We’re a little under the gun with the season approaching, so you’re getting a 2-for-1 backcourt deal today in our profile series.
This is the third in a series of profiles for all 16 players on the current Celtics roster. We’ll profile at least one player each day leading up to the season opener.
Eddie House celebrated just after the Celtics defeated the Lakers in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. (Stan Grossfeld/Globe Staff)
Born: May 14, 1978
Height: 6 feet 1 inch … Weight: 175
College: Arizona State
Years pro: 8
Acquired: Signed as a free agent in 2007
2008/2009 salary: $2.65 million
Signed through: This season, player option for 2009-2010
Last year’s numbers: 7.5 ppg, 1.9 apg, 2.1 rpg in 19 minutes.
Strengths: Range. House made 117 three-pointers last season (39 percent), forcing opposing defenses to extend their perimeter defense. He’s also a a stone-cold free throw shooter (92 percent), giving the Celtics a sure thing at the line in late-game situations. The energy House brings to the floor might be the most underrated aspect of his game. Remember his heroics in Game 7 of the Cleveland series, diving for loose balls and igniting the crowd? Paul Pierce was spectacular in that game, but Boston might not have won it without House.
Weaknesses:To be fair, House knows what he’s good at and he sticks to it. But he’s also below average in a couple of categories, notably ball handling and defense. There were times last season when Doc Rivers had no choice but to remove House from the game because the Celtics could barely get the ball across halfcourt under full-court pressure. So in that way, House is not a true NBA point guard.
What to expect: It’s hard to believe House’s numbers would be drastically different than they were last season. He’s really the perfect role player for this team, a guy that can stretch the floor and knock down threes without trying to do too much. He makes up for his lack of size on defense by getting his hands on an unexpected number of balls in the passing lanes. And the Celtics rarely face the kind of pressure that gives him fits, meaning Ray Allen and Paul Pierce can share the ball-handling duties with Rondo on the bench.
Check back tomorrow for another player profile, and give us your expectations for House in our comments section.