After passing his physical examination on Tuesday, the Boston Celtics signed Sam Cassell for the remainder of the season to help an already deep bench become that much deeper. Cassell will back up Rajon Rondo at the PG position, most likely taking minutes from Eddie House and Tony Allen. The Celtics hope that this move is the last piece of the puzzle for their run at the NBA Championship.
Cassell, in his 15th NBA season, is excited to join a contender after spending the past two and a half seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers. His veteran presence will be an important factor down the playoff stretch, leading the younger players who have plenty of talent, but little experience.
Over his career, Cassell has averaged 15.9 points and 6.1 assists per game. He has played along side some of his new teammates including Kevin Garnet in Minnesota from 2003-2005 and Ray Allen in Milwaukee from 1998-2003.
Allen likes the new addition and believes it will help elevate the game of many on the players on the current roster. He thinks the move will also take some pressure off of Rondo at the point.
“Since I got traded here last summer, Sam was excited about this team’s potential,” said Allen, “Sam will give Rondo another gear.”
It’s been said that Cassell can run an offense on confidence alone; his addition to the Celtics will certainly help them during the crunch time in close games. With him on the floor you not only add another offensive threat from behind the 3-point arc, you also get a hard nosed defensive workhorse that will control the flow of a game based on what suites his teams style of play best at that point in the contest.
Once a hot head on the court, Cassell has toned down his antics and assumed a veteran role much like Gary Payton did late in his career with the Celtics. Don’t get me wrong, Cassell can still talk a mean game on the floor, and can certainly back it up, but he also can motivate his teammates and get them to believe in the show that he runs.
Cassell will not be available in tonight’s game vs. Detroit because he will be attending a family funeral, but will join the team tomorrow and be dressed for Friday night’s game vs. Chicago.