By Graham Brunell
House was a huge part of the Big Three-run Celtics teams. His energy
and style of play had me in disbelief during my first solid look at
him. A generally disengaged player from the fan's point of view by the
time he came to Boston, House was expected to begin his decline as one
of the most potent three-point shooters of the decade. But oh no —
House wouldn't have any of it. On a contender, House rather sustained
his game in more ways than one. He put up more three-point shots than
he did the year prior, hovered around the same three-point FG
percentage as the 06-07 campaign, and did more of the little things
aside from his personal game (chipped in for more assists and more
rebounds than his year before with New Jersey).
year he continued to prove doubters wrong. He spiked for an entire
extra point, and broke Danny Ainge's single-season record for the
highest three-point FG percentage by shoting 44.4%. He also had his
highest total win shares in his whole career, as well as his highest
True Shooting percentage in all of his nine years in the league.
came this year. We knew Eddie might not have the same legs, the same
quick release — but he was still Eddie. He still had that
team-leading, shrilling bark. He still had that inner vehemence and
intelligence for the game. But, regardless at 31, Eddie, like most
shooters, would probably see a less frequent shot of adrenaline in his
lower body, a more restricted arm extension, a more sloppy wrist-flick,
and so on and so on.
while that prediction was right, it's been great to see this guy play
so far in the '09-10 season. Eddie has been focusing on more of the
little things again to keep his game at the same level. He's averaging
7.1 ppg, 1.2 boards, and less than one dime this season, sure. He has
less win shares, but that's a basically irrelevant statistic for a
bench player like House until the end of the season arrives. On the
other hand, his usage percentage (number of team plays he uses when
he's on the floor) is the highest since joining Boston, and he has the
lowest turnover percentage since his days in New Jersey. He also is
getting to the free stripe slightly more often than last season, and
has seen a massive jump in free throw percentage.
is, when you see House play. It seems that House hasn't been as big a
part of the rotation (in terms of backup PG) because of the Marquis
Daniels addition and the Rondo reign being closer on the horizon. He's
seeing his least amount of minutes since the '04-05 season, when House
was traded around and ended up playing for three teams. It's been a
disappointment to see Doc shying away from House's number lately, even
with Daniels going down for over month. In fact, it seems like House
was on the court more when Daniels was dressed, which is interesting to
Doc be losing confidence in Eddie's point guard capability? I, myself,
was quite fond of the Daniels-House combo in the backcourt.
Nonetheless, there's less minutes for House at SG than there is at PG.
82games shows us that the third most used unit in Doc's substitution
games happens to be the House-Daniels guard punch. However, it is
understandable for Rivers not to experiment House with the rookies and
inexperienced guys we have behind Rondo and Ray on the bench. House
seems to be uncomfortable when playing with guys that are either too
slow on the plays because of their youth, or guys he's just flat-out
not used to seeing on a regular basis. Again, referring to 82games: the
bottom half of the top 10 units House is included in has three mentions
of Shelden Williams, one of Brian Scalabrine, and one of Tony Allen.
of course, there are the rough edges, the eroded spots, in House's
stats. He's averaging the least amount of points since coming to
Boston, less victories under the glass than he did in the '08-09
season, a lower three-point FG percentage, less three-pointers
attempted, etc., etc.
the end though, what do I appreciate about House? I appreciate his
ascendency as leader on the bench. I appreciate his fire, and passion
for the game. I appreciate him not being any more cautious about his
body than he was in his younger days, and playing like age isn't a
factor. I appreciate his always refreshing perception and comprehension
of the game of basketball and how his team plays it. I appreciate his
incessantly chippy play, and his positive commentary to get the team
going. I appreciate his desire to win, and how it rubs off on other
Yep, that Eddie House is keepin' on.
Photo by Steve Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images