Playoff Proven Posey Knows His Role
WALTHAM - James Posey brings a lot to the table, including one of the biggest championship rings you'll ever see. He's hoping to find room for another one on his hand this year.
Sporting his guady 2006 NBA Championship hardware, Posey met the press in Waltham on Monday just minutes after officially signing with the Celtics. And while Executive Director of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge said that there's more to Posey than just his ring that made him an attractive free agent, it certainly doesn't hurt his resume either.
"He plays hard, he has that experience and he knows what it takes. He's played with good players and he knows how to find his spots," Ainge said of Posey. "He knows how to create, he's good at slashing off the ball, and he's had to work for shots when you play with great players like Shaq and Dwyane Wade in Miami."
While the Celtics made quite a splash by acquiring offensive firepower (see Garnett, Kevin and Allen, Ray) in offseason trades, their free agent signings have focused on finding role players and specialists to give the team championship depth. Posey joins Scot Pollard and Eddie House as players with solid postseason experience who understand how to contribute in a very specific role.
A 6'8" swingman, Posey has mostly made his name in the league on perimeter defense and rebounding. His quick hands, long wingspan and large frame make him an above-average defender who can guard up to four positions. There are plenty of players who want to be scorers in the NBA, but it takes a different mindset to become a stopper in this league. Posey credits his college coach Skip Prosser with helping him develop as a defensive force and he can see himself becoming the Celtics stopper.
"Bringing the energy and accepting that challenge every night, that's what I take pride in. I take pride in trying to stop people," Posey said. "I like that challenge and if that's what coach wants I'm all for it."
Posey played a key role for the Heat during their run to the Finals, coming off the bench as a shutdown defender, rebounder and a clutch three-point shooter. Posey averaged 7.3 PPG and 5.7 RPG in just under 28 minutes a game for the Heat in the postseason, and he led the team by connecting on 42% of his three-point attempts. Posey's three pointer with 3:43 remaining in the deciding Game 6 of the NBA Finals put the Heat ahead by six and helped close out the Dallas Mavericks in the Finals.
Despite his successful run with the Heat, Posey found himself looking for other employment options this summer. He says he had dialogue with the Celtics throughout the summer but Kevin Garnett's arrival made playing in Boston a very appealing option for guy who's clearly interested in adding to his jewelry collection.
"I waited patiently and I landed here in a great situation where we have an opportunity to win a championship," Posey said. "There [were] other teams out there but I wanted the best chance to win a championship. This is the place to be."
Peter Stringer covers the team for Celtics.com. You can send him .