Yahoo Contributor Network
This article was created on the Yahoo Contributor Network, where users like you are published on Yahoo every day. Learn more »Yahoo Contributor Network
Greg Stiemsma Gives Celtics Fans One More Reason to Hope: Fan Take
By now, plenty of fellow fans of the Boston Celtics are feeling the frustration of three straight losses and not a single win during a season which is supposed to be the final title shot for the big three. I think there are some pretty decent reasons to start getting worried after Wednesday night's 97-78 loss to the New Orleans Hornets. Nevertheless, Greg Stiemsma isn't one of them.
On a night when no Celtic player had more than 15 points let alone double-digit assists or rebounds, Stiemsma quietly took to the court for his first ever performance in a regular season game. Stiemsma made the most of it, quickly establishing himself as a dominant defensive presence worthy of the D-League credentials he's racked up. He was last season's defensive player of the year in the NBDL, and it certainly showed.
Over the course of roughly 20 minutes on the court, Stiemsma (aka "Steamer") had 6 blocks and 2 points, showing this Celts fan one of the more remarkable rookie debuts in recent memory. Indeed, Stiemsma may prove to be as potent a defensive force as the Cs have had in years, and there's no reason to believe his performance on Wednesday was a fluke.
Stiemsma spent time playing internationally, in Turkey and South Korea. Last year, he was picked up by two NBA teams, the Minnesota Timberwolves and Cleveland Cavaliers, only to be waived one after the other by October. After playing with the D-League's Sioux Falls Skyforce, Stiemsma became a standout player at the Pan Am games, helping to win Team USA a third place finish and a bronze medal.
While he was with the Skyforce, Stiemsma had a per-game average of 3.7 blocks, more than any other D-league player last season, and also averaged 7.3 rebounds and 9.1 points. Stiemsma's 6 blocks, 4 rebounds, and 2 points in his Wednesday night regular season debut should make it clear that he's capable of the same level of play in the NBA.
Stiemsma's defensive skill will definitely come in handy considering the Celts' anemic play in New Orleans. At this point, the persistence absence of Paul Pierce doesn't excuse KG's surprisingly lackluster minutes or the simple fact that Jermaine O'Neal is, well, garbage (playing like it anyway). Danny Ainge is undoubtedly gearing up for more roster-shakeups to come, but as far as this fan is concerned, Stiemsma is a keeper.
Taurus Londono has lived in Massachusetts for over ten years. He is a longtime fan of the Boston Celtics.
Note: This article was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Sign up here to start publishing your own sports content.