Last year, Sheed took the brunt of blame for what struggles the Celtics had.
We were lazy during the regular season — clearly his laziness was rubbing off. Our complaints to the refs were reaching new highs — again, Wallace fingerprints all over it. We weren't tough enough inside, took too many jumpshots, and seemed entitled.
So the only solace I took from the conclusion of last year was the quick reports coming out that Sheed was hanging up his Air Force Ones.
A month into this season, Sheed's in his rocking chair and I'm reconsidering.
The 2010-2011 Celtics already look bored to a pretty frustrating degree, with terrible losses to this weekend, and other than KG's minor resurgence and Rondo's continuing progression, we haven't had a lot to get excited about.
Which brings me to this question: Did we give Sheed too much blame?
His play was underwhelming last year — 9 points, 4 boards, and a block, and from my non-expert eye, I thought his interior defense (especially within the Celtics team concept) was lousy.
But look at his replacement. Jermaine O'Neal seems like a nice enough guy and everything, but 5.5 pts, 3.5 boards (in admittedly fewer minutes) isn't really helping much. And now he's hurt, which is obviously a shock to all of us.
It makes me wonder: Might we be better off with Sheed still on the roster?
The argument for is that Sheed did stretch the defense, even though he missed the vast majority of his threes, and in his time in Boston he fell in line behind Doc and the veterans. He was surprisingly durable, knows the system and all the players' tendencies, and would have a chip on his shoulder from how last year ended.
The argument against is probably that this team might be at its limit with big/crazy personalities. Shaq, Baby, Delonte, KG…throw Sheed in the mix and maybe things would really get out of control. And let's not forget that Sheed was out of shape for about 80% of last year. And that he probably would have been suspended for the entire year already with the new technical foul rules.
Obviously, we have all season to wonder about this, and we won't really know 'til we see what we get out of JO come May and June. But I fear we might not see an upgrade from the most reviled player from last year's team.