The preseason is winding to a close, and according to Scott Souza of the MetroWest Daily News, Celtics swingman Von Wafer hopes that he won’t be one of the last players cut from the team before the first game of the season on Tuesday:
After struggling badly at the start of training camp, former Florida State sharpshooter Von Wafer might have found his game just in time to make the final 15 when the Celtics open against the Heat next Tuesday.
Wafer was one of the bright spots in last night’s 16-minute scrimmage, taking the ball to the basket against Shaquille O’Neal and Kevin Garnett, and knocking down open shots.
“He’s been more aggressive,” Rivers said. “He still has to buy in defensively and into our culture. I think he’ll do that.”
That’s if Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge and Rivers give him the time.
After a terrible start to the preseason, in which he went scoreless and didn’t make a shot in 25 minutes over the first three games, Wafer has come on strong. He had 14 points (3-for-3 on treys) in 26 minutes against the Raptors on Friday and eight points (2-of-4 on treys) with five rebounds in 24 minutes against the Knicks on Saturday.
Expecting Wafer to play hard on defense and fit into an offensive system is a tall order for the 26-year old Wafer, who has been a fairly one-dimensional gunner throughout his NBA career, and never a terribly efficient one at that. Still, Wafer knows how to put the ball in the basket, and the Celtics could use some extra scoring punch from the bench.
As Souza noted in his article, Wafer has been on seven NBA rosters in the last four years. If Wafer can rediscover his 08-09 shooting form and make some concessions to the way the Celtics play the game, he could provide useful minutes to a team that will likely make a deep playoff run — if not, Wafer could be headed to the D-League or back overseas, which is where Wafer spent the 2009-10 season. Just another reminder of how important one preseason game can be to some players hoping to crack an NBA roster.