The Boston Celtics loudly announced that they were going to be headed in a new direction with the start of the 2013-2014 NBA season on the night of the 2013 draft when they traded away their long-time core of future Hall-of-Fame players in Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett (Jason Terry was part of the deal as well) to the Brooklyn Nets.
In return from the Nets, the two main pieces that the Celtics received were veteran forwards Kris Humphries and Gerald Wallace. Both players had unproductive seasons last year in Brooklyn, but there was some hope that they could bounce back a little bit this season on a poor Boston team.
Though it’s only one game, Humphries could have a decent first year with the Celtics, but watching Wallace for an entire year might drive the Boston faithful absolutely insane.
In the Celtics season-opener, a 93-87 loss to the Toronto Raptors, Wallace put forth an incredibly perplexing stat-line. The 31-year-old was on the floor for 40 minutes in the game, but finished the night with three points, three rebounds, two assists, four steals and five turnovers while taking only one field goal attempt (a make) and going 1-4 from the foul line.
To put into perspective how rare and strange Wallace’s stat-line is, Basketball Reference’s player game finder says that there has only been one player since the 1985-1986 season to play 40 or more minutes, take only one field goal attempt, and turn the ball over five times: Dwight Howard in 2009.
If you’re the Celtics, the four steals are certainly nice, but the rest of Wallace’s production is flat-out depressing. If a player isn’t going to produce at even a mediocre level in any are of the game other than defense, there’s no way he should be on the floor for 40 minutes. If the ultimate goal of the Celtics is to be bad, then maybe playing Wallace is the right move in that regard. It’s only one game, as I said, but this could be an extremely long season for Wallace and the Celts.