Today we have a look at our new Point Guard, Sebastian Telfair.
Sebastian Telfair grew up in Brooklyn NY and is the cousin of the NY Knicks guard, Stephon Marbury. His nickname is Bassy, short for Sebastian. He was a high school basketball phenomenon and was surrounded by a lot of publicity through his senior year and going into the pros. In his senior year, he was a finalist for the 2004 Naismith Award. Averaged 33.2 points, 9.2 assists and 3.7 rebounds, leading Lincoln to a 26-6 record.
Telfair was the 13th overall pick in the 2003 draft straight out of Abraham Lincoln High School. He was drafted by the Portland Trailblazers and at 5'11", he is the shortest high school player to jump directly to the NBA. He had committed to the University of Louisville during his senior year but chose to turn professional.
"One of those rare players who makes the others around him better. Telfair posses great court vision and super passing ability. He will find you if your open. Sebastian has superior ball handling skills and penetration ability. He's been known to dazzle crowds with some of his super quick moves and ball skills. His quick hands and active feet make him a pest on defense…. He has that extra gear that allows him to out battle almost anyone...Makes the game look easy...Sebastian has dominated older competition for sometime with his otherworldly talent…..A fine prospect."
Telfair's first 2 years in the league in Portland were somewhat successful and he showed flashes of what he could do, but he injured his hand last year and ended up behind Steve Blake and Jarrett Jack in the rotation. The style of play in Portland didn't play to Telfair's strengths and so he ended up the third PG off the bench. Watching him in the Summer League, it looked as if he had been set loose and was having fun. The running style that Doc wants to institute will play to his strengths and he should thrive here. One play in SL caught my eye. The ball was inbounded in the backcourt and Telfair played such pesky defense that he caused an 8 second violation. On February 15, 2006, a loaded handgun was found in Sebastian Telfair's pillowcase, on the Blazers' private jet as they flew into Boston to play the Celtics. Telfair told authorities the gun belonged to his girlfriend and that he inadvertently grabbed the wrong bag when leaving for the team's road trip. The gun was registered to his girlfriend. No charges were filed against him but he was suspended for 2 games for breaking league policy. Very few players have been the subject of such intense media scrutiny. In high school and in the NBA, he has been followed very closely by the media because of all the hype that attended his jump to the NBA. Telfair is the subject of the book The Jump: Sebastian Telfair and the High-Stakes Business of High School Ball by Ian O'Connor, and Through the Fire, a documentary film by Jonathan Hock which follows Telfair through his last year in high school and his decision to choose the NBA over college. The film made its television debut on March 12, 2006 on ESPN and is the highest rated film ever for an original movie on that network. In spite of the hoopla that has surrounded him, he seems like he is fairly well grounded. He really wants to succeed and to be the best player he can be. He already seems to have good chemistry with his teammates and has become good friends with Rondo during the summer league. Pierce was quoted as saying that he was very excited about the chance to play with Bassy, also. The Celtics want to run and Boston has found a PG who can do it. I don't know about you, but I can't wait for this season to start.
Can Telfair be the first big time playmaking PG we've had since Tiny Archibald? Tiny used his quickness to get into the lane and he slashed through seams in the defense to get to the rim. Once in the paint, he was just as dangerous scoring the basket himself as he was making a nice pass that led to a bucket by a teammate.
Telfair has the fanfare and the razzle dazzle to excite crowds and he's quite charismatic. He's a vocal leader and cheerleader at the same time.
What I feel he needs to do better is getting rid of the ball quicker. Sometimes, he holds onto the ball too long, waiting for a play to develop. If there's nothing in front of him and the play is taking too long to develop, he needs to go to option B and either get rid of the ball and let it swing to the other side of the court, or create something himself.
If players aren't running with him, he needs to get on their tails and make them run. Its imperative for us to run because that is going to be a big part of our offense and our success.