Greg Stiemsma vs. LaBron James

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Henry Vilas
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Greg Stiemsma vs. LaBron James

Postby Henry Vilas » Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:56 pm

I saw the highlights on Sport Center. Stiemsma is now a backup center for the Boston Celtics and he helped them clinched a playoff berth. Who'd a thunk?

Btw, his old UW teammate Brian Butch is still playing in the minors.

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Re: Greg Stiemsma vs. LaBron James

Postby acereraser » Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:13 pm

Here's an article detailing the reasons for the Celtics revival from Bill Simmons, unabashed Celtics fanboy. From said article:
2. Bradley's coming-out party can be explained — it came down to confidence and minutes. But Stiemsanity? I have no answers. Greg Stiemsma never averaged more than 12 minutes per game in any of his four Big Ten seasons. (Seriously. Look it up.) He bounced around for four solid years after college. He looked decent in the preseason, earned the Tommy Heinsohn Seal of Approval (getting compared to Bill Russell), quickly lost his mojo and seemed headed for a low spot in the All-Time White Celtics Rankings right between Andrew DeClercq and Brett Szabo. Then, Jermaine O'Neal went down, and so did Chris Wilcox … and just like that, the Stiemer was playing 19 minutes a game, blocking shots (he's averaging two a game since the All-Star break), running the floor, making open 15-footers, taking charges, banging bodies and doing everything you'd ever want from a backup center, with the added bonus that Boston fans loved him more than horny middle-aged housewives love Fifty Shades of Grey.

Does any of this make sense? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! It makes no sense whatsoever! Again, he's playing 19 minutes a game in the NBA when he never played more than 12 minutes a game in college. Did I mention that he's doing this with a badly sprained foot? And that he can't practice? And that he was wearing a walking boot for a couple of weeks? Let's just move on before we jinx Stiemsanity.

Over Christmas, we were visiting my mom in southwestern MN, and just about went to the opening game for the Sioux Falls D-League team, because Stiemsma was returning as their defensive anchor. Unfortunately, the D-League is priced too closely to the NBA, and we decided we didn't want to shell out just to be disappointed by everyone else on the floor.

I would guess it just took Greg this long to grow mentally and physically into his frame. It's not like he didn't show glimpses of this possibility in college, but thinking back, he didn't exude confidence that he could do the right thing most every time, for 30+ minutes a game. But, it is hard not to wonder how differently he would have developed if he hadn't had to play behind an All-American, and more importantly, the unrequited longing for that All-American to play up to those expectations. At any rate, good on 'im.

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Re: Greg Stiemsma vs. LaBron James

Postby O.J. » Thu Apr 12, 2012 8:35 am

I love Bill Simmons, but I just don't understand this:

"Bradley's coming-out party can be explained — it came down to confidence and minutes. But Stiemsanity? I have no answers. Greg Stiemsma never averaged more than 12 minutes per game in any of his four Big Ten seasons."

Ummm...seems to me that Stiemsma's success can be directly attributed to him actually getting a chance to play. If the Celtics didn't have a bunch of big men get injured, Stiemsma never gets the chance to play(similar to Avery Bradley's extra minutes while Ray Allen was hurt).

You can stick around the NBA even if you only have one discernible skill. Stiemsma is an excellent shot-blocker, something that every team in the NBA looks for. He also runs the floor very well and can knock down open jumpers. He's the perfect backup center. It seems like he has finally overcome some of his demons, and now he's actually been given the chance to show what he has to offer. Good for him.

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Re: Greg Stiemsma vs. LaBron James

Postby Crockett » Thu Apr 12, 2012 8:49 am

I saw flashes of brilliance toward the end of his senior year. But as someone else mentioned, the Badgers were too busy hoping and praying their All-American would stop sucking.

Pretty cool though. I didn't see one mention of "Polar Bear".

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Re: Greg Stiemsma vs. LaBron James

Postby Marvell » Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:42 am

I'm too lazy to search for it, but somewhere on here is a post I made years ago saying that I thought Stiemsma would make it in the NBA.

I'm not really bragging - it's more of a 'blind pig' thing than anything else, really. I also said that the Badgers would be 'at least' an Elite Eight team this year, so my abilities as a prognosticator are...shall we say, suspect.

But still - as was already said, good on him.

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