The New Walter
Tommy Heinson has always had a favorite player on the Celtics. Since joining the Celtics in the 97-98 season Tommy's favorite has been Walter McCarty. Walter is not that talented of a player at all. He basically can only shoot 3's and he has no rebounding or defensive skills even though he is 6-10. He was acquired by the Celtics in 97 because Rick Pitino was the coach and we all know how he loves to have former Kentucky Wildcats on the team. Along with McCarty, Antoine Walker, and Ron Mercer were also on the team. Those 3 players played for Pitino at Kentucky, and Pitino also wanted them to play for him in the pros, and drafted Mercer and got McCarty from the Knicks to make it possible.
Well, Tommy has a new favorite. It's been a nice long run for Walta. Even though he was played sparingly, he always seems to make clutch shots, and Tommy has sure made it known to Celtics fans that he loves him. His familiar line of, "I LOVE WALTA" became commonplace as soon as Walta hit a clutch shot or hustled for a ball. The difference between Walta, and his successor is that Tommy's new favorite actually has potential and will be a good pro for a long time. He has more athletic ability, and he has made his presence known on this past west coast trip. His name is Tony Allen.
Tony Allen is a rookie out of Oklahoma State. At OSU, he played under Eddie Sutton, the famous coach who preaches defense and has over 700 wins. Tony is athletic, fast, and strong. He can jump, shot, and DUNK. Right now I would compare him to a former OSU alum who is playing for the Bucks. Tony reminds me a lot of Desmond in that they have the same qualities, and are the same type of player. Desmond Mason averaged 12 points in his second year in the NBA, and the last three years he has averaged 14 points, and this year he is averaging over 18 points. I feel that Tony is on a similar track to success in his career.
As fun as it is to watch Tony play right now, he stills has a few things he needs to work on. His jump shot definitely needs to improve, as he is only shooting 41 percent from the floor. He also cannot shoot 3's which is essential if you are going to be playing the position he is. I am confident that over the course of the season, we will see improvements in both of these areas. When Tony plays right now, he is all hustle. He along with this guy have made the second unit of the C's exciting and fun to watch. It is almost as if I cannot wait until the second quarter of Celtics games, in order to see these two players take the floor. They play the game with such energy and life, that some older more experienced players do not show. Tony is a slasher, and when he comes in, he just changes the game by the way the plays defense and rebounds. He is truly a joy to watch.
If these are not enough reason to tune into the Celtics, then you have to watch the games to hear Tommy Heinson announce. Yes, he is biased towards the Celtics, complains about the refs every game, and thinks on every drive that Pierce got fouled. But these all just part of the reasons that we as fans love Tommy. He is a huge Celtics fan at heart, just like us watching the game. And when Tony Allen comes in, you will be sure to hear him go on a rampage about how much of an awesome player he is. Last night during the Clippers game which went 2OT, Tony Allen made a spectular dunk on putback from a missed shot. Tommy interrupts Mike Gorman to say, "TONY ALLEN COMES FROM THE WEAKSIDE FOR THE DUNK, CAPE AND ALL." If a reference to Superman for a player who is a rookie and averaging 5 points and 15 minutes a game isn't enough for you to tune in, I don't know what will. All I know is that at 7:00 Wednesday night I will be watching the Celtics, and looking forward to when the man who wears the Cape and calls himself Tony Allen comes in.