Final Celtics’ Player Scorecards (No 7)
Posted by Steve Bzomowski on June 24, 2008
7. Eddie House: Our season tickets were right next to the Celts’ runway, where they’d enter and leave the court. Best part about it was being near enough to study the players during pre-game warm-ups and at halftime, see how they’d go about preparing. Those warm-ups are among my favorite times in The New Garden. Some guys go about it quietly, easily, mostly mental prep (Pierce). Some goof, play, joust gently with teammates (Cassell). Others are all business (KG, Ray Allen). Some are a nice, interesting mix of the two. Just about always my favorite guy to watch, study, was Eddie House. He had some simple ball handling routines he’d go through but it was all prelude to why House was there in the first place: shooting. The most impressive thing you notice is the perfect rotation he had on his shot everytime. EVERYTIME! As I sat there, I said out loud, more than once (to no one in particular, that’s the way it is sometimes), “he’s got the nicest rotation on his shot of anyone in the league.” I mean, it could not be better. And, he gets the thing off in a hurry. Catch, bing and up! No wasted motion, no hitch, no hesitation. Clearly, his pre-shot preparation – feet ready, shoulders and hips squared up – is outstanding. You want to get better at shooting? Watch what Eddie House does BEFORE he gets the ball, watch his feet, his knee bend. Understand that he sees the ball going through the hoop even before he catches it. Balance, rhythm, rotation, confidence. A desire to do it again. You gotta love this guy! (Eddie House’s 61 pt game versus Cal his senior year.) As too many analysts say, “he can score the ball”! (What else is he gonna score? Are we not talking about basketball here?)
Amazingly, and perplexingly (at first), House had very little run in the first couple rounds of the playoffs. Sam (“I’m Firing I Am”) Cassell and his playoff experience is what Doc Rivers seemed to favor. But as Cassell’s shot became less reliable and his feet slowed w-a-y down on defense, House got the call and brought energy and excitement to the floor. He made big shots and his dive for the loose ball save to James Posey was a turning point for the Celts’ psyche in the Cavs’ series. I think all these guys who were losing playing time (House, Powe, Davis, T. Allen, Rondo some in The Finals) and then getting playing time just plain believed in Rivers and believed in the team and honestly thought that their time would come, that Rivers had not necessarily lost all confidence. And for each of them, the time DID come, and it’s a good thing each was ready.
What they got out of House is what they wanted to get out of House: a “team first” guy capable of putting up big numbers (Arizona State stats), lending energy and life anytime he was on the floor. We were all “House Guys” from the moment he put on The Green, pre-season to last arcing corner, split-second, sweet spinning jumper.