With Kendrick Perkins increasingly unlikely to play in Game 7 -- depending on whom you ask -- Celtics fans have turned their attention to the question of how his absence might affect the back end of the rotation.
With Perkins injured and Rasheed Wallace, his backup, in foul trouble for much of Game 6, the Celtics turned to utility big man Shelden Williams for 14 minutes. He was disastrous, missing his only shot attempt (a dunk, no less), grabbing just three rebounds, committing two fouls and turning the ball over twice.
His poor performance, though, should be expected, if you ask Greg Payne of CelticsBlog, who writes, "the fumbled passes, the failed attempts at rebounds, and a few questionable basketball decisions" have "defined" his season in Celtics green. Which is why Payne believes that Brian Scalabrine, likely to join the active roster if Perkins is de-activated, should take Williams' minutes in the rotation, backing up Wallace and Glen Davis.
Both are listed at 6'9, so the Celtics wouldn't be giving up any height, and while both are below average rebounders, you'd have to figure Scal holds the edge in veteran savviness and would be less likely to commit unnecessary turnovers and make poor basketball decisions. We wouldn't necessarily be counting on Scal to produce, but instead, just not mess up. That's really all that it comes down to between these two players - who is more likely to not make a mistake and potentially cost the Celtics a bucket? Scal gets my vote, strictly based on what we've seen from Williams thus far. And if he scores a point or two, uses his fouls wisely, and happens to grab a few rebounds, all the better. Again, he can't be much worse than Williams has been.
There's never a good time to argue whether your team's 11th or 12th man is best suited to pick up some slack in the wake of a costly injury, but the day before Game 7 of the NBA Finals is quite literally the worst possible time to have this sort of discussion.