Portsmouth Herald: Pierce finds 'The Truth' | Draft Express: Draft report card (Celtics get a B) | Camerato: NBA Impact: Arizona Wildcats | SI: Draft grades (C's get a C) | ESPN: Dwight Howard sits with sternum injury
By the way: Manny Pacquiao won by KO in the 9th. No mention or photos of the C's in the crowd, though.
–UPDATE– Raichu has posted a YouTube video of PacMan with a bunch of C's in the comments!