By Brian Olive and Peter Stringer
August 9, 2007
BOSTON - Technically, Danny Ainge is on vacation, but he's been working hard to round out the Celtics roster.
Eddie House and Scot Pollard met the media at the Celtics' Boston HQ Thursday.Heather Walker/Boston Celtics
After assembling a core of Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett by making a five-for-one deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves last week, Ainge had some holes to fill. Looking for role players to fit in around the All-Star trio, Ainge dipped into the free agent pool to grab a few players who should complement the Celtics' top guns.
Thursday, the team finalized deals with three-point specialist Eddie House and reserve big man Scot Pollard. Both players arrived in the Boston area Wednesday night, took physicals Thursday and signed their contracts with the team before meeting with the media at the Celtics' Boston office on Causeway Street.
At 6'11", Pollard is a solid big man with nine years of playoff experience. A teammate of Pierce's at Kansas, Pollard knows how to bang in the paint with the big boys of the NBA and also provides depth and toughness for the Celtics in the front court.
"We've been talking about it all morning to each other about the teams that we have been on in the past where you get excited from the minute that you join the team or from the minute the team convenes and they get all the moves made. I'm not sure if they are done with all of the moves that they are going to make," Pollard said. "We both feel like, based on our careers, the teams that I have been on, probably three teams that I have thought from start to finish had a really good chance of being very, very good. And last year was one of them. And this team has already got that feel and we haven't even convened yet for practice. We haven't even got together. That's how I feel anyway. This is a team that from, definitely on paper and from the personnel that you see, not just on paper but the way they are. The way this veteran group is going to be together, it definitely looks very good.
House, a seven-year pro, is known for his marksmanship from downtown, and he ranked 10th in the NBA in three-point field goal percentage last season, shooting a shade under 43% from behind the arc for the New Jersey Nets. He also shot 92% from the free throw line last season.
"Oh it feels great. There is great tradition here, a good buzz going around right now. There has been a little cloud over this team for a little bit, they haven't been winning," House said. "With the moves that they have made, it looks like this organization is coming to win right now and I'm just glad to be a part of it and I'm going to do everything that I can to help us achieve our goal."