Game 7. On the road. Against the Lakers. And Rasheed Wallace will be the Celtics’ starting center.
But that isn’t even the most worrisome part of Kendrick Perkins’ ill-timed injury. The real question is: what happens if Sheed gets in foul trouble, or ejected, or injured? What then?
Sheed will be ready, folks. This is what he lives for. 0-7 shooting the other night be damned, Sheed has been playing great basketball. His length bothers Pau’s game. His toughness bother Pau’s psyche. Sheed’s played like a warrior, ever since the Cleveland series. He’ll be ready tonight. He’ll play hard, and — I suspect — he’ll play well.
But what if he has to sit on the bench for awhile? What if he does get in foul trouble? Do the Celtics use Shelden Williams again? Scal?
That’s the problem for the Celtics frontcourt that now resembles Calista Flockhart: Foul trouble could be devastating. I trust Sheed now, I trust Shrek, and I certainly trust KG. But Shelden? He’s not ready for the moment. He looks lost out there. Scared, even. If he has to play any minutes tonight, the Celtics might be screwed. And Scal? I have more faith in Scal than Shelden, but Señor Firebush hasn’t played in months. He’d be solid, I think, but against the Lakers’ length and athleticism up front? Scal’s not the answer either.
And so the Celtics need Sheed. They don’t need him to be a superstar and they don’t need him to score points. They simply need him to rebound, contest shots, work his ass off and keep himself as far away from foul trouble as humanly possible. Is that too much to ask?