Eddie House was the backup point guard through the first 65 games of the season averaging 19mpg and firmly establishing himself as one of Boston’s 8 best players. Then Sam Cassell came on board, Eddie found himself playing shooting guard and before long out of the rotation as the playoffs begun. Since the Playoffs have begun Eddie has only played double digit minutes three times and once was only because of a blowout getting garbage time minutes. Two of those games came against the Cavs as Eddie turned in great supporting performances for his stars helping keep Boston in Game Six and to win Game Seven. Against Detroit he played 7-8 minutes twice, 2 minutes once. Doc Rivers was uncomfortable with Eddie’s handle against the Pistons.
That’s the knock on Eddie. He isn’t a point guard. Well let’s break it down further. He has a shaky handle, isn’t a floor general, isn’t much of a penetrator, isn’t a playmaker type and lacks vision/creativity. But he does bring other things to the table. Of the three Boston point guard’s Eddie does the best job of getting Boston into their offense (Rondo’s inconsistent) quickly and of establishing quality ball movement. He knows who he is and plays within his limitations. Just bring it up quick, make the first pass and start the offense. He’s great at it and Boston has sorely missed that when Sam Cassell has been in.
Eddie also has other values. He’s a solid defensive player. He’s physical defensively and Boston’s best point guard at fighting above screens (important for Farmar and Sasha hand offs). Eddie brings a great amount of passion, energy, confidence and work ethic to the team. He dives on any loose ball. He charges up his side with energy. House is a streaky shooter but a very good shooter, once you get him off he doesn’t miss many until he cools back down. Eddie has been taking and making big shots all season, he’s a momentum breaker. The opposition would make a 6-0 run and be begining to make a run, next thing you know Eddie knocks down two triples (39% from three this season, 38% on his career) and shuts you up. Unfortunately Eddie has only shot 25% in the playoffs which isn’t helping his case but I don’t expect that to continue. Some consistent minutes would help here too.
As we covered in the Sam Cassell post, Eddie House should be the backup point guard against Los Angeles. He brings more to the team and the Celtics especially need him to try and keep Farmar from becoming a consistent scorer. Unlike the Pistons, the Lakers do not have a top tier pressure defender like Lindsey Hunter to disrupt Eddie’s ability to bring the ball up the floor. Considering Sammy’s below par play there’s no other reason why Eddie shouldn’t play. He’s going to be an important bench contributor to Boston this series.